Smoking Gum

Shoots Right Into Heart

Smoking Gum. Healthy Living Magazine

Smoking Gum. Healthy Living Magazine

2x (almost) increased risk of heart disease linked with gum problems

91% of patients with heart disease diagnosed with moderate to severe gum disease

71.4% of US adults get more than recommended 10% of their daily calories from added sugars in foods and drinks

Read: Xylitol- New Findings

“Oral bacteria have been found in atheromas removed from blocked carotid arteries, confirming bacterial trafficking,” says dental hygienist Trisha E. O’Hehir, RDH, MS who advocates xylitol to clean up the damage sucrose and other forms of table sugar cause to our teeth.

From mouth Into Arteries

“The bacteria floating around in the mouth communicate with each other using chemicals,” she says. “They produce a sticky polysaccharide slime to stick to each other and to stick to the tooth surfaces. As the sticky plaque grows, so do problems with tooth decay and gum disease.”

Read: Chew Gum To Protect Your Child's Teeth

Healthy gums - healthy heart

Several studies have shown gum problems to be associated with nearly twice the risk of heart disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. Two recent studies, when put together, provide “smoking gun” (or shall we say “gum”) evidence that establishes why healthy gums and teeth mean the same for our cardiovascular system.

Among 2,437 young adults (ages 18-25), those with the highest consumption patterns of added sugar had greater prevalence of gum disease—this, in turn, appears to contribute to the oral inflammation characterized by bleeding gums, bad breath, loose teeth and, ultimately, bacterial infections that migrate into the arteries.

Read: New Sugar Protects Teeth

A study from Odontology showed that 91% of patients with coronary heart disease “demonstrated moderate to severe periodontitis.”

JAMA Internal Medicine reports that 71.4% of US adults were found to get more than the recommended 10% of their daily calories from added sugars in foods and drinks—and these excesses are correlated with higher risk of death due to heart disease.

Chewing Hazard

The report says, “By simply chewing, a person with gum disease will release bacteria and inflammatory cytokines into the bloodstream. Both these bacteria and cytokines have been shown to cause damage to blood vessel linings, triggering the buildup of plaques on arterial walls.”

Brush Away Heart Disease

Brushing one’s teeth two times a day or more lowers heart disease risk, according to a 2010 report in the British Medical Journal. The research needs to be completed on xylitol directly reducing heart disease risk but at least one study from 2005 indicates the anti-bacterial sugar, usually derived from the birch tree, fights off inflammatory cytokines in the mouth that migrate into the bloodstream.

Read: Xlear Star Reviews

Unlike common sucrose and high fructose corn syrup, xylitol is not able to be digested by bacteria. The mouth’s offensive micro-beasts thrive on table sugar they convert into acid, which begins the decay process. In contrast, xylitol has been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful oral bacteria.

“With the connection between dental plaque and arterial plaque, it’s safe to say keeping the mouth clean and oral plaque levels low will reduce the chance of oral bacteria and gum disease contributing to heart disease,” says O’Hehir. “Use xylitol to reduce oral biofilm by chewing xylitol sweetened gum or eating xylitol mints after meals and snacks. Many 100%xylitolsweetened products are available including gums, candies, toothpastes, gels and mouth rinses. Strive for five exposures throughout the day with products sweetened only with xylitol. Look for 100% xylitol-sweetened products at your health food store.”

Read: Mouth Breather

REFERENCES Bains, MAR. Junk food and heart disease: the missing tooth. J R Soc of Med, 2013; 106 (12): 472 DOI: 10.1177/0141076813512297 de Oliveira C, Watt R, Hamer M. Toothbrushing, inflammation, and risk of cardiovascular disease: results from Scottish Health Survey. BMJ. 2010 May 27;340:c2451. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c2451Hallberg, U, Haag, P. The subjective meaning of dentition and oral health: Struggling to optimize one’s self-esteem. Int J Qual Stud Healthand Well-being. 2007; 2: 86-92. Kim J, Amar S. Periodontal disease and systemic conditions: a bidirectional relationship. Odontology. Sept 2006; 94(1): 10–21. doi: 10.1007/s10266-006-0060-6 Lula EC, Ribeiro CC, Hugo FN1 , Alves CM1 , Silva AA. Added sugars and periodontal disease in young adults: an analysis of NHANES III data. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Oct;100(4):1182-1187. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.089656. E-pub 2014 Aug 13.Su-Ji H, So-Yeon J, Yun-Ju N, Kyu-Ho Y, Hoi-Soon L, Jin C. Xylitol Inhibits Inflammatory Cytokine Expression Induced by Lipopolysaccharide from Porphyromonas gingivalis. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. Nov 2005; 12(11): 1285–1291. doi: 10.1128/CDLI.12.11.1285-1291.2005 Yang Q, Zhang Z, Gregg EW, Flanders WD, Merritt R, Hu FB. Added sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases mortality among US adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Apr;174(4):516-524. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13563.
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