Bad Gums and Teeth Trigger
More Health Problems Than You Realize

Oral Health Spray May
Help Gums and Teeth

t is shocking to contemplate that the majority of Americans lose all their teeth by the time they reach the age of 60. The cause is primarily due to periodontal disease. And this horrifying misfortune is just the tip of the iceberg. Recent scientific studies indicate that periodontal disease may also be a key factor in serious health problems elsewhere in the body triggering diabetes,1 pneumonia,2 bronchitis,3 coronary heart disease,4 and other infections. Periodontal disease is even thought to precipitate premature birth.5 Up until now, all a person could do was to visit their dentist for plaque removal, brush regularly and floss. And flossing has an extremely low level of compliance. But now there is an oral health spray for gums and teeth, can literally defeat bacteria that accelerate the process of gingivitis and periodontal related diseases. Periodontitis, or periodontal disease, generally refers to inflammation and destruction of teeth and surrounding teeth structure; it is frequently preceded by chronic gingivitis.

The human mouth normally supports more than 300 species of bacteria which, if unhampered in their growth, can lead to dire consequences.6 Among the early and local infections that some of these bacteria can lead to is gingivitis, an inflammation of the gum tissues. It may not always cause discomfort or loss of function, but nevertheless gingivitis renders gums tender and susceptible to bleeding when they are irritated. Gingivitis is caused by bacterial plaque which contains more than 165 species and subspecies of bacteria. No single organism or group of bacteria can be directly implicated in the development of gingivitis. Unfortunately, gingivitis can start at an early age with the result that even most teenagers have it.7 While gingivitis does not normally progress to a severe state, periodontitis is always preceded by gingivitis.8 Loss of teeth can lead to dysfunction of mastication (chewing) and even digestive disorders, not to mention social embarrassment.

Gradually, it is the inflammation of gingivitis that yields to periodontitis. It starts at an early age and progresses slowly. Periodontitis causes infected gums to pull away from the teeth, forming growing pockets which, as they widen, allow the infection to spread. Eventually the bacteria eat away the bone beneath the gums, and the result is the loosening of teeth in their sockets. In one out of seven adults, periodontal deterioration has already advanced to the point where tooth loss is threatened.9


An oral health spray for gums and teeth,
can literally defeat bacteria that accelerate
the process of gingivitis
and periodontal related diseases.
 
Recent studies, however, show that it is not only teeth but other organs as well that are menaced by this oral disease. When oral infection reaches a critical stage, bacteria can spread from the mouth into the bloodstream. When periodontitis advances enough, chewing and even brushing and flossing can instigate the spread of the bacteria and increase bodywide problems. One recent paper attributed rapid aging to periodontal disease in the form of an aging marker, called advanced glycation end product amplification (AGE).10 Elevated AGE is now considered a strong benchmark for premature aging. Thus, periodontal disease is tantamount to accelerated aging.

The public is becoming more aware of such connections as represented in recent remarks by the American Academy of Periodontology. President Dr Robert Ferris confirms, "As research surrounding the interface between periodontics and medicine emerges, the media is more receptive to stories about periodontal disease. Suddenly, these messages can compete with stories about life-threatening illnesses because periodontal disease is linked to a person's overall health."11

PERIODONTAL DISEASE CAN CAUSE SYSTEMIC DISEASES
There hasn't always been a willingness to consider far ranging connections between oral health and the overall health of the body. But epidemiological analysis has indicated that there is a higher correspondence between periodontal disease and conditions such as: arthritis,12 endocarditis,13 metabolic disorders such as diabetes,14 female hormonal alterations,15 hematologic disorders such as leukemia,16 immune system disorders,17 strokes,18 pneumonia,19 and premature births.20 Systemic disease has commonly been associated with periodontal disease with the connection historically viewed as a one-way street. Meaning, periodontal disease was presumed an associated result of particular systemic diseases. But these disorder relationships are increasingly being seen as two-way streets now that periodontal disease may be contributing to and/or causing systemic disease. Following are some of the recent findings and their implications.


