With every passing election cycle, more states are beginning to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Whether pro or con to the marijuana debate, dentist and bacteriologist, Dr. Harold Katz, says there is one aspect of smoking weed that no one is talking about: marijuana mouth! “One of the side effects of marijuana is dry mouth, otherwise known as cotton mouth,” says Katz. “I don’t see anyone discussing the negative effects of smoking marijuana, particularly to oral health.”
Katz says the effects of dry mouth can lead to bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. Millions of people suffer from dry mouth, known as xerostomia (zeer-oh-stomia). Dry mouth affects the ability to maintain a sufficient flow of saliva in the mouth, which eliminates food debris in the mouth, kills viruses and discourages the anaerobic bacterial growth that produces chronic bad breath. Read more of this story »
Everyday life gives us ample reason to stress. Relationship problems, child-rearing issues, job insecurity, school frustrations, and financial instability are just some of life’s complications that can weigh people down and lead to health problems. “It’s difficult to stay healthy and energized when stress is a daily reality,” says Dr. Greg Wells, author of The Ripple Effect: Eat, Sleep, Move and Think Better. “Chronic stress can damage your body, threaten your mental health, put a strain on relationships, and take the joy out of life.” But there’s no reason to surrender to stress; Dr. Wells suggests seven techniques to help you have a healthier “thought life” and recover from chronic stress:
• Move your body. Rhythmic, repeated motion is particularly soothing to the mind and body. A long walk, cycling, swimming, or running will all work, but any kind of movement relieves tension, improves circulation, and clears your mind.
• Get into nature. Head to the garden, the park, or the woods to lower your blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, reduce tension and depression, and boost your mood. “It’s stunning how good it is for your health to be in nature,” Wells says. “And I recommend you leave the cell phone and earbuds at home.”
• Practice yoga or Tai Chi. Therapy, yoga and Tai Chi are good ways to decrease stress and anxiety, increase energy, and boost the immune system. They also give you more stamina—needed in stressful times—and improve the quality of your sleep. Read more of this story »