There are plenty of reasons why people get heart disease, from genetics to diet to inflammation. But one greatly overlooked factor is in your mouth. We now know that there's a direct relationship between dental bacteria and heart-attack causing bacteria in your coronary arteries.
In fact, the more periodontal bacteria a person has, the more bad bacteria there tend to be in the arteries. Studies show that people with severe periodontal disease have as much as four times more harmful bacterial in their blood than people with moderate or no periodontal disease. This is a great reason to have your teeth cleaned professionally at least twice a year.
But you can do more. If you use the right mouthwash, you can actually lower your bacterial count. You see, some mouthwashes are particularly good at reducing bacteria and dental plaque.
I found two mouthwashes with natural ingredients that can improve the health of your mouth. You can find the Natural Dentist Herbal Mouth & Gum Therapy Daily Oral Rinse in many drugstores across the country. If your local store doesn't carry it, you or they should be able to order it (800-615-6895). Researchers clinically tested this mouthwash and found that it kills bacteria more effectively than Listerine! One of its ingredients, Sanguinaria Canadensis (Bloodroot) significantly reduces plaque and bleeding.
The second product is a well-kept secret: Earth Spirits Gum Treatment. I heard about it from an herbalist in Northern California who saw dramatic improvements in people with periodontal disease. "Deep pockets around their teeth improve from a ‘6' (a sign of periodontal disease) to a ‘1' or a ‘2' (normal) when they brush, floss, and use this mouthwash twice a day," she told me. "Their dentists don't believe their eyes."
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In addition to antibacterial herbs, Earth Spirits Gum Treatment concentrate contains prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum). This improves circulation and stimulates mucous membranes. This herb may be responsible for the mouthwash's effectiveness. To order it, write Linda Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 541-556-3741. A one-month supply (two-ounce bottle) costs $14. If you have a problem mouth and are concerned about heart disease, it's a small price to pay.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Desvarieux, Moise, MD, PhD, et al. "Periodontal microbiota and carotid intima-media thickness," Circulation, February 2005.
Geerts, S.O., et al. "Further evidence of the association between periodontal conditions and coronary artery disease," J Periodontal, September 2004.
Dorman, H.J. and S.G. Deans. "Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils," J Appl Microbiol, February 2000.
Fabry, W., et al. "Antibacterial activity of East African medicinal plants," J Ethnopharmacol, February 1998.
Guitz, J., DDS and J.M. Kaim, DDS. "An in vivo comparison of the antimicrobial activities of three mouth rinses," Journal of Clinical Dentistry, 1998; vol 9.
Hoffman, David. Medical Herbalism, Healing Arts Press, 2003