From the most ancient medicine practices to our modern world, it has been understood and acknowledged that your mouth is the gateway to your body.
And so, the state of your oral health can directly impact the level of your overall health.
First, there is the simplicity that without proper and adequate nutrition you body’s health suffers, immune systems weaken, energy levels drop and your risk of disease, illness and injury increases. In real terms, nutrition enters via the mouth and the digestive process starts in your oral cavity. Broken or missing teeth, diseased gums, bacterial imbalances and so forth, all contribute to impaired nutritional uptake.
Second, there is clear evidence that illness in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body. As bacterial by-products and toxins accumulate, particularly in the gums, they can pass into the blood system. While there are other mechanisms at play, medical studies and research have linked many body ills to oral health disease. These include:
Third, there are the obvious problems associated with poor oral health. Tooth decay is not only painful, it is very expensive to repair. Extensive tooth loss is more prevalent than you might think with 25% of all Americans over the age of 65 having lost ALL OF THEIR TEETH. Talk to any one that wears false teeth, it is not a fun life.
Fourth, a healthy mouth is one of your immune systems front-line defenses against numerous infections. In fact, numerous studies have shown the significant effectiveness of the beneficial bacteria found in oral probiotics to fight off ear-nose-throat infections. Reductions in sore throats in test groups of children were as high as 90% plus compared to those children not receiving oral probiotics… pretty impressive results indeed.
BAD BREATH, A VERY COMMON AND UNPLEASANT PROBLEM
And while perhaps not a strict health issue, chronic bad breath is a major problem for millions of people. Just in the States alone, 65% of Americans have bad breath–this translates to over 40 million Americans that have “chronic halitosis,” meaning persistent bad breath.
Aside from the social negatives, this is not a cheap problem either. For example, in America consumers spend over $1 billion annually on over-the-counter bad breath remedies. This is especially expensive in view of the fact that these are quite ineffective for the most part as they simply mask the problem.
As the primary source of this stink is the overgrowth and imbalance of bacteria found in the rear of the mouth (a secondary source is bacterial gases and decay found in unhealthy gums and gum pockets) simply covering it up doesn't do the job in the long haul.
Antibacterial products/mouthwashes are only temporary solutions as bacteria starts growing back very, very quickly. And while we all need a temporary "breath fix" from time to time, the ongoing use of antibacterial products can actually worsen the problem over time by encouraging further bacterial imbalances in your mouth.
THE SURGEON GENERAL CALLS THIS THE "SILENT EPIDEMIC"
"The first-ever Surgeon General's report on oral health identifies a "silent epidemic" of dental and oral diseases that burdens some population groups and calls for a national effort to improve oral health among all Americans. The report, commissioned by Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala, also focuses on the relationship between oral health and overall good health throughout life; the mouth as a "mirror for general health and well-being and the association between oral heath problems and other health problems."
"Oral diseases and craniofacial disorders are linked to total health and well-being throughout life"
Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.