Sara Middleton via NaturalHealth365 – It’s well-known that people with poor dental health are more likely to suffer from heart disease and other chronic health conditions. This could be because people who don’t take care of their teeth are less likely to practice other good health habits, like exercising, eating healthy food, and not smoking. But, doctors also point to an apparent link between inflammation and gingivitis (an early form of gum disease) as a possible explanation.
Until recently, the specific mechanism underlying the link between inflammation, gum disease, and overall health hasn’t been fully clear. But a new study published in the Journal of Dental Research offers some interesting insights.
Gum disease triggers UNWANTED immune system response, new study reveals
A team of researchers from the University of Toronto recently discovered that inflammation in the mouth associated with gum disease activates the body’s immune system in a way that makes someone more vulnerable to future health problems.
In their study, the researchers discovered that in vivo models with periodontal disease had higher levels of neutrophils in their bodies. Neutrophils are part of the innate immune system and help fight off bacteria.
Unfortunately, this excess of neutrophils appears to “prime” the immune system to attack, causing an excessive response to other infections and injury elsewhere in the body. The result is that other tissues and organs (including the heart, blood vessels, and brain) may be accidentally destroyed by an over-the-top immune response.
In an interview with the University of Toronto, the study’s lead author Michael Glogauer explains, “The [neutrophils] are much more likely to release [immune substances] much more quickly, leading to negative outcomes.”
While this study used animal data, it is also supported by earlier research involving human subjects, including a 2011 study published in the Journal of Periodontology which found evidence of hyperactive neutrophils in blood samples of patients diagnosed with gum disease.
In other words:
Allowing your gums to become inflamed and infected with bacteria can make your immune system overactive, which may cause it to damage other parts of your body.
Who knew your mouth had that much power?
Do you know how your oral health is? Remember these seven key warning signs…
You should know that gum disease can be treated (successfully) and the threat eliminated. With appropriate lifestyle habits like regular flossing and brushing; use of a hydrofloss along with essential oils; and the avoidance of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages – you can stop the damage.
Hopefully, by remaining aware of the consequences of gum disease, you’ll be inspired to keep up your good dental habits. To get you motivated, just consider these seven key warning signs and complications of gum disease:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Red, tender, and/or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed, especially when you floss or brush
- Pain with chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums (your teeth may start to look longer)
And don’t forget – allowing your dental health to deteriorate may increase your risk of hypertension, heart disease, and other health conditions.
So, are you willing to deal with the pain, embarrassment, and cost of gum disease? Keep in mind, dentures can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000, and dental procedures like tooth extractions and flap surgery can be painful on the mouth and the wallet.
If you don’t want trouble – and why would you be? – simply commit to the small investment in time, money, and energy needed for good oral hygiene. Your future self will thank you. And, of course, see an experienced biological dentist for serious health issues in the mouth.
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