Frequently Asked Questions
There are many reasons to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Healthy teeth and gums not only look better, but also promote better eating habits and nutrition. By contrast, unhealthy, inflamed gums are associated with various diseases, including coronary heart disease and an elevated risk for heart attack, while tooth loss is linked to malnutrition.
In a healthy mouth, teeth are intact and anchored in pink with firm gums that do not bleed during brushing. A regular dental care program should include flossing and brushing twice daily, as well as regular visits to the dentist for cleaning and examination.
Gum disease and tooth loss are especially common among the elderly. Some researchers believe that malnutrition in older people may be in part due to poor dentition (the type, number, and arrangement of a set of teeth). In fact, some researchers believe that the short life span of early humans was related to tooth loss that caused starvation.
The three most common problems in the oral cavity are dental caries (cavities) and the periodontal diseases gingivitis and periodontitis. These are caused by multiple factors, including plaque buildup, diet, oral hygiene, genetics, environment, and lifestyle factors. For more information on gingivitis, the most common dental disease, See Gingivitis webpage. Dental caries and periodontitis are discussed in this section.
Dental caries (cavities) occur when microorganisms build up in deposits of dental plaque and ferment dietary sugars. The byproduct of this fermentation, lactic acid, lowers the pH at the junction of the plaque layer and tooth enamel, and eventually the enamel is eroded.
The layer of plaque in the mouth has recently been redefined as “biofilm”. Biofilm develops in a predictable pattern, whereby oral bacteria colonize areas of the gums and teeth, then spread, and eventually link with other organisms in a cohesive film. This film can occur both above and below the gum line. If left intact, it may form a hard, mineralized mass called calculus (tartar) This is the hard, yellow substance that dentists scrape off with specialized equipment. Tartar contains masses of bacteria that produce lactic acid and promote tooth decay. Brushing and flossing alone cannot penetrate or remove the tartar.
One novel hypothesis for disrupting the creation of biofilm and preventing tartar involves oral vaccines that may protect the mouth against Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), the bacteria most commonly responsible for dental caries. Human studies have shown encouraging results with antibodies designed to suppress colonization of S. mutans in the biofilm.
The risk of developing cavities differs for each individual, based on factors such as oral hygiene, genetics, the size and shape of the teeth, resistance to infection, retention of dental plaque, and metabolism of sugar In addition, people with pre-existing conditions such as gum disease have a greater chance of developing cavities, and smoking can accelerate the transformation of plaque into tartar Other risk factors for dental cavities include exposure to lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and second-hand smoke. Clinically, cavities appear as blemishes on the tooth surface. If not clinically visible, they can still be detected using dental x-rays. Most dentists recommend one set of dental x-rays annually.
Waiting for tooth pain as a reason to visit the dentist is a not a good strategy for preventing cavities. In many cases, cavities are not painful because they affect only the surface layers of the tooth and do not extend into the dental pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the tooth. In more advanced cases, a cavity may extend into the pulp, causing intense pain and pulp disease known as pulpitis. Early pulpitis is generally treatable. If not treated, however, it can advance to pulp death. At this point, the tooth may stop hurting because the nerve has died. By the time a cavity has reached this stage, the tooth will most likely require extraction. Modern preventive dentistry is designed to prevent tooth decay from reaching such advanced stages.
Fluoride's role in preventing cavities has been extensively documented. Teeth with adequate fluoride are resistant to acid, and studies have shown a 30 to 50% reduction in decay following the fluoridation of drinking water. The use of fluoride, however, is not without its side effects. The most common side effect is fluorosis. This permanent alteration causes small, barely visible white flecks on adult teeth . It occurs early during tooth development, when adult teeth are just coming in. To help prevent it, experts recommend:
- Use of low-fluoride water in infant formulas,
- Adult supervision of children during brushing
- Rigid application standards when administering fluoride supplements to children
- There is, however, little question that fluoride works to prevent cavities. When children between the ages of 5 and 6 years were treated with a 1.2 percent fluoride gel versus a placebo gel twice daily, the fluoride group showed a 40% decrease in cavities compared to the placebo group after a two-year follow-up.
