Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
How well you take care of your mouth can affect the health of your entire body. Recent studies have shown that a leading cause of tooth decay and gum disease is an imbalance in the natural ecology present in the mouth. When the natural balance is upset, the pH of the saliva may become acidic, which leads to an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth. When bacteria from the mouth leak into the bloodstream, it can cause numerous health issues.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. Another study, published in the Journal of Periodontology, uncovered a suspected link between periodontal disease and pulmonary diseases such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis.
Modern oral hygiene practices may be partially to blame. Detergent-based toothpastes containing abrasives, mouthwashes containing alcohol, and other dental care products containing antimicrobial ingredients, such as triclosan and chlorhexidine, upset the homeostasis of the mouth and may actually cause gum disease and infection.
Daily use of natural oral care products is the best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, avoid aggressive brushing that will damage gums and enamel, and use a soft toothbrush. Floss at least once each day to remove plaque and food particles that cause bacteria. Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash-alcohol dries the mouth and makes it more prone to decay. A quick rinse washes away the particles you loosened and freshens your breath.
WHAT IS OIL PULLING?
“Lightly ‘chewing on’ and swishing oil in the mouth for 5-20 minutes helps soothe and moisturize the mouth and gums. It helps remove certain harmful bacteria, and research indicates that oil pulling can reduce plaque and improve gingival health. It also helps strengthen teeth and may help prevent tooth decay,” says Colin Davis, president of drTung’s Innovative Oral Care.
“More than 600 bacterial species have been identified in the mouth, but many of these are good bacteria,” Davis continues. “Oil pulling is different from rinsing the mouth with a chemical mouthwash, which indiscriminately kills bacteria. Rather than create an imbalance in the oral microbiome, oil pulling is balancing and energizing to the mouth. Although coconut oil is popular for oil pulling, traditional Ayurveda uses sesame oil, due to its subtle, penetrating, and antibacterial effects.”
Soothe dry mouth and freshen breath with SpryMoisturizing Mouth Spray. The key ingredient xylitol prevents certain bacteria from sticking to the tissues of the mouth and upper respiratory tract. Aloe vera and natural spearmint flavor cool and hydrate your mouth and throat.
Protect your teeth with Coral WhiteToothpaste. Ionic calcium from
above-sea coral helps shift the mouth’s pH to alkaline, which neutralizes bacterial acids that cause decay. This fresh tasting toothpaste also gently whitens teeth and freshens breath.
Blast bad breath and tooth decay with Now SolutionsXyli•White
Refreshmint Mouthwash. Xylitol protects tooth enamel by balancing the mouth’s pH levels, and a few swishes effectively rinse away food particles and debris. Alcohol-free, this powerful blend of mint essential oils naturally freshens breath.
Remove plaque between teeth effortlessly with drTung’s Smart Floss. This cardamom-flavored floss expands as it glides between teeth to remove up to 55 percent more plaque than traditional floss without shredding or discomfort to gums or fingers.
Lose the sensitivity with Eco•DentRes-Q-Dent natural gel toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Potassium nitrate, an effective tooth desensitizer, is combined with baking soda and xylitol to clean teeth without abrasion. Aloe vera and spearmint oil soothe gums and freshen breath.