Wow, did you know? The world’s blood supply banks have bacteria contamination. Yes, this is well known by the scientific community for several years, says Marietta Dentist, Dr. Kirk Kimmerling. It is shocking, but true. Let’s say you were in an accident and lost a lot of blood. The unit of blood they give you to save your life also has bacteria from the donor. Unfortunately, when receiving a unit of blood, there is a risk of a very high fever, called septic shock, that may also kill you. Before it was thought this septic shock was due to an immune cross reactivity with proteins from the donor, which now is better understood as an aggressive immune response to the donor’s bacteria. The health community is becoming more and more aware of this chronic bacteria in blood, called bacteremia
Scientific evidence proves that nearly one hundred percent of the microbes circulating through the blood system originates from the oral cavity. Dentists are sure that nearly one hundred percent of the bacteria enters the blood system through unhealthy gum tissue, called periodontal tissue. Again, this bacteremia is probably the major source of an infectious and inflammatory process in a healthy individual.
This inflammatory process and how it relates to disease such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and the aging process is being well studied. Volumes of information have been published concerning inflammation of the blood and blood components called inflammatory cytokines. A chronic infection, such as bleeding when you floss is thought to predispose disease.
Now studies show a very strong relation between bacteremia and higher levels of cholesterol in the blood called hyper-cholesterol anemia.
Evidence supports that proper flossing quickly reduces total cholesterol and decreases undesirable cholesterol. Preventative measures in home-care and regular dentist prophylaxis, cleaning visits not only improve the oral health of an individual but help reduce systemic inflammation, a prevention to other chronic diseases. Without proper dental hygiene, gum disease can develop in the oral cavity, allowing bacteria to grow. It is this bacteria that produces molecules in the bloodstream such as endotoxins that circulate through out the body causing an inflammatory process leading to disease.
Where does this evidence take us? First, to avoid getting bacteria in your blood you must take exceptional care of your gums and teeth. This may not only lower your cholesterol and reduce cardiovascular disease, but may also lower systemic inflammatory reactions. Evidence supports that proper flossing quickly reduces total cholesterol and decreased undesirable cholesterol. A daily regiment of oral home care and professional care should help you live a longer happier life.
So, if you ever need a unit of blood from a blood bank, one may wonder a little about the person that gave the blood. What was their overall oral health? Did they brush and floss their teeth? Did they ever visit the dentist? So, when asking yourself if it is important to brush and floss, you can answer that question with an absolute yes. Taking care of your mouth is not just healthy for your mouth, it is important to your overall health. Preventing and treating chronic oral infections needs to take center stage in your personal daily living.