Does the health of your mouth have anything to do with the overall health of your body? As it turns out, it has everything to do with your health!
When the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Health stated, “You cannot be healthy without oral health. Oral health and general health should not be interpreted as separate entities,” it highlighted the growing awareness of the profound connection between the health of your mouth and the health of rest of your body. This connection is known as the oral-systemic link.
The knowledge that what goes on in your mouth, does not stay in your mouth is revolutionizing the important role of dental health. When we think of gum disease or periodontal disease from a traditional perspective, it’s hard to understand how bleeding gums, deep pockets, abscesses, and loose teeth might impact the risk for many chronic illnesses. However, your oral condition has a systemic influence throughout all bodily systems because of the dangerous pathogens found in diseased gums and teeth. It is estimated that as many as 75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 may suffer from periodontal disease.
The Hidden Life of Your Mouth
The mouth is home to more than 450 species of microorganisms. While most are necessary to maintain healthy teeth and gums, there also exist harmful bacteria that can get out of control and do significant damage to gum tissue.
The path to gum disease has many steps, beginning with plaque, an invisible, sticky film containing millions of bacteria. In healthy mouths, plaque itself actually provides some barrier against outside bacterial invasion. When it accumulates to excessive levels, however, plaque sticks to the surfaces of the teeth and adjacent gums and causes cellular injury, with subsequent swelling, redness, and heat. Although it is removed each time you brush, plaque can reform within 24 hours.
When plaque stays on your teeth for longer than two or three days, it is transformed into calculus (commonly known as tartar) and gets under your gum line. It acts as a reservoir for bacteria and makes plaque even more difficult to brush away. Tartar has a rock-like consistency and grabs onto the tooth surface. It is much more difficult to remove than plaque, which is a soft mass.
The longer that plaque and tartar persist, the more damage they inflict. Initially, they may just irritate and inflame the gingiva, the part of the gum around the base of your teeth causing gingivitis. If left untreated, however, gingivitis can progress to more severe periodontitis. Evidence now suggests that periodontal disease is an autoimmune disorder, in which immune factors in the body attack the person’s own cells and tissue—in this case, those in the gum. This final stage of gum disease leads to the development of pockets between your gums and teeth that fill with more plaque, tartar, and bacteria. Over time, these pockets can spread under your gum tissue. Chronic gum infection and periodontitis cause inflammation and damage that eventually destroys the support structures and bone and can lead to tooth loss.
Periodontitis, however, is much more than just a serious gum infection; it is a chronic inflammatory oral disease that has direct impact on all at the systems of the body.
There Is More to the Oral-Systemic Health Story
The emerging field of oral-systemic health recognizes that the mouth is the window to the body’s immune system. Harmful bacteria found in the inflamed and damaged tissue in the gums can travel through the bloodstream and chronically impair many organs. Oral gram-negative (the harmful variety) of bacteria and accompanying inflammatory mediators can enter the bloodstream predisposing people to diabetes, insulin resistance, dementia, respiratory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, osteoporosis, complications in pregnancy, and cardio vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attack, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease.
As an example, periodontal pathogenic bacteria were discovered in atherosclerotic plaques as well as major arteries. So the same nasty plaque bacteria causing periodontitis have been implicated in the thickening of the carotid artery. In fact, 50 percent of heart attacks are triggered by oral pathogens. Here is a shocking statistic: Gingivalis, an oral bacterium, raises risk for a heart attack by 13.6 times!
Another study found a nearly five-fold increase in chronic respiratory disease in those with poor oral health compared with healthy people. Periodontal bacteria have also been cultured from infected lung fluids and tissues.
Periodontitis has been called, “the sixth complication of diabetes” since it is twice as prevalent in diabetics as non-diabetics and also increases insulin resistance. Treating periodontitis was able to improve levels of glycated hemoglobin, a measure of long-term blood glucose control.
The implications of compromised oral health can even affect pregnancy. Pregnant women with periodontitis were found to be 7.5 times more likely to have a preterm low-birth-weight infant than unaffected women and that the risk of preterm birth is directly related to the severity of periodontal disease. It has also been suggested that periodontal pathogens may even be able to enter the womb.
But, it’s not just a one-way street. Some of these chronic health conditions may, in turn, increase the incidence and severity of periodontal disease by modifying the body’s immune response to periodontal bacteria and their by-products. Thus, there is an ongoing relationship between periodontal disease and systemic diseases. The oral-systemic approach understands that the body is one integrated whole. Improving oral health directly impacts overall health and vice versa.
Reducing Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Healthier choices have a direct impact on your mouth. Oral health can be improved by incorporating lifestyle, dietary, nutritional and specific dental strategies. The risks for periodontal disease increase with smoking, stress, a junk food diet and lack of exercise. Scheduling semi-annual dental visits with a dental hygienist for professional cleanings makes a big difference to oral health. It is especially necessary if gingivitis and periodontal disease is suspected.
It’s Not Your Grandma’s Toothpaste
While tooth brushing is synonymous with flashing white teeth and a perfect smile, it is actually one of the most important strategies to ensure oral-systemic health!
From the time most of us are old enough to hold a toothbrush, brushing our teeth was an established part of a daily hygiene ritual. When it comes to oral health, toothpaste is a crucial weapon in the fight against gum disease. But before you reach for a tube of Crest or Colgate, take a look at the list of ingredients and warnings on every tube. You just may get a shock!
