Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS November 18, 2015
If you read my blogs, you know I personally follow a primal diet and lifestyle. Also, if you read my blogs, you probably are concerned about your overall health as well as the health of your mouth. But, unlike me, you may not be as passionate as I. Yet, you still may want to do the best you can do within your personal limitations.
If you did nothing else for your overall health, do these 3 things to reduce chronic systemic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is the most incipient factor leading to chronic disease. These 3 steps will put you on the right track for a healthier body and a healthier mouth.
1. Eliminate processed seed and vegetable oils from your diet.
These oils contain large amounts of Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Examples are soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil. Although omega-6 fatty acids are one of the essential fatty acids that we must consume, they should come from whole foods and be consumed in moderation. These processed oils are inflammatory. In addition, they generally are damaged from the industrial processing and frequently come to us in an oxidized state, which adds an additional unhealthy problem for our bodies.
2. Eliminate processed grains from your diet.
Processed grains come in the form of bread, crackers, cereals, pasta, muffins, bagels, pretzels, cookies, cakes, and the list goes on and on. These are made from wheat, rye, barley, rice, oats and other grains that have a high carbohydrate density with little nutritional value. Many of their proteins cannot be digested properly and may irritate the intestinal lining. Irritation of the intestinal lining creates inflammation in the gut and leads to leaky gut, which is a breakdown in the gut lining. From there, other food particles and bacterial remnants can invade the blood system through a breakdown in the gut lining creating serious chronic inflammation and immune responses that may damage other organs of the body.
3. Eliminate processed sugars added to foods.
Processed sugars are inflammatory, spike insulin, and have little nutritional value. These refined sugars are contained in candy, soda, syrups, and table sugar to name a few foods. They contribute to weight gain, tooth decay, and disruptions in various hormones. They also promote unhealthy growth of bad bacteria and yeast in the gut that can threaten overall health from irritable bowel syndrome to brain disorders.
If you effectively eliminated these processed foods from your diet, within 30 days you would notice significant positive changes in your health.
For example, in a paper published in 2009 in the Journal of Periodontology, researchers studied a group of 10 people who lived for 30 days in a replicated Stone Age environment near the Rhine River in Switzerland. The design of this research required a diet that was devoid of these types of processed foods. In addition, during the 4-week course of the study, these individuals were not allowed to brush or floss their teeth. At the beginning of the study, any existing gum problems were recorded and the types of bacteria present in their mouths were determined.
At the completion of the 4-week experiment, the quantity of bacteria at the gum line around the teeth increased as expected. However, researchers were surprised by a reduction in gum infection. Bleeding from the gum pockets also decreased significantly. Although good bacteria increased, bad bacteria decreased. As I stated, these 10 individuals could not perform any oral hygiene for the entire 30 days – the researchers were shocked by the results! Eliminating these processed foods made a huge health difference.