Key #3: Your Immune System
How Your Immune System Impacts Mouth Health
Many people are unsure what an immune system actually is, where it’s located, or how it helps us fight disease and stay healthy. It’s an amazing system that is basically the control center of our body’s natural healing process. Its main hub is near our digestive tract but immune cells travel in body fluids and reach every area of our body, even our mouth - where immune cells circulate in saliva and help capture harmful bacteria and heal damaged gum tissues.
The healthier your immune system, the more benefit for your oral health!
Snacking and sipping interrupt this healing system for our mouth and gums. If you have acidic and mineral-deficient saliva or a dry mouth (insufficient saliva flow) then you will not have as much benefit and you may have a reduced ability to heal, or more chance of experiencing gum problems and damage. People with compromised immune systems need to take special care of their gums and teeth to avoid devastating mouth problems.
Healthy saliva is a naturally balanced liquid super-saturated with calcium and phosphates that have the capacity to repair and replenish any minerals that were lost from teeth.
Nothing manufactured comes close to the ability of healthy natural saliva to deliver minerals to teeth in this process called re-mineralization. Only when the amount of damage is greater than the ability of saliva to repair this damage does our dental health deteriorate.
Problem of Dry Mouth
Medications and mouth breathing (because of a cold, sinus or allergy nasal problems) will dry your mouth, and there will be less saliva to float immune cells. People with dry mouths often experience gum disease and cavities, darkening of their teeth and sensitivity - problems that often get worse over time.
Problem of Acidic Mouth
Healthy saliva has a pH of 7.4. This is an ideal pH to support a healthy mouth ecology. Prolonged periods of acidity are detrimental to healthy mouth bacteria and promote harmful acid-loving bacteria that build dense plaque and cause tooth and gum damage.
Problem of an Infected Mouth
Harmful bacteria grow in acidic and dry mouth conditions. These bacteria are easily transferred to infect toothbrushes and also passed to other people - especially those you love - in droplets of saliva as we kiss, talk and share food.
Lifestyles that Improve (and do not harm) Your Oral Health