How Your Oral Health Reflects Your Body’s Health

By Dr. Victor Zeines
Dr. Victor Zeines
Dr. Victor Zeines
Dr. Zeines has been practicing Holistic Dentistry for 30 years. He is the author of 3 books, a writer for The Herbal Drugstore and a regular on radio/TV. For information:
September 26, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

It’s been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. I’m not too sure about that, but I am sure that the mouth is one of the mirrors of the body. Stop and think… what exactly is the mouth? Well it’s the beginning of your digestive tract and one of the few internal organs you can see. Because it’s so sensitive to imbalances in the body, changes can be seen in the mouth long before they are affecting the rest of the body. If you go to my website you’ll see the comment Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body many times. It’s even the title of my first book but what’s the connection?

Charles Mayo noted, over 90 years ago, that people who keep their teeth live an average of ten years longer than people who do not. In the surgeon general’s report, Donna Shalala, said in her address of 2000: “The terms oral health and general health should not be interpreted as separate entities. Oral health is integral to general health; this report provides important reminders that oral health means more than healthy teeth and that you cannot be healthy without oral health”.

At the University of Alabama, researcher Marjorie Jeffcoat recently discovered that among 120 women in rural Alabama, those with dental infections were 3 times more likely to have premature, low-birth weight babies than women with healthy teeth and gums. Why would that be? The fact is you don’t get tooth decay (infections) if your mouth is healthy. A healthy mouth means good nutrition. The woman with dental infections simply did not have a good nutritional background and aside from getting cavities, it was showing up in health of their children. 

Gum disease

Over 45% of adults have gum disease but what does it really mean? (hint it’s not about brushing) almost everyone reading this has been to a hygienist and at some point was told that you needed to brush better because you are still getting plaque build up. You can brush forever and that won’t change anything because it’s more about your body’s acid/base balance being off rather then brushing. When your mouth is too acidic, the minerals in the saliva precipitate out and that’s the beginning of plaque formation. The bad bacteria are now growing in greater numbers because the mouth’s environment favors bad bacteria and they are growing under the plaque and producing toxins that are going to the rest of your body. Ok so I have bleeding or puffy gums so what!

…It’s more then so what.

Periodontal disease affects more then just your mouth. An article in Science Daily (Dec. 20, 2008) shows proper dental hygiene should reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke and heart disease independently of other measures, such as managing cholesterol.

Proper dental hygiene is not just brushing…it’s about your diet. Anyone wishing to prove this can do a simple experiment…Check with your dentist about keeping your mouth clean and set up visits with your hygienist every week…at the same time limit your diet to eating fast foods. Within a few months you will get gum disease even though your mouth would be considered spotless.

Arnin Grau, M.D., of the Department of Neurology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany discovered that poor dental status resulting from chronic dental and bone infection was associated with a stroke increase of two and one-half times over patients without periodontal disease. “In stroke cases, only the dental factor is causative and significant.” 

In yet another study conducted at the University of Buffalo, researchers surveyed the health history of 9,982 people from 25 to 75 and found that the 35% with severe gum disease were twice as likely to have a stroke. Why should this happen from gum Disease?

ScienceDaily (Dec. 20, 2008) —new research shows proper dental hygiene should reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke and heart disease independently of other measures, such as managing cholesterol. Mario Clerici, M.D., a senior researcher on the study, states “Our study suggests that this is the case, and indicates that something as simple as taking good care of your teeth and gums can greatly reduce your risk of developing serious diseases.” 

A study published in ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’. Shows how C-Reactive Protein causes arteries to inflame and blood to clot which can cause heart attacks and stroke. Medical researchers now think that periodontal disease is related to increased levels of C-Reactive Protein. They say that toxins, which are generated as waste by periodontal bacteria get into the blood and trigger the liver to make more C-Reactive Protein.

According to the American Diabetes Association, over 20 million Americans have Diabetes. About one third of those who have the disease are unaware they have it and only one half of those diagnosed have it under control). Diabetes is developing at an unprecedented rate in our country and millions of people are not aware of their condition. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the link between diabetics and periodontal disease means that diabetics have double the rate of periodontal disease than the non-diabetic population. A study from Japan concluded that treatment of periodontal disease may reduce the development of diabetes.

Men with gum disease have a 63% higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to US researchers. Released in January 2007, the Harvard-based study suggests mouth bacteria, and the body’s attempt to fight them, may produce carcinogenic chemicals that trigger disease.

If you think of periodontal disease as one of the first stages of nutritional deficiencies it starts to make sense. You see, what we are dealing with is not poor brushing but problems that may be the result of the following:

  • Not getting the proper nutrients in your diet, resulting in an acidic environment in the mouth.
  • Not properly absorbing nutrients.
  • Excessive stress which can cause a rapid depletion of the body’s minerals
  • Hormonal imbalances. If the imbalance is due to an illness, some glands may not be functioning properly, mineral deficiencies can be the result.

So now we know it’s not just your teeth that are at risk.

What’s the answer? 

Well what if we were to think of periodontal disease not as a disease but as a symptom of the body being out of balance nutritionally?

When being treated for periodontal disease, make sure you do a diet analysis. Patients also fill out a symptom survey form which can be found on my website One of the first things to do is to make sure you are alkaline.

Here is a simple way to insure you are not acidic:

Lemons – Lemons have many valuable healing properties, some having not yet been fully recognized. Lemons are good for getting rid of shingles, and for healing gall stones, being high in Vit C. Lemons are beneficial for the skin, reduce fat and dissolve certain waste particles in the blood stream.

Lemons tend to remove toxins from your system, as well as reduce any radiation that might be present in the body. If you have had chemotherapy or radiation, this lemon remedy can be helpful. 

This should be mixed with a liter of warm water (size: average seltzer bottle)

Day 1 – one lemon

Day 2 – 1 1/2 lemons

Day 3 – 2 lemons

Day 4 – 2 1/2 lemons 

Keep increasing the amount of lemons by ½ each day until you reach 5 lemons a day this will push the body into an alkaline state.

5 lemons a day is a reasonable amount for smaller people and children. You can go up to 20 lemons a day. Just remember to rinse your mouth with water after taking lemons because they have an acidic effect in the mouth. You can add stevia… adjust to your taste.

You do not have to drink the lemon juice all at once. You can make it and keep some in the refrigerator and drink some throughout the day

After consuming the lemon drink make sure you rinse your mouth with water every time you drink this since lemons can affect your tooth enamel over time

Once you have achieved your high goal start decreasing the lemons by ½ a day till you get to zero. A diet high in greens will also help heal or prevent periodontal problems. 

Dr. Zeines has been practicing Holistic Dentistry for 30 years. He is the author of 3 books, a writer for The Herbal Drugstore and a regular on radio/TV. For information: