Teeth are a subject I have been wanting to write about for a while, as problems with them pop up time and again in my clinic either because of how they look or ongoing problems like abscesses, bleeding gums, sensitivity, amalgam fillings, root canals and cavities.
Teeth have always been an obvious part of our appearance, but recently, thanks to modern day celebrity culture, the aesthetics of teeth have never been so prominent in our lives. We are constantly exposed to advertising messages about whitening products, from toothpastes to full-blown chemical treatments, and these days we often see adults wearing a brace where as once it was typical only of teenagers. Straight, white teeth are now very big business.
Sadly though, in these modern times with the focus very much on the superficial, we could easily forget that our teeth are not just hard, mechanical, white (if we’re lucky) structures that help us break down and chew our food, but are also playing an intrinsic role in our overall health.
Tooth decay is the worst it has been in the last 100 years with more children than ever having multiple teeth extracted under general anaesthetic. The problem is not just limited to baby teeth, as the Office of National Statistics shows that 14% of 8 year olds have decay in permanent teeth, and at this very young age 1 in 100 children actually lose an adult tooth to decay.
We all aspire to having nice teeth but do you truly know how to care for your teeth and that how well you care for your teeth has a massive impact on your overall health?
Dentists admonish us with the same patter of brush more, floss more. This repetitive script clearly isn’t the answer, as mouth health is getting worse by the decade. No amount of brushing or flossing is going to overcome poor tooth health that is affected by hormonal imbalances, mineral deficiencies and poor diets. What is less well known, especially by dentists, is that minerals and bacteria in saliva dictate how plaque builds up on the teeth, and a build up of plaque on the teeth is a reflection of overall high acidity in the body.
Fluoride is still touted by many dentists, as the saviour of healthy teeth. If this is so, then why in the last 100 years are our teeth is a worse state than ever? How wrong can they be? I have posted regularly on my Facebook page about the dangers of fluoride found in both in water and toothpaste. Fluoride is an industrial toxic waste and does untold damage to our bodies, especially to our thyroids and blood brain barriers, (think mental problems from autism to schizophrenia). It is a poisonous chemical that causes cancer, damages the nervous system and weakens the teeth and bones and has been proven time after time that it also lowers children’s IQ and causes all sorts of autoimmune problems.
If you want to learn more about fluoride’s dangers, then check out Aisling FitzGibbon, ‘The Girl Against Fluoride’ on Facebook, she is petitioning to get fluoride out of the water in Ireland. A place where the health statistics tell the complete story of the damage to the population’s health.
I have not used fluoride toothpaste for years (since I got wise about it’s toxic effects on my thyroid) and my 8 and 10 year old children have never used fluoride toothpaste. None of us have cavities.
Some very informative controversial documentaries have been made about fluoride that will give you a much clearer view of its dangers and how the massive misconception of fluoride being healthy came about. The links are at the end of this article and no matter what your dentist tells you, fluoride is a poisonous chemical.
Fluoride also interferes with our absorption of iodine by using the receptors in the thyroid that would ordinarily be used for iodine having a detrimental effect. Iodine is a key component of producing thyroid hormones, key in regulating our metabolism. Is it any wonder that in the USA, where water is fluoridated, that you have a nation of people focused on perfect teeth but with a national obesity crisis? Some practitioners in the UK have reported clients losing weight simply by changing to a non-fluoride toothpaste.
The modern day diet for many has the average person (here in the UK) consuming 238 teaspoons of sugar or 952 grams per week. An imbalanced diet heavy on grains, fruit and simple carbohydrates as well as hidden sugar in processed foods is playing havoc with our overall health, not just our teeth. The teeth offer a mirror to what damage is taking place inside our bodies. Instead of looking at the aesthetics of our teeth as a standalone problem we really should be looking deeper.
Tooth decay starts when nutrients are lacking in the diet. High levels of sugar deplete many minerals including calcium and on top of that blood sugar spikes (caused by a high glycaemia index diet) also create problems with calcium displacement. The out dated view that sugar eats away at your teeth and brushing prevents this is entirely inaccurate and still throws the guilt on the child needing an extra filling for supposedly not brushing their teeth properly. A highly refined diet with sugar, grains and simple carbohydrates throws minerals off balance and create problems from the inside, where the dentine feeds the teeth (cavities start from the inside out like a tree with rotten roots) or not in the case of a mineral deficient diet. Spikes in blood sugar levels also lead to the leaching of phosphorous from the teeth, which is another essential mineral needed for good tooth health. In addition, the risk of heart disease and cancer increases dramatically with the presence of gum disease
How our teeth grow and form and position themselves in our mouth are a direct reflection of the nutrients we received whilst growing in our mother’s womb. It is easy to assume that how straight our teeth grow and how well spaced they are, is simply down to luck. The diet and health of our mothers directly reflect how well our mouth forms to provide the perfect housing for our teeth. A high roofed mouth, crowded teeth, and at the extreme end of the scale, a cleft palate, all reflect that there were mineral deficiencies and/or calcium displacement whilst the foetus developed in the womb.
