Doctors and researchers have recently started to look at what dentists have been examining for years — your gums. They’re finding a relationship between the health of your gums and chronic disease.
Did You Know…
- Per a study in Finland, subjects with gum disease were 30% more likely to have a heart attack compared to subjects without oral infections.
- Per a six-year study of 44,119 men, those with tooth loss and gum disease were 70% more likely to have coronary artery disease.
- Another study demonstrated patients infected with periodontal bacteria had the highest levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in their blood. CRP is an inflammatory marker and independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- Another study confirmed periodontal bacteria reaches the human brain suggesting an inflammatory role in Alzheimer’s disease. Additional studies link chronic inflammation with memory loss.
- Pregnant women with moderate to severe periodontal disease are at greater risk of spontaneous pre-term birth.
What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Below are the key things to know about gum disease:
- Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is one of the most common infections in humans. Fifty percent of the American population has gum disease.
- It’s a chronic inflammatory disease that inflames your gums.
- It starts with bacteria (called plaque) that develops on the surface of the tooth root (gum line) and causes inflammation (bleeding gums).
- Studies show that chronic systemic inflammation, also called persistent, low-grade inflammation, is associated with chronic disease.
- Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease that destroys bone, resulting in tooth loss.
Your body is made up of a rich network of blood vessels which move blood and immune cells, bacteria, and pro- and anti-inflammatory proteins through your entire body. So bacteria in your mouth can move to other organs. Continue reading “KRON 4 | The Link Between Gum Disease, Heart Attacks, and Alzheimer’s”
See how certain types of food can soften a chicken bone — just like your enamel. Your toothless grin at six may have been cute back then, but as an adult, it’s not so adorable. Check out my ‘chicken bone experiment’ to demonstrate dental health to Marty Gonzalez, anchor of KRON 4 Weekend News. We all know that candy and sweets aren’t good for your teeth, but preventing tooth decay and preserving your aging teeth involve more than what NOT to eat…
Enamel Enemy No. 1
Your enamel is the hard outer layer on your teeth that protects them from harmful acids. Your teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. When sugars from the food you eat/drink mix together with plaque, acid is formed. SUGAR + PLAQUE = ACID
- Acids attack your teeth. Repeated attacks can cause the tooth enamel to break down (soften) which can lead to cavities. When acid levels in your mouth drop below 5.5 on the pH scale, tooth enamel begins to be destroyed.
- On the pH scale (a measure of acidity in chemistry), 1 is a strong acid and 7 is neutral.
Coca-Cola is More Acidic than Vinegar
Everyday food and drinks contain varying amounts of acid and sugar (an acid producer). Acids dissolve the calcium and minerals out of bones to make them soft. Similarly, the acids that attack your teeth can erode your enamel (by removing minerals from the enamel) making them susceptible to wear, pain and decay.
pH levels of the following drinks:
- Water = 7 (neutral)
- Milk = 6.8
- Fruit juices = 3.3 to 3.8
- Vinegar = 2.9
- Coca-Cola = 2.5 (with 9 1/3 teaspoons of added sugar in a 12-oz. can)
Foods that Build Strong Teeth
Foods that contain bone-building vitamins and minerals (e.g., magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D) will help you preserve your aging teeth.
Magnesium is an especially important mineral in strengthening aging teeth and bones, so include plenty of:
- Nuts, nut butters, seeds
- Dried beans, lentils, whole grains
- Green leafy vegetables. dried fruits
2. Calcium and Vitamin D
In general, dairy products are good sources, but non-dairy foods are also excellent sources of bone-building calcium. They include:
- Dark-green leafy green vegetables (e.g., kale, spinach, arugula, basil)
Pairings that Neutralize Acids
Foods that increase saliva production and neutralize acids will help keep your teeth healthy and strong. Pair acids in the following ways… Continue reading “KRON 4 | Save Your Smile with an Anti-Aging Dental Diet”
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Attention to your oral health is important for your overall health. How you care for your mouth, teeth and gums can affect the rest of your body.