This study confirms that gum disease is related to heart disease, it is again the inflammatory link. People with periodontitis have a higher than normal risk of heart attack and stroke. People with these conditions have elevated C-reactive protein, a sign of inflammation. Also, people with diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk of developing periodontitis and gum disease. These are all conditions with strong inflammatory components.
If You Don’t Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day, You’re More Likely to Develop Heart Disease
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Fri, 28 May 2010
Research paper: Toothbrushing, inflammation and risk of cardio vascular disease — results from the Scottish Health Survey, BMJ.com
Individuals who have poor oral hygiene have an increased risk of heart disease compared to those who brush their teeth twice a day, finds research published today in British Medical Journal.
In the last twenty years there has been increased interest in links between heart problems and gum disease. While it has been established that inflammation in the body (including mouth and gums) plays an important role in the build up of clogged arteries, this is the first study to investigate whether the number of times individuals brush their teeth has any bearing on the risk of developing heart disease, says the research. […]
Once the data were adjusted for established cardio risk factors such as social class, obesity, smoking and family history of heart disease, the researchers found that participants who reported less frequent toothbrushing had a 70% extra risk of heart disease compared to individuals who brushed their teeth twice a day, although the overall risk remained quite low. Participants who had poor oral hygiene also tested positive for inflammatory markers such as the C-reactive protein and fibrinogen.
Professor Watt concludes: “our results confirmed and further strengthened the suggested association between oral hygiene and the risk of cardiovascular disease – furthermore inflammatory markers were significantly associated with a very simple measure of poor oral health behaviour”. […]
If your gums bleed when you floss or brush your teeth, you have a good chance of having gingivitis – inflammation in the gum tissues. Gingivitis is usually considered to be due to poor dental hygiene which allows plaque-causing bacteria in your mouth to flourish and attack gums. Three out of four people develop some degree of gum disease by age thirty-five.
Periodontitis refers to inflammation that is much deeper and involves the supporting bone of the teeth and it is related to different bacteria. Its chances also increase with age.
It is important to start with changes to your diet in order to have good oral hygiene. Cutting out inflammatory sugar is essential, but also eliminating gluten and dairy. I used to have a big problem of gum inflammation. My gums would literally feel raw. This problem stopped completely when I eliminated gluten and dairy! The role of gluten in wheat in chronic inflammation and diseases should not be underestimated. See “the elimination diet” in Further Reading for crucial dietary tips.
Antioxidants are also crucial in healing the gums. Vitamin C and E, zinc and folic acid help reduce inflammation associated with gum disease and they also repair the connective tissue of the gums.
Vitamin C intake eases gingival inflammation and bleeding and low vitamin C intake is related to larger periodontal “pockets” – spaces around teeth where bone has been lost. Take at the very least 500mg twice per day.
Vitamin E seems to reduce bone loss because it reduces inflammation. Take 400IU per day.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) greatly improves periodontitis and it can reverse gum disease. CoQ10 is an essential cofactor your body uses to derive energy. It is a powerful anti-oxidant present in every cell in your body. It is essential for the normal function of all major organs. It is important to organs, like your heart, brain, kidneys and liver. Among other things, it also:
- Prevents arteriosclerosis by reducing the accumulation of oxidized inflammatory fat in your blood vessels.
- Eases heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Reduces chest pain and improves exercise tolerance in patients with chronic stable angina.
- Regulates the rhythm of the heart rate.
- Heals your heart, reverses congestive heart failure (heart failure), eases angina pectoris (chest pain due to heart disease), protects your brain from degenerative diseases, strengthens your immune system, helps with Parkinson’s disease.
Take at least 100mg of CoQ10 daily, preferably a highly absorbable form. Take your CoQ10 supplement with food or a teaspoon of olive oil or fish oil to maximize absorption.
Zinc supplementation is also beneficial. It helps protect and heals gum tissues – take 30 mg daily.
Folic acid helps regenerate gum tissue, oral rinses with folic acid can be effective. B-complex supplements usually have folic acid on them.
Finally, oral hygiene is very important. Daily flossing and brushing along with periodic cleanings are part of good dental health. But remember that the best oral hygiene cannot make up for a poor diet and insufficient supplementation. Our modern impoverished diets simply cannot provide enough quality nutrients.
The Inflammation Syndrome by Jack Challem