Periodontal diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are inflammatory diseases affecting the supporting structures that anchor teeth in place (periodontium). Gingivitis and periodontitis are related conditions; if left untreated, gingivitis (inflammation of the gingival tissue [gums]) can progress to periodontitis, a more serious condition. Gingivitis is treatable and reversible, while periodontitis is irreversible and can lead to tooth loss. Risk factors for periodontitis include smoking, stress, depression and alcohol consumption Tobacco use is an important risk factor for periodontitis. For more specific information on risk factors for gingivitis, the most common form of gum disease, see Life Extension’s Gingivitis protocol.
During periodontitis, healthy gum tissue is transformed from pink and firm, with knife-edge margins between the soft tissue and the tooth, to inflamed and red. Eventually, tissue pulls away from the tooth, allowing pockets to form. These pockets can be measured with a special probe during a standard dental check-up. Any pocket over 3 millimeters (mm) in depth signifies gingivitis; a pocket over 5 mm usually signifies periodontitis.
Periodontal infections frequently involve bacteria that discharge hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, amines, toxins, and inflammatory-causing enzymes that can cause tissue and tooth loss Bleeding gums, bad breath, and pain also occur. Clinically, periodontitis is characterized by inflamed, red gums and deepening pockets between the tooth root and gum tissue, as well as loss of bone in the jaw.
Advanced periodontal disease be diagnosed by changes in appearance of the teeth and gums, including:
- Noticeable loosening of teeth,
- Gum recession with tooth root exposed
- New spaces forming between teeth
- Food being trapped between teeth and where gums have receded
- Constant bad taste in the mouth
- Periodontal disease is usually painless until late in the disease process, when teeth are so loose that pain occurs while chewing. Retention of food in a pocket site may provoke a sudden burst of bacterial growth, resulting in a painful abscess . At other times, front teeth may become so loose that they separate.
Conventional therapy for periodontal disease consists of mechanical scaling and root planing, surgical treatment, and use of various antimicrobial regimens. The goal is to reduce the number of bacteria on the surface of teeth by reducing the amount of plaque. If pocket depths in the gums are 5 mm or greater, large numbers of bacteria can accumulate that cannot be reached by normal oral hygiene. Periodontal surgery may then be recommended to reduce the pocket depths to 1 to 2 mm.
Antibiotic therapy is sometimes needed when bacterial count continues to climb. In open clinical trials, tetracycline has been used successfully to treat aggressive periodontitis, either as an oral tetracycline/surgery combination or alone for 3 to 8 weeks. Tetracycline can deplete calcium, magnesium, and iron; therefore, people on tetracycline should take a multivitamin.
There are several ways to release medications directly into the periodontal pocket, including the use of long-lasting gels. These methods reduce the dose of medicine needed and deliver the antibiotic in a highly targeted fashion. Devices that deliver localized antibiotics are about as effective as systemic agents in their ability to target harmful bacteria; also, people do not have to remember to take medicine, thus improving patient adherence. These devices include Atridox®, PerioChip®, and Arestin®
Gum disease is clearly associated with heart disease and other health-related problems. This is not necessarily due to bacterial spread from the mouth into the bloodstream, as many people think. In fact, “bacteria showers” in the bloodstream are relatively common and occur in response to brushing teeth, bowel movements, and other normal activities. These are rarely dangerous for people with healthy immune systems. Rather, the link between gum disease and other systemic diseases appears to be due to an increased inflammatory response occurring throughout the body and is triggered by inflammation in the gums.
The fact that flossing daily can extend life expectancy falls in the weird-but-true category. In fact, floss does two things: it prevents gum disease (that's rather obvious), and it prevents heart disease (not so obvious). Preventing both of these together is what adds years to your life. Here's how flossing improves life expectancy:
When you floss, you help prevent your gums from becoming inflamed. That's a good thing. What is happening when your gums are inflamed is that you have a chronic bacterial infection in your mouth. This harms your arteries through two mechanisms: the bacteria find their way in to your arteries and hang out (causing plaques), and your body mounts an immune response to the bacteria in your mouth, causing inflammation (which in turn can cause your arteries to narrow). This makes it hard for your heart to do its job and can lead to heart disease.
