Monday, July 20, 2015

Manure in the Medical Media: neglecting your teeth...could also cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer

Breaking news from The Guardian's Health and Wellbeing section, July 19, 2015: "Why neglecting your teeth could be seriously bad for your health " with the sub-heading "It’s no secret that a lackadaisical approach to dental care leads to fillings and gum disease, but the latest evidence suggests it could also cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer" leading the article and the email blast as well, written by Linda Geddes "freelance science journalist".
What did Linda actually write? "it’s too early to say for sure that gum disease directly causes other more serious illnesses".

"In the past decade, there has been an explosion of new research linking oral health to illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The most likely explanation is inflammation"

"Despite such evidence, it’s still possible that gum disease doesn’t directly cause heart disease. Another possibility is nutrition"

"periodontal therapy may actually lower blood-sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes."

"The links between gum disease and cancer are more circumspect. "

So. There is no evidence to support the Guardian's heading that poor dental care "could also cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer". None. The scientific evidence presented studied people who already have diabetes actually suggested that:

The diabetes scientific study presented did not study 'causes' of diabetes, rather it studied effects of periodontal disease on people who already have diabetes.

On the link between periodontal disease and heart disease the study clearly states: "current research does not yet provide evidence of a causal relationship between the two diseases".

People who already have cancer are unable to fight it effectively if they also have dental inflammation.

The article's conclusion: brush your teeth regularly, visit your dentist often for teeth cleaning may have some benefit, but it is not supported by the poorly written, poorly edited, and poorly presented medical media manure.


What is the truth about periodontal disease, diabetes, heart disease and cancer? Is there any truth in the article? Yes and no.

The truth about periodontal disease is simple and obvious.

Health is slow.  Health comes from the inside and grows outwards.  You can't make your car run better by polishing the paint job, and you can't make your teeth better by polishing them either. The key to dental health is nutrition, and the key to poor dental health is poor nutrition. Dental disease may require additional attention, but dental health comes not from disease treatments, it comes from eating healthy foods, that grow healthy gums and healthy teeth. \

The proposed link between periodontal disease and diabetes, heart disease, and cancer is inflammation.  But what is the cause of inflammation? Inflammation is caused by poor health, not by neglecting to brush your teeth. Inflammation is caused by poor nutritional health.  Are there any other causes? Yes, physical damage caused by stress or by bacterial infections.

So.. what causes inflammation, periodontal disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer?

Poor health, most specifically poor nutrition.

But that's not the news you will hear from anyone selling dental treatments, toothbrushes or toothpaste.

to your health, tracy

 Tracy is the author of two books about healthicine: