What’s Hiding in Your Mouth May Be Killing You
Almost 50% of Americans don’t go to the dentist. Nearly everyone else goes to a traditional dentist where the focus is on treating your symptoms, rather than a whole-body, health-centered approach. If you’re in either group, pay attention because your life could be in danger.
Although the traditional approach of brushing, flossing, surgery, and regular dental check-ups can be helpful, they’re inadequate to deal with the underlying cause of gum disease.
Poor dental health has been linked to heart problems (a 300% increased risk), diabetes, respiratory illness, stomach & bowel problems, low birth weight in infants, severe systemic infections, blood sugar imbalances, and cancer. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Here are five reasons why it’s crucial to find a health-centered/biological dentist:
- To prevent illness and premature death
- To enhance your health and well-being
- To avoid unnecessary pain and suffering
- To avoid losing your teeth
- To save money
Preventing Illness and Premature Death
There’s a war going on inside your mouth, and chances are that you’re losing. The enemy? Bacteria that hide in moist, dark places and rot the surrounding tissues. When you do not follow the proper dental home-care program, these bacteria will multiply out of control, leading to life-threatening medical complications. It’s estimated that as many as 100 billion bacteria are regenerated in your mouth every day!
Billions of these tiny bugs create a sticky film called plaque that clings to your teeth. This plaque gives off toxins that destroy the bones holding your teeth in place. Bacteria then migrate from the plaque and enter your bloodstream, where they can take up residence in the blood vessels. They most often attack the carotid arteries in the neck and increase your risk of having a stroke. That’s because the carotid arteries are the blood supply line to your brain.
If you have a heart condition, such as a murmur, your dentist will insist that you take antibiotics before dental treatment. The antibiotic is to help you avoid a severe and possibly deadly infection.
Recent research has shown that the risk of heart problems is increased by up to 300% when certain types of bacteria are present in your mouth. These germs in your mouth have also been linked to cancer, respiratory illness, stomach & bowel problems, low birth weight in infants, severe systemic infections, and blood sugar imbalances.
If you think this is a problem that won’t affect you, think again. The majority of people over age 50 have tooth-rot decay. Some estimates suggest that as much as 85% of the adult population in the U.S. has some form of gum disease. By the time they reach 60, one in four people will lose all their teeth because of these nasty little bugs.
As with most other physical ailments, these problems worsen with age. The immune system becomes more sluggish as we get older, so we’re more vulnerable to the invading army of bugs that attack us daily. To make matters worse, almost 50% of Americans don’t go to the dentist regularly, where they would get the professional guidance and information they need to win this war.
It’s sad to say, but most people are uncomfortable with dentistry. This can range from being just a little anxious to feeling absolutely terrified at the mere thought of going to the dentist. If you’re in this group, you needn’t feel alone because dental anxiety stops millions of people from getting the care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
This dental anxiety would be bad enough if the only negative outcome to this avoidance of the dentist was a lot of pain and the loss of your teeth. But the potential consequences are actually much worse. The fact is that you may be risking your life if you’re not taking good care of your teeth and gums. At the very least, you’re risking your health, continued comfort, and finances.
Medical science is beginning to learn that, while the eyes may be the windows to the soul, your mouth is truly the doorway to the health of your body. The medical community continues to collect evidence of the deadly effects of improper and incomplete care for your teeth and gums. In the field of biological, holistic, or health-centered dentistry, there are thousands of reports of physical and emotional ailments being relieved through proper treatment.
It may be surprising to discover the many ailments that have been relieved through biological/health-centered dentistry – and that these ailments seem totally unrelated to the mouth! Some of these include:
- Severe anxiety
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic sinus infection
- Muscle atrophy
- Inability to think clearly
- General malaise
- Hair loss
- Light sensitivity
- Chronic muscle pain
- Chronic headaches
- Migraine headaches
- Compromised immune system
- Chemical sensitivities
The list goes on and on.
The human body is a complex network of interrelated systems. Poor health in any one of these systems will be reflected throughout the whole network of systems. So, while it may not be true that illness in the mouth will always cause illness in other parts of the body, your mouth, gums, and teeth will contribute to and reflect the health of your entire body.
That’s why it’s so important to overcome any reluctance you may have about dental treatment and to seek out a competent biological/health-centered dentist. Although a dentist can neither diagnose nor treat medical conditions, it’s essential that you find a dentist who is aware of the relationship between dental health and your overall health.
Enhancing Health and Well-Being
How would you like to add thirty healthy years to your life span? How about increasing your energy level, decreasing your stress, or expanding your joy? Research is showing us that these things are possible.
We now understand that health is much more than just the absence of illness. It‘s a state of vigor and wholeness. Regardless of physical limitations, health is a balance of the emotional, social, mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of your experience and your life.
Because of state licensing laws, a biological/health-centered dentist cannot provide treatment for these areas. However, they should at least be familiar with and open to a variety of alternative and traditional treatments.
To be truly effective in helping you establish optimal health, your dentist should have a working relationship with an acupuncturist, an osteopath or a holistic physician, a health psychologist, a chiropractor, a physical or massage therapist, a homeopath, and a naturopath.
In addition to helping you establish and maintain the health of your teeth and gums, your dentist should be willing and able to refer you to these other health care providers for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Avoiding Unnecessary Pain & Suffering
Emergency dentistry isn’t fun. However, when you avoid seeing the dentist regularly, you’re setting yourself up for emergency treatment. Modern dentistry is almost completely pain-free, but this may not be the case with emergency treatment.
The pain and suffering you can experience from a cavity, a lost filling, a fractured tooth, an abscessed tooth, or bleeding, infected, and swollen gums are a far cry from the mild discomfort and minor inconvenience of regular dental checkups.
And yet, this is exactly what millions of people put themselves through. They wait and wait, putting off scheduling an appointment until it’s almost too late. As a result, what could have been taken care of quickly and easily may now require multiple visits with complex and invasive procedures – perhaps even surgery.
Saving Your Teeth
And what is the outcome of all this avoidance? You stand a 25% chance of losing all your teeth by the time you’re 60. Without regular dental care, the chances are almost 100% that you’ll lose one or more teeth to dental disease during your lifetime.
Losing a tooth can cost you more than just social embarrassment. It can also alter your bite and the way you chew and digest your food. Throwing your bite off can lead to all kinds of nasty medical complications.
Worst of all, however, is the lifelong discomfort and inconvenience of wearing dentures. If you’ve ever worn a pair of new shoes that are just a little too tight, you have some idea of what dentures will be like – except you can never break them in. This discomfort will continue every day for the rest of your life.
Thankfully, none of this has to happen. With proper diet and nutrition, a healthy and active lifestyle, and the help and guidance of your dentist, you can keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime.
Not only will you experience a lot of pain and suffering by avoiding the dentist, but emergency dentistry will also cost you a lot of money.
Think of it this way – you can run your car into the ground until it breaks down and spend an arm and a leg repairing it, or you can pay a lot less for preventative maintenance. It’s your choice. The major difference is that you can always buy a new car – you can’t buy a new mouth. Once your teeth are gone, they’re gone, so think carefully about the way you take care of them.
Gum Disease Quick Facts
- Gum disease is also called gingivitis or periodontal disease. It’s a chronic bacterial infection that affects the bone and tissue of the gums.
- Signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, loose teeth, pain, and swelling.
- Gum disease is treatable and preventable.
- Chronic mouth infections affect other organs in your body when the infection gets into your bloodstream, potentially leading to cardiovascular problems or diabetes.
- Diet is extremely important when it comes to preventing and treating gum disease.