Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
Studies Prove Effectiveness of Holistic Treatments for Teeth
Today we have toothbrushes that vibrate, circulate, or some combination of both, and of course there is the regular ol’ toothbrush that requires a little more hand and wrist action on our part. There are water picks, toothpicks, plaque scrapers, tongue brushes, dental floss and dental tape. There are numerous varieties of toothpaste and mouthwash, and even dental gum that you can chew between brushing sessions. And let’s not forget all of the different types of teeth whitening products!
As a means to prevent tooth decay, many dentists recommend a fluoride treatment twice per year. Fluoride is also added to many of these dental care products, as well as to most public water systems. However, in 2010 the CDC reported that dental fluorosis, a serious condition caused by too much fluoride, is on the increase in the United States.
According to this report, the “prevalence of dental fluorosis was higher among younger persons and ranged from 41% among adolescents aged 12-15 to 9% among adults aged 40-49.” In 1986-87, 22.6% of adolescents had dental fluorosis, compared to 40.7% in 1999-2005. This is quite an increase! As a result, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services planned on lowering the amount of fluoride allowed in public water systems, but as of 2014 had yet to do so.
(It is interesting to note that, while fluoride is added to water supplies for the purpose of therapeutic consumption, no recommended water/fluoride dosage has ever been prescribed by health authorities ~ Editor.)
What is even more alarming is the 2013 Harvard study, along with 37 other studies, that found that elevated fluoride exposure is associated with reduced IQ. But putting the fluoride debate to the side for a moment… What else can we do to prevent tooth decay, naturally?
We have all heard that limiting sugar intake is one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay, and of course the importance of eating a well-balanced diet to maintain a healthy body and teeth. Yet, despite all this, tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease among children ages 5-17 with approximately 60 % affected! Well, I think I can safely say that brushing your teeth is definitely a good idea, but this still begs the following questions to be answered:
Are all these fancy tooth gadgets really much better than a regular toothbrush?
Are our teeth healthier and stronger today than they were prior to the introduction of fluoridation in the 1940s?
To answer these questions, I think the first thing we should do is take a look at how other regions of the world clean their teeth.
The Miswak Stick
Many African and Muslim cultures, as well as ancient Egyptian and Jewish cultures, use a Miswak stick, which is a twig from the Salvadora persica tree (also known as the toothbrush tree or mustard tree). Although using a twig from a tree instead of a modern day ergonomic toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to clean your teeth may sound like an outdated practice, studies have actually shown that the Miswak works better than toothpaste when it comes to preventing gum disease.
A 2003 study published by Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry found something very interesting! They concluded:
“The miswak is more effective than tooth brushing for reducing plaque and gingivitis… and that miswak appeared to be more effective than tooth brushing for removing plaque from the embrasures (valleys between teeth), thus enhancing interproximal health”
Though mint is known to have strong antibacterial properties, a 2007 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that when mint is laced with Miswak it kills 60% of bacteria, as compared to less than 4% for mint alone.
The Miswak is also environmentally friendly. You basically keep trimming the twig down, much like a pencil. Whatever you don’t use is biodegradable. A good resource for learning more about the Miswak can be found here.
Another interesting holistic option for keeping your teeth healthy is known as Oil Pulling. This ancient means of cleaning teeth has its origin in India and dates back at least 2,500 years. A 2009 study compared the effect of oil pulling on plaque-induced gingivitis to using a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine (common in most mouth-washes). They concluded:
“There was a statistically significant reduction of the pre- and post-values of the plaque and modified gingival index scores in both the study and control groups (P < 0.001 in both). There was a considerable reduction in the total colony count of aerobic microorganisms present in both the groups.
The oil pulling therapy showed a reduction in the plaque index, modified gingival scores, and total colony count of aerobic microorganisms in the plaque of adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis.”
Generally organic sesame oil is used; however coconut oil is also commonly used (I personally prefer coconut oil).
First thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, swish 1 tablespoon of either oil in your mouth without swallowing it. You don’t have to swish hard, just move the oil around your teeth, and also try to squeeze the oil in-between your teeth. Over time, plague that is stuck up under your gums loosens and will come out allowing the gum to heal. Ideally, this should be done for 20 minutes, but I have found that 8-10 minutes works as well. When done swishing and squeezing, simply spit the oil out and rinse your mouth with warm water mixed with sea salt.
Interestingly, many people report health benefits beyond healthier gums and teeth including:
- Reduction of headaches (including migraines)
- Reduction of sinus congestion
- More energy
- Better sleep
- Less allergies
You can learn more about Oil Pulling here.
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
I believe these natural options are certainly worth the consideration. Especially since studies are proving that they are just as effective as, or more effective than their chemical counterparts. Hopefully in the near future more U.S. dentists will advocate for natural means of dental health. After all, even the World Health Organization has recommended the Miswak in international consensus reports on oral hygiene!
But oral hygiene is only part of the equation. There are other reasons for decay and inflamed gums, namely a chronically poor diet full of processed foods. Luckily you don’t have to wait for the future to make better choices today! By choosing more fresh foods (ideally organic and non-GMO), you can significantly reduce the inflammation in your body and improve the health of your gums.
There are cultures today that have impressively healthy teeth and gums, never visit a dentist, and hardly ever brush their teeth! How can this be? They are able to maintain a state of overall good health, including oral health, due to the quality of the food they consume and the lack of toxic chemicals in the environment. Historically, once people from these cultures are introduced to “modern society”, and all that it entails, a significant decrease in teeth and gum health soon follows. Weston A. Price, DDS wrote an intriguing book regarding this phenomenon entitled, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. You can read this ground-breaking book online for free at here.
Previous articles by Dr. Michelle Kmiec:
- Studies Prove Sweet Potatoes Heal Stomach Ulcers
- The Truth About Insomnia, Depression and Anxiety
- Are There Natural Cures for ALS?
- Natural Cure for Depression Silenced?
- The Link Between Stress and Intestinal Parasites – and What to Do About Them
- Arthritis Cure Found in Nature
- The Sun & Skin Cancer: the Truths, Pseudo-Truths & Lies of Mainstream Science
- A Natural Cure for Migraines
- Natural Cure for Chronic Pain Syndromes Silenced by the Medical Establishment
- