Want To A Healthy Body? Begin With A Healthy Mouth.

Posted on Jun 15, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

I love being in this profession. Being a Periodontist, I’ve witnessed a number of advancements in dental technology, techniques and materials. I have also followed scientific research that has made enormous strides in connecting oral health with our overall health.

Time and again, studies keep showing how closely related the health of your gums is to the prevention and reduced risk for some serious health problems. Research has found links between the oral bacteria of periodontal (gum) disease to heart disease, stroke, memory loss, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, some cancers, impotency, preterm babies and more.

The culprit is apparently in the ability of oral bacteria to trigger inflammation elsewhere in the body. When gum disease has weakened the tissues in the mouth, the bacteria is able to enter the bloodstream. As it travels through the body, it can set a series of negative reactions into motion.

Knowing this potential, it’s no surprise that a growing number of surgeons are now advising patients to have their gums checked prior to surgery. Additionally, Ob-Gyns have started recommending pregnant patients to be especially diligent in having and keeping their gum health in good shape.

Some recent research findings has shown a predisposition to the deadly pancreatic cancer. Over several years, researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society collected oral samples as part of a cancer prevention and screening study. They noted elevated levels of two oral bacteria in pancreatic cancer patients. One oral bacteria was found to create a 59% higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer with another creating a 50% greater likelihood of developing this deadly disease.

The mouth can also reveal indications of some diseases, even before it is diagnosed. For example, Celiac Disease (an autoimmune disease that causes damage the small intestine) can create defects in tooth enamel. These may appear as yellow, white or brown spots on teeth or cause pits or band-like grooves to form.

Knowing this, it simply makes good sense to take VERY good care of your oral health. Yet, only half of American adults brush twice a day and nearly 80% don’t floss. These actions take just minutes a day and can make an enormous difference in your oral health, and apparently, your overall health as well.

Reconsider your oral health commitment, knowing that you’re doing a favor to your smile AND your body! And, be watchful for signs of gum disease, which include tender gums that bleed when brushing, swollen areas, gum recession or gums that darken from a healthy pink color to red.

Call (828) 274-9440 if you suspect you may have gum disease or have not seen a dentist on a regular basis.

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