Whole body health starts in the mouth
What affects one part of the body, affects them all. Treating one part of the system as an isolated entity is a common mistake that does not bring great and effective long term solutions. The oral health is a mirror and gateway to health in the whole body. Having an unhealthy body is not compatible with having a healthy mouth and vice versa.
The gum is commonly used as a tool to assess the overall condition of a person’s health. When we talk about the gum we do not only talk about the tangible side of it, as for example missing teeth, having bad breath, bleeding gums or other common pathologies but with the inclusion of a broader system where we can associate other health related issues to it such as a 10 times higher risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke, 7 times higher chances of developing diabetes and 700 times higher chances to get complications during pregnancy. From Alzheimer to colon cancer and a lot more other complications in between, gum disease is a common factor. Reason for which dentistry needs to be included in a more comprehensive view of health rather than treating each system as it has no connection with the rest.
Inflammation, toxicity and deregulation of all systems are most of the times connected and the mouth plays an important role in them. An example to this statement would be the gingivitis (bleeding gums). This symptom indicates inflammation in the rest of the body. We need to understand that our mouth is physiologically directly connected to our digestive system. This easy road to germs and toxins present in the saliva with a high load of pathogens is directly linked with for example leaky gut and all its consequences. A healthy gum tissue not only feels good, but it is good, as it protects us against harmful pathogens.
Causes of an unhealthy oral flora
There are many areas to cover when it comes to oral health problems linked or originated by an unhealthy oral flora. I would like to list some of them:
- Heavy metals, even though they are no longer in use in Europe there are still a lot of patients with old restorative treatments with amalgams. The use of heavy metals have been linked to neurotoxicity and many diseases.
- BPA (Bisfenol A)/ BIS-GMA. Present in some composites and sealings. BPA is linked to hormonal changes because it may interact with hormone receptors so it may cause infertility in men and women among other affections.
- SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) present in some toothpaste and mouthwashes. This substance amongst other negative effects, disrupts the integrity of the oral mucin layer. Think of the mucose as the first barrier to protect us against pathogens.
- Fluoride: this substance blocks the iodine receptors and affects the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. It can also disrupt the development of teeth, producing fluorosis, a term that defines white spots in all teeth. These white spots are a lower quality enamel full of pores and weakened mineral structure, making those teeth more susceptible of suffering plaque retention and caries, amongst other conditions. All and all, fluoride can affect your heart, it favors osteoporosis, osteopenia and calcification of the pineal gland.
When gingivitis is left untreated it most of the times progress to periodontitis. The periodontitis is an infection which chronically settles in your gums and bone, affecting all tissue around each teeth. Periodontitis is linked to cavities in the jaw, necrosis in the bone as it hosts harmful bacteria that causes inflammation long before you notice it.
So what to do
To better understand each individual we choose to have a comprehensive approach. We will share some useful information before you have your personalized program. We will focus in the next main areas to improve your overall health condition.
- Minimize and eliminate toxicity.
- Good oral hygiene.
- Have regular check-ups with your dental professional to detect, prevent and treat oral health problems.
- Nutrition: more alkaline, anti-inflammation and anti-oxidant rich food.
- Stress management. Stress influences the pH from the saliva, and it can cause more pressure in the jaw. 6 minutes of mindfulness per day can already help.
- Healthy exercises such as HITT, 20 minutes a day would help you to achieve a better circulation, more immune components and on biomechanical level teeth, it stimulates fluid flow. Myokines in muscles are important anti inflammation components.
- Check limitations in joint mobility, like your back. This can affect your jaw joints and cause jaw clenching. Grinding teeth or bruxism is also linked to gum disease. An Osteopath or Chiropractor will help you improve this condition.
- If there is too little space between your teeth or they are crooked, keeping them clean becomes a challenge, that’s why orthodontics is a great tool to create the most ideal condition for a person to maintain an immaculate oral hygiene.
- To conclude I would like to add that it is never too late to apply positive changes in our lives. I definitely recommend to find a good dentist and a functional health therapist, like a PNI therapist to start understanding health as a whole.
To conclude I would like to add that it is never too late to apply positive changes in our lives. I definitely recommend to find a good dentist and a functional health therapist, to start understanding health as a whole.