Sad to say, commercial toothpastes have literally become toxic waste dumps. Since 1998, the FDA has mandated the following warning on most commercial toothpastes, “Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.” Really . . . contact a poison control center if you swallow toothpaste?
Most commercial toothpastes contain a long list of harmful ingredients, which include:
Triclosan—The EPA classifies triclosan as a pesticide, stating it poses a risk to both human health and the environment, and it is suspected of causing cancer.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate—can damage eyes, irritate skin and lead to labored breathing. When combined with certain other chemicals it transforms into nitrosamines, known carcinogens.
Propylene Glycol—prolonged contact leads to brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.
DEA—disrupts hormones and forms cancer-causing nitrates and can lead to increased risk of liver and kidney cancers.
FD & C Blue Dyes 1 & 2—can cause potentially severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, nervousness, lack of concentration, and cancer.
Sodium Fluoride—categorized as a “toxic drug” by the FDA, ingesting even a small amount of sodium fluoride may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Artificial Sweeteners—aspartame, saccharin and sorbitol can cause side effects that include: headaches, mood changes, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue.
Hydrated Silica—an abrasive that can harm the enamel and prevent re-mineralization of teeth.
SilverSol® Tooth Gel—A Powerful, Safe Solution for Oral-Systemic Health
Your toothpaste is on the front lines as a crucial weapon, not just in the fight against gum disease but for the prevention of chronic illness. Therefore, it is vital to choose the safest product, as well as one that has been proven to be effective.
SilverSol® Tooth Gel is a superstar in the world of toothpastes. After five years of research and development, American Biotech Labs has engineered a powerful solution called SilverSol® Tooth Gel to help keep your teeth and gums clean like never before. This family-friendly, totally non-toxic, triple action formula, uses the patented SilverSol Technology® along with USP verified xylitol and organic therapeutic grade peppermint oil. These three ingredients form a proven synergy to promote tooth and gum health.
SilverSol® Tooth Gel is truly a family-safe toothpaste. It is free of the harmful ingredients found in other toothpastes such as fluoride, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial colors and abrasives.
The Power of Silver
Hippocrates, the “father of medicine,” wrote in his medical texts 2500 years ago that silver had beneficial healing and anti-disease properties. He praised silver for its unique and valuable abilities. Thanks to an advanced 21st century technology, a more potent form of silver is now available in the form of a patented nano-silver technology by American Biotech Labs (U.S. Patents 7,135,195, 6,214,299, 6,746,348).
This new form of silver is called SilverSol Technology®. Traditional silver products, such as colloidal forms, work by chemical action, requiring direct contact to have any positive effect. SilverSol® works by catalytic action, not by chemical action. This catalytic conversion allows the SilverSol® particles to work continuously without being neutralized, making this nano-silver form far more efficient than other forms of silver.
The USP verified xylitol is another dynamic ingredient in the SilverSol® Tooth Gel that adds to its incredible triple action impact. As a healthy sweetener, xylitol is also proven in its abilities to promote mouth health. It is used in everything from toothpastes and mouthwash, to gum, and even baking. It is used by diabetics as a natural and healthy alternative sweetener to sugar that doesn’t cause their blood sugar levels to spike. Xylitol also promotes enamel re-mineralization. Studies on xylitol and its benefits in oral health have shown impressive results. Dangerous bacteria found in the mouth were unable to metabolize xylitol as a source of food and energy. In addition, they could not adhere to body tissues, especially in the mouth.
The third powerful ingredient is therapeutic-grade organic peppermint oil, which has been used as an essential therapeutic ingredient for thousands of years. Organic peppermint oil also helps eliminate bad breath and helps teeth and gums fight off hazardous germs.
Keith Moeller, ND, managing director of American Biotech Labs says, “This tooth gel will feel like nothing you have ever brushed your teeth with before and it contains no chemicals to make it foamy or artificial flavors. It brushes on feeling smooth and natural, and retains that feeling for hours and hours. Most people report that smooth clean feeling even lasts overnight. We did not design this product to be like any of the other toothpastes on the market. We designed it to become a new standard for clean, natural, mouth health. We believe that by promoting tooth and gum health, we can also help to naturally promote health throughout the rest of the body!”
Oral health is a powerful predictor of your overall health. Maintaining optimal oral health will not only give you a brighter, healthier smile, but also may help you fend off many potentially deadly diseases. Swollen, bleeding gums, deep pockets and loose teeth are indications that the body’s immune response is engaged and on the attack. Researchers have uncovered potential links between periodontal disease and many serious health conditions. Bacteria that contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis provoke inflammation or infection, which can enter the blood stream and trigger certain diseases. Periodontal disease may even aggravate or worsen existing health conditions.
Getting on a proactive track for your dental health is now a fundamental part for an overall health screening. The body’s chronic internal inflammatory response is easily identifiable through examination of the periodontal tissue. By safeguarding the health of your teeth and gums through healthy diet and lifestyle, proper brushing and flossing, and targeted nutritional strategies, you increase your odds of living a long and healthy life.
Adding the SilverSol® Tooth Gel with its triple action approach to cleaning teeth and gums is a powerful choice that will help facilitate oral-systemic health for the entire family.
Sherrill Sellman, ND
Dr. Sellman is an international author, psychotherapist, women’s health advocate and seminar presenter. Through her books, Hormone Heresy?—?What Women Must Know About Their Hormones and Mothers Prevent Your Daughters from Getting Breast Cancer, lectures and seminars, she has empowered women all over the world to make more educated and informed choices about their health.