Like every other disease, periodontal disease begins locally, is exacerbated by various excesses aggravating local effects at specific loci in the gums (as well as simultaneously in many locales all over the body), and driven by at least 6 key and interdependent deficiencies, ultimately exerting local effects at specific loci in the gums (and simultaneously in many locals all over the body), each deficiency involved in vicious cycles with the others, plus one more deficiency.
Periodontal disease has at least one more deficiency, an aggravator, not the cause of the problem, poor oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene can ameliorate the problem driven by subsets of the 6 key interdependent deficiencies.
The six key interdependent deficiencies underlying all disease, even infectious disease, where the infectious agent of disease is not the cause of the disease, as in Koch’s model, but merely the challenger of deficiencies in our defense systems:
- Genetic deficiencies
- Nutrient deficiencies, including conditionally essential nutrients
- Deficiencies in sleep
- Deficiencies in exercise
- Deficiencies in fasting
- Mental health deficiencies
Weston Price provided hundreds of photographs of people with good overall oral health, healthy teeth, healthy gums, healthy tongues, healthy cheeks, etc. None of these people had what you would call good oral hygiene. Their oral hygiene ranged from poor to terrible. Since they had good oral health, a deficiency in oral hygiene is the 7th and least important deficiency leading to periodontal disease.
Here are the grim statistics from the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/conditions/index.htm):
“A recent CDC report1 provides the following data related to prevalence of periodontitis in the U.S.:
- 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease.
- Periodontal Disease increases with age, 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease.”
Obviously, this process gets going very early, implying that we are doing something aggressively wrong, and decelerates with age: 47% of those aged 30 already have identifiable disease and it increases to only 70% by age 65. That is a marked deceleration, due to the presence of a subpopulation with persistently good habits, some of whom will never develop periodontal disease.
“Aggressively wrong” means serious deficiencies in the key drivers and obviously the solution involves a complete lifestyle change to more like a Weston Price “primitive” person.
Here is what the CDC report recommends:
“Prevention and treatment
Gingivitis can be controlled and treated with good oral hygiene and regular professional cleaning. More severe forms of periodontal disease can also be treated successfully but may require more extensive treatment. Such treatment might include deep cleaning of the tooth root surfaces below the gums, medications prescribed to take by mouth or placed directly under the gums, and sometimes corrective surgery.
To help prevent or control periodontal diseases, it is important to:
- Brush and floss every day to remove the bacteria that cause gum disease.
- See a dentist at least once a year for checkups, or more frequently if you have any of the warning signs or risk factors mentioned above.”
This is worse than incredible. I must say it in another language to emphasize it enough – incroyable!