Oral Health: A Window To Your Overall Health
Gum disease can let bacteria enter your bloodstream and wreak havoc elsewhere in your body, or sometimes, signs of a disease may first show up in your mouth. By resolving to practice good oral hygiene every day, investing in a quality dental toothpaste and mounthwash, visiting your dentist regularly...in a you are making an investment in your overall health, not just for now, but for the future, too.
THE DIRTIEST PLACE OF THE BODY
• It is common medical knowledge that the dirtiest part of the body is not the colon or the bowels... IT IS THE MOUTH!!!
• According to Dr. John Richter (Center for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Breath Disorders): “…More bacteria per square inch live [on the back of the tongue] than on any other part of the body."
• Researchers at the Tokyo Dental College noted that more than 300 different species of bacteria are found in populations of several hundred billion in the human cavity. When the mouth is not cleaned, the number rises to a thousand billion!
THE HEART DISEASE LINK
Every 34 seconds a person in the United States dies from heart disease; in Texas, 74 women die every day.
Studies have shown that plaque bacteria entering the bloodstream through infected gums might cause a potentially fatal heart disease called infective endocarditis. This is a bacterial infection that causes the sac around the heart to become inflamed. Herzberg has shown that the S. sanguis plaque bacteria is one of the most frequent causes of endocarditis.
The same oral pathogen (porphyromonas gingivalis) that causes gum disease, also contributes to the inflammation along arteries and arterial damage that leads to heart and vascular disease.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota recently discovered that bleeding gums provide an open doorway for plaque bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This bacteria, Streptococcus sanguis, can cause blood clots that block arteries and trigger heart attacks.
“There is sufficient evidence to conclude that oral lesions, especially advanced periodontitus, place certain patients at risk For cardiovascular disease and stroke”. Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD, University of Pennsylvania
ORAL HEALTH AND OTHER HEALTH DISEASE
Pregnancy and birth
Gum disease has been linked to premature birth. Some research has shown that disease-causing organisms in a pregnant woman's mouth can wind up in the placenta or amniotic fluid, possibly causing premature birth. Unfortunately, treating periodontal disease during pregnancy may be too late, because the infection may have already spread in the woman's body. This is why it's vital to maintain excellent oral health before you get pregnant.
Diabetes increases your risk of gum disease, cavities, tooth loss, dry mouth, and a variety of oral infections. Conversely, poor oral health can make your diabetes more difficult to control. Infections may cause your blood sugar to rise and require more insulin to keep it under control.
In some cases, one of the first signs of AIDS may appear in your mouth, with severe gum infection. You may also develop persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth.
The first stages of bone loss may show up in your teeth. Your dentist may be able to spot this on routine dental X-rays. If bone loss worsens from year to year, your dentist can suggest that you discuss the issue with your other health care providers.
Other conditions: Many other conditions may make their presence known in your mouth before you know anything is wrong. These may include Sjogren’s Syndrome, certain cancers, eating disorders, syphilis, gonorrhea, and substance abuse.
BRUSHING IS NOT ENOUGH
Most toothpastes work to prevent cavities by merely hardening the tooth enamel with fluoride or using abrasive salts to mechanically scrub away microorganisms from teeth and gums.
The problem is that brushing is not enough to eliminate bacterial, fungal, and viral presence in the mouth. Such micro-organisms typically hide between teeth and under the tongue. While brushing mechanically removes some of the plaque and pathogens, it still leaves 40-70% of microorganisms unscathed to later repopulate the mouth. Oral hygiene could be vastly improved by adding proven, potent antiseptics to the toothpaste matrix, rather than relying on either fluoride or scrubbing.
ANTIBACTERIAL AND ANTISEPTIC
“Essential Oils are especially valuable as antiseptics because their aggression toward microbial germs is matched by their total harmlessness toward tissue.” Jean Valnet, M.D.
Over 100 studies have documented how essential oils kill the microbes that cause tooth decay and gingivitis.
A comprehensive 2002 survey of medical literature has shown that thyme oil is one of the strongest natural antiseptics known. Researchers found that thyme oil kills over 60 different strains of bacteria (both gram negative and gram positive) and 16 different strains of fungi.