Friday, January 23, 2009

Prevent Cavities and Heart Disease: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Niacin, and Thiamin

Oral health (the condition of the teeth and gums) is strongly associated with serious health problems. Heart disease is among these problems. People with heart disease have a higher average number of filled cavities than people without heart disease. Counting dental fillings is a good way to assess the risk of heart disease. Heart Disease and cavities are strongly associated because they are both partially caused by failure of some of the same basic metabolic pathways inside our cells. Cavities should be taken very seriously. Every effort should be made to prevent them.

Like the risk of heart disease, the risk of cavities increases with age. The older you are, the more important it is to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Due to aging, it is more difficult to keep your teeth and gums healthy. It is also more difficult to keep your body free of heart disease. Heart disease is difficult to detect. Cavities are obvious. Gum health is obvious. Everyone should be aware that protecting teeth and gums from cavities and periodontal disease also protects them from heart disease.

Cavities are caused by poor nutrition. This is a well-documented fact from the 19th and 20th centuries. During this period, dozens of isolated, indigenous populations joined the modern economy. Time and again, when indigenous populations switched to a modern diet, the prevalence of cavities increased dramatically. Subsequent research has proven that the most important “anti-cavity” factors in the indigenous diet/lifestyle are vitamins. Read more here. The recommended daily allowances of vitamins are insufficient to maximize cavity prevention. If you are looking for good doses to start with, click here. Counting cavities is a good way to establish at an early age what individuals in the population need extra vitamins. In old age, the high prevalence of cavities and lost teeth suggests that the recommended daily allowances of vitamins are inadequate for the majority.

Nothing will change the fact that a higher incidence of cavities and lost teeth are part of the aging process. Optimizing vitamin intake will not stop aging. But it will help you to age gracefully. There is no reason for your teeth to age faster than the rest of your body. Our healthcare system provides excellent services for keeping your teeth healthy. By using orthodontia to keep your teeth in the right place, and then by brushing, flossing, fluoriding, and cleaning every three months, properly nourished teeth will last more than 100 years.

The importance of dental health puts the women (there aren’t many men in these jobs yet) who clean our teeth at the forefront of the healthcare system. Twice a year they have a roughly 45-minute opportunity to compare the health of our teeth to our neighbor’s teeth, and then to teach us about best practices for keeping teeth healthy. Vitamin supplements and sunshine have become part of that conversation. The best dental offices are helping their patients adjust vitamin intake.

Most people don’t like talking about the vitamin supplements they are taking. It’s embarrassing. Healthy people shouldn’t need pills. And vitamin supplements – even 1 RDA multivitamins – cause side effects. Admitting to side effects is also embarrassing. The dental chair is proving to be a good place to discuss vitamin supplement strategies to maximize benefits and minimize side effects.

If you are a senior citizen, and you are not taking vitamin supplements, and you’re not going out into the sun to get extra vitamin D, then the odds are that your teeth are deteriorating. If your teeth are deteriorating, then you are at high risk for heart disease. Find a dental office that will help you put together a supplement program. Stop cavities and prevent heart disease at the same time by implementing the program. Measure the results by tracking the health of your teeth.


At 1:29 PM, Blogger BrioII said...

Flossing got a lot easier for me using a Gripit Floss Holder - At 67 years, I never liked putting my fingers into my mouth to floss. These handy Gripits eliminated that problem. They come with their own floss supply that can be refilled from local drug and grocery stores and they last a lifetime (don't clog landfills).

At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Dental Milpitas said...

This is a very interesting post. Indeed we need extra supplements for our body.

At 1:05 AM, Anonymous dentist rockville md said...

I'll be sure to keep this in mind. It's really important to take care of your health. Thank you very much.


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