Modern medicine has made leaps and bounds in finding cures for many different conditions and diseases. Scientists and agencies spend billions of dollars on funding research into device-focused treatment options that will eliminate symptoms and treat illnesses, but very little is done to delve into the root causes of our problems. Thankfully, when we get sick, we can usually choose from many different courses of action to take, from therapy to medication to surgeries and more.
But wouldn’t it be far better if we could prevent ourselves from getting sick in the first place? Wouldn’t it be better if we knew what caused certain diseases and could avoid them and stay healthy?
Proper oral care can help prevent heart attacks
Did you know that according to researchers, 50% of today’s heart attacks are caused by oral (dental) infections? The plaque on your teeth eventually affects the plaque in your arteries. The bacteria in gum disease cause cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease causes heart attacks and strokes. This means that with proper daily oral care and regular checkups with your dentist, you can reduce your risk of suffering a heart attack by 50%. Especially for those with a family history of heart disease, that’s huge.
Prevention gets little attention; cure gets a lot
When it comes to our everyday lives, we’re always trying to minimize our risk factors. We design cars with accident sensors and airbags to help us avoid accidents and we buckle our seatbelts as soon as we get in to minimize serious injuries in case of a crash. We invest in all kinds of safety devices for our children, but the primary focus has always been on finding the cure after the fact when it comes to our overall health and well-being.
Medicine has many “cures” for illnesses — heart transplants, lung transplants, heart valve replacements, coronary bypasses, stents, shunts, incubators for preterm babies, joint replacements for rheumatoid arthritis, and dozens of other remedies. These procedures take place after the disease has done its damage. These are not preventive procedures; they’re corrective procedures. The thing is: If you don’t get the condition in the first place, you don’t need the cure.
Can we really prevent disease?
Absolutely! Preventing oral disease helps prevent cardiovascular disease, thereby minimizing heart attacks, strokes, diabetes complications, pregnancy complications, and even Alzheimer’s Disease.
The mouth is the entryway into the body. Unless you have open wounds, the majority of bacteria and other toxins that destroy your health enter your body through your mouth.
A diseased mouth usually doesn’t register any pain. Ninety percent of oral infections don’t hurt, but 100% of infections produce pus, which either drains out where you can see it, or it drains into your body and you may never know it’s there. If it drains into your body, your bloodstream absorbs it and carries it to the heart, which pumps this dangerous pus throughout your entire body.
Pus contains harmful bacteria, dead tissue debris, dead white blood cells, inflammatory proteins, and other dangerous toxins. You don’t have to be a doctor to recognize that pus running through your arteries isn’t healthy. When this pus runs through your circulatory system for weeks, months, years, and even decades, it can have intensely detrimental effects.
Any body that experiences 10–20 years of purulent exudate (pus) coursing through it will face negative consequences. The bacteria and toxins in pus affect your arteries, including your coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle, and carotid arteries, which supply blood to your brain. It can affect your pancreas, which produces insulin, and may even be deposited into the brain, leading to Alzheimer’s Disease.
Are you ready to prevent disease?
Fortunately, we have lots of information on how to prevent oral diseases and can actively reduce risk factors for myriad other conditions as well. Working with your dentist to devise a simple daily oral care routine that includes brushing, flossing, and a healthy diet can do wonders for your mouth and go a long way toward keeping your entire body healthy.
Dentists are not usually thought of as heroes, but they should be. They have the skill and knowledge necessary to prevent a multitude of diseases; they can help protect us and our families for years to come.