Can Chewing Your Food Longer help Prevent Gum Disease?
It is estimated that most American adults will experience gum disease at some point in their lives. Many of these cases can be treated through increased attention to daily and professional dental care, but some will progress to periodontitis and may even increase risks for systemic illness and disease. It is best then to take steps to prevent gum disease in the first place – and a new study may have just identified one more weapon in the battle against infections in the mouth.
Researchers from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom have recently found that chewing your food releases T helper 17 (Th17) cells, which are part of the adaptive immune system. Th17 cells target harmful pathogens without impacting the beneficial bacteria your body and mouth need for optimal health.
Th17 cells on the skin and in the gut are produced by beneficial bacteria, but in the mouth, they seem to be produced by the act of chewing alone. This means that simply by chewing your food until it is soft, you may be assisting your body in fighting inflammatory conditions of all kinds by increasing the release of Th17 cells into the body.
It is important to remember that inflammation in the mouth can increase risks of other inflammatory conditions including gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and even lupus. The better care you take of your teeth and gums, the lower your risks for these and other inflammatory conditions. Our Mason dentists not only understand the mouth/body connection, but actively work to ensure our patients achieve optimal oral and systemic health. During your next routine visit to our office, we would be happy to discuss the connection between your oral health and health of your body, and to help you understand ways you can protect both against infection and disease.
To schedule your next cleaning and examination at our Mason, Ohio office, please contact Hardin Advanced Dentistry today.