In one out of seven adults, periodontal deterioration
has already advanced to the point
where tooth loss is threatened.
 
Cardiovascular Disease - The Editor of the American Academy of Periodontology Journal, Dr Robert Genco, presented a study at the International Association for Dental Research meeting in Orlando, Florida. He found that people with periodontal disease are 2.7 times as likely to suffer a heart attack than those with healthy gums.21 "Allowing for factors such as age, sex, weight, cholesterol, and high blood pressure, as well as diabetes and insulin use," explained Dr Genco, "we found that among the sample population under age 60, gum disease was an even more important risk factor for cardiovascular disease than was high blood pressure."22

Infections - More and more dentists are prescribing antibiotics for those undergoing dental work who have artificial heart valves or even artificial joints. Some are even prescribing antibiotics for those who have a predisposition for heart valve disease, including mitral valve prolapse. The reason: Periodontal bacteria may enter the bloodstream during dental work and result in serious infections that can even be life-threatening for those who are vulnerable.

Diabetes - Diabetics are predisposed to bacterial infections, including those of the upper alimentary canal including the oral area. Periodontal problems have been known to worsen in diabetics. And recent studies strongly indicate that periodontitis can make diabetes worse. This is because diabetics with advanced periodontitis are not easily able to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Bacteria thrive on sugars.


In one Japanese study, an oral topical
antimicrobial was found to lessen
the incidence of pneumonia.
 
When diabetics are treated for periodontal disease, the need for insulin may be lessened. There is a growing belief that a better diabetic protocol includes treatment for periodontal inflammation to the point of elimination. There is growing evidence that doing so can help reduce the injury to eyes and arteries that is a common result of diabetes.23

Pneumonia - Pneumonia is a bacterial infection of the airways. The infection is started when either new bacteria are introduced into the lungs or when bacteria (that live in the mouth and throat) are inhaled into the lungs. If immune function is normal, your body's defenses will normally take care of invading bacteria. But when compromised (as in diabetes for example), the result can be pneumonia. Not surprising, the causal bacteria can survive and multiply in the respiratory system when periodontal infection has the upper hand. This is also true of other disease-causing bacteria such as those responsible for bronchitis and emphysema. In one Japanese study, an oral topical antimicrobial was found to lessen the incidence of pneumonia.24

WHAT YOU CAN DO
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so said Ben Franklin. Prevention is always the best bet. It starts with building and protecting one's bones. This means having enough calcium in the diet to maximize bone development before age 30, when gradual bone loss begins. A calcium supplement is one of the best ways to incorporate calcium. People with osteoporosis lose bone in the mouth as well as in the hips and spine; postmenopausal women who do not take hormone replacement have a greatly increased risk of periodontal disease. Natural progesterone can help women to protect their bones. And teeth - are bones.


Thus, periodontal disease is tantamount
to accelerated aging.
 
Other considerations are to get on a good health maintenance program. Such a program includes a high potency multiple vitamin/mineral/antioxidant formulation. Keeping your body, internal organs and immune function supported is crucial to not only your general health but for your gums and teeth too. [See Figuring Out the Nutrient Maze - January 1999 for guidelines on a good health maintenance program.]

The traditional oral hygiene strategies are not to be dismissed. In its early stages, periodontal disease does not announce itself with manifest symptoms. It is important that you brush after eating and floss every day and that you see your dentist at least once a year for periodontal cleaning, ideally every six months. And now you know there is another way to protect yourself, by incorporating an oral health spray as a regular part of your daily oral health regimen. Here is a way to effortlessly retard and possibly reverse the progress that the gingival and periodontal bacteria are making at the expense of your mouth, your teeth, and your health.

