The teeth and gums serve essential roles in the human body. The mouth is responsible for ingesting food, the teeth break that food down to provide fuel, and occasionally the entire area is used to catch random objects for the delight of strangers.
Not properly caring for the mouth, teeth, and gums could lead to a myriad of health problems in life, and not just oral health issues.
“The mouth is the gateway to a person’s health and well-being,” says Dr. Sanda Moldovan, a periodontist, nutritionist and the author of HEAL UP! Seven Ways To Faster Healing And Optimum Health. Dr. Moldovan is an award-winning board-certified periodontist and nutritionist with practices in Beverly Hills and Manhattan.
Recent studies link poor oral health with the increased risk of heart disease, respiratory infections, diabetes, cancer and patients diagnosed with a periodontal disease face a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.
Controlling the toxin levels in the mouths is vital. Bacteria and infections in the mouth can travel throughout the body and lead to major health issues. Dr. Moldovan points out the four factors that affect toxicity and could be creating a “ticking time bomb” inside your mouth.
Mouth Risk #1 – Toxic bacteria: “Fusobacterium, a common bacterium that causes periodontal disease, was recently linked to colon and esophageal cancer,” Moldovan says. “Porphyromonas gingivalis, a pathogen in chronic periodontitis, has been found to be associated with atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Sugar feeds toxic bacteria. The healthier we eat, and the less sugar we eat, the more friendly bacteria we promote.”
Mouth Risk #2 – Mercury: “Silver dental fillings can contain up to 50 percent mercury, a neurotoxin. Research shows high levels of mercury can cause damage to the lungs, immune system, brain, kidney, and heart. Some people may experience toxicity symptoms such as headaches, blurry vision, fatigue and muscle weakness. When we remove one of these fillings, it becomes significantly more toxic, as odorless gas is released that can be easily inhaled. It’s of utmost importance that the dentist takes safety measures to minimize the toxic mercury gas in the air during removal.”
Mouth Risk #3 – Medications: “The most common oral side effect I see in my patients taking antidepressants, as well as other medications, is dry mouth.The rate of cavities exponentially increases when there’s a lack of saliva. If dry mouth isn’t addressed, some cavities can get deep under the gums and teeth cannot be saved. Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles.”
Mouth Risk #4 – Toothpaste ingredients: “Among the toxic chemicals in toothpaste is triclosan. I’ve seen many of my patients react to this antibacterial ingredient. Sloughing and red gums are common. Another is Cocamidopropyl Betaine, which was named allergen of the year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. These get absorbed through the thin layer of mucosa in the mouth.”
“There are lots of ways for toxins to enter your mouth and grow into a problem,” Moldovan says. “But with knowledge and good, consistent oral practices, controlling the bacteria and toxin levels in your mouth is doable, and it can go a long way toward preventing bigger health issues.”