Q: I've been diagnosed with periodontal disease. I want to reverse it ASAP, because I hear it leads to more problems than just tooth decay. What's my next step? -- Kathy L., Eugene, Oregon
A: You're smart to want to get control of your oral health. Your timing is great, too; there's breakthrough research that's discovered a pretty simple way for you to reduce gum problems and cut your risk for several major diseases in the process.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory gum disease that causes pockets to form between the gum and teeth, where food is trapped and provides fuel for infection; this can lead to jawbone erosion. The inflammation affects your whole body. It's associated with everything from bad breath and tooth loss to Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, memory loss, pneumonia and even cancer.
Up to now, most PD treatments focused on improving oral hygiene (flossing at least once and brushing at least twice a day) and often your dental professional would prescribe antibiotics. But the latest research makes it clear that the smart move is to attack the inflammation.
Start by taking 2,000 mg of DHA omega-3 every day for three months along with low-dose aspirin (81 mg to 162 mg -- ask your doc if it's OK for you). That shrinks gum pockets and reduces measurable levels of two inflammation markers in gum tissue. Aspirin, taken along with DHA, makes omega-3s more useable by the body.
Also, improve your oral hygiene; eliminate inflammatory foods -- added sugars and syrups, refined grains, red meat -- and get at least 30 minutes of added physical activity a day.
Q: I think working in my office five days a week is unproductive and unhealthy. I'm sitting all day --stressed and eating badly -- and I'm constantly interrupted. If I worked from home a few days a week I could be more productive and healthier. How can I convince my boss it's a good idea not just for me, but for the company? -- Paula M., Butte, Montana
A: There are a lot of studies that show how healthier employees make better all-around employees. Dr. Mike's Cleveland Clinic Wellness Center does a great job of helping employers set up programs that promote healthy lifestyles. And they've proved that these programs benefit both employees and the business (by reducing health-care costs and increasing productivity).
You could suggest to your boss that in exchange for working from home, you'll set health goals -- to lower cholesterol or lose weight and increase your physical activity.
You also can discuss other ways to increase your productivity and quality of work when you reduce interruptions by working from home.
We suggest you explain to your boss that you're glad to multitask. Switching from one task to another in an orderly way is something the brain is made to do.
Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Dr. Michael Roizen is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.sharecare.com.