Dental Health and Wellness
Oral health and Systemic health are closely related. Not only is the mouth the gateway for all food that enters the body but the conditions of the mouth have a strong relationship with the health of your body. As a matter of fact 90% of diseases have oral manifestations.
Dental health is critical to overall (systemic) health and research shows that dental problems such as periodontal disease (a disease of chronic inflammation of the oral tissues) is strongly linked to the risk for heart disease, stroke, Type II diabetes, and most other chronic inflammatory diseases. As much as 75% of Americans are affected by some degree of gingivitis and periodontitis (both forms of gum disease) from bacterial build up. Bacteria from inflamed gums easily enter the bloodstream leading to systemic inflammation and disease. This concept has been well documented at major research institutions. Further the same oral species of bacteria that cause gum disease that have been found in the atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries of the diseased hearts.
In addition to many documented diseases, poor nutrition has also been shown contribute to periodontal disease. While poor nutrition does not directly cause periodontal disease, many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is more severe in patients whose diets lack the necessary nutrients. Further, poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to many disorders. Individuals with lowered immune systems have been shown to be at higher risk for periodontal disease.
While the mouth can contribute to the disease of the body it can also help lead to health. People with gum disease have elevated levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker associated with damage that is the major cause of atherosclerotic heart diseases and stroke. Research studies have shown that high blood serum levels of antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, and CoQ10 ward off bacteria and reduce inflammation. Together with citrus bioflavonoids, these compounds can strengthen blood vessels, gum tissue and limit or reverse some cases of periodontal disease. A well-planned wellness and nutrition program is crucial to maintaining optimal general and dental health.
A well-balanced diet is vitally important for optimal health and it is equally vital to ‘fill in the gaps’ by taking the right amounts and kinds of vitamin and mineral supplements. Proper nutrition combined with good daily oral health and periodic visits to your dentist are key components to not only a healthy mouth but good over-all health.
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