So what is gum disease or periodontal disease?
In a healthy mouth, your gums are firmly attached to your teeth by what is called the periodontal, ligament. Periodontal means around the tooth. The attachment is strong and tight enough to prevent any germs or their toxins from getting through, and any body fluids from getting out. You can usually recognize when you have a healthy gum attachment because your gums will be pink, firm, and never bleed or hurt with routine brushing, flossing, or when chewing food.
Unfortunately, not everyone has healthy gums. Even if you see your dentist or dental hygienist regularly, you may eventually be told that you have gum disease. Since gum disease is usually painless, finding out that you have gum disease may come as a surprise.
The traditional explanation for gum disease is that several different types of germs cause gum disease. Your gums become infected with these various germs. The first, or earliest stage of gum disease, is called gingivitis.You can read more about gingivitis on the Stages of Gum Disease page on this website. When you have gingivitis, your gums are inflamed at the gum line, but they are still attached to your teeth. Later, the germs cause your gums to detach from your teeth, which creates a gum pocket filled with plaque, germs and tartar. Dental plaque is a germ laden soft deposit that accumulates on your teeth and in the gum pocket. Tarter is hardened or calcified dental plaque. Now you have the more common form of gum disease called periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is typically chronic, meaning it usually exists for years before it is detected. During this time, the germs from the plaque can spread deeper by penetrating into the bone around your teeth, eventually destroying much of the bone underneath the gums and the connection of your gums to your teeth. If nothing is done to change the conditions that result in gum disease, you can eventually lose one or more teeth, or end up with a painful gum abscess.
How do you really get gum disease or periodontal disease?
Now let’s look at gum disease from a holistic viewpoint. As already described above, gum disease appears to be caused by germs. Some germs are good – for example, you need lots of special bacteria called probiotics in your gut to remain healthy. Some germs seem to be bad because, under the right circumstances, they can make you sick. Most people think of viruses and yeasts organisms as bad germs because they believe these germs are the cause of a particular disease, like gum disease. In truth, you are always the “cause” of your gum disease because you let the so called bad germs infect and hurt you. Blaming the germs for gum disease is an easy way to avoid responsibility for the health of your gums.
How can this be possible? How are you the cause for your gum disease?
The answer is simple. In order to establish themselves in your body, germs that appear to “cause” infections, including gum disease, need an already weakened, vulnerable immune system and an acidic body environment. Under these conditions, your immune system is unable to cope with the germs in the plaque on your teeth. The result is that the germs are able to infect your gums and you become susceptible to all the unpleasant consequences of gum disease.
How do you allow your body to become acidic? How do you create a weakened immune system?
You make your whole body state acidic and you undermine the strength and ability of your immune system to function effectively when you don’t exercise enough, and when you make unhealthy diet choices such as eating too many packaged and processed foods and not enough fresh, raw, organic foods – unless you adequately compensate for these unavoidable, daily toxic insults to your health by adding all natural, organic and whole food based remedies to your diet.
How will these specific natural remedies help me with my gum disease?
These unique natural remedies work for you by helping you to maintain a healthy strong immune system. In turn, this allows your body to defend itself from the germs that are always associated with gum disease infected gums. Essentially, these natural remedies promote the health of your gums by way of your natural, innate ability to heal and renew your body, which, of course, includes your gums.
How will visiting a dentist also help me with gum disease or periodontal disease?
Your dentist or hygienist are the only people who are professionally trained to thoroughly inspect your teeth and gums, and professionally clean your teeth. Only a dentist can recommend appropriate treatment for your gums. If your dentist is holistic, you are more likely to receive gum treatments that focus on eliminating the germs associated with gum infection without using antibiotics. To find a holistic or biological dentist, go to the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) and click on the “Find a Dentist” link on the home page.
Brushing and flossing regularly at home is also helpful because it reduces the number of germs on the teeth and under the gums. The primary benefit of brushing and flossing is to remove germ filled plaque, thus making your breath smell better. Reducing plaque also helps your fillings last longer.
Besides going to the dentist, what can I do naturally to keep my gums healthy?
As discussed before on this page, you must make your immune system as strong as possible. If a poorly functioning immune system is unable to adequately cope with the germs in your gums, it makes sense that a vibrantly healthy immune system will behave the opposite way, and enable you to resist any gum infection?