Tag / Dental

Homemade Toothpaste Recipe

Mouth gatewayYour teeth say a lot about your overall health. Gum disease and poor oral health is associated with heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis.

Commercial toothpastes contain many controversial ingredients that can contribute to poor health. Critics argue that glycerin weakens our teeth’s protective enamel and fluoride inhibits thyroid gland function. Current research further questions fluoride’s ability to fight tooth decay.

Whole Body Dental Hygiene

“If our eyes are the gateway to our soul, then the mouth is the gateway to everything else.”

Deborah Steacy, R.D.H., N.H.C
April 9-15th is National Dental Hygienists Week
“Oral Health for Total Health”

There are 500 species of microorganisms in your mouth! Unfortunately many have the capability of entering your bloodstream, therefore increasing your potential for systemic infections. Evaluation of the bacteria below your gumline is best done with a phase contrast microscope. It is quick, easy and non-invasive. No longer do we just use indicators such as bleeding and pocket depths as signs of gum disease. High numbers of spirochetes and white blood cells are closely related to chronic gum disease. The health of your mouth is linked to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, ulcers, diabetes, respiratory disease and cancer.

Dental Health and Acupuncture Meridians

by Jianmin (Jamie) Xu, R.Ac.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the teeth are governed by your kidney Qi ( also spelled “Chi” ). If you have any dental concerns, your first step is to see if your kidneys need support. Balancing and supporting your kidney Qi and keeping your entire organ system balanced will support healthy teeth and gums.

Massage Therapy for Jaw Pain

Joel Ackerman, RMT

I’m sure you can probably guess the most common complaints I hear from clients: sore low backs, tight shoulders and necks, headaches, cranky knees, and so on. In addition to all of these more predictable aches, one complaint I hear more often than you might expect is jaw pain. Often it is mentioned in passing, and almost as a joke; “But I don’t suppose there’s anything you can do for that…” My clients are always surprised when my response is, “Yes, we can absolutely do some massage there!”

I have seen Massage Therapy be very effective in relieving all sorts of jaw pain, or as we call it, TMJ pain (named after the Temporomandibular Joint). In fact, there are a number of clients who have made intra-oral massage a part of their regular treatment plan, as they recognize the preventative benefits, even if they aren’t in pain! Other times, one or two treatments are all it takes to make a significant difference in how much pain someone is experiencing. In other situations, when people aren’t complaining of jaw pain, a little bit of release to the jaw makes a vast improvement in the overall tension they are feeling in their head and neck.

So how does Massage Therapy work exactly when it comes to the jaw? Treatment options for jaw pain include fascial work around the jaw joint at the ear, massage done directly to the muscles in and around the jaw. This includes some intra-oral massage. Using latex-free disposable gloves, and after establishing a clear communication system with the client, I begin by working on one muscle at a time (there are 4 on each side of the jaw). This can be a bit uncomfortable, as these muscles almost never get touched, but then the relief felt afterwards is almost instant! And because these muscles don’t get touched very much, a minute or two of massage goes a long way. Then we finish with more fascial work and massage to the muscles in the neck. The jaw and neck are very closely related, and dysfunction in one of these areas often leads to dysfunction in the other.

Poor dental health is linked to…. Breast Cancer?

Dr. Jennifer Wheeler, ND

In 2011 a provocative new study from Sweden was released that made headlines. The study followed over 3000 women from 1985 to 2001, examining for rates of breast cancer, periodontal disease and missing molars. They found a higher rate of breast cancer in those with periodontal disease and even higher rates in those women with missing molars! While the exact link is not yet known, there are a few suspected causes.

Periodontal disease is a condition where chronic gum inflammation causes receding gums, which can lead to loss of teeth. We know that this condition causes chronic inflammation due to toxins produced by the bacteria living in inflamed gums or in infected teeth. A 2010 study in China found that chronic periodontal disease led to genetic changes to the DNA

Jaw Pain: A Massage Therapy Perspective

Joel Ackerman, RMT

Anyone who has had, or been around someone experiencing jaw discomfort, knows that it is no laughing matter. It is a class of pain unto itself, and it makes perfect sense, since we use our mouths more or less constantly throughout our day. Talking, biting and chewing our food, yawning, and most of our facial expressions all involve significant work by our mouth and jaw muscles. Not surprisingly, some of these muscles are among the strongest muscles in our body. So what happens when these muscles get sore?

You may be surprised to hear that massage therapy is a VERY effective way to deal with sore jaw muscles. Often referred to as TMJ pain (much easier to say than ‘Temporomandibular Joint’), TMJ dysfunction is fairly common, and can arise for a variety of reasons. Your TMJ is just in front of your ear, and where your lower jaw articulates with your skull. Teeth grinding, trauma (like a blow to the jaw, especially with the mouth open), improper positioning of the teeth, postural issues, and even prolonged dental work can all cause TMJ dysfunction. Interestingly though, apart from some serious dental work (i.e. having your mouth open for an hour or more at a time!), or some stress-related teeth grinding, the most common contributing factor to TMJ pain is tight neck muscles! When our necks our tight,