There is some debate about how many years you can gain with heart disease. Dr. Perls says 1.5 years, while Dr. Roizen says 6 years. Both of these doctors are gerontologists (aging docs) and have popular books on aging and life expectancy (see reviews: Living To 100, RealAge and You! Staying Young). Who is right? It doesn't matter. Flossing is good for your gums and good for your heart, so we should all just do it.
The evidence isn't clear yet, experts say, but it's intriguing. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease (also called heart disease). And one study found that the presence of common problems in the mouth, including gum disease (gingivitis), cavities, and missing teeth, were as good at predicting heart disease as cholesterol levels.
But even if periodontal disease isn't actually causing heart disease, the connection could still be important. For instance, periodontal disease might be an early sign of cardiovascular problems. Heart disease can be hard to catch early, because many of the conditions that precede it have no symptoms. You won't ever feel your arteries hardening or your cholesterol rising. But you might notice bleeding or painful gums.
Infective Endocarditis. Infective endocarditis is a serious, potentially fatal bacterial infection of the heart, its valves or inner lining. It occurs when bacteria in the bloodstream are embedded on abnormal heart valves or damaged heart tissue. Dental procedures and diseases are associated with endocarditis in people with underlying congenital heart disease and in those with prosthetic heart valves or who have had other forms of heart surgery . About 8% of cases in the United States have been associated with periodontitis or other dental diseases without an associated dental procedure. Chances of infective endocarditis following dental procedures in people with pre-existing heart conditions ranged from 1 per 3000 to 1 per 5000 procedures (. To prevent this condition, some heart patients are advised to take antibiotics during dental procedures.
Cardiovascular Disease. Studies have shown an association between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease and suggest that periodontitis is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Periodontitis is linked to heart disease by inflammation. According to the latest research, large amounts of bacteria in the gums trigger a systemic inflammatory response, with elevated levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals such as COX (cyclooxygenase) products, arachidonic acid, and others. These pro-inflammatory chemicals may contribute to atherosclerosis, which is now understood to be an inflammatory disease that affects the inner linings of arterial walls (the endothelium). Numerous studies have thus linked inflammatory gum disease to cardiovascular events such as stroke, atherosclerosis, and thickening of calcifications in the carotid artery.
Obesity a significant risk factor for numerous diseases, has been associated with periodontitis, gingivitis, and dental cavities . Other conditions associated with obesity such as metabolic syndrome or Syndrome X (a clustering of dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes) can worsen periodontitis.
Diabetes. Periodontitis is twice as prevalent in diabetics as non-diabetics. Experimentally produced periodontitis increased blood glucose levels in uncontrolled diabetic animals. Studies have linked glycation and inflammation in diabetics to worsening periodontitis.
Osteoporosis. Significant relationships exist between periodontitis and osteoporosis as well as tooth loss and osteoporosis.
Pregnancy-Related Issues. Oral infections can increase the risk of low birth weight in newborns. Pregnant women with periodontitis were found to be 7.5 times more likely to have a pre-term, low-birth-weight infant than pregnant women without periodontitis. Pregnancy can increase the frequency, severity, and degree of gingivitis.
Lung Disease. Poor oral hygiene provides an ideal growth environment for anaerobic bacteria, which can cause severe pneumonia, especially in people with impaired swallowing.
Approximately 60% of United States adults are missing at least one tooth, and 10% have no teeth at all. Besides the aesthetic value of a nice smile, there are harmful health repercussions to lacking functional teeth, including a greater risk of malnutrition. People missing their teeth have about 20% of the chewing capacity of people with teeth, and tend to avoid eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This can quickly lead to malnutrition as well as serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Good oral hygiene, regular tooth brushing and flossing, tongue cleaning, regular dental check-ups, and use of high-quality oral care products can prevent or reduce the risk of cavities. At the same time, because of the risk of a dangerous inflammatory response, it is important that people with gum disease protect themselves with powerful anti-inflammatories.
