How does poor oral health affect the rest of your body?
When people think about oral health care, they usually link it to gum health, cavities and loose teeth, without being aware of how it plays an important role in larger health concerns.
But in recent years, many significant discoveries have shown how our oral health links to the health of the rest of our body.
If you had an infection in one of your intestines that went unchecked for some time, you most likely would not be surprised to find that a serious disease crops up in another part of your body. Well, like the intestines, the gums are mucous membranes, and 75% of people over 40 years carry infections in their gums, known as gingivitis or periodontitis. In recent years, much scientific evidence has been accumulating linking gum disease to chronic diseases throughout the body.
Research shows that people with gum disease are:
- Twice as likely to have a heart attack
- Three times as likely to have a stroke
- Twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer
- More prone to developing diabetes
The link between gum disease and heart disease
Studies show that the bacteria around the gums that cause dental plaque may get into the bloodstream and cause clots, increasing the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Dr Howard Jenkinson, a leading professor of Oral Microbiology at Bristol’s School of Oral and Dental Science, states that:
“Poor dental hygiene can lead to bleeding gums, providing bacteria with an escape route into the bloodstream, where they can initiate blood clots leading to heart disease.”
The development of gum disease and plaque is a result of Streptococcus bacteria building up around the gum lining and in between teeth due to poor oral hygiene. This bacteria causes the gums to bleed and enter the bloodstream.
Once the Streptococcus bacteria enter the bloodstream, they use a protein called PadA which layers their outer surface, takes control of the blood platelets and forces them to clump together to form blood clots.
The link between gum disease and stroke
According to two research presentations at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference, people with gum disease are twice as likely to have a stroke caused by the hardening of large arteries in the brain.
The presentations suggest that treating gum disease (alongside other stroke risk factors) could reduce the risk of stroke:
“Treating gum disease alongside other stroke risk factors might reduce the severity of artery plaque buildup and narrowing of brain blood vessels that can lead to a new or a recurrent stroke.”
Although this research does not explicitly show that gum disease can cause artery blockage or stroke, it does offer a strong link between patients with gum disease and their susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases.
The link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer
For decades, scientists have been searching for signs and identifying risk factors that could lead to early detection of pancreatic cancer. One potential risk factor that’s growing significantly in interest is periodontal disease.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) discovered the link between periodontal disease and an increased risk of cancer of the pancreas during a 1986 study:
Data taken from 51,000 male health professionals found that men with periodontal disease had a 63% higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared to those reporting no periodontal disease.
“Individuals with periodontal disease have elevated serum biomarkers of systemic inflammation, such as C-reactive protein, and these may somehow contribute to the promotion of cancer cells.”
– Dr. Dominique Michaud, Assistant Professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)
There is also a belief that periodontal disease could lead to increased pancreatic carcinogenesis because those with periodontal disease have higher levels of oral bacteria and carcinogenic nitrosamines in their oral cavity.
The link between gum disease and diabetes
The American Diabetes Association have recently confirmed the direct correlation between diabetes and gum disease by pointing out;
‘…the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.’
This means that if a patient has untreated gum disease, glucose levels start to rise, which weakens the immune system and leads to the advancement of diabetes.
At the same time, those with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease because high blood pressure causes blood vessels to thicken, reducing the supply of vital nutrients relied upon to remove harmful toxins from the mouth. And because the gums are undernourished, this causes inflammation, which can quickly progress into periodontitis if left untreated.
Maintaining good oral health is absolutely crucial
While maintaining good oral health isn’t necessarily the only factor in preventing chronic disease, it is still evidently clear that achieving healthy teeth and gums is really about elevating the health of the whole body.
It is, therefore, absolutely vital that you:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day (preferably using Good-Gums tooth and gum powder)
- Floss daily
- Schedule regular dental checkups and professional cleanings
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Maintain oral health using Good-Gums all-natural tooth and gum powder
If you have even the slightest suspicion that your gum health is suffering – be it bleeding, swollen or inflamed gums – we strongly recommend you use Good-Gums all-natural tooth and gum formula.
Good-Gums is jam-packed with vital nutrients that are designed to be easily absorbed into your gums and give help where it’s needed most.
Good-Gums soothes sore gums and supports the natural process of enamel remineralization, while also counteracting acidity in the mouth and neutralizing bacteria that cause plaque buildup.
Quite simply, this is focused support of the healing power of nature at work here.
Your mouth is the window to the rest of your bodily health, so by looking after your gums, it’s not just gum disease you keep at bay.
Remember, what’s good for your gums is good for you!
Click here to give Good-Gums a try.