As much as 50% in the reversal of cancer is in the mouth.
-Burton Goldberg, expert in the field of alternative medicine
How can a two time cancer survivor and expert in alternative cancer treatments make such a statement? In this article we will explore the relationship between mouth health and the health of the whole body and see the clear links between what’s going on in the mouth and the health of the whole body.
In this first section of this article we will explore how the health of our mouth affects the health of the whole body. While this is a very large subject that could no doubt be a book itself, we will focus on one aspect of how our oral health impacts the entire body. The title of this article, How Oral Health Impacts the Whole Body, describes what we will discuss in this first section.
The second section of this article will explore what we can do to improve our overall well being by improving our oral health. Here we will explore techniques and strategies of what we can do to create greater oral health and thereby create greater health for the whole being. It is our hope and intent that reading this article will assist you to create greater oral health in your life and the lives of your loved ones. If there were a title for this second section, it would be: How we can improve the health of the whole body by improving our oral health.
While many of us are aware of the negative impact of the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay on our oral health, the impact that these same ‘bad bugs’ in the mouth have on our general health is less well known. In order to effectively discuss the subject, let’s start by establishing a baseline of foundational principles.
Stop Putting Toxins into the System
Fundamental to any attempt at creating greater oral health as well as whole being wellness is to stop putting toxins into the system. Within the scope of this article, we want to draw attention to two main sources of toxins into the system.
- the toxins that the ‘bad bugs’ that cause gum disease dump or trigger in our system.
- the toxins that are inadvertently introduced to prevent disease through the use of oral hygiene products.
Prevent Disease or Create Health… Which Comes First?
These two concepts, to prevent disease and to create health, are central to the discussion of this article. We can see this debate most clearly in history with the example of Louis Pasteur, the ‘father’ of modern medicine and germ theory and Antoine Beauchamp, a contemporary of Pasteur’s who promoted a related theory but with a different focus called cellular (or terrain) theory.
Studying these two theories has led me to the realization that if we want to create optimal health, our primary focus must be to create health, then to secondarily address disease prevention. So, our primary intent must be on wellness protocols of creating health.
Therefore, we must be aware of introducing any toxins into our system as toxins are going to impair our immunological efforts to create health. This especially applies if the toxins we introduce to the system are under the guise of preventing disease. For, if we introduce toxins into the system by applying germ theory (prevent disease) approach, we are not addressing the primary focus, to create health.
(If you want more information on this interesting subject, here’s a video discussing this subject.)
With these foundations in place, let’s take a quick look why this information is crucial to our health.
According to David Kennedy, DDS and past president of the International Association for Oral Medicine and Toxicology, here are the facts:
- over 9 out of 10 adults over 30 years of age have some stage of active gum disease.
- 65% of 15 year olds already have active gum disease (yikes!)
The reason the negative impact of gum disease goes beyond the mouth is gum disease is an active bacterial infection that has access to the whole body via the bloodstream! The ‘bad bugs’ involved with gum disease are very mobile. They can and do swim upstream and colonize other areas of the body. In face, the plaque deposits from bad bugs in the mouth are the same types of plaque found in arterial walls in heart disease sufferers! Given the understanding that these ‘bad bugs’ in the mouth swim through the bloodstream, it makes complete sense.
Here is the official word on the increased risk of the main killers in our society if a person has active gum disease. My guess is the real numbers are probably much higher than the official word…
So these bad bugs colonize the mouth as their base, they are then able to access the rest of the body via the bloodstream. We view this situation most folks have with active gum disease similarly to having an enemy inside your gates slowly but surely eroding one’s health by poisoning the system.
The known risks of this common situation are two fold. First, these ‘bad bugs’ destroy flesh and bone tissue. They have even been caught under a microscope ganging up and killing white blood cells! They also dump toxins into the system. So, the first risk factor is the actual damage the bad bugs do to the body.
The second risk is how the body responds to this chronic bacterial attack.
How Does the Body Respond to Bacterial Infection?
Our immune system recognizes the gum disease as the rampant bacterial infection it is. One way the body defeats an infection is to increase the inflammation in the local area of the infection in an effort to increase blood flow thus increase the number of white blood cells to fight the infections. Swollen, painful gums, bleeding when brushing or flossing are clear signs of an active bacterial infection in the mouth.
The problem arises when the infection is a chronic one, like with gum disease. In the case of chronic infection, the body’s infection fighting reaction becomes habit, thus creating a state of chronic inflammation.
Chronic infection = Chronic Inflammation
What about when the ‘bad bugs’ have traveled through the whole body? It is this system wide chronic inflammation that contributes to and sets the stage for all the diseases of modern society from arthritis and diabetes to heart disease and cancer.
An interesting correlation we have found from our studies of the Chinese longevity arts is as follows. According to Chinese medical theory, if you distill it all down, the only cause of disease is stagnation. Of course, the type of stagnation, where the stagnation is located, etc all contribute to how the stagnation shows up (what disease the person has). Chronic inflammation literally causes stagnation. Stagnation causes disease.