Coenzyme Q10. In one study, topical application of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to periodontal pockets significantly reduced gingivitis, bleeding gums, and pocket depths after 5 to 7 days of treatment.
Hydrogen peroxide, which is included in many brands of toothpaste, is valuable for its ability to reach bacteria hiding among gingival folds and gaps. Hydrogen peroxide is also added to some mouthwashes to reduce gingivitis and whiten teeth Hydrogen peroxide has been used effectively for years in dentistry.
Essential Oils. Mouth rinses containing essential oils such as eucalyptus oil and menthol significantly reduced both gingival inflammation and bleeding when used in conjunction with fluoride toothpaste. Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is an antiseptic, fungicide, and bactericide that is effective against oral bacteria. Tea tree oil, used as an oral rinse, has been proven to kill bacteria (Kulik 2000). In fact, research has shown that a tea tree oil concentration of 0.6% inhibited 14 of 15 oral types of bacteria. In one study, 49 subjects age 18 to 60 years with severe, chronic gingivitis were divided into groups, one of which was given a gel containing tea tree oil to apply with a toothbrush twice daily. The tea tree oil group had improved gingival index and papillary bleeding index scores attributed to the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Folic Acid. Mouthwash containing folic acid is effective in treating gingivitis and its accompanying inflammation. Among pregnant women, who are prone to gingivitis, folate mouthwash has proven superior to oral folate supplementation in preventing gingivitis.
Green Tea. Green tea extract is rich in a class of antioxidants called catechins. Two in particular, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and epicatechin gallate (ECG), combat oral plaque and bacteria.
Pomegranate. Researchers are finding important applications for pomegranate in the field of dental health. Clinical studies have shown that this popular antioxidant vigorously attacks the causes of tooth decay at the biochemical level. Pomegranate attacks bacteria where they live. Research shows that by interfering with production of chemicals the bacteria use as “glue”, pomegranate extract suppresses bacteria’s ability to adhere to the surface of the tooth.
Cranberry, may offer important benefits for healthy teeth and gums. The berries contain a special chemical that may inhibit and even reverse the formation of dental plaque deposits that often lead to tooth decay. Cranberry constituents may also help reduce inflammation in gingival or gum tissues, which could offer protection against periodontitis. These promising findings suggest that cranberry may soon find a place in dental health care regimens.
Xylitol Pure xylitol, a white crystalline substance that resembles and tastes like sugar, is found naturally in fruits such as plums, strawberries, and raspberries. Xylitol is used commercially to sweeten sugarless gum and candies. Xylitol has also been shown to inhibit the formation of plaque. In a double-blind and controlled study, Swedish researchers had 128 children chew gum containing either xylitol or the sweeteners sorbitol and maltitol, 3 times daily for 4 weeks. While both were effective against the buildup of dental plaque, only the xylitol-sweetened gum eliminated microbes found in saliva, particularly a strain of bacteria implicated in tooth deca. Xylitol could thus be an essential ingredient in a targeted strategy to avert dental disease.
Probiotics have been defined as “living microorganisms which upon ingestion in certain numbers exert health benefits beyond inherent general nutrition”. Scientists have been interested in the makeup of microbes that live in the mouth (oral flora) for decades, seeking to identify factors that promote growth of healthy organisms and reduce growth of those implicated in disease and inflammation. Probiotics improve oral health and can help change the stubborn composition of dental biofilm and plaque Reducing plaque through teeth brushing is always a desirable goal; however, complete elimination is not possible. Therefore, changing the actual composition of plaque from an inflammatory cytokine-rich environment to a more benign environment (dominated by neutral or even helpful organisms) can contribute to overall systemic health.
