"A smile will gain you ten more years of life." - Chinese proverb
These words were written countless centuries ago, yet today they ring more true than ever. The links between oral health and overall health are being established on a near daily basis and the implications are astounding! Imagine if by simply brushing and flossing regularly, you were able to prevent a heart attach? We may not be there quite yet; however, a definitive connection has been established between gum disease and heart disease, diabetes and pregnancy complications. And while the research moves forward, what we are learning today is that a healthy smile truly may add ten years to your life!
It All Begins With Plaque
At the root of this research frenzy is something that scientists refer to as bio-film. If the word "bio-film" renders images of horror films or sci-fi scream fests, then you aren't far off. In real life, biofilm is the sticky, colorless film that develops on teeth and is more commonly known as plaque. It is this complex reef-like substance that build up over time, setting the stage for gum disease and potentially leading to life-threatening health problems.
Gum disease is also referred to as periodontal disease and encompasses the various stages of the disease, including gingivitis and periodontists. "Periodontal" literally translates to "around the tooth".
It is estimated that 80% of all American adults have some form of gum disease. Smoking, genetics, stress, medications, (including oral contraceptives. anti-depressants and certain heart medications), pregnancy, clenching or grinding your teeth, poor nutrition, diabetes and other systemic diseases have all been implicated as risk factors for the disease.
When The Problem Becomes Systemic
The link between gum disease and systemic disease is at the center of a number of ongoing studies. What we currently know is that definitive links do exist between gum disease and heart disease, diabetes and pregnancy complications. Currently researchers are examining the possibilities that either inflammation, bacteria or a combination of the two are at the heart of the link between gum disease and other health problems.
5 Steps to a Health and Beautiful Smile
To learn more about keeping your mouth healthy, buy a copy of my book "Be PerfectlyHealthy" by visiting: http://www.perfectlyhealthy.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=BE-Perfectly-Healthy-Book.