What is Inflammation?
“Inflammation is the body’s attempt at self-protection; the aim being to remove harmful stimuli, including damaged cells, irritants, or pathogens-and begin the healing process” (Nordqvist, 2015). Our bodies are quite extraordinary. The involuntary processes that are constantly taking place to keep us alive and thriving are remarkable. However, we should not take our bodies for granted because while we are rather resilient, if we do not take care of our bodies our bodies eventually will not be able to take care of us.
There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation starts suddenly and can become severe very quickly. This is the immune system’s natural response though and is not a bad thing. This type of inflammation is caused by an injury (cut, torn tissue, broken bone, etc.), viral or bacterial infection, or fungus. Chronic inflammation is long-term and can lead to serious diseases and conditions. Acute inflammation can become chronic inflammation if the initial cause of the inflammation is never eliminated. When you have chronic inflammation, your white blood cells end up mistakenly attacking healthy tissues and cells in your internal organs. These signals are often sent out due to a number of habitual environmental factors (things that are in your control) and sometimes due to your genetics.
Unfortunately, chronic inflammation doesn’t always produce noticeable symptoms. However, chronic inflammation is linked to the majority of diseases. Chronic inflammation can be caused by poor diet, pollution and free radicals, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, chronic stress, obesity, hormone imbalance, and genetics. Chronic inflammation can affect all different parts of your body and can cause all sorts of maladies, some even being life threatening.
In this next mini series, we will talk about the specific risks, diseases, and conditions that are caused by chronic inflammation, how inflammation affects your oral health, and how to reduce your risks and prevent chronic inflammation. Most of the time, it is all about the choices that you make and how you take care for yourself. We want to share with you all of this valuable information so that you can go on to lead a healthy, happy, and long life. Health is everything!