Image of Facial Expressions-Tooth And Gum Problems Are No Laughing Matter

Tooth And Gum Problems Are No Laughing Matter
Image courtesy of
and Craig Sommer DDS at

Are Death Rates Higher For Diseased Mouths?

Really?  Is it that serious? Are Tooth And Gum Problems Slowly Killing You?

According to doctor Michael Roizen, MD, an Emory University study showed the death rate for those individuals with gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (inflammation of the bone around the teeth) is 23 to 46 percent higher than those individuals with healthier mouths. In the next few paragraphs I will explain how this serious condition spreads it’s effects throughout your body.  Gum disease related inflammation is associated with 7 of the top nine leading causes of death in the U.S.  This list includes: heart disease, cancer, lower respiratory diseases, strokes, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, pneumonia and kidney disease.

Good Dental Health Is Often The Difference Between Success And A Dead-end Job.

If that’s not enough, dental diseases can make your life, in the meantime, totally miserable.  It’s not just toothaches, and bad breath. Imagine how missing teeth or giant cavities affect self esteem, confidence in dating or job interviews and customer conversations. I can often hear the lack of confidence and hesitancy over the phone.

You might not be reading this unless you understood, or at least expected that some connection existed. Keep your teeth and gums healthy; add years to your life. Why is that?

There are a number of reasons based on evidence that is becoming more and more convincing. Evidence that points to inflammation being behind almost every major age related degenerative disease process known to man.

Inflammation, that when it occurs in other parts of your body is frequently visible as evidenced by changes occurring right in your mouth, affecting your teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue.


Get Your Teeth And Gums Back Into Good Shape.

This series of articles is a summary of virtually everything you need to know to get your gums back into good shape. It is a simplified inflammation reduction program for your mouth, and is what I have used to coach my patients over more than 30 years.

This program is not for everybody.  If you think everything is wonderful, your breath never smells, your gums never bleed, your teeth are bright and beautiful and they will last forever with little effort on your part, then this series is definitely not for you.

But if you have occasional bad breath, a few stains on your teeth, an occasional trace of pink on your toothbrush or floss because your gums bleed once in a while, then invest a few minutes and learn what few dentists have time to teach you. It could save you a lifetime of grief.


How Healthy Are Your Teeth And Gums Today?

You have to start with what you have today. You may have as many as 32 teeth, which is the normal number of teeth most adults have.  Or 28 teeth, if you did not have room for the full set and you’ve had wisdom teeth removed. Or even fewer perhaps, as a result of accidents, decay, gum disease or genetics.  Well formed teeth, that are kept clean and are solidly and ideally positioned in the jaw, can serve you for a lifetime.

When I see individuals of 100 or more years of age that have all of their teeth, it is not a surprise that they have been relatively healthy all of their lives. Were they so healthy that they were able to keep their teeth? Or as a result of keeping their teeth healthy they maintained good overall health?

I maintain that my healthiest patients have been the ones with the healthiest teeth and gums. And my healthiest older patients are also the ones with the greatest number of healthy teeth remaining. I am convinced again, everyday, that keeping your teeth and gums healthy will help to extend your life.


Healthy Teeth Allow You To Make Choices Regarding What You Choose To Eat.

Healthy teeth allow you to make choices regarding what you choose to eat. Whenever possible your dentist will try to protect your remaining teeth and offer you replacement opportunities for missing teeth that are most suitable for you.

Since diet has been at the root of health for many years, it is not a surprise that eating the right things and avoiding the wrong ones is important for health and longevity. By the way, I do not subscribe to the successive US government-endorsed food pyramids, the newest iteration of which is now being called “My Plate”. More on government recommendations later.


What Kinds Of Foods Are You Being Forced To Eat?

When you are missing teeth or you find it painful to eat, you will choose foods generally that are not nearly as healthy as the ideal. Since this is not exclusively a diet program, I am going to focus primarily on helping you keep your teeth so you can eat more healthy foods, if you so choose, for a long time to come.

Take a look around at who is eating what types of foods in a chain restaurant or cafeteria setting. You may notice one group of individuals eating entirely from the “soft food section” offerings.  The macaroni and cheese, puddings, mashed potatoes, cream pies and whipped vegetables. These are the baby food consistency entrees and side dishes. Babies don’t have teeth. Do those folks look healthy? Are tooth and gum problems slowly killing you? Let’s put the brakes on,  slow down and stop the deterioration.


Make Your First Steps On The Road To Recovery.

This might very well be where you find yourself headed with restricted eating as a result of missing or painful teeth.  My goal is to get you started on the road to recovery, showing you what steps to take that will enhance your life and that may extend it as well.

The first steps to address will be ones of awareness and assessment, discovering where you are today. So let’s get started with a few evaluation steps in the article entitled: “Want Healthy Teeth And Gums? Where Are You Today?”