MOUTH HEALTH, NATURAL CAREMy last post mentioned the benefits of taking a probiotic for the digestive tract. This led me to briefly discuss how it proved to be important in the very beginning where it all starts, the mouth. I am so pleased with the changes it made for me along with another few products.
My childhood was not a good time for my teeth! As a child in the 50's, there was way too much candy, soda, cookies/cakes as part of my diet. This set me up for many fillings, especially my back teeth/molars. By the time I started going to my current dentist, 24 years ago, the teeth with many fillings, couldn't be filled any more. At this point, some caps were needed and I really wanted that to be the first and last of my experience with them. I was in my early 40's and still getting occasional cavities along with the worry that my gum health wasn't as good as it should be. But it was by chance that everything started to turn around and improve. This was due to the probiotic I started taking about 17 years ago.
Decades ago, the information about avoiding cavities was to brush your teeth 2 or 3 times a day and not eat too much sugar. For the longest time I believed it was the sugar alone that caused cavities. But even for some people who are so careful with sugar consumption and brush regularly, too many cavities are still a problem. In fact, tooth decay is not a natural process, but a bacterial disease. Bad bacteria in the mouth combine with food debris and mucus to form a sticky substance called plaque that sticks to the surface of our teeth. Sugar is what these bacteria feed on producing an acid which leeches calcium and phosphate from the teeth leading to erosion of the enamel. This is the perfect storm for tooth decay. Having higher than normal levels of bacteria present or saliva that is too acidic makes a person more prone to tooth decay.
Taking a probiotic provides good bacteria to my mouth which keeps the bad bacteria at bay. I was also in the process of changing my diet in so many ways: eating organic foods as much as possible; eliminating white flour, rice and sugar; consuming more fruits and vegetables and learning how to keep my body more alkaline and less acid (this will be discussed in another post). The introduction of calcium with magnesium around this same time frame has also helped strengthen my teeth. Within a few years, I had just one tiny cavity a year. It has been about 10 years now with no cavities! My gums also have become very healthy over time. This is so important for keeping our teeth stable and is all too often a major problem as we age.
The use of Co Q10 supplementation is, I feel, the major reason for my healthy gums. I added this to my routine about 10 years ago after reading the important role it plays with every cell in our body and heart health. We have so much less of it as we age so I started taking 100 mg a day of a quality brand. Just recently I have changed to taking Doctor's Best Best Ubiquinol, which is a form of Co Q10 more readily utilized by the body. Seven years ago, I read of CoQ10's benefits to our gums and started seeing it added to many natural based mouth products such as toothpaste and mouth rinse. Please avoid regular mouth washes as they contain alcohol which kills the much needed good bacteria. As with just about every other aspect, good mouth health starts inside our body through diet and supplementation. The last item to mention is one I have given to every member of my family, Mouth Tonic Herbs Etc. This liquid herbal was a great find for the occasional canker/mouth ulcer, biting the inside cheek or lip, flossing the gum too hard, etc. A few drops of this remedy on the sore spot provides pain relief along with faster healing.
The toothpaste I use is made with all natural ingredients and there are many wonderful brands available. Daily flossing is also a must. The one thing I am still researching is a good natural teeth whitener. The commercial products available contain hydrogen peroxide. While it aids in whitening the teeth, it may also weaken the enamel. When I find a product that is effective and safe, I'll be sure to post it. But I am so pleased with my routine dental checkups when the dentist says, "Whatever you are doing, keep doing it!"
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I am not a doctor and do not claim to be one. These are just my experiences and conclusions.