Ten Surprising Facts That Your Dentist Forgot to Mention
Like most of us, you probably learned to brush and floss your teeth as a child. The truth is, brushing and flossing isn’t enough. And we have got the cavities, crowns, root canals, and missing teeth to prove it.
Scientific advances have increased our knowledge about our teeth and our health, enabling us to take charge of our teeth in ways we never dreamed about.
Here are a few less than fun facts about your oral care that may surprise you.
Your teeth are alive and capable of repairing themselves from early cavity damage. When bacteria are removed, and our diet is improved, the cavity can be halted.
Let us compare a brown spot on our tooth to a cut. When we cut ourselves, we clean the wound and care for it, and then it heals. We should regard cavities like open wounds; they are a symptom of infection, not something to fill with foreign substances.
We need to perceive the inside of our mouth as a whole, living organ, a living ecological system that can be nourished, strengthened, and regenerated.
Our saliva contains enzymes that take care of our teeth. When teeth are well lubricated in healthy saliva, our saliva can heal decay — and even prevent it.
Saliva is a perfectly balanced alkaline saline solution of enzymes, peptides, minerals, and bicarbonate. It bathes and lubricates our mouth and is the first step in digestion. If it is too acidic, saliva dissolves teeth enamel, creates a fertile environment for bad breath bacteria, and contributes to sensitive teeth.
On the other hand, if saliva is too alkaline, it excretes calcium and can create calculus buildup on the teeth.
Saliva is one of the superheroes of our mouths. , You can help saliva do its job effectively by keeping hydrated with spring water, brushing after meals, and swishing with salt or baking soda water.
Fact #3Bleeding gums can often be remedied, sometimes in 24 to 48 hours. Gums are quick to heal with only a few minor daily changes. Usually the gums get in trouble before the teeth do. Gums are like turtleneck sweaters to our teeth. If they turn into crew necks, bacteria can get into those pockets around the teeth and cause trouble. It is wise to take care of our gums whenever there are problems. Brushing and swishing with salt or baking soda as well as regular flossing are key to happy, pink gums.
Bleaching your teeth is less than recommended! Whiteness should come from within. White looking teeth are radiating the whiteness of their dentin beneath the enamel. Polishing your teeth with baking soda is a good way to remove bacterial biofilm and stains from foods.
Toothpaste contains synthetic compounds that you do not want in your mouth or your body.
Although we were all raised to use a toothbrush and toothpaste, just stroking your teeth with a toothbrush and rinsing is just as effective at removing food and plaque than using a brush with regular toothpaste. Baking soda is a good replacement.
Fact #6Chronic diseases can originate from root-canalled teeth, according to Dr. George Meinig, author of Root Canal Cover-Up. He concludes a “high percentage of chronic degenerative diseases,” most frequently heart and circulatory disease and joint diseases, can be traced to root canals.” Dr. Meinig founded the American Association of Endodonists (root canal specialists). He was inspired to write his book after reading 1,174 pages of root canal research by Dr. Weston Price, who examined dental infections and degenerative disease.
Fact #7Dental amalgams (silver fillings) leak mercury. If you have amalgam fillings, they may be exposing you to unhealthy levels of mercury. Dr. Boyd Haley reports, “Mercury is one of the most potent chemical inhibitors of thiol-sensitive enzymes, and mercury vapor easily penetrates into the central nervous system. Amalgams leak mercury, this is a fact that any chemistry department can confirm.” The best options for fillings or restorations are ceramics and ceramic-resin hybrids, which are different from porcelain. These ceramic options are generally bio-compatible and are strong enough for long-term use. For more information about the brands and types of bonding options, consult Making the Right Dental Choices by Dr. Bob Marshall.
Fact #8Bacteria that contribute to bad breath and poor oral ecology are present in your mouth immediately after you have your teeth cleaned. These bacteria settle back into the gums and teeth and can enter the blood steam. In fact, one is not allowed to donate blood for 48 hours after a dental cleaning.
There is more to avoiding cavities than avoiding sugary foods because they stick to the teeth. Decay is not caused by sugar touching the teeth, but by sugar in the diet. Prolonged spikes in blood sugar deplete nutrition and reverse the dental lymph flow, and that can result in tooth decay. Maintaining low daily glucose levels is a good way to have a positive impact on the health of our teeth and gums.
Also, sugar creates acidity in the mouth, the opposite of what healthy saliva needs. It also leaches minerals from the teeth, bringing phosphorus and calcium levels into imbalance, which is a formula for decay. Decay of the tooth enamel is less about the food that gets stuck beside it and more about the nutrients that get sucked into it. While external factors play a role, they are not the initiating factors in oral decay.
The science is simple and can be summed up in one sentence: processed and refined foods can alter the flow of nutrients to the teeth. When the internal environment has collapsed, the nutrition is vacant, and you have got a few generations of depleted nutrition in your genealogy, it is less than ideal for your teeth and gums.
Sealing teeth to prevent cavities doesn’t make sense.
Although sealants are often recommended to prevent cavities in children, it is accomplished by etching the tooth and filling micro-pores with plastic resin to seal pits and fissures that often decay. While it seems practical, the sealants leak Bisphenol A (BPA), which can interfere with natural hormones, and the sealant only lasts about a year. If common mouth bacteria become trapped beneath the sealant, it can result in an even weaker tooth when the sealant wears away.
To avoid trapping bacteria, a new technique has been developed. The tooth is cleaned beforehand with a drill burr. Unfortunately, this removes part of the tooth, leaving you with a tiny tool-made cavity on a new healthy tooth to prevent filling a cavity. How does this make sense?
For more information about great oral ecology, read Nadine’s book, Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums.
Nadine Artemis, the founder of Living Libations, is the author of Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums, and Renegade Beauty: Reveal and Revive Your Natural Radiance, which was named one of “The Top 10 Books on Skin Care” by The Strategist of New York Magazine. She is a respected media guest and contributor, and her products have received rave reviews in the New York Times, LA Times, Elle, People, Vogue, and Hollywood Reporter. Described by Alanis Morissette as “a true-sense visionary,” Nadine crafts elegant formulations and healing creations from rare botanicals that have skin glowing around the world. Her concept of Renegade Beauty encourages effortlessness and inspires people to rethink conventional notions of beauty and wellness.