The Gingivitis–Heart Disease–Sleep Apnea Connection
Posted Dec 02 2009 2:54am
There have been numerous studies on your increased risk of heart disease if you have gum disease or cavities. The most common explanation is based on the antiquated germ-theory that Louis Pasteur developed over 100 years ago—that bacteria or other pathogens in the gums and the teeth can travel into the bloodstream and lodge in the heart, causing heart disease. The explanations that were given during medical school were never too satisfying. To this day, I still wonder how bacteria in your mouth can spread and reach your heart. We have hundreds, if not thousands of stains of bacteria living naturally in our bodies. Why do some preferentially reach the heart, whereas others can’t?
If you look at this connection through the perspective of my sleep-breathing paradigm, there’s a much better explanation. Studies have shown that acid reflux is linked to gingivitis and cavities. What’s acid reflux linked to? Right! Obstructive sleep apnea. I also mentioned in a past post that these same juices also contain bile, digestive enzymes, as well as bacteria. Imagine bathing your gums and teeth in acid, bile, digestive enzymes and bacteria all night. What do you get? Gingivitis and cavities.
In his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Weston Price showed that in certain cultures with wide and spacious jaws, the presence of cavities was almost nonexistent. However, in cultures with narrow jaws dental crowding, cavities were rampant.
There are also tons of studies strongly linking obstructive sleep apnea with heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and heart attack.
So is obstructive sleep apnea the common link? What’s you opinion on this theory? Please enter your comments in the text box below.