Your teeth and gums surely are worth taking care of, because it is very
true that if they don't last, you are in for much trouble and expense.
You probably already have been told to brush and floss, to keep them healthy.
There are other invaluable things you can do that will keep them together
for the long haul.
First a question: Could your itty-bitty mouth affect distant parts of
your body? Could your gums and teeth have even worse effects than just
tooth decay, fillings, crowns, root canals, and false teeth? "Yes,"
unfortunately is the answer that current science provides to us.
Infection in gums is the key element causing gum disease and tooth decay.
Bacteria live there, destroy enamel, make gums diseased and are just plain
no good for us. It is imperative that we keep those bacteria in check.
Physicians just held a worldwide conference on heart disease and health
at the time of this writing. They found that a primary and immediate cause
of heart attack is inflammation in the heart. The cause of the inflammation:
gum disease and the bacteria that live in the mouth. They discussed the
fact that people with gum disease were many times more likely to suffer
a heart attack.
For many years we have taught at our clinic the importance of keeping
all the key components of your mouth in premier shape: teeth, gums and
bone (your teeth are anchored into your jawbone).
The value in keeping your teeth is clear. It is an interesting thought
that we wish to keep body parts like our teeth as working antiques. With
life expectancy now averaging eighty, and the fastest growing group of
the population over one hundred, our teeth really do become living antiques.
What antique would you keep that many years and not expect to maintain?
Some components other than your teeth can affect you as well. Gum health
may be less familiar to you. When gums begin to develop pockets where
they join your teeth, your dentist will generally refer you to a gum surgeon.
A periodontal surgeon can cut your gums back (at no small expense, and
at great pain).
Having very bad gum disease is equivalent to having an infected ulcer
running the length of your leg! These bacteria of the mouth have long
been medically known to be able to migrate, causing such problems as bad
sinus infections. They can get into the heart valves and cause acute infection
to that vital organ.
There is a better way to effectively get rid of the bacteria, kill them,
flush them, and wash their food away. It is not a replacement to brushing
and flossing, but something additional. The device is a Water Pik (or
another highly effective brand is the Hydro Pro). These devices direct
jet bursts of water alternated with air. The water washes away stuff you
don't want in the pockets of your gums. The air kills the anaerobic (can't
breathe air) bacteria that are the evil-doers. Additionally, one of the
best uses of your dentist is to have him clean your teeth professionally
and regularly. Cleaning your teeth professionally four times per year,
is not too much. It is an expenditure of smart preventive time and money.
The net result is the surgeon will need someone else to operate on, as
this method has a hugely successful track record. Just today, a patient
called me to say that his mouth, which had been recommended for gum surgery,
had been completely cured. To get a greater understanding of this subject,
our health class entitled "Superior Nutrition" (also on video)
covers it in detail (along with the rest of the digestive system and numerous
other nutritional areas of interest). Nutrition plays a role in the mouth
and gums. We have specific nutrients for the mouth. If you have gum disease,
ask us for the proper nutrient and dosage. We also have nutrients for
bone integrity. We recommend them for all people, as the loss of bone
is a frequent and devastating problem. It is not limited to women, though
very common to them, especially after menopause. Young women or men both
can develop osteoporosis (loss of bone density and integrity). Dosages
vary based on sex, age, and whether we are correcting an existing problem,
or just trickling in a little to prevent one.
This is a subject worth taking to heart. Why suffer the aging effects
of a disintegrating mouth, when good preventive and hygienic measures
could keep your mouth in order? And when you realize the infection, inflammation,
and heart effects that allowing bacteria to breed in your gums will cause,
we trust you can put the extra small amount of effort (and it is small)
that can keep your smile on your face.
Not only that, but it could also help keep your ticker ticking!
Universal City Medical Group, Inc.
Cahuenga Blvd West-Suite 206
Los Angeles, CA 90068