Your gums and Your Heart

Your Gums and Your Heart

My career has been dedicated to the concept of Biological (or Holistic) Dentistry. Around the year 1975 I was introduced to the concept that the cause of periodontal (or gum) disease was an infection. This was first discussed by Dr. Paul Keyes, my Mentor, who was the head of the National Institute of Dental Research at NIH.

Research at the U. of Michigan then demonstrated that a leading contribution to heart disease was periodontal infection. In fact, one of the main bacteria causing periodontal infection is a bacteria called Porphyromonas Gingivalis (PG), and it has since been proven by conclusive research that PG is found in the arterial plaques which clog the arteries. The only place this bacteria in the arterial blockages could have come from is the mouth. In other words, if you have gum disease, you are likely to be affected by heart disease as a direct result.

Dentistry has long championed a form of gum surgery called “pocket elimination surgery.” This is a good way of eliminating pockets; however, it has nothing to do with the cause of the gum disease (an infection) and it is expensive, painful, and disfiguring. Other than that it’s great!

The way to eliminate this disease is with Biocompatible Periodontal Therapy (BPT). For an explanation of BPT, please visit my Web Site, and click on the tab. How do you know if a dentist knows anything about BPT? First, the dentist and/or the hygienist absolutely must use a microscope for diagnosis and to determine if treatment is working. They will take a sample of the infected plaque and send it to a laboratory to identify the bacteria and determine which antibiotic will kill those bacteria if an antibiotic should become necessary.

A periodontist once said to me, “You lay the responsibility for success of the treatment on the patient.” I told him, “Yes, but I do it up front, not at the end of treatment like you!” And that leads me to the best way you can help to prevent and/or treat gum disease–daily use of a Water Pik. There is no question that this works. Once or twice daily brushing and once or twice daily use of a Water Pik.

Periodontal pocket elimination treatment is only instituted after disease is far along the path of destruction of the bone that supports the teeth. BPT is the best way of determining the presence of an infection long before it destroys bone, and it is also the best way of seeing if treatment is working.

I also recommend advising the patient on how to support their immune system, keep their bone strong, and keep the gum disease from occurring in the first place or eliminating it when it already is there. We do this via nutrition and health coaching.

Remember, your health is in your hands—don’t let it slip away.

Please recommend my blog to anyone you know who is into learning about how they can prevent or treat disease. I will be writing more than ever in the coming months, and I will not waste your time or mine. This blog will be filled with useful info—I promise!!

To Optimal Health,



One response to “Your gums and Your Heart

  1. Hi Tom,

    This is wonderful!! I am going to Balto. on Wednesday to participate in an Interprofessional Day. Our break out group with nurses and med students will be discussing periodontal disease, chronic inflammation and CVD and diabetes….. Thanks much!


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