The first stage of digestion happens in the mouth: chewing your food. Your mouth is also a breeding ground for bacteria. Most health issues have several contributing factors. A constant assault of harmful bacteria from your mouth can impair your digestive and immune systems, and directly impact other parts of your body. If bacteria from your mouth isn’t minimized through good nutrition and proper oral health care, you are setting the stage for other health problems, some of which may be life threatening.
The veins under your tongue are close to the surface. So nutrients, and pathogens, are ingested faster through these veins than by any means other than injection. If your mouth harbors large pockets of harmful bacteria it can go straight into your bloodstream. This can induce systemic bacterial infections and create inflammation, pain and health problems throughout your body.
Inflammation is now being linked to heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer’s. Western medicine has made the connection between heart health, oral bacteria and oral infections. This is why, before having some dental procedures antibiotics are routinely prescribed.
Pockets around the teeth can become a breeding ground for bacteria. This can cause loose teeth, infection, decay below the gum line and bone loss of the jaw. For your teeth to stay healthy your gums must be maintained in a healthy condition.
Use a waterpik to clean debris from between the teeth. A low setting is best to gently flush out the pockets in the gums. Aim the water into the pockets around the base of your teeth, a few seconds for each area. Using a low setting gently flushes out debris, using a higher setting can increase the size of the pockets by stressing the tissue and forcing bacteria further under the gums. A half teaspoon of an herbal solution mixed in with the water in the water pick tank, kills bacteria and promotes healthy gums. I use “Under the Gums Irrigant” by Dental Herb Company. When I am almost to the bottom of a bottle I fill it with water to use as a mouthwash.
Flossing is also very important as it scrapes more debris from the teeth. Be sure to floss the backs of your back teeth as well.
Clean and massage your gums by using tiny, toothpick sized brushes. There are different sizes for the various spaces between your teeth. Just like any massage, this stimulates the flow of blood in the tissues, enhancing the health of your gums. Dipping the brushes in the herbal solution before and after use also aids your gums. These brushes are available where dental floss is sold.
A SoniCare toothbrush is a gentle way of thoroughly cleaning your teeth. You don’t want to scrub your gums with your toothbrush. The abrasion can cause gum loss. Just angle the sonic brush, and hold in place to softly brush up under the gums after gently cleaning your teeth. I also use an herbal toothpaste by Dental Herb Company.You can order their products online.
Even after brushing your teeth before bed, bacteria grows overnight in your mouth. The result is morning breath. So it’s a good idea to give your teeth a quick brush and herbal rinse when you first wake up. If you wait until you drink water and have breakfast, you are flushing the build up of bacteria into both your digestive system, and the veins under your tongue; thereby into your bloodstream.
Teeth that don’t match up and fit together properly can cause problems as well. An incorrect bite can cause stress on your teeth, which results in the teeth wiggling back and forth. This can create pockets in the gums, which in turn leads to bacteria accumulation, and decay below the gum line. Most people hold their teeth a bit a part during the day, but nighttime is when teeth will typically clench or grind. Wearing a night guard, fitted from your dentist, can remedy this issue.
Bacteria, virus, yeast, fungus, parasites and cancer cells all thrive in an acidic environment. Everything you eat makes your body acidic, except for vegetables. Eating a variety of at least six different colors and textures of organic vegetables, gives your body the nutrients to heal. If half the food on your plate is vegetables, it makes your body more alkaline than acidic; an environment hostel to negative bacteria. Organic or at least free range protein gives your body what it needs to regenerate cells, to repair gums and teeth and keep them strong. Dark green leafy vegetables, and broccoli, slightly steamed or sautéed provide the calcium your bones and teeth need. And yes, for optimal healing, you need vegetables and protein three times per day.
What do I do to facilitate my patient’s oral health? Nutrients are essential for the health of all tissues in your body. I help my patients figure out an optimal diet for healing and strengthening bones and teeth, and healing or maintaining good gum health. It is also necessary to address assimilation and distribution of nutrients. I then prescribe supplements for any specific digestion or dental problems patients are having, to accelerate healing.
Pasteurized dairy, can create calcium deposits in your body. Calcium deposits in your gallbladder or kidneys appear in the form of stones, on your bones as osteoarthritis, on your eyes as cataracts, and on your teeth as tarter. Calcium deposits are also an indication you aren’t assimilating calcium. When appropriate, I prescribe herbal formulas for calcium assimilation and to break down unwanted calcium deposits.
Problems with teeth and gums indicate other issues in your body that can be addressed naturally.
Oral care is essential to your health. So take care of your gums and teeth so they can take care of you.
Health and Happiness,
Nancy Burton, L.Ac.
P.S. My thanks to my periodontist Dr. Chou, and my dentist Dr. Omura, as well as their staff, for their information on tooth and gum care.