Quality of Life & Gum Disease:
4 Solutions to Improve Quality of Life

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
October 31, 2016  

gum disease and quality-of-lifeQuality of life is everything. Money, success, material possessions, and even love may mean little if you are unable to enjoy them. Many people have tried to define quality of life. Here is my definition:

 

Quality of Life is the ability to enjoy life as you wish with no physical, mental, or medical compromises that decrease the ability for you to do what you want to do for the remainder of your days.

 

 

So, how does gum disease figure into the quality of life?

Your oral health can affect the quality of your life (1). Gum disease can cause many unhealthy changes in your mouth. Unhealthy changes include mouth odor, bleeding gums, separations between teeth, loss of teeth, inability to chew food properly, difficulty with speaking, and unattractive smiles. These unhealthy changes can interfere with the way a person relates to life’s situations.

 

People with bleeding gums and receding gums report poorer quality of life (2,3). People embarrassed by their smiles or by their bad breath report poorer quality of life (4). People who are missing all or most of their teeth report poorer quality of life (5). These problems frequently affect the way people view themselves, deal with social interactions, and function in the workplace. These troubles often are misunderstood by the dental profession but are all-too-real for individuals who suffer from these oral complications.

 

If you could remove or reduce these mouth problems, you could move one step further to improving your quality of life. Here are my 4 solutions to do just that.

 

4 Solutions

    1. Learn the exact problems that exist in your mouth and fix them.If something is broken, try to fix it. If something is not broken, leave it be. But, you may not know if something in your mouth is broken or not healthy until you seek professional advice. Dentists and dental specialists have been trained to evaluate for, and repair, damage in your mouth. My advice is to get several opinions from quality dental professionals to figure out any problem you may have. Once again, if something is broken, try to fix it.Unfortunately, most traditional dental professionals emphasize repair but not prevention. You will learn prevention in the next two steps.
    2. Change eating habits in order to support a healthy mouth and a healthy body going forward.I give my patients my 30-Day Reset Diet to help them get on board a healthy eating lifestyle. This can be tweaked after a month or so to become your go-to way of eating for the rest of your life. This is the way I eat, and it has significantly changed my life.

 

    1. Implement a daily regimen to keep your mouth healthy.While most dental healthcare professionals will tell you to brush harder and to floss more frequently, there are specifics about cleaning your mouth that will make all the difference. In my office, I demonstrate to each of my patients how to clean his or her mouth effectively everyday.

 

  1. Spread the good word.Educate your family and friends about the methods and lifestyle to prevent gum disease and other oral problems – all of which will greatly improve their quality of life. I wrote an article that was published in Well Being Journal in 2015 titled, “Born To Be Healthy”. You may like to read it and share it with those you love and care about.

 

The Time Is Now

No matter where you are in life, it is never too late to start the rest of your life on a better track. C. S. Lewis said it best, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

 

 

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Longevity is Good; Quality is Better!

evolution rStatistically, we are living longer in the US today than ever before, but we are developing chronic diseases that significantly interfere with the quality of our golden years. Some of us are in distress and pain for decades before succumbing to these chronic diseases. This is not the way the human body was designed or evolved to be.
 
We were not born deficient in prescription drugs. We were not born to have to go to the physician every year to stay healthy or to see a dentist twice a year to prevent and treat gum disease and cavities. We were not born to require supplements of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for our bodies to function properly.
 
We were born to be healthy. We were born to retain our adult teeth throughout our lives until we die. We were born to move and jump and run and exert our bodies. We also were born to have pleasure and relax with nature.
 
Imagine this: Think of sitting on your four-legged dining room chair, and notice what happens. You are comfortable and stable. Now what would happen if one leg suddenly were removed? You’d topple over. How about two legs? Three Legs? You need all four legs of this four-legged chair to give you the support you need. Your healthy, productive body needs stability too. And, your mouth is just an extension of your functioning body. Your mouth is not an island unto itself; it is intricately and intimately connected to everything that happens to each cell in your body.
 
Just as there are four legs to this dining room chair, there are four pillars to a healthy “you”. Chronic disease occurs when one or more of these are broken. The four pillars are:
 
Nutrient-dense real foods
Restorative sleep
Efficient exercise
Stress reduction
 
Here is a brief description of each pillar:
 
Nutrient-dense real foods provide the energy sources that every cell in your body needs to do its thing. These foods consist of wild-caught and free-range animal products from nose to tail along with their wonderful fats, all veggies, some densely colored fruits, as well as nuts and seeds in moderation. These foods also support your good gut bacteria, which are critical for health.
 
Restorative sleep allows important systems of your body to replenish themselves. Your body needs at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night ideally in a quiet, cool, dark space. Your body can’t function properly if you try to catch up on sleep over the weekend. That’s not how it works.
 
Efficient exercise helps maintain and build your body with the least amount of effort for the maximum effect. A science-based, practical routine could include (1) a 10 to 20 minute workout of high-intensity sprinting once every 7 to 10 days, and (2) a 10 to 20 minute workout of strength-training exercises twice a week including squats, pushups, pull-ups, and planks. Also, science has shown that non-exercise movement throughout the day may be as important as efficient exercise. Standing as much as possible and sitting as little as possible should become routine. Simple walking is good movement, and a realistic goal to strive for each day should be 10,000 steps. A good tool to record how many steps you take everyday is a pedometer – a good brand is Omron.
 
Stress reduction includes removal of toxins from internal and external sources as well as removal of psychological stresses. Stresses from any source are toxic to all cells and eventually to all organ systems. As these stressors build up in the body to overload the system, clinical manifestations can appear like the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. These manifestations of toxic overload frequently are expressed differently for each individual.
 
Your body was designed to be a finely tuned machine. These four pillars of health assist every cell in your body to perform as it was meant to perform to create longevity and most importantly quality of life.
 

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