Lactoferrin. Lactoferrin, a naturally occurring antimicrobial agent, is found in saliva and gingival fluid, breast milk, tears, and other bodily fluids. This protein is a well-known immune system booster involved in the body’s responses to infection, trauma, and injury. Lactoferrin may bind to and slow the growth of periodontitis-associated bacteria. In an animal study, locally applied lactoferrin powder appeared to support the healing of oral lesions.
Aloe Vera. Aloe vera gel packings are sometimes used by dentists after tooth extraction to reduce the incidence of infection and dry socket. They have also been shown to reduce the risk of developing ulcers in the mouth.
Propolis. A 20% ethanol propolis extract was compared to antifungal agents such as nystatin, clotrimazole, econazole, and fluconazole in a study designed to assess the susceptibility of Candida albicans, an oral bacteria. The researchers concluded that the propolis extract could be an alternative medicine in treating candidiasis, but further studies were needed.
Vitamin C has long been known for its ability to prevent gum disease and tooth loss. In fact, the use of vitamin C in dental disease is one of the earliest recorded uses of nutrient therapy in Western medicine. In 1747, a British Naval physician named James Lind noticed that lime juice, which is rich in vitamin C, helped prevent scurvy, which causes tooth loss. As a result, British sailors bottled lime juice for gum disease prevention. Incidentally, this practice later gave rise to the term “Limey.”
Modern studies have confirmed the value of vitamin C, in conjunction with other antioxidants, in promoting good oral health. Clinical studies of people with vitamin C deficiencies show that gingival inflammation is directly related to ascorbic acid status, suggesting that ascorbic acid may influence the early stages of gingivitis, particularly bleeding.
Researchers have also examined the value of vitamin D and calcium, which are typically used to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Supplementation with these two nutrients reduces the rate of bone and tooth loss in postmenopausal women and men. Calcium intake of 800 mg or more daily reduced the risk of periodontitis in females.
In the light of the established connection between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and inflammation, along with their lack of side effects, it is reasonable for people with gum disease to consider using these supplements. Other anti-inflammatory supplements include ginger and curcumin, although neither of these has been studied in the context of inflammatory gum disease.
- Good oral health begins with a disciplined program of flossing, twice-daily brushing, and tongue cleaning with a tongue scraper to remove plaque and bacteria colonies on the tongue before they become incorporated in the biofilm.
- It is also important to visit a dentist for professional cleanings at least twice a year, and perhaps even more often.
- Annual dental x-rays are NOT recommended although occasional dental x-rays may be necessary.
- Avoid behaviors that contribute to gum disease and tooth decay, especially tobacco use and consumption of refined sugar.
- Focus on consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that provide important phytochemicals and nutrients.
- Patients with gum disease and existing heart disease should monitor their levels of inflammation. C-reactive protein and homocysteine are both indicators of inflammation, which can be determined by blood tests.
- Toothpaste: Your choice of toothpaste is also important. Today, the market is flooded with very strong toothpastes that contain high levels of hydrogen peroxide. A toothpaste is now available that has been fortified with coenzyme Q10, folic acid, tea tree oil, and other nutrients that are directly delivered to the gums each time one brushes. This novel toothpaste also contains a mild solution of 0.2% hydrogen peroxide.
- A mouthwash containing pomegranate, peppermint oil, aloe and other soothing nutrients may also be helpful.
- Patients with mouth sores (ulcers) should consider using aloe vera gel packs.
Over the past decade, sales of at-home teeth-whitening products have exploded in the United States. These products generally contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, and are usually painted or brushed on, or applied in strips directly to the teeth. They are milder versions of whiteners that are used in the dentist's office, which may contain up to 35% active ingredients.
While studies have shown that these products do whiten teeth, there is some lingering concern about their safety. For example, studies have shown that peroxide from at-home whitening products penetrates the tooth enamel into the pulpy interior of the teeth In studies of human molars, these products have also been shown to adversely affect the hardness of enamel.
