Put Your Heart & Mind in Your Mouth

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Continuing on with September HEART HEALTH AWARENESS month I would like to highlight the ORAL HEALTH AWARENESS aspect – Oral care also being a focal point for the month of SEPTEMBER.

The Connection Between Oral Health & Systemic Disease

It’s not news that there is a significant link between one’s oral health and overall health. Though studies are ongoing, researchers have known for quite some time that the mouth is connected to the rest of the body. Your mouth is the entry point of many bacteria,

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth, and is caused by plaque-forming bacteria in your mouth.

Study after study has shown that people who have poor oral health (such as gum disease or tooth loss) have higher rates of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack or stroke than people with good oral health.

Why would cardiovascular disease and poor oral health be connected?

A number of theories have been proposed, including:

• The bacteria that infect the gums and cause gingivitis and periodontis also travel to blood vessels elsewhere in the body where they cause blood vessel inflammation and damage; tiny blood clots, heart attack and stroke may follow. Supporting this idea is the finding of remnants of oral bacteria within atherosclerotic blood vessels far from the mouth. Then again, antibiotic treatment has not proven effective at reducing cardiovascular risk.

• Rather than bacteria causing the problem, it’s the body’s immune response – inflammation – that sets off a cascade of vascular damage throughout the body, including the heart and brain.

• There may be no direct connection between gum disease and cardiovascular disease; the reason they may occur together is that there is a 3rd factor (such as smoking) that’s a risk factor for both conditions. Other potential “confounders” include poor access to healthcare and lack of exercise.

BALANCED HEALING can assist by screening the body to assess overall health status and recommend a suitable lifestyle programme to reduce inflammation & infection. We work in collaboration with a holistic oral hygienist for further diagnosis and treatment.

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