A Healthy Mouth Keeps Inflammation In The Body Under Control

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Inflammation in the body is a naturally-occurring process that creates beneficial responses. It’s a reaction of your immune system that sends T-cells to combat disease and destructive cell invaders.

However, it is also inflammation that stokes the fire of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, memory loss, and even erectile dysfuntion (ED). While some folks are genetically pre-dispositioned for high levels of inflammation, excess fat, stress, a diet high in sugar and fat, age, and gum disease can accelerate inflammation to risky levels.

Gum disease begins as gingivitis, which is an overload of bacteria that ‘feeds” on oral tissues. As the bacteria multiply, the initial phase of periodontal (gum) disease begins as the body becomes unable to tackle the bacterial build-up. The result is infection that penetrates the oral tissues and eventually bones supporting natural teeth.

This infection causes the bloodstream to be bombarded with inflammation. In turn, this distorts how the body processes blood sugar, freeing up plaque in the arteries that can lead to blood clots or heart attacks. It can also warp cells that form cancer and damage pathways in the brain and brain cells, increasing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

Some drugs help to lower inflammation, although it’s wisest to control levels through proper diet, sufficient exercise, not smoking, and keeping the gums in good health. If you don’t floss, this daily habit is tremendously beneficial to the prevention of bacteria build-up. If you have sore, tender gums or have bleeding when you brush, schedule a periodontal exam by calling 828-274-9440. These are signs of gum disease and will only worsen without treatment.

The sooner you restore your mouth to a healthy state, the less time and expense you’ll incur from treatment. Plus, a healthy mouth can contribute to maintaining good, overall health. Be committed to excellent oral health and know your smile is not the only thing that gains the benefits!

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