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Making the Connection Between Mouth and Body

Making the Connection Between Mouth and Body

This past weekend I attended the Saskatchewan Oral Health Conference. One of the most interesting speakers was Dr. Uche Odiato. He is a dentist in Toronto who focuses his practice on helping patients achieve great general and oral health!

Here are some of the interesting tidbits from his lecture on the Mouth and Body connection:

1. Eat Healthy

  • 7-9 Fruits and Vegetables a day
  • Try to avoid and eventually eliminate all food that is processed, over prepared to the point it is not recognizable as the original ingredient – like “potato” chips! Eat live food. Avoid boxed, canned and processed foods.
  • Eat wholesome  foods like crunchy broccoli, carrots, whole wheat bread.
  • A Healthy diet supports good overall health and good Dental health!

2. Chocolate is OK!

  • As long as it has 70% cocoa (Lindt is one excellent brand) and you can have a couple squares at 2 pm! It is a excellent source of antioxidants!3) INFLAMMATION  has been determined by researchers to be the underlying factor in many chronic diseased and conditions: periodontal or gum disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, irritable bowel disease, kidney disease and cancer.

3. Inflammation

  • Has been determined by researchers to be the underlying factor in many chronic diseased and conditions: periodontal or gum disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, irritable bowel disease, kidney disease and cancer.
  • If you have diabetes and bleeding gums your risk of premature death increases by 2-3 times
  • Eliminating gum disease add 6.5 more years to your life (and the joy of eating crunchy veggies!)
  • If you have gum disease you are twice as likely to die from heart disease and three times as likely to due from stroke
  • Life expectancy is linked to the number of teeth you have
  • If your have lost 5 teeth or more by age 65 you’re more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis all of which can lead to a shortened life expectancy. If you are 74 years of age and have a full set of teeth you are more likely to live and reach the age of 100 (and be able to eat raw crunchy veggies)

4. Breathe through your nose!

  • Dr. Uche Odiato says “Inhaling gently in and out through your nose is incompatible with low energy thoughts and feelings – It’s one of god’s gifts to us to be able to change how we feel in just.
  • A infant or youngster who is breathing through the mouth rather than the nose is much more likely to develop orthodontic problems with a narrow vaulted palate and crowded teeth.
  • Breathing through your nose warms the air and filters the air going into your lungs. We are designed to breath through our noses- which releases nitric oxide into our inspired air.


Let’s look at the differences in mouth breathers and nose breathers. The consequences of mouth breathing can occur from the moment of birth because all infants are obligate nose breathers. That is the mechanism by which breast feeding and breathing can occur simultaneously. If a baby has obstructed airways, he may turn away from the breast due to lack of air and prefer a bottle, which allows him to consume his food more quickly.

A mouth breather will not be humidifying the air, or slowing it down to allow the proper mixing of Nitric Oxide with it. As the air passes through the nose, the paranasal sinuses release the important element, Nitric Oxide.  The lungs will have difficulty providing maximum oxygenation for the body with this dry, unhumidified, unfiltered and, most importantly, Nitric Oxide deficient air.

This constant and chronic condition affects the cardiovascular system and the heart because the smooth muscles that line all of the arteries react to this poorly oxygenated air with a kind of tightness, a kind of permanent tension, which can be very stressful and depleting to the body. Furthermore it has been clinically shown that blocking Nitric Oxide  production in healthy individuals results in moderate hypertension and reduced heart output as well as shortened bleeding times by activation of platelet blood-clotting factors.

Due to the lack of proper oxygenation, the ability to deliver fully oxygenated blood to the cells is also much reduced. Thus mouth breathing has a negative effect on every cell in the body as it deprives them of oxygen. Overall wellness and health requires proper oxygen as every particle of our being requires oxygen. Cancer cells, by the way, are anaerobic (living in the absence of oxygen) by design.

Other signs of mouth breathing include snoring and cessation of breathing (also know as sleep apnea), some types of headaches, hypertension without other known clinical causes, bed wetting, chronic ear or sinus infections, TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint pain, sleep disorders. Other indicators are: pinched or narrowed nostrils, dark circles under the eyes, poor attention span and hyperactivity complaints.

Have more questions about the Mouth-Body Connection? Give our Regina dentists a call!

From Our Team | Health Style Dental

A message from our dentist

  • As your dentist, I am proud to be a part of your health care team. When medical and dental health care providers collaborate, we can contribute significantly to your overall health by ensuring it's the best it can be.
    - Dr. Loreen Larson