Periodontal disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and even dementia. According to periodontist and functional medicine practitioner Dr Alvin Danenberg, simply changing diet and lifestyle habits hold the key to reversing this major health threat. In his opinion, a carbohydrate-rich diet, along with processed flour and sugar products, causes caries and gum disease.
Increased consumption of cereals has created a marked increase in plaque, while sugars in syrups, juices, sodas and concentrates produce acids that cause tooth decay. Dr Danenberg points out that this combination in our modern diets is due to many people remaining uninformed about oral care, increasing the risk of disease. Bottom line: poor nutrition, toxicity and chronic inflammation triggered by poor oral health puts our lives at risk, and all of this is avoidable.
Dr Danenberg strongly recommends ‘ancestral nutrition’ – simply the practice of consuming unrefined, unprocessed, whole, natural foods. He is against the use of antibacterial mouthwash products: ‘Bacteria in the mouth should not be killed, but “fed” to encourage the growth of beneficial micro-organisms. This is because mouth bacteria produce hydrogen peroxide that keeps harmful bacteria under control.’