IT IS A FACT: Over 75% of all adult Americans suffer from some stage of gum disease. Or think of it this way–out of every 4 people you meet, chances are that 3 of them have some form of gum disease!
And it is not just the gums that are affected. Gum disease can affect the health of your entire body. It not ony contributes to tooth decay and bone loss but it has been linked with serious conditions; such as diabetes, heart disease, immune system weakening and pre-term births.
Aside from physical issues, gum disease can be very, very expensive in the long run. Full mouth restorations can run in the tens of thousands, while less expensive solutions can be ugly, uncomfortable and quite inconvenient to most every aspect of enjoyable lifestyles.
Gum disease has been called the “Silent Epidemic” and remains one of the top 3 diseases in America. All of this despite the fat that gum disease is one of the most preventable diseases that exists.
The oral cavity is home to many types of bacteria. Bacteria are microorganisms–and some are good and some are bad. They don’t just float around but prefer to group and stick together in what are called “biofilms.” These biofilms like to stick to surfaces, such as the teeth or gums, and can cause problems when there is an overgrowth or imbalance of certain bacteria.
We have all heard of plaque, that very sticky and colorless coating on our teeth. Well, plaque is a type of biofilm and is actually a living film of microorganisms.
Plaque becomes a problem when the bacteria produces an overabundance of byproducts such as acids and other compounds. As these byproducts sit on the teeth and in the gums they cause damage, decay and inflammation.
Routine brushing and flossing breaks up the formation and aggregation of the microorganisms, keeping plaque under control… but only to a limited degree. Routine dental hygiene cannot get rid of anything for two main reasons: one, bacteria is VERY persistent and will start growing back immediately and two, the bacteria wants to survive and will do so by seeking out deep and hard to access locations in your mouth.
Over time plaque builds up, especially under the gum line and in those hard to reach areas. This plaque hardens and becomes tarter, which is very tough to remove. It is the ongoing presence of plaque, the formation of tartar and the compounds produced by the microorganisms that generate gum disease.
“Gingivitis” is the earliest stage of gum disease. (“Gingiva” means “gums” in Latin) The gums become inflamed and will often look red and/or puffy. Often there is bleeding, especially when flossing or during routine dental cleanings.
As gum disease advances, the next stage is “periodontitis” (“perio” is Greek for “around” and “dontus” means “tooth”). This is a far more serious progression as now the gums begin to pull away and “pockets” form around the teeth. These pockets become nice, safe, breeding grounds for more bacteria, accelerating the process of gum disease as well as creating ongoing infection.
Commonly, teeth are lost as gum disease progress and in more severe cases, the infection spreads into surrounding bone tissue and from there into the body. Quite understandably, this leads to all manner of health problems, many of which can be quite expensive and even life-threatening.
Oral probiotics provide a superior layer of protection in addition to your routine of brushing, flossing and dental cleanings.
This is because they actually penetrate and colonize into the bacterial ecology of your mouth.
By crowding out and inhibiting the growth of "bad" bacteria, oral probiotics establish a positive and healthy bacterial balance in your mouth, including down into those deep pockets and hideouts! And, as they work at the level of the biofilms, this protection is ongoing throughout the day and the night.
After reading the above you should understand that the primary cause of gum disease and tooth decay is the imbalanced presence of certain “bad” bacteria in our mouths.
Our modern lifestyles, often filled with sugars, simple carbohydrates, alcohol and juices, encourage the growth of these bacteria and provide the bacteria with the fuel that they need to create more acids and toxins. This process also lowers the pH of the mouth, making it more acid, which further encourages bad bacteria growth and hastens gum disease and tooth decay.
Probiotics are defined as “healthy bacteria that bring a beneficial result to the host.” Creating a healthier environment and ecology in the mouth, teeth and gums can be accomplished through the regular use of oral probiotics. Here is how:
Studies have shown a clear reduction in plaque levels and gingivitis symptoms when oral probiotics were administered to patients with moderate to severe gingivitis.