Dentists suggest brushing teeth twice daily and regular flossing for good oral health. But did you know that your dental health plays a significant role in maintaining your overall health? Tooth decay and gum problems have been linked to various health problems. Although there are several medications, mouthwashes, and gums on the market that promise brighter teeth and fresher breath, they all contain synthetic ingredients which can be harmful. Switching to natural oral health care solutions can be a safe and effective way to support dental health. Furthermore, natural dental remedies are more effective than marketed dental products, and they are gentle on your oral cavity.
Your mouth contains a large number of bacteria. While most of these bacteria are harmless, others can be harmful and lead to various dental problems such as cavities, tooth decay, offensive breath, teeth yellowing, mouth sores, toothaches, tooth erosion, and bleeding gums. Following good oral hygiene practices helps in controlling the growth of harmful bacteria and boosts oral health. Smoking, high intake of processed foods, poor diet, increased sugar intake, and poor oral hygiene are some of the contributing factors to bad oral health. Chronic infection, surgery, and long-term use of certain medications can also lead to dental problems. Poor oral hygiene makes your mouth a breeding ground for harmful bacteria which can cause many problems.
Studies show that gum diseases such as periodontitis can lead to serious illnesses of other organs of the body as well. In certain conditions such as diabetes, the immune system may not be able to fight off infection resulting in severe oral health issues. Extensive research have linked gum disease to multiple health conditions such as respiratory problems, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. This is because oral inflammation and infection allows bacteria to easily get into the bloodstream and spread to other areas of the body.
As your mouth is the primary access to your body, poor oral health can have a deleterious effect on your overall health. Some of the more serious health issues related to poor oral health include respiratory infections, dementia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and kidney disease. Bacteria from swollen gums and infected teeth can travel through the bloodstream and reach the lungs, increasing the risk of acute bronchitis, respiratory infections, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
If dental issues are ignored, they are a source of constant physical stress on your body. This can activate the release of stress hormones, which means that the adrenal glands are directly involved. The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response system is your body’s natural stress-fighting mechanism. It is an intricate network of six circuits and various organs which function in close coordination to help fight stress. The adrenal glands, positioned on the top of each kidney, are also a part of this stress response system. When the body is exposed to stress, the NEM system signals your adrenals to secrete the anti-stress hormone cortisol. However, with repeated stress, the adrenals become overburdened reducing your body’s natural stress-fighting capability. An imbalance in cortisol levels leads to various symptoms which taken together can manifest as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). Brain fog, insomnia, anxiety, constipation, low concentration, and energy, craving for salty and fatty foods, difficulty waking up, stubborn body fat, and lightheadedness are just some of the symptoms of AFS.
Tooth pain and infected gums act as stressors which can trigger AFS symptoms. Over-the-counter oral care products are high in artificial additives which can be harmful to sufferers of AFS. Natural oral health care remedies help fight dental problems without burdening the adrenals or causing any side effects.
Decayed teeth, root canal infections, improper tooth extraction, gum infection, and materials used in dental procedures are all sources of stress that can tax the adrenals. Mercury fillings can leak into the body suppressing the adrenal hormones. Research reveals that an unhealthy mouth can contain up to 400 types of harmful bacteria. When dental problems are neglected, toxins from these bacteria can irritate the oral cavity, interfere with the functioning of various organs, and raise the toxic load of the entire system thus triggering inflammatory responses. Inflammation acts as a stressor which stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete the anti-stress hormone, cortisol. In addition to any other sources of stress, neglected dental problems are a constant source of stress that burden your adrenals and increase the probability of you ending up with AFS.
There are numerous natural methods that are proven to be effective in promoting oral health and overall well-being. Below are great natural solutions that are easy to incorporate into your daily life:
Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic technique from India holding immense therapeutic value. It has been the best tried and tested method for natural oral health care since ages. Though the process might sound plain and simple, this powerful proven ancient method is known for its remarkable results. Oil pulling instantly removes germs and bacteria from your mouth giving you healthier gums, stronger teeth, and fresh breath.
Toxins such as mercury from the dental fillings can easily leach out and trigger AFS symptoms. Oil pulling removes such toxins from your mouth. The other benefits of oil pulling are that it gives you a clear skin, fights gingivitis and cavities, increases energy, alleviates unpleasant breath, reduces plaque, and detoxifies the body.
For oil pulling, take one tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it around for about 15 minutes. As you keep swishing the oil, it pulls all the bacteria and toxins from every corner of your mouth. As the oil absorbs all the toxins from the mouth it turns milky. Spit out the oil and brush your teeth. Oil pulling gives the best results when done in the morning just after waking up and before eating anything. You can use coconut oil, mustard oil, or even sesame oil. Remember not to swish the oil for more than 20 minutes as the toxins can get reabsorbed into your oral cavity.
