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Dr. Oz talks about Periodontal (Gum) Disease and Total Health

I guess it’s because I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I confess that – until quite recently – I had absolutely no idea who this guy Dr. Oz is.  A friend recently told me that Dr. Oz has some really good material about dental health that can be shared, and since it’s sometimes easier to use someone else’s material instead of having to write it all from scratch myself  🙂 , I figured I’d check it out, and WOW!  I’m impressed!  It’s sad to say, but many physicians really have no idea about how the health of the mouth is connected to the rest of the body, and how valuable their dental colleagues can be in diagnosing a number of medical conditions.  Dr. Oz is definitely not one of them!  I’ll kick things off here with one of his articles.  I have added some bold italics for emphasis (all mine).

The Mouth as a Marker for Disease:

Added to Articles on Tue 09/29/2009
The eye might be a window to your soul, but the mouth is the door to disease. While it might be hard to make the connection between tooth loss and a heart attack, what goes on in your mouth can foreshadow many diseases.

Pocket Watch

One look inside the mouth will reveal that there are bacteria everywhere. For the most, part we cohabitate without a worry – but badly-behaving bacteria can collect in gum pockets to cause swelling, bleeding and bone loss that in turn can cause teeth to loosen and fall out.

People with gum disease (periodontal disease and gingivitis), may harbor up to 500 species of bacteria, and the proximity of that bacteria to the normally sterile bloodstream can be worrisome. Bacteria can enter small blood vessels, travel to other parts of the body and release toxins and trigger inflammatory chemicals that assault arteries and organs. Gum disease and tooth loss is now considered a harbinger for coronary artery disease, infective endocarditis, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, kidney disease and stroke. Periodontal bacteria have also been detected in the mouths and amniotic fluid of women who have experienced threatening premature labor, miscarriage and may contribute to low-birth weight.

Breath Tests

Breath can be telling too. More than 90% of the time bad breath (halitosis) emanates from bacteria living in gum pockets, under dentures and on the surface of the tongue. It is not only unpleasant to people close to you, but it may also be a clue to other medical conditions.

Oral cancers, lung cancer, certain leukemias and dry mouth syndromes such as Sjogren’s syndrome can cause bacterial overgrowth that contribute to bad breath. And sometimes a systemic disease produces distinct chemical odors:

  • Sweet or fruity odor may indicate uncontrolled diabetes
  • Mousy ammonia odor may indicate liver disease
  • Urine-like fishy odor may indicate chronic kidney failure
  • And fecal odor may indicate intestinal blockage.

To find out if you have foul-smelling breath, ask a truthful friend, or lick your hand and smell the saliva.

Tongue Tip-off

Changes in the tongue can also be a tip-off to disease. A pale, smooth, flattened and sometimes tender tongue can point to iron or vitamin B12 deficiency, a hallmark of the common blood disorder, iron-deficiency anemia. People with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis may notice tiny ulcers. If the tongue looks like a geographic map with areas of dark and light it may indicate an autoimmune disorder such as psoriasis or discoid lupus erythematosus. Recurrent episodes of white patches indicate thrush, an overgrowth of the yeast Candida, which may indicate diabetes. Strawberry red swollen tongue with a white coating and big red bumps is a symptom of Kawasaki disease.

Telling Teeth

Hairline cracks in the teeth can indicate tooth-grinding, the sleep disorder bruxism or mental stress. People with bulimia have enamel loss on their front teeth from the assault of stomach acid from repeated vomiting.

Keep Oral Traditions

Keeping up with a good program of oral hygiene and tending to dental and gum problems before they worsen is key to keeping mouths healthy. People with declining dexterity may need to make modifications that assure that good dental care continues. Electric toothbrushes, vibrating gum massagers and dental water jets can help. Routine dental visits are crucial, especially if you are planning to become pregnant or are facing a course of chemotherapy, which can reduce immunity against oral bacteria and cause mouth sores.

Here’s some help for halitosis, guidance for gums and tips for tooth care.

