Our teeth are ALIVE, and thus, in constant change.
We often believe that once things go wrong with our teeth and gums, we are no longer in control of their outcome. We find ourselves relying on traditional dental practices, as it is the only option we know. The typical solutions for our dental caries are fillings, extractions, root canals, and the use of chemicals, and antibiotics. While these can be necessary, especially in severe cases, we are learning that these are not the only choices available to us.
YOU actually have the ability to participate in your tooth and gum disease resolution! We can promote our oral health through balancing our microbiome, and diet. This article shares how the current condition of our mouth can be changed - that’s right, research studies, and clinical findings are showing ways you can prevent and heal cavities and oral decline!
First of all, our oral cavity is comprised of bacteria or what we call our Microbiome. In general, a whopping 90% of our composition consists of these synergistic bacteria! One of the most important functions of our oral microbiome in relation to our dental health lies in its ability to prevent pathogenic bacteria from colonizing. When pathogenic bacteria colonize, it means they find a space to proliferate and become densely packed on our teeth, the spaces between them, and all over our tongues and gums. When a colony forms, it secretes a biofilm (aka plaque), which is actually impenetrable to antibiotics.
Bleeding gums can lead to significant health concern as it offers a port of entry for pathogenic bacteria to enter the blood stream and initiate a cascade of inflammation in the body. The result can lead to autoimmune conditions, heart disease, and has also been linked with cancer.
So, how can we promote a healthy microbiome?
Swishing your probiotic – helps populate your mouth with healthy bacteria.Strains of lactobacilli and bifidobacterium are the key players here.
Add your probiotic to a glass of water and swish it around thoroughly before swallowing.
Probiotic lozenges are also available!
Oil pulling with essential oils – to reduce plaque, and prevent the penetration of pathogenic bacteria. Studies have shown that essential oils such as cinnamon, frankincense, oregano, peppermint, rose, and thyme remove pathogenic bacteria while being able to coexist with our beneficial bacteria, leaving our microbiome intact (vs. the unspecific action and microbiome obliteration from antibiotics)!
Maintain hormonal balance - our blood network, and what is called the Dential Lymph System both feed and support our oral health. When functioning optimally our built in toothbrush (aka the Dential Lymph System), is able to naturally prevent the penetration of pathogens, and can even reverse tooth decay by blocking the proliferation of bad bacterial. However, it is dramatically influenced by our hormones, and can be shut down by erratic blood sugar spikes (from eating processed sugary foods, and simple carbohydrates).
This leads us to our second point - diet.
Dr. Weston Price, a well respected dentist who lived in the early 1900’s, brought to light the significance food and dental health. Dr. Ramiel Nagel is a modern resource that compiles and succinctly describes Dr. Weston Price’s research, which you can find here.
According to Dr. Weston Price and Dr. Nagel’s work, there are 4 key ways of healing tooth decay:
Including a mineral rich diet (specifically in Magnesium, Calcium, and Phosphorus)
Increasing fat soluable vitamins A, D, E, K – vitamins D3 and K2 specifically aid in the reminieralization of teeth, helping them become more resilient to future cavities.
Minimizing phytic acid – found in nuts, beans, grains. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient which binds calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, all which are integral to bone health. To mitigate the phytic acid content in these foods, soak, sprout and or ferment them!
Eliminating processed sugars from the diet. Raw honey, and maple syrup can be used in moderation in replacement of refined white and processed sugars.
Taking steps in improving our dental health at any age, can start us en route for significant local and systemic benefits! So let’s protect those pearly white treasures up in our mouth!
For a 10 minute daily regime, check out Nadine Artemis’ book Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums, and or you can watch her free webinar here.
For those looking for more resources, and studies to fill out your knowledge, why not start with the references below!
And we'll all smile on ok :)
Haukioja, A. (2010). Probiotics and oral health. Retrived from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897872/
Southward K. The systemic theory of dental caries. General Dentistry 2011; 59(5): 367-73.
Mellanby, M,. Pattison C,L. (1932). The Influence of a Cereal-Free Diet Rich in Vitamin D And Calcium on Dental Caries in Children. British Medical Journal, 1(37): 507-510.
Nagel, R. (2010). Living with phytic acid. Available at: http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/living-with-phytic-acid.