If you knew you could prevent a heart attack or stroke by doing one simple thing every day, twice a day would you do it? If you thought you could avoid developing serious lung diseases or ease existing symptoms of arthritis and diabetes would you think about changing your morning routine to include this simple exercise?
It might surprise you to realize that by simply brushing and flossing your teeth two to four minutes, twice a day you can support not only the health of your teeth, but the health of your entire body as well. Following up these healthy mouth routines with regular dental exams and cleaning visits is sure to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life. And to support what holistic and biological dentists have known all along, research is now indicating that by taking your oral care seriously, you may well prevent some very serious chronic health issues down the road.
Microbes Invade the Body to Create Serious Illnesses
Studies conducted at well respected institutions such as the University of Rochester Medical Center, the College of Dental Medicine and Columbia University – among others – point out significant correlations between gum disease and chronic health issues such as:
- Heart Disease
- Hardening of the Arteries (atherosclerosis)
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder)
- Pregnancy, premature delivery & conception issues
Much of the research revolves around the discovery that harmful bacteria, bacteria normally held in check in a healthy oral environment, can multiply out of control in a mouth infected with gum disease or periodontitis.
In a healthy person, the introduction of harmful bacteria into the body from gum disease is normally purged by an active and strong immune system, but in certain people or under circumstances where the immune system is weakened or compromised, this process can lead to devastating consequences. Under these conditions harmful bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to vulnerable organs of the body, exacerbating existing health issues such as diabetes and lung diseases – or creating a cascade of events that lead to a ‘perfect storm’ for chronic health issues to develop such as pneumonia, heart attack or stroke.
Recognizing the Early Signs of Gum Disease
If your gums are sore, red and swollen or bleed easily when you floss, you may be one of many Americans with periodontal, or gum disease – some holistic dentists estimate that up to 90 percent of the population suffers from some form of periodontal disease.
In the mouth the tiny space between the tooth and the bone presents the perfect environment for bacteria to collect. Early on in gum disease this bacteria forms into a sticky film called plaque. If this plaque is not removed routinely with good home care techniques, and if the body’s resistance is low, then this bacterial plaque can eventually overwhelm the immune system. The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, and left untreated this stage can quickly lead to periodontitis.
How We Can Help You Prevent Chronic Health Issues
Since the bacteria rising from gum disease may spread throughout the body to threaten more than just the teeth and gums, it is important to talk to your dentists about risk factors and treat any infected areas of your mouth as soon as possible.
In a person diagnosed with periodontal disease a holistic dentist will generally use deep cleaning, teeth scaling and root planing to break up bacteria and remove calcified tartar stuck to the teeth. The dentist will follow up this treatment with a tutorial on how to brush, floss and irrigate the teeth to effectively remove plaque and bacteria.
Treatment of oral bacteria with proper tooth cleanings, mouth rinses and good oral care at home can reduce the complication of chronic disorders. Contact our office to learn more about how we can help you to keep not only your gums healthy, but help to ensure overall good health for life.
For more information:
Microbiologists Discover How Cavity-Causing Microbes Invade Heart http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3240
New Study Shows Gum Disease Can Extend The Time That It Takes For A Woman To Become Pregnant http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/230714.php
Healthy Gums May Lead to Healthy Lungs
Dentists Can Identify People with Undiagnosed Diabetes, Columbia Researchers Show