Gum Disease May Cause Heart Disease!
Nothing personal - but the more I discover about what goes on in your mouth - the less I like it!
Let me put that into perspective.
I received a standard letter from my dentist today, the same as everyone gets. It was just the usual thing, advising me to come along for a check-up. But as I scanned down the page, I came across a small paragraph that is the stuff of nightmares.
This is what it said . . .
"It is important to keep your gums healthy. The major cause of tooth loss for people over the age of 30 is Gum Disease. There are many clinicians who believe there is a significant link between Gum Disease and Heart Disease."
No argument there - I think you'll agree that in those few words lurks a couple of thunderbolts that anyone would find . . . well . . . jaw-dropping!
After a bit of digging, I found there had been some 'serious' research reported by the American Heart Association, that had produced some startling suggestions.
What This Study Found
The study discovered there is a potential link between Gum Disease and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which is a direct cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Here's a brief description of Gum Disease, Heart Disease and Strokes
What Exactly Is Gum Disease?
Teeth become coated with sticky plaque. This plaque is a mixture of food,bacteria and bacterial waste products. If any plaque is not removed from your teeth, your gums become irritated and can start to bleed as you brush them. This is an early stage of Gum Disease called Gingivitis.
If you don't get some treatment for this condition, it can result in a swelling of the gums to form little pockets around each tooth. Plaque will then start to form in these pockets which cannot be reached by your toothbrush. Any plaque that is not removed will harden to form tartar (calculus).
As time passes, the pockets enlarge and greater amounts of plaque and tartar get trapped inside. If left untreated, the Gingivitis can develop into chronic (long-term) periodontitis, and the jaw bone can become infected.
This damage frequently causes teeth to loosen or fall out.
What Causes Heart Attacks and Strokes?
Your arteries can narrow and become damaged. This usually happens when they become clogged up with fatty deposits or the sides of the arteries become inflamed.
If this narrowing spreads to the critical arteries that supply blood to your heart, this starts to shut off the supply of oxygen and nutrients that are needed for your heart to work normally. When blood suddenly stops flowing through artery, a heart attack is the result.
Additionally, if the narrowing of the arteries affects blood flow to parts of the brain, this can result in a Stroke, as areas of the brain shut down and cease to function.
What Were the Researchers Looking For?
The Researchers were trying to find indications that would tell them, whether or not, there is any connection between Gum Disease and an increased danger of developing narrowing of the arteries.
The Researchers tested people for:
A). The 11 bacteria that cause gum disease.
B). The three factors that point to the development of narrowing of the arteries:
- The wall thickness of vital blood vessels.
- The number of white blood cells in the blood.
- Evidence of high volumes of a protein called C-reactive in the blood, which indicates a potential for blood vessel inflammation,
What Did the Researchers Actually Discover?
The study looked at 657 people who had no history of heart attacks or strokes.
It was discovered that those people having higher levels of the 11 kinds of bacteria that cause gum disease, also had an increase in the carotid artery wall thickness as well as a raised white blood cell count, making them potentially at risk.
Significantly, the Researchers also found that these relevant links only existed for gum disease causing bacteria and not for all other harmless oral bacteria. The Researchers suggest that the results indicate that people who have gum disease may have a greater risk of developing narrowing of the arteries, along with the attendant heart disease and the potential for suffering from Strokes.
Is this Conclusive Proof that Gum Disease Causes Heart Attacks & Strokes?
Scientists trying to dismantle these findings, suggested that other lifestyle factors could distort the results.
The Researchers then recalculated their findings, to take aspects such as smoking, body mass index, age, gender, education, race/ethnicity, diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol levels into consideration.
Although the new adjusted results still strongly indicate there is a link between gum disease and heart disease, they do not actually prove that gum disease 100% is a direct cause of heart disease.
So What (if anything) Should We All Be Doing About This?
My opinion is, (and it is, just my opinion) that while the academics and scientists argue about what is definite and what isn't, we should anticipate the worst and take evasive action. Bearing in mind that many doctors used to tell us that smoking wasn't harmful, we would do well to remember how wrong they can get things sometimes.
Here's the standard advice from all dental care practitioners . . .
"The best way to prevent gum disease is to maintain good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and regularly visiting your dentist or hygienist."
Does that Advice Make Sense?
I agree with all of what they say, except the bit about the toothpaste.
I am on a mission to wipe toothpaste from the planet.
Proprietary brands of toothpaste you buy over your pharmacy counter are pleasantly flavored, chemical cocktails that create an atmosphere in your mouth that actually helps the harmful bacteria, that causes bad breath, gingivitis, bleeding gums, receding gums and gum disease, to breed in large numbers.
Throw out your tube of toothpaste today and you will help to save yourself (and your family) from the potential of developing bad breath and Gum Disease. And who knows where that will lead!
You can easily replace your toothpaste with a totally natural product that has been hugely documented in many many testimonials from delighted users (including myself). It will clear up Bad Breath, and stop and reverse Gum Disease, as well as giving you great oral health. You get permanent fresh breath - even first thing in the morning when you wake up.
For further details visit www.perfect-oral-health.com - and don't just take my word for it. Do read those 50 pages of glowing testimonials from delighted users.
To Read More Information on the Subject of Bad Breath and Gum Disease - Follow the Links Below
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