Your Teeth - Your Health

Are your teeth and gums healthy? Their health may be an important indicator of your general health.
More and more research suggests that the same good health and nutritional practices that prevent cavities and gum disease may also keep you healthy and prevent other illnesses.

Research has shown that serious chronic health problems are often associated with dental caries, or cavities, and gum pathology. This connection is documented by a large number of recent studies performed after 1990. For example - poor mental health is associated with cavities [1-4]. In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, January 2008 [1], elderly individuals without dementia were found to have an average of only 2.7 fillings. Elderly individuals with dementia or Alzheimer's disease averaged 7.8 teeth with fillings.

A recent authoritative review showed a clear association between cavities, gum health and heart diseases [5}. Additionally, this same study reported that people with poor oral health, on average, lead shorter lives. Recent publications concerning Periodontal Disease and Your Heart
are listed by the American Association of Periodontology.

You can take this quiz to asses your risk of gum disease:
Gum Health Self-Assessment Quiz.

Connections between diabetes, as well as heart disease, and dental decay have been suspect for decades. Active, ongoing research [6-8] deals with the association between cavities and diabetes. While recent publications concerning Periodontal Disease and Diabetes are listed by the American Association of Periodontology.

A large number of scientists studying this relationship have proposed that diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates were common cause of these diseases [9-15].
Nutrition is suspect as a possible factor in heart disease, infectious respiratory diseases, dental diseases and mental diseases. These diseases can result, in part, from common failures in metabolism. When a deficiency of essential nutrients occurs, particularly vitamins D, C, and niacin, metabolic failures are inevitable.

The relationship between vitamin D deficiency and cavities is especially strong in dozens of studies conducted in the 1930's and 1940's [16-27]. More than 90% of the studies concluded that Vitamin D supplements prevented children's cavities.

Cancer, respiratory infections, diabetes, heart disease, and other ailments [29] are also linked to a Vitamin D deficiency. For example, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2008, indicated that compared to individuals with highest vitamin D levels, individuals with the lowest vitamin D levels had more than double the risk of dying from heart disease and other causes over an eight-year study period. Linus Pauling [15] reviewed evidence for vitamin C was and the evidence for niacin was described by Abram Hoffer [29].

Individuals who ensure their good levels of nutrition through balanced diet and nutrient supplements, in conjunction with good dental care, will have dramatically fewer cavities and gum problems than individuals who only receive good dental care.


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[2] J M Chalmers, K D Carter, A J Spencer. Caries incidence and increments in community-living older adults with and without dementia. Australian Research Center for Population Oral Health, Dental School, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, Australia. Gerodontology Volume 19 Issue 2, 80 – 94.
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