I'm sure you are well aware of the correlation between gum disease and systematic health problems such as heart disease. One theory is that the bacteria from gum inflammation enter the blood vessels and attach to fatty deposits, causing blood clots and stroke or heart attacks. Now there is more correlation linking gum disease to diabetes and kidney disease and obesity. Those with diabetes and kidney disease tend to be immuno-compromised and have dry mouths. Dry mouth can lead to more plaque & tartar buildup on teeth, and therefore more gingival inflammation. Those with obesity have more inflammatory factors released by the fat cells, which means the body is in constant low grade inflammation, which can lead to progression of gum disease, diabetes and heart disease. More research are showing at the cellular level the inflammation factors can add up and wreak havoc on your body. It's a circular pattern that link all these conditions and factors. This is why we emphasize regular cleanings, good hygiene- not just to preserve your teeth for the rest of your life, but also to maintain a healthy body. For more info about obesity and perio disease, click here.
A patient asked me about sodium lauryl sulfate in toothpaste- if it's safe to use. I couldn't find any articles in my dental journals, so these findings are from what I can find on the internet. Sodium lauryl sulfate in toothpaste (also known as SLS) is a common ingredient found in shampoo and toothpaste. Its main use is a surfactant, to produce foam and thicken the paste. There are reports of SLS being linked to cancer, but these claims are unsupported. There are reports that SLS can hinder the release of fluoride in the toothpaste, which is not great because you want the fluoride the strengthen your enamel. There are also studies which show SLS can increase incidence of aphthous ulcers (canker sores) in the mouth. So what to do? I wouldn't consider SLS harmful, but if your mouth does get irritated or you get canker sores easily, consider getting SLS-free toothpaste such as the natural toothpaste like Tom's of Maine, or ProNamel.