Dental Health

My gift to you is some information that can easily prolong and improve the quality of your life even if I never meet you.

Did you know that 70% of American adults have some form of gum disease?

What is so bad about gum disease?  There are few obvious effects.  Recent studies have shown gum disease can increase your risk for heart attack by 200 to 400% and can double you risk for stroke, two of the three leading killers of Americans.  Gum disease also makes arteriosclerosis, hardening of the artieries and diabetes worse and increases your risk for pancreatic cancer.  In the 1990’s it was shown that pregnant women with periodontal (gum) disease had more premature and low birth weight babies. If it can  effect young women and unborn children think it can worsen all of the diseases of aging.  So it isn’t just about bleeding gums, bad breath and loose teeth.  The good news is that only about 25% of adults have severe gum disease that requires major treatment, the rest of us can eliminate the problem and its systemic effects in just 5 minutes a day.

How does gum disease cause all of these problems?

If your gums bleed when you brush of floss you have infected and damaged blood vessels.  The germs causing this infection enter your blood stream through these damaged vessels and circulate everywhere in your body, they are definitely found in the blood vessels of your heart.  This leads to narrowing, hardening and clot formation in these coronary vessels.

But the real killer is C-reactive protein which is produced as the bodies reaction to this long term infection. How this works can get a little complicated, so I’ll try to summarize the process.  C-reactive protien probably causes clotting which leads to a heart attack,stroke or pulmonary embolism, it interferes with the bodies ability to process sugar so it complicates diabetes, and it probably stimulates the growth of certain types of cancer cells.  The point is it is very hazardous.  Many physicians have come to the conclusion that excessive levels of C-reactive protein is as serious a threat to health as is high levels of cholesterol.

So how do you reduce this threat to your total health?  If you are among  the 75% of Americans with moderate or no periodontal disease do what you have heard all of your life:  Brush, floss and see your dentist twice a year for cleanings and add two new things.

1.      Change from a regular tooth brush to an electric tooth brush for 2 minutes twice a day.
2.      Use an oral irrigator like a water pik or hydrofloss once a day.

The electric tooth brush does a better job with less effort, is less abrasive and most have two minute timers, even the $20 variety.

If you are over 35 you have probably lost some bone and gum tissue between your teeth.  This creates irregular spaces that you just can’t clean with a brush and floss.  Pulsing a jet of hot water between your teeth for 6 full seconds at each space removes not only food, but loose bacteria, the toxins they produce, stimulates the gum tissue thus enabling the areas of infection to heal.  You should notice a big difference in 2 weeks.

It is just that easy, unless you have advanced gum disease, to eliminate a major cause of many systemic health issues.

I encourage you to spend 5 minutes a day for a healthier life..