If your health goals include avoiding chronic debilitating medical conditions as you age, then understanding the impact of your oral health, on your general health, should be very important to you.
Over the last decade, medical research has uncovered some very strong causal relationships between bacterial plaque that forms in and around your teeth, and several serious medical conditions. Bacterial plaque is a combination of bacteria, food particles, and saliva. It’s the toxins that these bacteria leave behind that cause both gum disease and tooth decay.
In the short term, these toxins cause inflammation in your gums- which is reversible. But over time, more destructive forms of bacteria invade the plaque and these toxins break down the bone that supports your teeth. This is called periodontitis. We now know that these bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause inflammation throughout the rest of your body.
Why is this alarming? Because inflammation damages your cardiovascular system and increases your risk for heart attack, stroke, and blood vessel disease, from 6 to 10 times more than that of a healthy individual. It also accelerates the degeneration people experience from diabetes, as well as dementia.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve discovered that inflammation in your body contributes to all sorts of medical conditions from arthritis, all the way to autoimmune diseases. So whatever you can do to reduce inflammation in your body, will reduce your risk of having these problems in the future. So, what can you do to reduce inflammation? Well here’s the good news- plenty!
How to Reduce Inflammation
The first thing you can do is make sure that your oral health is excellent by seeking routine dental visits, and brushing and flossing daily. Dental gum disease isn’t the only form of inflammation, but it’s a really big one.
Next, you can reduce refined sugars in your diet, sugar is poison. It is a major contributor to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease as well as dental disease. You should also avoid tobacco and reduce your alcohol intake.
Third, you can eat a diet that’s high in fruits, nuts, vegetables, and healthy fats, and low in refined, carbohydrates, and preservatives. You should also supplement your diet with fish oil and krill oil, as these are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which silence inflammation in your body.
And lastly, exercise, saunas, and cold therapy have all been shown to reduce inflammation in your body. We recommend finding some activity that you enjoy doing and do it! Better yet, Find a friend and do it with them and do it every day because exercise reduces stress and reduced stress reduces inflammation