What your mouth is try­ing to tell you

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Sunday Special - In.pc­mag.com

Loud and clear dan­ger signs range from bleed­ing gums and cracked lips to ground-down teeth

They say the eyes are the win­dows to the soul — but these in­di­ca­tors re­veal your mouth has plenty to say about your gen­eral health.

The so­lu­tion may be as sim­ple as adding a lit­tle red meat to your diet — it is a rich source of both iron and zinc. You can also find iron, zinc, and B vi­ta­mins in foods such as salmon, eggs and leafy greens.

To be safe, visit a doc­tor for a test if you sus­pect a nu­tri­ent de­fi­ciency. It’s Mon­day morn­ing. You’ve been sit­ting at your desk for two hours and haven’t done much. Sud­denly, i t ’s Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon and you still haven’t a c c o mpl i s h e d a ny t hi ng no­table. We all have work­weeks l i ke t his. Can you t urn it around? Pull these tricks out of your pro­duc­tiv­ity bag and get back on track. Tooth-grind­ing, or brux­ism, is of­ten caused by a small jaw that doesn’t sup­port the air­way, more com­monly seen in women than men.

“This mis­match causes up­per air­way re­sis­tance syn­drome, which means suf­fer­ers are in a con­stant state of i nter­rupted sleep where their brain is be­ing told the air­way needs to be opened,” says Dr Beata O’Donoghue, a sleep consultant.

This ac­ti­vates the sym­pa­thetic ner­vous sys­tem — the body’s sur­vival mode — which re­leases adrenalin and sends the body into stress and tooth-grind­ing. So­lu­tions in­clude nasal strips, breath­ing ex­er­cises be­fore bed and med­i­ta­tion.

In other cases, tooth grind­ing can be due to stress. Mouth­guards can help to pro­tect teeth as you sleep. Fil­ing ex­pense re­ports, wip­ing down your desk, scan­ning doc­u­ments, clean­ing out your in­box — these are all chores that must get done. These tasks have value. You are obliged to your col­leagues in ac­count­ing to com­plete ex­pense re­ports on time. Emp­ty­ing your in­box to­day makes for a smoother ex­pe­ri­ence triag­ing email to­mor­row. If you don’t see a pile of pa­pers nearby, you can­not be dis­tracted by them. too late.

“Smok­ers are si x ti mes more likely to de­velop oral can­cer, but one in four oral can­cers de­velop in non­smok­ers,” says Gra­ham Mer­rick, a consultant max­illo­fa­cial sur­geon.

Sus­pi­cious oral ul­cers tend to be raised sores and of­ten have red or white (or red and white) bor­ders. They may lurk un­der­neath the tongue, where they’re hard to see. We can look to sci­ence to fig­ure out what kind of pro­duc­tiv­ity ad­vice or t i p s work for most peo­ple, but we can never know what works for us un­til we try it.

Monique Va l c o u r, an ex­ec­u­tive coach and con­trib­u­tor to Har­vard Busi­ness Re­view, wrote an i nsight­ful ar­ti­cle with tips for peo­ple who hate pro­duc­tiv­ity t i ps. I t ’s f or peo­ple who f i nd mo­ti­va­tion by look­ing i nward at t heir in­ten­tions rather than out­ward at their to-do list. Throw out any pro­duc­tiv­ity tips that don’t work for you. Give them a try, but toss them aside if they don’t mesh with your per­son­al­ity. There’s no short­age of pro­duc­tiv­ity tips and strate­gies. Don’t feel like you’ve failed if some of them don’t work for you. Fo­cus on the ones that do.

Former US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama has re­port­edly given up smok­ing When stressed, ac­tor Ge­orge Clooney used to grind his teeth and had to get cos­metic work done to fix them

Scar­lett Jo­hans­son and An­gelina Jolie have made it to lists that rate the best nat­u­ral and per­fect lips

In 2009, upon his re­turn to Google, Larry Page sent a com­pany-wide email ex­plain­ing how to run meet­ings more ef­fi­ciently

Brian Ch­esky, CEO of Airbnb, starts each morn­ing by re­fin­ing an ex­haus­tive to-do list, so that if he does “these three big things, the other 20 things will kind of hap­pen as out­comes, or out­puts, of it”

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