Brush Your Teeth Like Your Life Depends On It

Individuals who wear dentures do not have to worry about oral-systemic interconnections; true or false?

You would think since there are no teeth, gum disease cannot possibly take place. The answer is false.

There are, however, the direct effects of the bacteria in the mouth on the vascular system. Even without the teeth and the sub-gingival (under the gums) environment, bacteria exist and thrive in the mouth. As determined by bacterial DNA analysis through saliva diagnostics, these harmful bacteria are present in the mouth of individuals who wear dentures.

These environments conducive for bacterial growth exist o the tissue side of complete dentures, in the tonsillar region, and on the back of the tongue, especially when there is post-nasal drip. Even in the absence of teeth, meticulous oral hygiene should be practiced as if the patient’s life depended on it.

Patients with any level of gum disease, including and most importantly gingivitis (bleeding gums), should be doing something different at home.

With these patients, the bacteria load is higher than their immune systems can handle.

The gingival (gums) health of anyone is a direct reflection of the effectiveness of his or her oral hygiene efforts.

It would be very advantageous for all physicians, dentists and patients alike to think about bacteria and their endotoxins are traveling around the body, potentially living in arterial walls, including coronary and cerebral arteries.

If physicians and dentists could eliminate the significant risk factors for cardiovascular events as simply and inexpensively as tooth brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antibacterial oral care system on a daily basis, our health care system will be in much better shape.

I advise my patients to practice excellent oral hygiene like their lives depend on it, because they do.

* Reprinted from Your Health Magazine, February 2016