How Good Oral Health Promotes Longevity

Is longevity important to you? How does Oral Health fit in with longevity?
Ok, not all of us want to live to a ripe old age. For those of us who do, we know what to do, don’t we?   We know there is not just one strategy or magic bullet.  We also know that even though people are living longer, we are not necessarily healthy and we are being propped up by the medical industry. It is recognised that most people enjoying good health, live longer and have a better quality of life than those who don’t, often attributing their well-being to a balanced lifestyle and good nutrition.

What are the guidelines for a long and healthy life?
I would assume the guidelines would include meditating/resting, no smoking, no recreational drugs and no or very little alcohol. Believe it or not, we can still have fun and have a healthy lifestyle! But one factor frequently overlooked by many people is the importance of our oral health and dental hygiene: if the symptoms of dental disease are undiagnosed or ignored, this can have a detrimental effect on overall health.

Doctors Gerald and Monica Lewis (Dietary Supplements Creating Expensive Urine or a Key to Modern Medicine?) recommend three simple guidelines for a healthy long life:
1. Do some exercise most days.
2. Eat as well as you can – with as few preservatives and poisons in the food
3. Daily for life, take a good comprehensive multivitamin/multi-mineral table plus omega-3 fish oil.

Oral Health – the missing link
Many people overlook the fact that good oral health is vital for our general body health.

There are many ways in which poor oral health compromises the human body. The two main ones are gum (periodontal) disease and tooth decay. These infections can occur separately or together. Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by poor oral hygiene (dentists recommend brushing teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day) combined with “bad” micro-organisms. These live in dental plaque on the teeth above and below the gum line (hence the advice to brush and the floss!).

Of the two, gum disease (especially advanced-form periodontitis) is much more harmful to overall health than tooth decay. Bacteria are the main culprits in dental decay and it is now thought that some viruses are also involved in the disease process. These micro-organisms produce acids and toxins causing inflammation in the gums and thus in the body’s circulation system, exposing the body to virulent strains of numerous bacteria.

Poor diet, smoking, vitamin deficiency (Vitamin D deficiency is a known factor in gum disease) and toxic substances such as mercury can further compound dental disease.
(I recommend advanced quality broad-spectrum nutritional supplements to support your immune system and that contain  the full spectrum of vitamins, chelated minerals, antioxidants including Vitamin D3.)

Scientific studies links gum diseases to life-threatening diseases
Gum disease is a painless disease which, if left untreated, will persist for many years with possible dire consequences. Recent findings have shown untreated periodontal (gum) disease:
* Contributes to respiratory disease – the oral cavity can act as a reservoir for respiratory pathogens. These pathogens have been found in plaque in deep periodontal pockets.
* Increases the risk of heart attack by 25% – people with advanced periodontitis had a 25% increased risk of coronary heart disease

* Increases the risk of stroke by a factor of ten – toxins from bacteria can be associated with chronic infections associated with strokes

* Increase severity of diabetes – it has been long known diabetes affects periodontal health, it has now been shown the reverse is also true; periodontal disease can affect diabetes. Severe periodontal disease can increase the risk of poor glycemic control. Within diabetics, it has shown those with good oral hygiene are less likely to suffer stroke, transient ischemic attack and angina or myocardial infarct.

* Reduces life expectancy

* Lowers resistance to other infections

* Contributes to low pre-term birth weights – studies have suggested 18% or all pre-term low birth weight cases may be attributable to periodontal disease.
* Severely stresses the immune system – the more serious the infection, the longer it lasts and the more the immune system is affected. The immune system can be so compromised its ability to fight infection and other degenerative diseases like cancer are seriously diminished.

Dental infections, especially long term periodontal disease and infected tooth roots can have a negative effect on the immune system to such an extent it jeopardises medical treatment.

Regular dental check-ups are good for total body health.
Regular check-ups every 6 to 12 months ensure that the painless oral health diseases are picked up before they become painful and serious. If your gums bleed when brushing then that is not healthy. Make sure you have a friendly dentist taking care of your health. Gum disease and tooth decay can be treated using microdentistry – dental water lasers and air abrasion. Dental decay can be prevented.

Don’t put off your dental visit – regular check-ups save you money and needless pain.  Telephone The Dentists on 06 8442718. Your Mercury Free Dentist who uses intra-oral cameras and digital x-rays so that you can become involved with your Oral Health.

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