Aloe vera with its powerful anti-inflammatory and healing properties proves to be a great natural oral health remedy. Studies have linked the use of aloe vera to a reduction in tooth decay and gum disease. In a four-day mouth rinse study in over 300 healthy individuals, 100 percent pure aloe vera juice proved to be as effective as over-the-counter mouthwash. Longer test periods showed similar results. Aloe vera protects gum and teeth from decay by killing the plaque-causing bacterium streptococcus and yeast Candida albicans in the mouth. Therefore, do consider brushing your teeth with aloe vera gel or rinsing the mouth with 100 percent aloe vera juice.
Owing to its immense therapeutic properties, various civilizations worldwide have been using sea salt for ages as a natural health remedy. Salt is naturally rich in minerals that help alleviate pain and inflammation. Although there is a large variety of mouthwashes available in the market, they are all high in synthetic ingredients which irritate the sensitive oral mucous membrane.
Sea salt serves as an amazing safe natural oral health care remedy for painful teeth, sore throat, swollen gums, and rehabilitation after minor oral surgeries. It gently removes bacterial infection and creates a better environment for natural healing. To make your natural mouth rinse, dissolve ¼ tsp sea salt in a cup of lukewarm water. Salt water mouth rinse helps prevent tooth decay and oral problems by increasing the pH level in your mouth. Furthermore, sea salt mouth rinse also works as a gentle detox which can help support adrenal health.
For thousands of years, clove has been used as a natural remedy for toothache. The natural antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties of clove help combat tooth decay, oral infections, and pain in oral tissues. Gently massaging the affected area with few drops of clove oil can help alleviate the problem by boosting blood circulation and reducing inflammation. Recent studies conducted by the Indian Department of Public Health Dentistry show that cloves have the ability to impede dental erosion when compared with fluoride, eugenyl-acetate, and eugenol. The study further suggested that clove oil not only reduces decalcification, it effectively remineralizes teeth.
The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile help in healing the respiratory tract as well as fighting bacterial infection of the oral cavity. Chamomile can help provide relief from toothache, bleeding gums, and sores.
What you eat has a great impact on your oral health. In fact, there are certain foods that can help fight cavities and oral problems. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale being rich in calcium, vitamin B, and folic acid are particularly great for naturally remineralizing teeth. Healthy fats found in coconut, olives, and avocado serve as natural oral health foods. Including prebiotic fiber foods such as bananas, leeks, avocados, and asparagus in your diet helps to balance oral microbes. Carrots, beets, celery, mint leaves, cucumber, zucchini, and fresh fruits promote oral health. Besides helping to lose weight, drinking green tea can help improve oral health by mineralizing teeth. Rich in antioxidant catechins, green tea reduces inflammation, cuts down the risk of periodontal disease, and supports dental health.
Detoxification is an essential aspect of your overall well-being. Minimizing toxic exposure is the key to help your body detoxify. One of the major sources of toxin that is allowed into everyday life is commercially manufactured items and one such product is toothpaste. Traditional toothpaste is loaded with several artificial agents including fluoride, triclosan, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Over time, these ingredients can accumulate in your body increasing the toxic overload and directly taxing your adrenals. AFS sufferers are more sensitive to synthetic agents. Fluoride accumulation in the body tissues can cause endocrine dysfunction. Triclosan added to toothpaste for fighting gum damage can interfere with your body’s natural antibiotic resistance. The risks of commercially manufactured toothpastes outweigh their benefits.
Natural toothpaste is great for natural oral health care as it is free of toxins, easy to make, and very affordable. To make your own natural toothpaste add 1 tsp sea salt, 2/3 cup baking soda, and 2 tsp peppermint extract in a bowl. Slowly add filtered water and combine to get toothpaste consistency.
These are some great natural oral health care solutions that can be easily incorporated into everyday life to maintain healthy gums, teeth, and better overall health. It is worthwhile to understand that oral health is directly linked to your general health and following oral hygiene protocols can help prevent not only dental issues but many other health problems.
Dental problems have become prevalent with the increase in consumption of processed foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, and smoking. Chronic illness, diabetes, surgery, certain medications, and poor oral hygiene can also affect dental health. Bleeding gums, tooth decay, offensive breath, tooth erosion, yellowing of teeth, and mouth sores are common oral problems. Dental health is not just confined to the mouth. Poor oral health has a direct impact on your entire body and can be a contributing factor to several health problems including adrenal fatigue, cardiovascular illness, respiratory issues, kidney disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Harmful bacteria from an infected oral cavity can enter the bloodstream and gain access to other body organs triggering an inflammatory response.
Adhering to good oral hygiene, visiting the dentist regularly, eating a balanced nutritious diet, avoiding practices that hurt dental health such as smoking, and switching to natural oral health care solutions can help promote dental health and overall well-being.
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Incorporating natural oral health care methods can be rewarding and help support better dental health. Processed and high sugar foods, sticky and acidic foods, ingredients with low nutritional value, tobacco, soda and too much coffee are bad for your oral health.