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Stop Gum Disease From Causing Heart Disease

February 23, 2010

In honor of American Heart Health month, practitioner Dr. Boehm, DDS explains the connection between gum disease and heart health and offers tips for gum health that will keep heart problems at bay. Brushing and flossing is not just about teeth and gums anymore.  It's about raising awareness of the potential for bacterial penetration of our vascularsystem. Gum disease is caused by a number of things.  There are always bacteria present in the mouth with the potential to create the gum disease state, but how the body reacts to their presence may be the most important thing. If gum disease is left unchecked, the invading bacteria and their toxic by-products have access to anywhere they would like to go within our body through our blood delivery system. If this happens there can be lethal effects on muscle, lymphatic, heart, brain and every other differentiated human cell type.  Turning this potent killer loose on your heart or brain tissue can certainly cause havoc and lead to scar tissue formation, arteriosclerosis, and hypertension over time. This puts added burden on the kidneys and the heart muscle itself.  Over a couple decades if the vascular damage cannot be corrected, renal failure, stroke, heart attack, and quite possibly death can be the result. To prevent such a catastrophic result on the vascular system, Dr. Boehm offers the following tips for preventing gum disease:

On the hygiene front, brush 2-3 minutes at least twice daily, and preferably with an electric toothbrush
Floss daily going lightly in an up/down direction making sure to get under the gum line to break up the anaerobes where they love to hide.
For gum disease sufferers, a Waterpik on low pressure can be a great thing to flush out problem areas and place medicaments where they can be of best benefit.  
See your dentist at least twice annually.
Eat a diet of as much organic whole, raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds with small amounts of meat, fish, and poultry and limit processed foods.
If supplements are needed, and often times are, try these for starters: vitamin C, vitamin E, and CoQ10 are all powerful anti-oxidants that are very useful in our cardiovascular system and in gingival tissue, either diseased or healthy.