The usual format when speaking about holistic or biological dentistry is centered on mercury fillings, root canals and fluoride. Dental materials are very important in the treatment of the teeth and the effects of total health. However, there is a whole area of research that correlates periodontal health (gums and bone) to systemic disease. The average person has 1500 billion bacteria in the mouth, comprised of 300 species of microbes living under the gums and along the roots of the teeth. When the microbes increase to proportions of high viral, bacterial and fungal loads they spill into the blood and travel to all parts of the body. In their New York Times best seller “You: The Owners Manual” Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet C. Oz, M. D. state that “you need to combat gingivitis and periodontal disease which can cause inflammation in your body and aging of your immune and arterial systems.”
A number of studies show a correlation between periodontal (gum) disease and systemic diseases such as cardiovascular (heart) disease, diabetes, sinus problems and multiple other concerns. So the head is really connected to the rest of the body! It has been suggested that all diseases start orally and the challenged immune system shows up as problems in the mouth.
When we are born the cells in the body are non-pathogenic. The toll that is placed on these cells through toxins, lack of exercise, life style choices, acidic blood environment, diet and a weakened immune system pushes these microbes to pathogenic forms causing tumors, cancer and other maladies. A simple scheme suggests a transition from normal cells to viral forms and a state of accumulation with urogenital tract diseases, colitis, and lymphatism. The next form would be bacterial and produce a state of inflammation with disease such as otitis, acne, laryngitis, pulmonary diseases, asthma, prostate adenoma, etc. The following stage would be fungal and a degenerative stage producing anemia, embolism, diabetic gangrene, glaucoma, varicose veins and so on. The immune system at this point would be under heavy stress. It has been said that the mouth is the gateway to the immune system and by treating the mouth you can treat the entire body.
The American Dental Association has estimated that 80% of American adults have periodontal disease, including gingivitis. Also patients with diabetes have twice the chance for heart attack and three times chance for stroke. The Journal of Periodontalogy demonstrates clearly that infections in the teeth and gums have been linked to many diseases.