The 19th Century dentist Dr Weston Price researched the fascinating links between nutrition and dental health and his groundbreaking work is still referred to today. If your dentist hasn’t heard of him you might want to consider changing dentists.
Dr Weston Price’s famed research involved looking at the dental health of different cultures around the world related to their diet. He was lucky enough to be, living at a time where he could observe cultures that had segments where some were still eating the nutrition that had been traditional to them for 100’s of years, whilst also finding segments that were newly exposed to the more modern processed, ‘white foods’ that were high in sugar and flour content. His work has been published in the book ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration’ where photos show that within just one generation the nutritional deficiencies created by changes in diet created not only cavities but also very different, less attractive, facial structures and the overcrowding of teeth.
It might surprise you to know that teeth have a self cleansing ability with the dental fluid within if a balanced diet is followed. This is reflected in the work of Dr Weston Price where the different cultures eating their traditional diets did very little if any teeth cleaning and had beautiful white strong teeth without cavities. The mouth is a prime location for bacteria and once again if the body is in balance, particularly the gut via a good diet, then this proves not to be a problem
There are many unlucky people that have been exposed to the ‘drill, fill and bill’ mentality of the profit rather than health orientated dentist, but how far has dentistry really come? There is the odd dental practice that uses a more holistic approach that recognises that the teeth are not stand alone objects, but are in fact a living part of the body that is intrinsically connected to the health of the endocrine system, the heart and circulatory system and the gut health and digestive system.
As with all the elements of your health I would advise you take control of your own mouth health. Do not leave your health in your dentists’ hands and assume all will be fine. Teeth are precious living parts of our body and need to be cared for as such.
So where do we go from here?
Start with my favourite all round kitchen and bathroom product – coconut oil, the number one ingredient for tooth care.
Oil pulling –This involves swishing the oil all around your mouth for 10 to 20mins, pulling and sucking it through the teeth and all around the mouth itself. I use coconut oil due to its many health giving properties, but you can use any good quality undamaged oil. The oil attracts all the bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit your mouth, enabling you to effectively get rid of them. This helps with oral hygiene, teeth cleaning and general immune system functioning. This makes your mouth feel cleaner, your teeth get whiter, removes stains and is also very effective for removing tartar. It feels amazing afterwards when you run your tongue over you teeth. This technique has saved many a bad tooth that would otherwise have been sentenced by the dentist to extraction.
Waterpik – I absolutely love this device. It’s like a jet wash for your teeth and gets out the last remnants from between your teeth that you didn’t even know where there. A highly effective alternative to flossing around those tricky, hard to reach areas.
Toothsoap – This is available online or you can easily make your own. The main ingredient in making your own has to be coconut oil with its amazing antifungal and antibacterial qualities (so also great for oral thrush). Coconut oil has been found to stop and even reverse tooth decay (I have had some first hand accounts of this). The next ingredient is baking soda as it is a very mild abrasive. Don’t use every day though for this reason (3 times a week should be fine). It is also very alkaline and so neutralises acids in your mouth and of course is well know to absorb bad odours so will also give you sweet smelling breath.
If you fancy having a go at making your own use a 50:50 ratio of coconut oil and baking soda and add a few drops of essential oil, with peppermint and/or citrus flavours working well. If you want to make it even more appealing, especially for little ones add some sweet sugar-free stevia. Keep in a glass jar in your bathroom and spoon onto toothbrush when needed.
Baking soda and organic apple cider vinegar deep tooth clean – I do this only occasionally and it’s like a volcano explosion in your mouth (and reminiscent of doing volcano experiments at school). This technique helps to get rid of plaque around the gum line. Your teeth will feel squeaky clean for hours afterwards. Start with packing around your teeth with baking soda and then take a mouthful of apple cider vinegar and feel the explosion in your mouth! The alkaline pH of the baking soda counteracts the acidity of the vinegar leaving a lovely and thoroughly clean mouth and teeth.
Co Q10, as well as being a ‘must-have’ supplement for anyone on Statins its most researched benefits are shown to be great gum health. This includes inflamed bleeding gums, receding gums (which are also a sign of mineral deficiencies and bone loss in the jaw) and gingivitis.
Have fun trying one of these new healthy ways to care for your teeth and start looking at nourishing your teeth from the inside.
If you feel you need help with your teeth and mouth health or want to move towards a healthier eating lifestyle or just feel that your health is out of balance then here is a link to the form where you can contact me:
Alternatively you can book consultations by calling me on 07786 687444 or you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Fluoride Information Documentaries
The Fluoride Deception
Fluoride: The Hard to Swallow Truth
A video produced by the Fluoride Action Network