So far, however, no systemic adverse effects have been demonstrated with the use of teeth whiteners containing 10% carbamide peroxide . The most common side effects are moderate tooth sensitivity and mild gum irritation that usually discontinues when the product is no longer being used. Because stronger at-home solutions containing up to 18% carbamide peroxide have not yet been extensively tested in humans, it may be advisable to use a milder at-home tooth-whitening product under a dentist's supervision.
For all health conditions, the nutraceuticals are individually tailored by the Health Renewal Doctor. The doctor will decide- based on your history, physical examination and blood tests what would be the best for you and your specific needs and/or deficiencies. It cannot be overemphasized that one must not self-medicate. Self-Medicating is done when a person takes prescription medication or nutraceuticals on their own without a doctor's supervision and/or consent. By not having a physical examination and blood testing done by a qualified and practising integrative medical practitioner, you could be not treating vital deficiencies or conditions such as elevated blood pressure, high sugar level, high stress levels (that can lead to adrenal burnout ) and high blood clotting factors that could lead to heart attacks and stroke. In addition, aggressive program of dietary supplementation should not be launched without the supervision of a qualified physician. Several of the nutrients suggested in this protocol may have adverse effects. There is no single supplement prescribed to clients as there is no magic bullet that can support all the essential nutrients that one's body needs. Today's food is not functional and we need to supplement in order to maintain optimal bodily functions and nutrition.
Make an appointment to consult with your Health Renewal Doctor who is an integrative doctor and he / she will assist you in determining your risk factors and how best to prevent any problems or conditions that you may be susceptible to. The importance of early management of any condition cannot be overstated. Once certain conditions set in and damage to organs occurs, complete recovery may be difficult to attain. Best results for prevention and longevity is early detection of a possible problem combined with conventional treatments, nutritional supplements and a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The initial medical consultation at Health Renewal will be approximately 45 minutes. As this is a prolonged medical consultation, the initial consultation fee will be R 975 on arrival (for non loyalty programme members) you will have to complete an in depth questionnaire before the consultation so please arrive 20 minutes before the time. During the 45 minute consultation your Health Renewal doctor will obtain a FULL medical history from you to determine your personal risk. A physical examination will be done after which the Doctor will decide which blood tests need to be requested from your local pathology laboratory. If you have a medical aid, these should be able to be claimed as well.
Once your blood results are received, they will then be analyzed by your Health Renewal doctor who will begin working on a unique prescription plan for you with the compounding pharmacy. At your pre-scheduled second appointment 2 weeks later, the results and examination findings will be discussed with you. This will determine what abnormalities or deficiencies exist and you will be advised on your treatment options. These options may range from prescription medications, nutraceuticals, bio-identical hormonal creams / tablets or alternatively to having bio-identical implants / pellets inserted.
In office treatments such as carboxytherapy may also be recommended for certain conditions such as hair loss, erectile dysfunction ED, menopause or PMS. If you need to lose weight our Renewal Institute Diet may be recommended. All these recommendations will be summarized on a sheet / print out which you can take home with you. The nutraceuticals offered at Health Renewal are of superior quality (Solgar) and are not rancid nor contain Hg (mercury ) or PCB'S (which is very important for Omega 3 Essential fatty acids EFA's). They are also free of gluten, preservatives, wheat, dairy, soy, yeast, sugar, artificial flavour, sweetener and colour. We have a great professional team made up of doctors, trained and registered nurses and therapists to support you at any time.
1. You are kindly requested to bring any supplements that you are currently taking, along to your consultation. The doctor can check the ingredients in take this into account when prescribing a treatment plan for you.
2. Also, if you have had any blood work done in the past 6 months, please bring the results along to the consultation. Should you not be in possession of the hard copies, please request these results from the lab you visited. Usually your ID number is sufficient.
After the two week follow up, the initial blood results will be discussed and patient specific nutraceuticals may be initiated. A second follow up another evaluation and blood test at 8 weeks is recommended to measure serum improvements in your Lipogram, homocysteine and other essential blood results. Follow up appointments should be very 6 months.
