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Why Your Smile Needs Vitamin D

Sadly, approximately half of the adults in the U.S. have some form of periodontal disease and more than 40 percent have a vitamin D deficiency, which increases the likelihood that they will develop cavities and/or suffer tooth loss. If you want to keep your smile shining bright, practice good dental hygiene and make sure you get enough vitamin D.

HOW VITAMIN D AFFECTS THE TEETH

Research indicates that your mouth health can provide a window into your overall health. For this reason, you should never ignore a problem that is affecting your mouth. For example, some of the initial signs of Vitamin D deficiency are bleeding gums and tooth decay. Consuming foods that are high in vitamin D keeps tooth enamel strong and helps fight the harmful species of bacteria that are responsible for gum disease (i.e., porphyromonas gingivalis) and dental cavities (i.e., streptococcus mutans). In addition,...
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How Gum Disease Spreads Throughout Your Body

For years, dentists have suspected a connection between gum disease (i.e., periodontal disease) and chronic health conditions like heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. Today, research is proving that their suspicions were right.

ORAL BACTERIA, CAVITIES AND GUM DISEASE

Although more than 700 types of bacterial species have been detected in the mouth, most people host fewer than 100. While the majority of these species are harmless and even beneficial, there are some that cause tooth decay and periodontal disease. The two most common of these harmful species are streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivalis. These bacteria feed off of the starches and sugars that we eat.

CAVITIES

The by-product of streptococcus mutans is an enamel-eroding acid that eats away at the protective covering of the teeth, the enamel. Once the enamel is damaged, a cavity can develop.

GUM DISEASE

Porphyromonas gingivalis is the bacteria linked to periodontitis. Periodontitis is...
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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Oral Health Connection

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes systemic inflammation that affects the joints, skin, internal organs and vascular system. In addition, recent research indicates that this autoimmune disease can even affect the teeth.

WHAT CAUSES INFLAMMATION?

Severe inflammation is a symptom of RA and periodontal disease (i.e., gum disease). This inflammation occurs when the white blood cells release chemicals to protect the body from foreign invaders (i.e., viruses or bacteria) or to assist in the healing process following an injury. This chemical release leads to an increase in blood flow to the affected area(s). It is this excess blood that causes the inflammation.

WHAT IS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS?

When an individual has an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, the body mistakenly attacks itself and inflammation occurs even when there are no foreign invaders or injuries present.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AND ORAL HEALTH

Individuals who suffer from RA are at an...
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