Recently I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with someone very dear to my heart. Dear, because he feels the same passion for his message (maybe even a bit more) that I do for mine. The health of your mouth directly affects the health of the rest of your body!
But the one thing that Dr. Chris Kammer has is the Gumption to create a committee of people in dentistry who all feel the same way that we do; the oral health of the general population is in the trash, and the profession of dentistry is doing little to talk about the issue, treat the disease and teach the individuals the hidden dangers of gum disease…..yes gum disease is the most common infection in the world (1).
Old news, new news and not so good news
The funny (or not so funny) part about what I am sharing with you today, is that this information is not new news, it’s just news that has been brushed aside by both the medical and dental profession for so long that unless you encounter someone who is wound up enough about the current health trend in this country to make a difference, than you are likely not to hear too much about it.
Now I’m sure if you have visited the dentist recently (unfortunately in 2010 only 37% of the US adult population did), you may have been told at least a few things……something that sounds like “you know, you really should be flossing more”, or “we are going to need to see you sooner than 6 months so that we can get your disease under control”, or my favorite one…..”You know, you really should be using a Sonicare, or Listerine, or Colgate Total etc”.
But the problem with all of these blanket statements is that they leave you in a position where you are not able to learn the extent of daily trauma that your body is experiencing due to the bacteria that are building up every day in your mouth, and acting like a ticking time bomb…..
Disease causing bacteria runs rampant in the mouth
Yes, the disease causing bacteria in our mouths is the number one silent killer in our body, and there are very few doctors, dentists and hygienists out there who are stepping up to the plate and helping to change the face of health and how we help the general population become self aware and motivated toward self healing. We are stuck in a band-aid “take a pill and call me in a few days if it is still bothering you” mentality, and if we as a nation and a profession ever want to get healthy, we need to break free from this model.
2 years ago, the burning desire to help the general population understand the elephant in the room pulled me from clinical dental hygiene onto the internet and pounding the pavement talking to whoever would hear me out. Since then, I have developed a web site based on natural products (vs the chemical laden ones that line the oral health isle of the store) and another website site based on the “how to” aspect of caring for your teeth and gums…because from the clinician side of the chair, I saw time and time again, that this is where the biggest disconnect is; and after spending 10 years as a substitute hygienist I found a pattern.
People were showing up to dental offices for cleanings, and were either scolded about what they “should be doing” (ie flossing), they were told they needed deep cleanings or that they needed to come in more often and have their teeth cleaned, but they weren’t being taught “how to” use the products that were being recommended to them, and they certainly weren’t being informed (nicely and compassionately) about what the bacteria in their mouth was doing to the rest of their body, and how they could learn to control that bacteria.
Forging ahead, making a difference and changing the way we save lives
I’m happy to know that there are more crazies out there like me, and I am proud to share Dr. Kammers message with you: This week we feature him on our blog, on our radio show and on our YouTube channel in effort to make his voice stronger than it already is…oh, and that committee I told you about in the beginning of this article is called the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH) and its main purpose is to identify and help treat this silent killer, which is largely being brushed over….no pun intended.
Below are a few current day statistics. We thank http://wholehealthdentalcenter.com for the following information.
Periodontal (gum) disease is the most common infection in the world (1). It is painless, looks red, and bleeds easily.
Heart and periodontal diseases are linked by INFLAMMATION, and these Oral-Systemic research findings:
- Heart attack clots contain bacteria that is produced only in the gums (3)
- Higher Blood Pressure is linked to higher load of bacteria in the gums(4)
- Inflammation in carotid and plaque is strongly correlated (5)
- Repeat heart attacks and strokes are linked to gum disease (6)
- A specific plaque bacteria P gingivalis is a significant predictor for acute heart attack. P gingivalis is created in mature dental plaque that has built up in the mouth. (7)
(1) Guinness Book of World Records
(2) National Center for Health Statistics: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db99.htm
(3) Ohki, et. al, Am Heart J. 2012 Feb;163(2):164-7
(4) Moı̈se Desvarieux, et. al. Journal of Hypertension 2010, 28:1413–1421
(5) Tawakol, et. al, J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57(8):971-976
(6) Dorn, et al, Journal of Periodontology, April 2010, Vol. 81, No. 4, 502-511
(7) Stein, et. al, J. Periodontology 10/2009; 80:1581-1589.