Thus, gum disease really is one of the main pathways, like a gateway disease, that helps support the conditions that allow system wide diseases to establish and flourish.
Now that we have rung the alarm about the risks of gum disease for the health of the whole body, we can discuss some solutions.
Did you know you can improve your whole body through oral health?
We approach improving oral health from two perspectives. The first perspective focuses on tools and techniques we can all apply to raise our immunological health. By applying the ‘create health’ cellular theory first, we see that increasing the health of our immune system is the primary tool we have to create greater oral health.
If we are able to do what it takes to bring our immunity above 90% of its potential, we can bring our state of health high enough to become an unsuitable host for the ‘bad bugs’ that cause gum disease.
Improving our Immunological Health Improves our Oral Health
We all know many steps we can take to create greater immunological health. If you are reading this blog, you already have access to quality information for creating greater health.
Here is a list of some of our top points:
- Laugh and smile often!
- Eat a mineral rich diet.
- Eat plenty of quality fats.
- Drastically reduce sugars from the diet.
- Eliminate vegetable oils from the diet.
- Get the right amount of quality sleep for you.
- Feel grateful.
By taking the necessary steps each day, we can raise our health up to be truly optimal.
The second perspective focuses on what we can do in the mouth to create greater oral health as well as whole being wellness. We call this the ‘in the mouth’ approach to greater health.
The Focus of the ‘in the Mouth’ Approach
- Reduce bad bug colonization in the mouth
- Help restore healthy mouth ecology
In order to create greater oral health, we must reduce ‘bad bug’ populations in our mouths while we encourage a healthier mouth ecological environment. Key to creating greater oral health over time is to understand how the bad bugs responsible for gum disease function. You can read more about gum disease here.
There are several ways to reduce the populations of ‘bad bugs’ in the mouth. Here are some ideas to get you on the right track to creating optimal oral health.
Get to Know Your Mouth
We cannot emphasize this simple technique enough. This one step will do more to empower greater oral health than any other technique. While brushing and flossing for example are important, unless we know, rather than hope or believe, where we are with our oral health, how can we create optimal oral health? Here’s a link to a free download to help you with getting to know your mouth.
Conscious flossing goes hand in hand with getting to know your mouth above. Paying attention to what our flossing uncovers is a huge step toward creating greater oral health in our lives. Here’s a link to an article detailing how to floss consciously.
Learn How to Correctly Brush Your Teeth to Reduce Gum Disease
Just like other notable doctors and researchers from history like Weston A Price and Edward and May Mellanby, we have Dr. Charles Bass to shed some light on a technique proven to reduce the population of bad bugs in the mouth. Here is a video that details the Bass brushing technique.
Clean the Mouth with Safe (aka nontoxic) Oral Health Products
One crucial factor when addressing products for oral health is to be sure that we aren’t putting any toxins into the system in the process. If we introduce toxins into the system while we intend to create greater health, we are really taking one step forward and two steps back.
In other words, if we introduce toxins into the system that will lower and limit our immune health we are going the wrong way. Like we established earlier, our immune health must be our primary focus when looking to create optimal health. So, using oral health products that contain toxic ingredients which impair our immune function is short sighted at best if not downright injurious to our overall health.
Learn About Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a technique out of ancient Indian (ayurvedic) medicine. This excellent technique not only cleanses the mouth well, it also helps to detoxify the whole system. Here is a link to an article that details the benefits, science, and technique of oil pulling.
Learn Free Techniques to Improve Mouth Ecology
There is a direct link between the amount of saliva we produce and our ability to maintain a healthy, disease free mouth environment. The unfortunate fact is saliva production declines as we age. It is no surprise that the risks of gum disease as we age increases in step with the decline in saliva production.
We have been studying the Chinese longevity arts for over 25 years. In our studies we have come across various qigong techniques to increase saliva production. We share one of the many health building techniques we learned from studying qigong in this video, called Mouth Probiotics. Here’s the link.
Although all the above suggestions will drastically help create greater oral health, we have saved the most fundamental, perhaps the most important, aspect to create greater oral health for last.
What Comes out of our Mouths is at Least as Important
Let us all remember that the words we choose to speak to others and to ourselves have a huge impact on whether we experience wellness or disease.
What positive, supportive words have you spoken to the important people in your life today? Have you complimented yourself on something? How many times have you spoken about how fat, unhealthy, [fill in the blank] you are this week?
Remember, our culture very often doesn’t have our best interest in mind. Be willing to be a positive deviant! Speak only words of health, wellness and kindness and watch your immunity soar!!! By being aware of the goodness that we encourage to come out of our mouths, we not only create greater wellness in our lives, we support greater wellness in all those whom we bless with our words.
Will and Susan Revak are the founders of OraWellness. They began their journey to creating greater oral health in their own lives over 15 years ago. Check out Susan’s story of how she reversed the damage of advanced gum disease.
What do you do to help protect your oral health? Any tips you’d recommend? Share below!