Food is the Best Medicine for Gum Disease and Gum Care
And A Wholesome Diet Is Also Good for the Brain
Gum disease can be elusive. By the time symptoms appear, the disease is already advanced. It is estimated that as much as 80% of the population is affected by gum disease, signs of which can range from simple bleeding gums to sore, loose teeth. What does gum disease have to do with stress, inflammation and intestinal permeability, commonly known as leaky gut?
The modern day American diet and environmental toxicity, when combined with our stressful lifestyle, has increased our level of inflammation. This affects the body’s ability to self-regulate and function optimally. One of the first things affected by stress is our gut or intestines, but it doesn’t stop there. Once the gut lining is inflamed, then other systems often follow suit, including organs, hormones, the immune system, and the brain. Keep in mind that approximately 50% of our immune production is contained within the gut lining.
The impact of a leaky gut on brain functions happens via the connection through the vagus nerve, which regulates intestinal blood flow and immune activation. Secretion of hormones from the hypothalamus is also involved. Numerous studies have shown that disturbed neural regulation, inflammation and/or trauma along what is known as the brain/gut axis will disregulate both systems. At some point, this inflammatory condition will affect the gums as well.
One root cause of intestinal permeability is traumatic stress of any type. Any impactful event with life-changing consequences can be a stressor of such magnitude that it causes the gut to lose its ability to function properly. Examples of this may include loss of a job, death or injury or a loved one and divorce. Commonplace yet significant events like childbirth or changing residences can be traumatic enough on a cellular level to cause the tight junctions of the intestines to weaken and loosen, thus allowing through substances that can become immune triggers. This is one way that the cycle of leaky gut begins, which may impact the signs and symptoms of gum disease.
Dr. Carey O’Rielly is a holistic dentist in San Diego, California who truly understands and practices the tenets of holistic health, both as a practitioner and in his personal life. His remarkable knowledge of the field came about through years of study and experience, initiated by his own work-related health challenges.