How oral health impacts the health of the whole body
Guest post by Will and Susan Revak.
“As much as 50% in the reversal of cancer is in the mouth.” – Burton Goldberg, expert in the field of alternative medicine
What is going on in the mouth impacts the health of the whole body. Many of us are aware of the negative impact bacteria has on our oral health, but the impact that these same ‘bad bugs’ have on our general health is less well known.
Stop putting toxins into the system…
Fundamental to creating greater oral health and overall wellness is to stop putting toxins into the system. For the sake of this article, these include:
1. The toxins that the ‘bad bugs’ (the guys that cause gum disease) dump or trigger in our system.
2. The toxins that are inadvertently introduced to prevent disease through the use of oral hygiene products.
Prevent disease or create health… Which comes first?
If we want to create optimal health, our primary focus must be to first create health, and then to secondarily address disease prevention. So, our primary intent must be on adopting wellness protocols of creating health. Therefore, we must be aware that introducing any toxins into our system is going to impair our immunological efforts to create health. This especially applies if the toxins we introduce are under the guise of preventing disease. If we introduce toxins into the system via this approach, we are not addressing the primary focus to create health.
With these foundations in place, let’s take a quick look why this information is crucial to our health.
According to David Kennedy, DDS and past president of the International Association for Oral Medicine and Toxicology, here are the facts:
Over 9 out of 10 adults over 30 years of age have some stage of active gum disease.
65% of 15 year olds already have active gum disease (yikes!)
The negative impact of gum disease goes beyond the mouth because gum disease is an active bacterial infection that has access to the whole body via the bloodstream! The ‘bad bugs’ involved with gum disease are very mobile. They can and do swim upstream and colonise other areas of the body.
In fact, the plaque deposits from bad bugs in the mouth are the same types of plaque found in arterial walls in heart disease sufferers. Given the understanding that these ‘bad bugs’ in the mouth swim through the bloodstream, it makes complete sense.
If a person has gum disease, there increased risk of society’s main killers are drastically increased. Here is the official word on that. My guess is the real numbers are probably much higher …
Stroke: 300% increased risk
Heart disease: 72-168% increased risk
Fatal coronary heart disease: 50% increased risk
Preterm birth: 700% increased risk
Oral cancer: 400% increased risk
Diabetes: Increased risk
Arthritis: Increased risk
Pneumonia aspiration: Increased risk
These bad bugs colonise the mouth as their base and they are then able to access the rest of the body via the bloodstream. This is similar to having an enemy inside your gates slowly but surely eroding your health by poisoning the system.
The known risks of this common situation are two fold. First, these bad bugs destroy flesh and bone tissue. They have even been caught under a microscope ganging up and killing white blood cells! They also dump toxins into the system. So, the first risk factor is the actual damage the bad bugs do to the body. The second risk is how the body responds to this chronic bacterial attack.
How does the body respond to bacterial infection?
Our immune system recognises gum disease as the rampant bacterial infection it is. One way the body defeats an infection is to increase the inflammation in the local area in order to increase blood flow and increase the number of white blood cells to fight the infections. Swollen and painful gums, bleeding when brushing or flossing are clear signs of an active bacterial infection in the mouth.
The problem arises when the infection is a chronic one, like with gum disease. In the case of chronic infection, the body’s infection-fighting reaction creates a state of chronic inflammation.
Chronic infection = chronic inflammation
When the ‘bad bugs’ have travelled through the whole body, it is this system-wide chronic inflammation that contributes to and sets the stage for all the diseases of modern society, from arthritis and diabetes to heart disease and cancer.
According to Chinese medical theory, if you distill it all down, the only cause of disease is stagnation. The type of stagnation and where the stagnation is located contributes to how the stagnation shows up (what disease the person has).
Chronic inflammation literally causes stagnation. Stagnation causes disease. Therefore gum disease is one of the main pathways, like a gateway disease, that allow system wide diseases to establish and flourish.
Now that we have rung the alarm about the risks of gum disease for the health of the whole body, our next article will address some simple and easy solutions. Stay tuned for that one!
About the authors:
Will and Susan Revak are the founders of OraWellness. They began their journey to creating greater oral health in their own lives over 15 years ago. OraWellness offers tools and educational products to help you take control of your oral health using organic ingredients and inexpensive natural solutions. Chronic bad breath, bleeding gums, and other signs of oral imbalance (even advanced gum disease!) can be a thing of the past. Learn more at www.OraWellness.com.
Were you aware that your mouth plays such an important role in your overall health? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments section below.
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