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.
Optimal Oral Health is essential to overall health and well being.
Usually when we are suffering with an underlying systemic complaint, we experience discomfort at some level. But in the mouth there can be rampant decay or gum disease but no symptoms of pain or sensitivity.
GUM DISEASE IS PREVENTABLE AND TREATABLE
Damaging anaerobic bacteria that breed below the gumline can invade the bloodstream which feed other organs in our body. It is possible to teach clients the correct techniques, recommend the most effective tools and expand oral hygiene care to include a campaign of antibacterial “warfare” that will rid the body of infection.
Disturbing the oral flora below the gumline is imperative to healing the gums and treating gum disease. There are no shortcuts. Pharmaceuticals, popular commercial toothpastes and rinses are not as effective at “healing” the mouth as perhaps more “natural” remedies. If it’s recommended to maintain an oral pH of at least 6.5, preferably around 7, how do chemically laden products affect the saliva? As an alternative, we have available to us many products that may already be in your cupboard.
I will now share with you some treatments and tools that many of my clients have had success with in healing and maintaining optimal oral health.
Oil Pulling – coconut oil close to a pH of 7 if possible
Homemade Toothpaste – we suggest one made of coconut oil, baking soda and essential oil of peppermint. Sometimes bentonite clay or xylitol will be added.
Mouth Rinse – Salt Brine with essential oils
Sinus rinses – sea salt and xylitol
Xylitol Gum and Mints – tree source
Vitamins, Supplements & Probiotics – to support oral health
Tools – natural floss with healing herbs, sonic toothbrush, waterpik, sulcabrush, rubber tip stimulator.
The products and tools recommended would depend on the microscope evaluation and clients needs with emphasis of disturbing the bacteria below the gumline. Of course it goes without saying that nutrition plays an integral part in maintaining a healthy mouth but that is a topic for another article!