We are taught to accept a present with grace. “Never look a gift-horse in the mouth.” Why stare at a horse’s maul anyhow? The mouth says a lot about overall health for horses and humans. Possibly the most powerful diagnostic tool in my black bag is the tongue depressor, affectionately known as the aah stick.
Investigation AAH unpleasantly begins with smell. Just like my car. Last month my car had bad breath and bad metabolism (poor fuel efficiency). The diagnosis was the O2 sensor. The fuel was not mixing properly. The mechanic called it ‘burning rich’. Eating fat and burning fat foul the human O2 sensors also. Fuel efficiency goes down and people literally ‘burn rich’. So, be careful kissing an Atkins’ dieter.
Gum disease doubles the chances of having a heart attack. Approximately half of American adults have gum disease. Such statistics bestow my ‘aah stick’ with the diagnostic power of cholesterol, body weight and smoking. Here’s what it finds: gums that are red, swollen, bleeding, tender, pulling away from the teeth, pussy if pressed, teeth and partial dentures that are wiggly, and as you guessed, breath that smells. The medical version sounds worse: friable gingiva with purulent exudates, moderate periodontal disease and halitosis.
The key word for the gum-heart connection is ‘inflammation.’ Inflammation is called ‘the secret killer’ on the cover of Time magazine (February 23, 2004), where it is heralded as the link to heart attacks, cancer, alzheimer’s and other diseases. In most tissue inflammation is hidden as Time magazine suggests. You now know better. Aah-hah!
Mouth bacteria are sometimes blamed for gum inflammation. We each depend on about 3 pounds of healthy bacteria that line our linings. These healthy bacteria are like a lawn. If the grass gets thin, the weeds take over. Unhealthy bacteria, like weeds, are aggressive. They become overgrown, make teeth-eroding acid, inflame the gums and sneak into the bloodstream.
Bad breath, bleeding gums and bacteria can be found in one test. My aah stick has also spotted dry salivary glands, discolored teeth, aging amalgam fillings, cysts, rashes, fat swollen tongues the color of merlot and gums the color of a Mary Kay Cadillac. From such findings, I’ve identified many conditions that affect the entire body: decreased taste, bulimia, diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions, numerous fungal viral and bacterial infections, parasites, cancer, menstrual problems and trashy diets. Here’s the take-home message. An unhealthy mouth means unhealthy tissues.
If it seems that the aah stick is pointing at you, see both your doctor for a heart work up and your dentist for damage control. Get a head start with a quality daily multiple vitamin and coenzyme Q10 (200mg). Use your gums to watch your muscle tissue grow.
Performing ‘aah’perations since 1991