Find out how dental care can save your life in a guest post courtesy of integrative medical doctor, Isaac Eliaz, M.D. Visit his website at www.dreliaz.org
By Dr. Isaac Eliaz, M.D.
Your dentist can do more than clean your teeth and keep them pain-free. A good dentist can save your life.
Research demonstrates strong connections between poor oral health and heart disease, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. As more integrative doctors, dentists, and health providers recognize these important relationships, we can see a gradual expansion in preventative medicine protocols to emphasize holistic oral and dental care.
Teeth and disease
One of the most common degenerative dental conditions is periodontal, or gum disease. Mild to moderate periodontal disease is estimated to affect half of Americans over the age of 30.
This condition is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth. Bacterial infection spreads below the gum line. This can cause gums to separate from teeth, forming pockets where bacteria multiply. Over time, connective tissue and bone that hold teeth into place deteriorate.
Clinical research suggests strong links between periodontal disease and chronic, systemic inflammation throughout the body. In addition, studies have demonstrated links between periodontal disease and a slew of serious health conditions. They include cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, allergies, reduced immunity, and other conditions. Infectious bacteria and toxins produced in an unhealthy oral environment can spread to other areas of the body. This is one reason why people with certain forms of heart disease are prescribed antibiotics before dental procedures.
Natural Solutions for Oral and Overall Health
Regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist are essential for maintaining oral health. But equally important is your diet.
Recent studies examining the diets of our ancestors suggest that modern eating habits have dramatically reduced our healthy oral bacteria populations that fight infections. Instead, most modern mouths harbor an overabundance of harmful bacteria that feed on the processed sugars and grains found in today’s diets.
For the best mouth-friendly foods, choose low-sugar whole foods, like nutrient-dense vegetables. Avoid processed and refined foods. And be sure to drink plenty of filtered water to stay hydrated. This will prevent bacteria from becoming sticky and difficult to remove.
Beyond food, there are supplements you can add that will help keep a healthy mouth.
Best Supplements for a Healthy Mouth
Probiotics: Research continues to highlight the extensive roles of probiotics in supporting and maintaining numerous areas of health beyond digestion. A number of probiotic strains are good for dental health, and fight throat and respiratory infections.
One strain called BLIS K12, or Streptococcus salivarius, is a key component of a healthy oral bacterial environment. When taken as a supplement, BLIS K12 can help fight infections in the mouth and reduce inflammation.
Pure Honokiol Extract: Honokiol is an active phytochemical extracted from the bark of the Magnolia officinalis tree. It’s an ancient staple of traditional Chinese medicine. Honokiol has been extensively researched over the last decade. It demonstrates strong infection-fighting actions to maintain gum health.
Vitamin D3: Low levels of this vitamin have been linked to gum disease. Vitamin D3 is also important for immune function, cellular function, and bone health.
Simple dental self-care can make a huge difference to your health. The natural solutions mentioned above provide a comprehensive, holistic approach to long term dental and overall health—a win-win situation for everyone.
Dr. Isaac Eliaz, M.D., is one of the nation’s premier integrative physicians. He has been a pioneer in holistic medicine since the 1980s and has published numerous peer-reviewed research papers. He is founder and medical director of Amitabha Medical Clinic in Santa Rosa, Calif., which specializes in cancer and chronic conditions.
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