How to Create a Healthier Mouth Environment

Posted on June 23, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

As most of you know I am a dentist as well as a naturopath and because of this background I thought it appropriate to discuss oral health. When the gums bleed this indicates an inflamed condition of the gum tissue termed gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first step towards the more serious condition of the supporting structures for the teeth which is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease affects all of the tissues which support your teeth for proper function including the bone retaining your teeth in your jaw bone.

Statistically, 38% of 20 year olds and 58% of 50 year olds have periodontal disease which is directly caused by unwanted bacteria in the mouth. Now we all have bacteria in our mouths but the more plaque or soft debris that accumulates around our teeth the more bacteria there are to produce enzymes destructive to our periodontal tissues and jeopardize the support for our teeth.

There is an old saying in dentistry that the health of your gums and periodontal tissues is a reflection of your general health. So if you have poor oral health you most likely have poor general health as well. Proper and timely personal oral hygiene care, routine dental visits and quality nutrition are paramount to healthy periodontal tissues. Poor periodontal health is linked to a number of systemic health conditions and even to low birth weight new born babies. It may come as a surprise to you to find out that more people lose teeth due to periodontal disease than to tooth decay.

Understand that it is normal to have bacteria in the mouth and with good oral hygiene and good nutrition and a healthy immune system those bacteria are kept in check. However, the immune system can become compromised with a poor diet, adrenal exhaustion or toxic overload and more. With a weakened immune system the door opens for the unwanted organisms to thrive and cause deeper levels of infection. If you see bleeding gums you need to evaluate your oral hygiene, check the quality of your food intake and consider supporting the immune system on a global or systemic level.

There is an ancient method of removing unwanted organisms from the mouth called “Oil Pulling” with an origin from Ayurvedic medicine. Most of the disease causing organisms in the mouth have a fatty membrane covering them like your skin covers you. With oil pulling, you swish 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil in your mouth for 15 minutes, drawing or pulling the oil between your teeth and over and under your tongue. The fatty membrane of the organisms is attracted to the sesame seed oil like a magnet and after 15 minutes of swishing you spit out the oil and the organisms now attached to the sesame seed oil are eliminated with the oil.

It is suggested you perform this procedure every day for a couple of weeks then less frequently as your condition improves. Always seek the advice of your dentist for the overall health of your oral tissues.

It has been reported that sinus and ear conditions may improve using oil pulling. You might want to give it a try to use on a preventive basis as I do.

Jim Harris – a virtual or distance healthcare practioner
Naturopath and Nutritionist
The Art of Wellness Center

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