Teeth and Gums. It is about time I talked about this subject, since my father was a dentist. I aspired to follow in his footsteps, once upon a time – but it never happened.
The health of our TEETH and GUMS is often overlooked healthwise, as a way to protect us from a lot of dis-eases. Brushing alone is not always a sufficient way to keep your mouth free of disease – or other parts of your body. Yes, poor oral health can affect the whole body.
Periodontal Disease: the terms associated with oral health (in the mouth), include Gingivitis – which is an inflammatory response that affects the gums; and Periodontitis – the result of the lack of care of the gums and bones that support the teeth.
Many studies, and much research has been done involving oral health – teeth brushing and body health – to decide if there is a relationship between the two. Some of the Scientific results (per the Life Extension Magazine) concluded the following:
- Periodontal disease and certain obesity-related systemic illnesses, are related. Periodontal disease of the gums and bones, induces inflammatory cytokines and may contribute to obesity by elevating “C-reactive protein” which in turn causes fat cells to store more fat and burn less energy.
- Periodontal disease is suggested by the International Journal of Cancer, to be a risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. And, is an increased risk for the development of colorectal, lung, and pancreatic cancer – with later studies showing it also to be a link to a “greater overall risk of cancer – even in those who have never smoked.”
- Periodontitis was shown to be related to the “risk of ischemic stroke and of mortality from all causes including cardiovascular-disease, with gingival inflammation also being associated with stroke risk. Studies also showed that periodontal disease among older people relates to the risk of diabetes mellitus or exacerbates existing diabetes. “Diabetics who control their blood sugar have a lower risk of periodontal disease than those who do not.”
- Respiratory Infection can be related to poor oral health in the way of pneumonia when “periodontal bacteria in the secretions of the mouth and pharynx are aspirated into the lungs.”
As well Scientists are investigating whether periodontal disease is related to Osteoporosis – which the answer to, is yes. Studies also show that periodontal infection increases the risk for pre-term delivery of low birth-weight babies, rheumatoid arthritis, and atherosclerosis. Remember that ‘itis’ and ‘osis’ diseases are related to inflammation issues.
We had a Victory Garden when I was a child. My dad insisted on growing his own fruits and vegetable. Because of this we ate totally organic food. The garden was fertilized with pure unadulterated cow manure. No pesticides were ever used. Because of this, our family, had good oral health. I never had a cavity – only saw the ones in other people’s mouths when I helped my dad in his office.
These healthy foods , grown in our garden, as we never took supplements, were our source of fighting – so to speak – dental erosion. Further studies today – shown to be of the same help against antibacterial activity include: Green tea, Coenzyme Q10, Aloe Vera, Xylitol (a natural sweetener), Lactoferrin (an immune-boosting protein involved in the body’s responses to infection and injury), Hydrogen Peroxide (an antiseptic that can be used to fight plaque formation and to reduce gingivitis), Vitamin C, B vitamin Folic acid (added to some mouth washes) and Vitamin D.
Now you know how periodontal disease develops and how to deter it.
In review: Periodontitis, and Gingivitis are two different types of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is inflammation of the soft tissue surrounding the tooth manifested as redness and swelling of the gums and bleeding on soft-touching or on probing. Gingivitis leads to Periodontitis which occurs when pathogenic, gram-negative bacteria destroy the dental supportive structures of the teeth, leading to progressive destruction of periodontal ligaments and alveolar bone. The result is tooth loss. As noted above, both may trigger a range of illnesses throughout the body.
Not in my research, but always emphasized by my dad is that smoking, chewing tobacco, alcohol, soda pop, and yes, candy – especially the ones you suck, are killers of the health of teeth, and the looks of teeth. Gum was thought to help clean the teeth, but today that is a controversial subject.
As well, we continually heard my dad’s, and one of my favorite sayings, which was: “AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH MORE THAN A POUND OF CURE!” This means that a good diet and supplemental regiment can help promote good general body and oral health from the inside delivering defenses against dis-ease. We all know that ‘scientifically’ many compound ingredients have been added to toothpaste to be applied topically, inside the mouth. These added ingredients are supposed to aid in warding off bacteria etc. Tooth paste along with rinses (mouth washes) are promoted, in the dental field, as aides to stop tooth decay and gum disease. (I, personally, avoid Fluoride toothpaste because of the adverse affects of fluoride on the teeth, and in the blood stream – a topic for another blog).
Tooth and Gum Health is an ambiguous subject. There can be so many factors involved when discussing it. Genetics can also play a part in how the teeth grow and look, etc. I can hear your questions in my mind. But for now, I have tried to help you understand the two basic issues, that are the culprits when it comes to poor oral health, and what you can do about it – if it applies to you. In the old days the teeth, because of mouth diseases, the teeth were extracted, and you ended up wearing what they called “False Teeth”. Today, you very seldom hear that terminology. What you do hear is “we can put in a bridge”, or “have you considered, implants, caps, braces, whitening,” etc.
Keep in mind that these alternatives – to be successful – still depend on good gum and bone support. The teeth will be beautiful and attractive, but will continually require care.
I prefer to stay with what God blessed us with – our original teeth, even though Dentistry has taken a turn in the world today, to be able to do great things in regards to teeth.
Again, many things can happen and do happen, along the path of life, that makes it necessary for artificial teeth, gum and mouth restoration. What would we ever do without good people in the field of DENTISTRY?
Visit your Dentist at least 1-2 times a year. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today!
A FRONTLINE DEFENSE AGAINST SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION, ANYWHERE IN THE BODY, IS EXCELLENT ORAL HEALTH!