Over 95% of Americans have gum disease, and it can be a killer!
Seldom thought of as lethal, however, mounting medical literature directly associates oral disease with extensive systemic problems, including chronic illnesses, such as: leukemia, arthritis, heart, kidney, liver, and lung diseases.
“Cancer begins in the mouth,” says Dr. Cass Ingram, nutritionist. Healthy gums and teeth are systemic guardians. Infected, they are liabilities that heavily burden, poison, and paralyze the entire immune system. Even a minor imbalance can lead to systemic illness.
The direct result of our refined, nutrient-poor, sugary Western diet, foods eat away teeth and shortchange gums of nutrients needed for rapidly growing tissue.
Degenerated tissue falls easy prey to the billions of microorganisms—over 300 species of bacteria alone (including strep), viruses, fungi, and yeasts—clustering between the teeth and gums. Unchecked bacterial colonies lead to gingivitis, an inflammation of the gum and supporting tissue, that can progress to chronic, low-grade periodontitis.
As inflamed gums pull away from the teeth, pockets form, allowing bacteria to eat away bone. Teeth loosen and are lost. Rips in the gums, caused by disease or trauma (such as invasive dentistry), allows multiplying bacteria and toxins to freely spill into the blood where they can easily enter the fatty deposits in the carotid arteries. This adds to the development and progression of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and other cell-damaging, low-grade infections.
- As a heart risk, gum disease outweighs high blood pressure in individuals under age 60.
- Individuals with periodontal disease are 2.7 times more apt to suffer heart attack than persons with healthy gums, says Dr. Robert Genco in a study presented to the International Association for Dental Research.
- Plaque thickness in the carotid arteries (a stroke risk) is more than 50% greater in subjects with severe gum disease than in those without. (Bacteria irritate arterial linings causing plaque—the body’s attempt to repair injuries in the vessel walls.)
- Some diabetics treated for periodontal disease have required less insulin—infected gums can exacerbate diabetic conditions since bacterial infections thrive on the sugars diabetics find difficult to control.
- Pregnant women with severe gum disease are eight times more likely to have underweight, premature babies than women with good oral health. Prostaglandin, a labor inducing chemical found in plaque, is believed to be the underlying cause. (Study of 3000 women)
Correcting Gum Disease
Routine brushing and flossing aren’t enough. In fact, regular dental exams / cleanings, brushing / flossing may actually loosen bacteria, allowing toxins into the bloodstream. (If susceptible to heart valve problems, this is why your doctor will recommend an antibiotic during dental work.)
See Part 2 for more information on blotting toothbrushes and the blotting technique.
Mouthwashes are not an option. Most mouthwashes contain alcohol in concentrations as high as 30%. This damages the oral mucosa, significantly increasing esophageal, neck, and oral cancer risk.
Proper Nutrition to Counter Gum Disease is Paramount.
Low levels of calcium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins A, D, K, C, bioflavonoids and riboflavin are all linked to gum disease. And while hormones may also be involved, folic acid and coenzyme Q-10 are absolutely vital. They alone are known to reverse receding gums.
Brush or rub gums twice daily with Oreganol—wild mountain P-73 oregano oil, suggests Ingram. Overnight, place oil saturated cotton high on the gum line. A potent, topical natural antiseptic, oregano oil cleans away stains, germs, hardened plaque, reduces bleeding, pain, and strengthens gums. The Cure is in the Cupboard
Another product, Oral Guard CoQ10 Mouth Spray has earned popular and professional acclaim. The unique formula combines an exceptional set of synergistic ingredients that work topically and are delivered intraorally as well.
Ingredients include: 35% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide—an antibacterial that effectively reduces pain, gum swelling, redness, and bleeding. Green Tea—a strong bacterial inhibitor containing polyphenols, thought to lower lung and mouth cancers. Folic Acid for proper DNA replication—may aid in uniform reproduction of tongue cells and prevent oral cancer. Vitamin K—as effective as fluoride in blocking decay-causing simple sugars and starches. Plus antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antiseptic, and antibiotic ingredients: camu camu, lipoic acid, propolis extract, Gota cola, vitamin E, calendula, red thyme oil, tea tree oil, chamomile, and golden seal, echinacea, chaparral, pau d-arco, myrrh oil, eucalyptol oil, menthol, aloe vera, parsley, lemongrass extract, and spearmint.
More effective in inhibiting bacteria than either brushing / flossing, Oral Guard is to be used after and between every meal, with or without brushing / flossing.
Bone Loss and Gum Disease.
Bone loss also plays a part in gum disease. Cornell University research finds that calcium is lost first from the jawbone. When shrinking bone pulls away from the teeth, inflamed gums, bleeding and loose teeth result. Replacing lost jawbone can be as simple as daily supplementation that includes 1,200 mg. calcium, 600 mg. magnesium, zinc (minimally 30 mg.), 500 IU vitamin D3, 10,000 mg. vitamin A and 500 mg. vitamin C. Bonuses can include lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Additionally, 200 mg. of niacin plus 50 mg. of B-complex daily can bolster gum health.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 out of every 4 people 60 and older are missing all of their natural teeth. It might be time to beef up dental defenses?
Click here for more information on blotting toothbrushes and the blotting technique
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Adapted and expanded from the So Young Newsletter March-April, 2002, an Anti-Aging Press, Inc. publication, Vol. 6, No. 36