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To order your copy of Bottom Up!,

email Melanie:

From Toes to Head:
The Many Reasons To
Stand Up and Move

The book costs $10.00 (or less as a bulk order) and can be mailed to you for the added cost of postage.


The original booklet was a compilation of articles written for a “Senior’s Newsletter” at the JCC from 2009 to 2017. It was put together as a fund-raiser. The new book was created in response to many requests for another like the first.

Look for some articles from the first book on this page.

With Covid-19 we have certainly had our attention drawn to the importance of hygiene - hand washing, masks and social distance. One of my previous articles on teeth and oral care is below and I am adding to it because of a recent article in the Economist magazine. There is increasing evidence concerning the link between diseases that enter the body through the mouth and those which may be linked to gut health as well.

Besides this article, another in the recent ACSM (American Council of Sports Medicine) magazine discusses the boost in immunity which comes from a single bout of exercise. I will add a quote from that article as well.


Since I began this column we have considered many body parts but not yet looked in our mouth. We know oral care is important but we rarely appreciate teeth until they become problems; something that increases with more birthdays. We don’t often consider the implication teeth have on our general health, yet evidence suggests that they can be the mirror of bone problems and the root of some heart, respiratory and brain problems.

In the February 13/21 Economist there was mention made of possible links to as many as 50 diseases in which gum problems may play a part. The bacteria in tooth crevices may rise from thousands to millions and transport into the body via the good blood supply around teeth is easy. The research on Rheumatoid Arthritis is tentative but the link with diabetes is much more solid.

Bone loss from osteoporosis can loosen teeth and increase the risk of gum disease. It is estimated that 75% of Americans have gum disease (gingivitis), which can cause chronic inflammation in other parts of the body. Bleeding gums should be checked since people with gingivitis are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease and are at increased risk of stroke. Those with diabetes are at even greater risk. Lung problems and pneumonia can occur with inhalation of oral bacteria; something more likely to happen when swallowing muscles weaken with age.

Studies also suggest that people without natural teeth are at greater risk of kidney disease and dementias such as Alzheimer’s than people with teeth. Further research needs to clarify the connection between tooth loss and brain health but it is evident that caring for your teeth has benefits that go far beyond your mouth.

The ACSM article on immunity and exercise talks of a threefold rise in leukocytes (white blood cells) with only minutes of exercise and a five-fold increase with exercise that lasts one or more hours. Of course, there is a drop in numbers later but regular and consistent exercise has been shown to create immune systems which appear to be "younger" and have better function.

So, look after your teeth and fit regular walking, swimming, biking or dancing into your days.