As a member of the Savvy team I just wanted to share my story in case it can help someone else. While this isn’t a photo of me, wouldn’t you like a smile like this? A healthy mouth is a sign of a healthy body.
I read somewhere that bleeding and tender gums are one of the obvious signs of periodontal disease so I went to my dentist to see what he thought. My dentist said that if you don’t take care of the problem you could lose your teeth! So I would get my teeth cleaned every few months (and take my word for it, it’s very painful when they are inflamed) yet I continued to have problems with periodontal disease for over ten years. And the situation was only getting worse.
In fact, in my last visit my dentist said a recent issue of The Journal of Periodontology reported that at least 35% of adults have some form of gum disease, so I decided to look into the matter further. Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. If you want to read on, I can tell you both what the experts say and what else I found out, because I no longer have periodontal disease!
Horror’s – my dentist was right! Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. While plaque is usually the most obvious problem, according to the American Academy of Periodontology there are other factors like the following that are the main things affecting the health of your gums. Apparently the mainstream thinking is that the main cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. But I wanted to know what caused this plaque and how to eliminate it. Not only did I find that the foods you eat, the acidity of your body and other nutritional factors influence the health of your gums, gum damage can be caused by the ingredients in the toothpaste you use.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology apart from plaque (they don’t say where that comes from) the key causes of periodontal disease are:
Smoking: As you probably already know, tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease and heart disease, as well as numerous other health problems. What you may not know is that tobacco users also are at increased risk for periodontal disease. In fact, recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.
Puberty, Pregnancy and Menopause in Women: A woman’s health needs are unique. Though brushing and flossing daily, a healthy diet, and regular exercise are important for oral health throughout life, there are certain times in a woman’s life when extra care is needed—times when you mature and change such as puberty or menopause, and times when you have special health needs, such as menstruation or pregnancy. During these particular times, a woman’s body experiences hormonal changes that can affect many of the tissues in your body, including the gums. Your gums can become sensitive, and at times react strongly to the hormonal fluctuations. This may make you more susceptible to gum disease. Additionally, recent studies suggest that pregnant women with gum disease may be more likely to deliver preterm, low birthweight babies.
Stress: As you probably already know, stress is linked to many serious conditions such as hypertension, cancer, and numerous other health problems. What you may not know is that stress also is a risk factor for periodontal disease. Research demonstrates that stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including periodontal diseases.
Medications: Some drugs, such as oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, and certain heart medicines, can affect your oral health. Just as you notify your pharmacist and other health care providers of all medicines you are taking and any changes in your overall health, you should also inform your dental care provider.
Diabetes: Diabetes is a disease that causes altered levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes develops from either a deficiency in insulin production (a hormone that is the key component in the body’s ability to use blood sugars) or the body’s inability to use insulin correctly. According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 16 million Americans have diabetes; however, more than half have not been diagnosed with this disease. If you are diabetic, you are at higher risk for developing infections, including periodontal diseases. These infections can impair the ability to process and/or utilize insulin, which may cause your diabetes to be more difficult to control and your infection to be more severe than a non-diabetic.
What I discovered!
Well, this was all very interesting, but my friend had also had the same problem and was now symptom free. I had given the dentist ten years to solve my problem, so after finding out the well-known toothpaste I was using was possibly affecting my gum health I decided to follow my friends advice. Yes, surprise surprise I decided to change to a safe brand of toothpaste. After changing to the Savvy team’s recommended superior and safe dental care, my mouth immediately felt fresher, and I noticed the plaque build-up was so much less. My teeth always feel clean and smooth, with less bacteria developing. I also noticed that my teeth looked whiter.
It was the easiest thing to do … just change brands. Who wants to use potentially harmful ingredients in their mouth anyway? My next scheduled periodontist visit was far less painful because there was less plaque to scrape from under the gums and there was not the usual gum inflammation. Plus I have been able to extend the time between periodontist visits as well, which I am particularly pleased about!
In my research I read that one of the best treatments for red, puffy, inflamed and bleeding gums could be the essential nutrient coenzyme Q10 and I had tried it with little effect. My Savvy team friend explained that ingredient quality makes a difference to the results nutrients can give and encouraged me to try her recommended brand. Having had periodontal disease for so many years, I thought I’d try it and within weeks I began to notice my gums had firmed up and within months the receeding gums had attached themselves back to my teeth.
Now an annual visit shows no sign of the disease, and yet he says it could not be the toothpaste he recommended, because after all, the supermarkets sell it too! Interestingly enough I went on holidays recently and stayed in a hotel, and used their toothpaste just for two nights. By the end of the second evening my gums had began to bleed again! What do you think made that happen? Let me know if this happens to you in the comments.