Good Oral Care affects not only your teeth and gums, it also has alot to do with a healthy body.
Oral Health Problems
The most serious oral care problems include tooth decay, periodontal disease, fungal infections and bad breath. These problems emanate from a common source, the millions of bacteria (up to 600 different species of them) and fungi that thrive on the surface of the tongue, in an environment rich in proteins.
Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)
The primary culprits in gum disease — gingivitis, and its more advanced manifestation, periodontitis — are bacteria. These bacteria are found in their highest numbers on the tongue, whose many crevices are the perfect environment in which the bacteria can live and reproduce. The bacteria reproduce on a thin layer of plaque that forms on the teeth. From here, bacteria begin to attack the gums and may result in periodontal disease, which is one of the main causes of tooth loss worldwide. Gum disease is also associated with bad breath and other serious health problems.
Foods that contain a lot of starch — such as bread and cereal — are broken down easily by bacteria in your mouth to produce acids. Sugared foods, of course, are directly related to this by-product of oral bacteria. These acid attacks may lead to tooth decay.
Tooth loss may result from periodontal disease, which loosens the teeth from their sockets.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Anaerobic bacteria living on the rear of the tongue are the main cause of bad breath. At one time, the source of bad breath was thought to be the stomach. Modern research however, has largely debunked this theory. Bad breath may also be traced to periodontal disease. Most serious scholarship and research on halitosis has shown that the root of bad breath is bacteria on the rear of the tongue. See a summary of this research: The-science-of-bad-breath.
Fungal Infections (e.g. Candida Albicans)
Several fungal infections, including Candida, may affect the oral cavity, and may be found in great numbers on the tongue.
- For more information about basic oral care, as recommended by The ADA (American Dental Association), see:
For The Dental Patient.pdf
For details about the importance of tongue cleaning as recommended by the ADHA (The American Dental Hygienists’ Association), see:
Want Some Live Saving Advice?.pdf
- According to the Oral Health Clinical Research Center at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, “In the absence of dental or periodontal disease, most bad breath is caused by bacteria located on the back of the tongue. These bacteria produce sulfur-containing gases that have an objectionable odor.”
For more information see:
Bad Breath – School of Dentistry at University of Minnesota.pdf
General Health Problems
Cardiovascular Disease (Heart Disease, Hypertension)
People with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from a fatal heart attack, and nearly three times as likely to suffer from a stroke, than those without this oral disease.
Periodontal Disease and Risk of Cerebrovascular Disease.pdf
There is clinical evidence that an infection caused by major periodontal pathogens is associated with a potential stroke.
Antibodies to Periodontal Pathogens and Stroke Risk.pdf
Risk of Preterm Birth and Low Birth Weight
There is increasing evidence that oral infections can induce premature labor. Periodontal bacteria produce molecules that also prompt the release of labor-inducing substances like prostaglandin.
Higher Risk of Preterm Birth and Low Birth Weight in Women with Periodontal Disease.pdf
Mortality Risk in Diabetes
Recent studies strongly indicate that periodontitis can make diabetes more severe.
Diabetes and Periodontal Infection – Making the Connection .pdf
Pneumonia and Other Infectious Diseases
Bacterial pneumonia is caused when bacteria living in the mouth and throat are inhaled into the lungs, where immune defenses fail to wipe them out.
Systemic Diseases Caused by Oral Infection.pdf
- A study by researchers at The Columbia University Medical Center provides the most direct evidence to date that the prevention of gum disease could significantly improve your chances of avoiding vascular problems. The study, which appears in the American Heart Association’s publication Circulation, shows that people with gum disease are more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis – a narrowing of blood vessels that can lead to a stroke or a heart attack.
For a summary of the clinical findings, see: https://www.cumc.columbia.edu