• By Laurel J. Kelly

Housecall: The importance of a healthy mouth

October 16, 2017

a father and young daughter brushing their teeth and looking into a mirror togetherTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Oral health: A window to your overall health 
Did you know that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Poor oral health might contribute to many diseases and conditions, including cardiovascular disease, premature birth and low birth weight, rheumatoid arthritis, and eating disorders. Learn more about why paying attention to oral health is so important and what you can do to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy.

STD testing: What's right for you?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are common, but the types of STD testing you may need depends on your age, sexual behaviors and other risk factors. In many cases, there are neither signs nor symptoms. That's why many experts prefer the term sexually transmitted infections, because you can have an infection without disease symptoms. Find out more about STD testing guidelines and what might be right for you.

EXPERT ANSWERS
What can I do about my insomnia?
Waking up in the middle of the night is called insomnia, and it's a common problem. Insomnia often occur during periods of stress. Over-the-counter sleep aids rarely offer significant or sustained help for this problem. There are some lifestyle strategies that may help, though. Learn more from Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, a Mayo Clinic pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist.

Can I manage my hot flashes without medication?
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of the menopausal transition. They can vary in frequency, intensity and duration. On average, symptoms persist for more than seven years. In the meantime, you may be able to get a handle on hot flashes by making some simple changes, such as dressing in layers and learning to relax. Learn more from Dr. Shannon Laughlin-Tommaso, a Mayo Clinic OB-GYN.

PLUS ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
First aid for a corneal abrasion
Slideshow: Age-related vision problems
Video: Squat with dumbbell
Sudden cardiac arrest: An overview

HEALTHY RECIPES
Polenta with roasted red pepper coulis
Sichuan broccoli and cauliflower
Sloppy Joes
Spicy snow peas

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
When is it time to buy a new toothbrush?
Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush every three to four months. Change it sooner if the bristles become irregular or frayed. Keeping a toothbrush for too long makes it difficult to clean your teeth well.

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

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