Q&A – Healthy Routines

Can the health of my mouth affect my overall health?

A growing body of research has linked gum disease to other health problems including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and dementia.  Untreated cavities can also be a threat to your overall health if the bacteria spreads to the bloodstream. 1-3

What are some ways that I can fit more physical activity into my day?

Small movements throughout the day can add up to hundreds of extra calories burned, so take a chance to get up and move whenever you can. Park in the back of the parking lot, take the stairs, and do jumping jacks during television commercial breaks.

I feel overwhelmed and confused by all the different advice on what “healthy eating” is. Are there any simple tips that are easy to follow?

Eat less food that comes in a box, bag, or can, and make sure most of your plate at any meal is covered in colorful plants (fruits and veggies). These two small things will make a big difference when it comes to eating healthy.

I am so busy that I often only get around 5 or 6 hours of sleep in a night. Is this really that bad?

You might think that it won’t hurt to lose just a couple hours of sleep a few nights a week, and sleep six hours instead of eight. But this can lead to depression, make you gain weight, and even increase your risk of high blood pressure. 4,5,6



  • Faria-Almeida R, Navarro A, Bascones A. Clinical and metabolic changes after conventional treatment of type 2 diabetic patients with chronic periodontitis. J Periodontol. 2006 Apr;77(4):591-8.

  • Geismar K, Stoltze K, Sigurd B, Gyntelberg F, Holmstrup P. Periodontal disease and coronary heart disease. J Periodontol. 2006 Sep;77(9):1547-54.

  • New York University (2010, August 4). Gum inflammation linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Taylor DJ, Lichstein KL, Durrence HH, Reidel BW, Bush AJ, Epidemiology of insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Sleep. 2005 Nov;28(11):1457-64.

  • Patel SR, Malhotra A, White DP, Gottlieb DJ, Hu FB Association between Reduced Sleep and Weight Gain in Women. American Journal of Epidemiology. Am. J. Epidemiol. (15 November 2006) 164 (10): 947-954.

  • Palagini L, Bruno RM, Gemignani A, Baglioni C, Ghiadoni L, Riemann D. Sleep loss and hypertension: a systematic review. Curr Pharm Des. 2013;19(13):2409-19. Review.


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