Gum Disease and Health - Introduction
Effects of Gum Disease on Health
Oral health can no longer be separated from overall health. Unless you are free of dental disease, particularly gum disease, you can never be healthy. Everything I will say in this section on Dental Disease & Health Risks will hinge on that fact. I’m not talking about decay, or losing a tooth, or teeth. That is bad enough but gum disease can increase the risk and severity of many more serious health problems. Thus, you must be clear about this; the effect of dental disease on overall health is far more serious than its relationship to oral health issues. In fact, moderate to severe gum disease can actually reduce your life-expectancy.
But before I get into the specific relationship of dental disease to overall health I will briefly review the major keys to health and longevity. There are a number of factors related to the study of optimal health and longevity that almost everyone will recognize. Some of the more common factors include:
- A healthy diet;
- Intelligent nutritional supplementation;
- Elimination of harmful substances, such as tobacco, alcohol, and drugs;
- Stress reduction;
- Exercise; and
- A healthy emotional, mental, and spiritual life.
Oral and Overall Health: Making Intelligent Decisions
Every proponent of health understands the relationship between these factors and a healthy life-style; without a doubt they are all important. However, there is another factor missing from this list, one which plays a substantial role in optimal health and longevity. This factor is the elimination of dental disease and its harmful effect on the overall health of the body.
If you are to make intelligent decisions about your overall health you will need to understand:
- How dental /oral disease, amalgam fillings, and dental materials can affect overall health;
- Why these issues are so important in regard to health and longevity; and
- How to utilize your dentist, physician, or other health professional, to help determine the most effective treatment options for those health problems that are related to dental disease.
You will also discover that if dental disease is not acknowledged as an obstacle to achieving overall health, any efforts to treat other existing diseases, improve health, and extend life will not be effective and will fall short of desired goals.