Dental treatment plans
So I had my 6 month periodontal maintenance and deep cleaning (cleaning under the gum down to the root) performed on my teeth today. Currently, I am under a treatment plan for early stages of periodontal disease which in my case includes swollen, red, and irritated gums. This plan entails going to the dentist every 3 – 6 months for a thorough cleaning of my teeth (scraping off tartar deposits on and in between my teeth) and tissues.
No stranger to the dentist
Surprisingly, I am no stranger to dental offices. In fact, I have been going to the dentist regularly for the last 30 years. In addition, until about 5 years ago, I never had a cavity. However, now every time I go to the dentist, I’m told I have significant tartar buildup and receding and inflamed gums.
In need of answers
As expected, I always inquire about why this happens to me and what I can do differently. Their response is usually this: you are just one of those people who accumulate a lot of tarter quickly on their teeth. They go on further to say: maybe it’s hereditary or maybe it’s just your body’s make-up. Well, these responses weren’t enough for me so I did my own investigation….
First thing you should know about your dental health is the term, biofilm. Biofilm “forms when bacteria adhere to surfaces in some form of a watery environment.” (www.colgateprofessional.com). As a result, it produces a layer/coating on the teeth consisting of colonies capable of inflicting disease. Furthermore, a well-known type of biofilm that accumulates on your teeth is dental plaque.
Plaque to tarter
Once plaque is established on the teeth, it has to be removed by brushing or flossing. If not removed, the minerals in your saliva collect in the plaque biofilm causing calcification to occur. This calcification process happens in a period of 24 – 72 hours and progresses to the substance, tarter. Moreover, tarter has to be removed professionally. In contrast, you can rid your mouth of plaque buildup with good oral hygiene.
Teeth whitening 4 you
Did you know that maintaining a healthy pH level in our mouths will keep the unhealthy bacteria away? First, pH stands for potential Hydrogen or simply put, the acid/alkaline balance in our bodies. As a point of reference, your pH number can range from 0 to 14 and if your pH is 7 or below, you are more acidic than alkaline and vice versa. Basically, if you are too acidic, your electrolytes (managed by your kidneys) can only do so much in eliminating excessive acid. As a result, your cells become compromised in mineral content and thus, vulnerable to germs and infections.
PH and bad bacteria
With that being said, keep in mind that your saliva is capable of nullifying acid. However, this neutralizing process can be time-consuming if the acidic concentration is high. Therefore, bad bacteria may have just enough of a delay to induce mayhem on the gums and teeth. In conclusion, “regulating the pH in the mouth will help reduce the bacteria in our mouths, thereby reducing our risk for cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.” (carefree dental.com).
The pH balancing act
So how do we counterbalance our pH in order to have symmetry with both good and bad bacteria? Well, as you can imagine, it all comes down to what we put in our bodies. Have you ever heard the saying, “Garbage in, garbage out?” Balancing your body’s pH is along the same line as following a healthy diet. Basically, you want more than 50% of your pH to be higher in alkaline concentration than acidic.
Therefore, I have some examples of both foods high in alkaline and common acidic foods. First, the very colorful vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans, kale, red bell peppers, and spinach are all great sources of alkaline. In addition, beans such as lima, navy, and soy, as well as seeds to include cumin, fennel, and sesame are alkaline-rich food options. Lastly, fruits like coconut and melon, as well as choosing egg whites for breakfast every morning will give your pH an alkaline boost.
In terms of acidic foods, most breads are in the acidic group, as well as condiments to include ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard. Not to mention, some canned food items such as vegetables and tuna are deemed acidic. Finally, the last four acidic food items to mention I enjoy the most – cheese, coffee, peanut butter (even organic), and wine. Fortunately, I’m here to tell you that depleting yourself of your most desired foods doesn’t have to be exclusive to obtain healthier teeth and gums.
Natural healing options
1.) Neem oil. This oil has anti-bacterial features which soothe bleeding gums and keep gums from getting inflamed (gingivitis). It also helps to contain the bacteria and plaque buildup in your mouth and strengthen tooth enamel.
2.) Drink your green tea. This tea has “high levels of the antioxidant, catechin, which has the ability to reduce inflammation in the body, as well as indicators of periodontal disease” (thechalkboardmag.com).
3.) Cleanse with baking soda mixture. In the morning, put 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in a full glass of water and mix it around in your mouth. This will give your pH an even keel to start the day!
4.) Oil pulling. Swish with 1 – 3 teaspoons of either coconut, olive, or sesame oil for 5 – 20 minutes in order to extract harmful bacteria from your body by way of your teeth and gums. *be sure to brush after.
5.) Make your own toothpaste. Combine 2 of the above mentioned (3 tablespoons of both baking soda and coconut oil) with 10 – 15 drops of peppermint essential oil (for fresher breath) to have a DIY natural toothpaste. *add artificial sweetener, stevia, for added flavor.
So there you have some thoughts on healing your teeth naturally. I realize that adjusting your diet in order to have healthier teeth and gums can be challenging. However, implementing some natural ways to keep your mouth healthier may be a more feasible option. Either way, hopefully you can minimize those dreaded and expensive dental visits in your future. With that being said, here’s to living your best life ever! Feel free to leave me a comment or any insight you may have on the topic of healing your teeth naturally.
Colgateprofessional.com. (2018). What Is Biofilm. [online] Available at: https://www.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/articles/what-is-biofilm [Accessed 28 Feb. 2018].
Dental, C. (2016). The Importance of pH Balance in the Mouth. [online] Carefreedental.com. Available at: https://www.carefreedental.com/resources/17-nutrition/152-the-importance-of-ph-balance-in-the-mouth [Accessed 28 Feb. 2018].
Felts, L. (2014). Detox Your Mouth: 9 Holistic Treatments For Oral Health. [online] The Chalkboard. Available at: http://thechalkboardmag.com/detox-your-mouth-9-holistic-oral-health-treatments [Accessed 1 Mar. 2018].