The importance of early management of any condition cannot be overstated. Once certain conditions set in and damage to organs occurs, complete recovery may be difficult to attain. Best results for prevention and longevity is early detection of a possible problem combined with conventional treatments , nutritional supplements and a healthy diet and lifestyle.
- Regular brushing and flossing
- Trips to a dentist every three to four months for cleaning and monitoring
- Stopping smoking
- Consuming a diet low in fat and high in fresh fruit and vegetables
- Reducing intake of sugar, which reacts with bacteria to form plaque
- Your choice of toothpaste is important. Toothpaste containing hydrogen peroxide, CoQ10, green tea, xylitol, lactoferrin, and folic acid .The brand Colgate Total®—the only FDA-approved toothpaste for fighting gingivitis—contains triclosan, a mild antimicrobial proven to reduce plaque and pocket depths associated with gingivitis.
- A mouthwash containing tea tree oil, peppermint, eucalyptus, and other soothing nutrients may also be helpful. Mouthwash including ingredients such as pomegranate, green tea, and xylitol.
- Baking soda/ sodium bicarbonate Plaque-busting tooth and gum paste: For an incredibly effective tooth and gum paste, use a mixture of six parts of baking soda to one part of sea salt. Place them in a blender and mix for 30 seconds, then place in a container to use. Wet the tip of your index finger and place a small amount of the salt and soda mixture on your gums. Starting with the upper outside gums and then the inside of the upper, followed by the lower outside of the gums then the lower inside, rub the mixture onto your teeth and gums. Spit out the excess. After 15 minutes rinse your mouth. This mixture is incredibly effective at killing bacteria.
- Baking soda Teeth whitener: For a natural way to whiten your teeth, crush one ripe strawberry and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for five minutes. Then brush your teeth and rinse. This method should be used no more than once a week, as excessive use could potentially damage your tooth enamel.
Today, the market is flooded with very strong toothpastes that contain whitening agents (usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). A toothpaste is now available that has been fortified with coenzyme Q10, folic acid, xylitol, green tea, lactoferrin, and other nutrients that are directly delivered to the gums every time one brushes. This novel toothpaste also contains a mild solution of 0.2 percent hydrogen peroxide.
Of course, this is easier said than done. First, you need to make sure you have some floss. There are tons of different kinds of floss (flavored, unflavored, strings, ribbons and on and on). Pick some and give them a try. Next, you have to remember. Put your floss on top of your toothpaste. Hard to forget that way. Then just do it. You already have a habit of brushing your teeth at least twice daily, so just anchor your flossing habit to that.
The fact that brushing and flossing daily can extend life expectancy falls in the weird-but-true category. In fact, floss does two things: it prevents gum disease (that's rather obvious), and it prevents heart disease (not so obvious). Preventing both of these together is what adds years to your life.
- "My mouth is full of decayed teeth and my soul of decayed ambitions." - James Joyce
- "Good-looking people with strong, fluoridated teeth get things handed to them on platters." - Doug Coupland
- "Americans may have no identity, but they do have wonderful teeth." - Jean Baudrillard
- “If you want to wait till your black hairs turn grey and your teeth start pulling out before you become a leader, you are either too fast to prove your ignorance, or you are too late to know who you are made of.” ― Israelmore Ayivor
- “Do you remember our first kiss? I do. Not a day goes by I don’t think of the feel of that bicuspid against my tongue. It had such a distinctive feel, neither cuspid nor molar…but I’m not sure it knew that – that was what endeared it to me so. It was like the blunted tusk of a wild boar.” ― Benson Bruno, A Story That Talks about Talking Is Like Chatter to Chattering Teeth, and Every Set of Dentures Can Attest to the Fact
- "Joy is meant to be felt; its not meant to be detained. It is meant to be shared with others; not to be felt alone. When all the mouths smile out their teeth together, thats when the greatest happiness can be measured. You don't smile in order to see your friends cry and claim your joy is divine.” ― Israelmore Ayivor