DON'T LOSE YOUR TEETH
With just a few sprays several times daily, you can retard, stop, and perhaps even reverse the inroads of hostile bacteria. Ingredients like CoQ10, folic acid, Vitamin K3 and others can help you to reclaim your oral health. If the symptoms have not yet become manifest, these ingredients can prevent the age-related downturn that has contributed to an almost inevitability that a majority of us will lose our teeth. An oral health spray may be one of the most important things that you do for your health this year.

[For more information, see Healthier Gums & Teeth - February 1999.] 



References
  1. Grossi SG, Genco RJ. Periodontal disease and diabetes mellitus: a two-way relationship. Ann Periodontol 1998 Jul;3(1):51-61.
  2. Limeback H. Implications of oral infections on systemic diseases in the institutionalized elderly with a special focus on pneumonia. Ann Periodontol 1998 Jul;3(1):262-75.
  3. Scannapieco FA, Papandonatos GD, Dunford RG. Associations between oral conditions and respiratory disease in a national sample survey population. Ann Periodontol 1998 Jul;3(1):251-6.
  4. Papapanou PN. Periodontal diseases: epidemiology. Ann Periodontol 1996 Nov;1(1):1-36.
  5. DeBowes LJ. The effects of dental disease on systemic disease. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1998 Sep;28(5):1057-62.
  6. Asikainen S, Alaluusua S. Bacteriology of dental infections. Eur Heart J 1993 Dec;14 Suppl K:43-50.
  7. Loe H, Morrison E. Periodontal health and disease in young people: screening for priority care. Int Dent J 1986 Sep;36(3):162-7.
  8. Sheiham A. Is the chemical prevention of gingivitis necessary to prevent severe periodontitis? Periodontol 2000 1997 Oct;15:15-24.
  9. Caplan DJ, Weintraub JA. The oral health burden in the United States: a summary of recent epidemiologic studies. J Dent Educ 1993 Dec;57(12):853-62
  10. Grossi SG, Genco RJ. Periodontal disease and diabetes mellitus: a two-way relationship. Ann Periodontol 1998 Jul;3(1):51-61.
  11. AAP News 1997 July;32(7):4.
  12. Malmstrom M, Calonius PEB. Teeth loss and the inflammation of teeth supporting tissues in rheumatoid disease. A roentgenologic and histologic study. Scand J Rheumatol 1975;4(2):49-55.
  13. Holbrook WP, Willey RF, Shaw TRD. Dental health in patients susceptible to infective endocarditis. Br Med J. 1981;283(6287):371-372.
  14. Katz PP, Wirthlin Jr MR, Szpunar SM, Selby JV, Sepe SJ, Showstack JA. Epidemiology and prevention of periodontal disease in individuals with diabetes. Diabetes Care 1991;14(5):375-385.
  15. Rees TD, Brasher WJ. Incidence of certain systemic conditions among patients presenting for periodontal treatment. J Periodontol 1974;45(9):669-671.
  16. Serio FG, Siegel MA. Periodontal diseases: A review. Cutis 1991;47(1):55-62.
  17. Berglund SE. Introduction to conference on the implications of immune reactions in the Pathogenesis of periodontal disease. J Periodontol 1970 Apr;41(4):195-6.
  18. Adair JC, Banks DD, Call GK. Stroke due to capnocytophaga Endocarditis. Rev Infect Dis. 1991;13(2):341-342.
  19. Trevor Willis A, Jones PH. Anaerobic infections and their treatment. Recent trends. J Pharmacother 1979;2(3):122-132.
  20. Salinas CF, Jorgenson RJ, Schuman SH, et al. A possible new premature aging syndrome. Birth Defects Orig Arctic Ser. 1977;13(3B):251-252.
  21. Anon. Gum disease may increase risk of heart disease. J Am Dent Assoc 1997 May;128(5):554.
  22. AAP News, op cit.
  23. Grossi SG, op cit.
  24. Okuda K, Adachi M, Iijima K. The efficacy of antimicrobial mouth rinses in oral health care. Bull Tokyo Dent Coll 1998 Feb;39(1):7-14.

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