  • Investigate any changes in your oral health
  • Brush in the morning, at night and after meals with a soft toothbrush or African chew stick
  • Use a tongue scraper along the length of the tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria
  • Use an antiseptic mouth rinse
  • Floss between teeth and inside the crease where the gum and tooth meet
  • Keep well hydrated and avoid mouth breathing
  • Don’t smoke or be near someone smoking (that can cause smoker’s breath too!)
  • Try chewing on neem leaves, green cardamom, cloves, parsley, guava peels and gum mastic for breath control
  • Visit the dentist regularly
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July 13, 2010 - Posted by | Broken tooth, Bruxism & Parafunction, Bulimia, Cavities, Cracked tooth, GERD/Acid Reflux, Migraine headaches, News You Can Use, Periodontal (Gum) Disease, Sleep Apnea, Snoring | , , , ,

10 Comments »

  1. […] Dr. Oz talks about Periodontal (Gum) Disease and Total Health « Smiles by Payet Dentistry &#82… […]

    Pingback by Get Six Pack Abs | Bad Breath Troubles? | July 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. Re: Bad breath I had it for about 18 years. I was Ms. unpopular. For a long time I was thinking my life was not worth living. I didn’t think to read about it on the web until one day a person I didn’t even know told me I had really bad breath and said she had it once too and told me to check online for a site called badbreathcure.com.au as it worked to cure her bad breath. I was thinking how nice she was as most people just hold their nose and walk away from me. Anyway I followed badbreathcure.com.au advice and after a week I noticed my tongue started turning red and the bad taste was gone from my mouth. I started noticing people had stopped holding their nose and trying to get away from me. A few months later I bumped into her again. I told her I used her advice and thought it worked, she asked me to breath out in to her face while she smelt it and she is like smiling and said my breaths is fresh now. I hugged her, I didn’t tell her what I was thinking just a few months earlier, but her and that site was a life saver to me. Don’t let bad breath ruin your life like it tried to do to me. Another site I found useful is homebadbreathtest.com it shows you how to test your breath without leaving home. When I asked my Doctor who is an EMT bacterial researcher about the site he said it’s the oral research laboratories and there are 3 websites publishing the monthly reports from Oraltech Labs. I said why didn’t he tell me before? He said I didn’t ask him, which was true. He said all bad breath sufferers should visit http://www.badbreathcure.com.au and http://www.homebadbreathtest.com or http://www.oraltech.com.au as his clients (including me) report very good oral health outcomes after following their advice. Anyway I Hope this helps you, Jenny Wilson, SD.

    Comment by Jenny Wilson | July 14, 2010 | Reply

  3. If you have gum disease make sure to do a search for LANAP an FDA cleared laser procedure that reverses gum disease.

    Comment by LANAP | July 14, 2010 | Reply

  4. Chip is this your site I thought it was Dr. Oz’s?

    Well done!

    Comment by LANAP | July 14, 2010 | Reply

  5. Thanks, guys! Yes, this is my first blog, but since it is not easy to come up with fully original material all the time, I decided to piggy-back on some other really good people, too. 🙂 I always make sure to give credit, though!

    Come to think of it, I need to put Dr. Gregg’s videos on here, too, from all his news interviews.

    Comment by Dr. Charles Payet | July 14, 2010 | Reply

  6. Great post Chip! Terrific Fresh Breath Advice you’ve shared.

    That Dr. Oz is a brilliant guy and a fabulous communicator. He provides great advice on so many topics. I’m not surprised his dental advice was leading edge.

    Joe 🙂
    http://www.RoyalYorkDental.com

    Comment by Dr Joe @ Toronto Dentist Blog | July 17, 2010 | Reply

  7. Great idea, but will this work over the long run?

    Comment by ingyenes rulett | July 21, 2010 | Reply

  8. Discover The Best San Francisco Dentist…

    I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    Trackback by Laser Beauty Cosmetics | Skin Care | Weight Loss | July 26, 2010 | Reply

  9. I bleed a little my upper gum somtime’ I think it happens wen I get xcited
    Is it normal?

    Comment by Hass1 | September 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Wow, your gums bleed a little just when you get excited? No…….that is definitely NOT normal. In fact, your gums should NEVER bleed unless you accidentally cut them. Healthy gums are pink, firm, and do not bleed.

      Do your gums also bleed when you brush and floss? If they do, even if you do so regularly, then that is definitely something to be concerned about, and you should call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. Let me know if you have any other questions or need some help locating a dentist.

      Comment by Dr. Charles Payet | September 16, 2010 | Reply


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