According to Delta Dental, a major dental insurance provider, new research suggests that:
- The health of our mouth mirrors the overall health of our body.
- In an article entitled “The Importance of Oral Health in Long-Term Care” in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, the authors tell us that “Emerging evidence has shown a strong link between the effects of chronic oral inflammation and general health. The mouth is the visible gateway to the rest of the body and reflects what is happening deep inside.”
- According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a direct relationship between gum disease and serious health conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
- Other research reveals that more than 90% of all systemic diseases—involving organs or the entire body—have manifestations in the mouth including ulcers, gum issues and dry mouth.
- “In fact,” according to the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association article mentioned above, “there are over 100 systemic diseases that have oral manifestations, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, respiratory infections, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, and nutritional problems.”
- Mouth infections can affect your organs. For example, people with heart disease or damaged heart tissue can experience inflammation of the heart and valves if they have bacterial endocarditis.
- Poor oral health can lead to other health problems including oral and facial pain. According to the Office of the Surgeon General, the pain may be attributable to gum infection and can lead to tooth loss.
- Digestion begins in the mouth, including how well we chew our food and chemical processes that begin to aid the digestion process. Problems in the mouth can trigger or worsen digestive disorders.
- Conversely, good oral health may prevent certain diseases from arising.
- Regular dentist visits are important because a good dentist can tell a lot about your overall health including whether you might be developing a disease like diabetes. In fact, because most people visit their dentist regularly, the dentist might be the first health practitioner to diagnose a health problem in its early stages.
So how can you optimize oral health?
Aside from regular dental visits, you should:
- Floss every day to remove plaque.
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily, but don’t use fluoridated toothpaste, even though it’s typically recommended by dentists and dental organizations. Hallelujah Diet recommends fluoride-free toothpaste with natural whiteners to promote healthy gums.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes vitamin A and vitamin C to prevent gum disease.
Can oral issues affect your immune system?
According to Hallelujah Diet’s Olin Idol, N.D., Vice President of Health, and Michael Donaldson, Director of Research, there are three problems that can affect our immune system’s ability to keep us well:
- Mercury. Millions of people still have amalgam fillings in their teeth composed of metals including mercury. Donaldson says: “Mercury is the most toxic element on Earth besides plutonium. How could it not harm you? Mercury is easily taken into the body, but it is difficult to remove. Its toxic effects are widespread throughout the body.” Idol says: “Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and has no place in the human body.”
Hal Huggins, D.D.S., states: “From the blood stream, mercury can travel to any cell in the body, where it can either disable or destroy the tissues. Mercury can also travel directly from the fillings into the lungs, into the blood stream and…every cell in the body becomes a valid target.”
If you have amalgam fillings and you want to have them replaced, bear in mind that few dentists “know how to do it in a way that protects themselves, their staff, and the patient,” warns Dr. Donaldson. So you’ll need to do your homework and find a holistic dentist experienced in amalgams extraction and replacement.
Also Dr. Donaldson says that the patient must be in good health before the procedure. He recommends “a clean diet full of fruits and vegetables, fresh vegetable juices and lots of fiber-containing food. The Hallelujah Diet would be very helpful here as the body is provided with the materials to restore function to impaired systems, especially the liver and kidneys.”
Also, amalgam replacement stirs up mercury so “it is important to keep detoxification pathways open and moving for the next few days,” says Donaldson. He recommends extra-purified water, fiber, light exercise, a few good doses of NDF—a blend of cilantro and chlorella— and vitamin C.
- Cavitations.Dr. Idol says that when wisdom teeth are extracted, the periodontal ligament is left in the jaw bone. “The bone heals over, encapsulating the decaying ligament in a small hole in the bone. Pathogenic bacteria develop…and continually intoxicate the body and stress the immune system.”
- Root canals. According to George Meinig, DDS, a single root-canalled tooth will have an estimated three miles of micro-canals, ample area for bacterial growth, which can’t be killed by antibiotics. The bacteria can work their way into the body and pose serious risk of degenerative diseases including cancer.
Most dentists are unable to detect cavitations and routine X-rays don’t detect cavitations or toxicity caused by root canals. Yet Dr. Huggins says that all cavitation (wisdom tooth removal) sites and root canal teeth harbor pathogenic bacteria.
The solution: Whether you’re worried about the potentially dangerous effects of mercury, extracted wisdom teeth or root canals, Dr. Idol recommends that you “seek out a knowledgeable, holistic mercury free dentist.”