Dental care is a no-brainer — everyone knows that brushing your teeth and flossing prevents gum disease.
But did you know it can go a long way to ensure your whole body stays healthy?
Naturally, we want to take preventative measures to eliminate every potential cause for malfunctioning cells and the diseases that result. We eat better to strengthen our cells and reverse aging, we exercise to keep our blood flowing and vibrant. But what most people don’t realize is that a major secret to keeping cells healthy is keeping their mouth healthy.
Dental work, dental products, and bacteria balance in your mouth can either help or sabotage everything else you’re doing to get healthy. It’s a known fact that periodontal disease has been associated with various systemic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, some forms of cancer, premature births and low birth weight babies.
In fact, poor oral health is a root cause of 85% of the health problems we label as “chronic disease.”
Without vigilant oral care, the biofilm of bacteria around the neck of the tooth causes an inflammatory reaction.
If allowed to persist, the gums recede and the bacteria population becomes dominated by anaerobic species deep in the pockets around the roots of the teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss.
That’s bad enough, but the bacteria and toxins from the bacteria don’t stay in the mouth. The same species of bacteria found in the pockets formed in the gums by the disease process have also been found in plaque in arteries. Just chewing gum raised the level of bacterial toxins in the bloodstream of people with periodontitis.
“Several studies show a startling correlation between gum health and atherosclerosis, a condition underlying much heart disease,” says Ranit Mishori, a family physician and faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.
“The worse a person’s gum disease, the narrower that person’s arteries due to a buildup of plaque. This holds even for young, healthy adults who have no other symptoms of heart disease.”
It pays many dividends to keep your mouth and teeth clean. It isn’t just your smile, it may be your life.