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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 21, 2007 / 4 Sivan, 5767

Oral hygiene, overlooked, leads to health problems

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: My 84-year-old mother suffers from midstage dementia. For the last year and a half, my five siblings and I have helped pay for a caregiver to take care of Mom during the day. We "kids" — now from 49 to 62 years of age — take turns sleeping over at Mom's each night. Recently, Mom was rushed to the hospital to be treated for pneumonia, which flared up fairly quickly.


While she was recovering, I talked to a nurse who told me that Mom's gums and teeth were not being properly cared for, and that, according to recent studies, there is a link between bacteria in the mouth and upper respiratory problems, including pneumonia. I thought you might like to pass this on to your readers, as I had never heard this before.


A: Neither had we. So we called Dr. Barbara Resnick, a professor at the University of Maryland and a Baltimore-area nurse practitioner, who is a member of the American Geriatrics Society. Resnick confirmed that yes, indeed, there is relatively new research that links bacteria in the mouth to pneumonia and other upper respiratory difficulties.


"The mouth is a place that is often overlooked by seniors and their caregivers," explained Resnick, "and it's not seen as a priority because of other looming health problems. Other problems are easier to see because they are visible, but because problems in the mouth are hidden, they are not so obvious. But these oral problems are just as important, if not more important, to treat as are other ailments."


Resnick, who teaches geriatric nurse practitioners and also does clinical work at a Baltimore continuing-care retirement community, told us that good oral hygiene is a "critical, critical area in long-term care for older adults," particularly if they are institutionalized, but also if, like your Mom, they live at home.


Early diagnosis can help prevent more serious health problems caused by poor oral hygiene, such as the pneumonia that struck your mother, not to mention gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth.


According to the American Geriatrics Society, here are some key signs caregivers should watch for as indicators that a trip to the dentist is necessary:


— Growths, patches or lesions in the mouth could be signs of malignancies and should be brought to the attention of a health care provider immediately.


— Broken or missing pieces on dentures, or dentures that no longer fit. Because older adults often lose body fat, the way in which dentures fit changes. This can cause mouth pain and discomfort.


— Dry mouth. As we age, saliva production lessens and causes dryness and discomfort of the mouth. Dry mouth is also a common side effect of many medications. — Bad breath. While this is often an embarrassing topic for many people to address, it can serve as an indicator of more serious health problems.


As adults age, it's often more difficult for them to brush or floss due to physical and cognitive changes. But, says Resnick, there are products available for seniors and their caregivers — such as electric toothbrushes and toothbrushes with larger handles for easier gripping — that make brushing and flossing easier for people who suffer from conditions likes arthritis. You can also buy longer toothbrushes or extenders that you pop onto the end of the regular toothbrush to make it longer. And there are also floss holders to make flossing easier.


Some additional tips from the American Geriatrics Society to ensure good oral hygiene for seniors include:


— Use an oral rinse — such as water or a salt solution, using 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 quart of water — instead of mouthwashes with alcohol, which tend to dry out the mouth.


— Take special care of dentures to avoid infections. Thoroughly brush and clean dentures after each meal, in addition to soaking them overnight.


One last tip for caregivers from Resnick: Keep a close watch on the feet. "Feet are often neglected," she says, "because you don't always see them." But feet that are ignored can lead to major medical problems, particularly for seniors with conditions such as diabetes.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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