It’s no se­cret

Alternative Medicine - - Quick Nutrition - BY ERICA TASTO

that emerg­ing data are strength­en­ing the link be­tween oral health, heart dis­ease, and to­tal-body well­ness. A re­cent study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease even dis­cov­ered an as­so­ci­a­tion—although not a causal one—be­tween oral health and neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases like Alzheimer's. And as with many dis­eases, the key in­gre­di­ent is in­flam­ma­tion.

“The most com­mon source of chronic in­flam­ma­tion in the en­tire body—in fact, the No. 1 in­flam­ma­tory dis­ease process in the body—is gum dis­ease,” says Chris Kam­mer, DDS.

Un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances, bac­te­ria in the mouth are be­nign and even ben­e­fi­cial—but as soon as they be­come path­o­genic and en­ter the blood­stream, th­ese bac­te­ria trig­ger the re­lease of C-re­ac­tive pro­tein, a known com­po­nent of in­flam­ma­tion. An in­flamed cir­cu­la­tory sys­tem can lead to in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity and di­a­betes, ex­ces­sive fats in the blood, and fatty plaques lin­ing the ar­ter­ies—all of which in­crease the risk for a heart at­tack or stroke.

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