Did you know that close to half of all American adults have gum disease? That is roughly 64.7 million people! The consequences of periodontal disease are a lot more extensive than how it affects your smile. Chronic inflammatory gum disease can lead to, and is often sign of, lower immune function. It can also lead to a higher risk of breast cancer.
Is Gum Disease Really an Autoimmune Disease?
Gum disease goes by quite a few names: periodontitis, chronic inflammatory gum disease, periodontal disease and just plain “gum disease.” They are all indications of the same condition, however: bacterial overgrowth that has caused infection in tissues that hold your teeth in place.
Conventional medicine often connects periodontal disease with poor oral hygiene. It is true that gum disease often starts as gingivitis because of inadequate brushing and flossing and a diet high in sugary foods and drinks.
But not all individuals who get periodontitis have poor oral habits. Individuals with autoimmune conditions are many times more likely to get periodontal disease than those who do not. In fact, some research indicates that gum disease may be an autoimmune condition itself. A 2014 report published in the journal Autoimmune Diseases found that certain kinds of bacterium in the mouth can induce antibody formation.
“Auto-reactive T cells, natural killer cells, ANCA, heat shock proteins, auto-antibodies, and genetic factors are reported to have an important role in the autoimmune component of periodontal disease,” say the researchers.
The jury is still out as to whether gum disease is an autoimmune condition. Nevertheless, these connections demonstrate how immune system imbalance and oral health are intricately linked.
Also keep in mind that people with autoimmune conditions have a much higher risk of many kinds of cancer, including Breast Cancer.
The Cancer – Gum Disease Connection
A study conducted by several New York universities analyzed data from over 70,000 postmenopausal women enrolled in the National Institutes of Health’s Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. The report, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that women who had periodontitis had a two-fold higher risk of developing Breast Cancer as well as other kinds of cancer.
Another study of over 45,000 American men conducted by Imperial College in London in conjunction with Harvard University found a link between gum disease and kidney, lung, and pancreatic cancers as well as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
A Word about Antibiotics, Gum Disease and Cancer
Some functional medicine experts and holistic dentists also make the connection between dental and other antibiotic prescription and higher risk of cancer. Doug Kaufman, host of the popular TV show Know the Cause is among those who question the use of oral antibiotics.
“Most doctors and dentists never know what germ they are treating,” says Kaufman. “Is the infecting germ, viral, fungal or bacterial? They were taught to treat infections with antibiotics, assuming all infections are bacterial.”
In the case of oral bacterial overgrowth, holistic dentists also warn about the harms of antibiotics since overuse of them can make bacteria resistant to the antibiotics themselves.
What You Can Do to Avoid Gum Disease and Stay Healthy
If you have gum disease and are concerned about Breast Cancer, know that you CAN get the
situation under control. Here are 5 tips to help you do this:
#1 Work with a holistic dentist. A holistic dentist will understand the connection between oral health and disease. He or she will also be able to offer you options others than antibiotics such as ozone packs and vitamin C treatments.
#2 Take care of root canals. The minute you get a root canal, the source will begin to drip harmful bacteria into your system 24/7. Do your whole body a favor and address the root canal issue with your biological dentist.
#3 Practice oil pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient practice which involves swishing 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes. This may seem like a strange thing to do, but it has been proven effective for removing oral bacteria and other pathogens as well as having a positive effect on the immune system and gut health. Coconut oil can be great for this. There are also various ozonated oils that may also help decrease the inflammatory process in your mouth. For best results, practice oil pulling at least four times a week.
#4 Use essential oils for oral care. By far, the best essential oil for your teeth and gums is clove. If you use a water pick, adding a few drops can help rid your mouth of gingivitis, according to a 2011 study.
#5 Boost your immune system. All of the guidelines in the 7 Essentials System™ are designed to support your immune system as well as increasing your overall energy and health, including the health of your gums!
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr V”) is the founder of Breast Cancer Conqueror.com and The 7 Essentials System ™. This step-by-step guide empowers you with knowledge so you Never Have to Fear Breast Cancer Again! To watch a FREE webinar about the 7 steps for beating breast cancer naturally, Click Here.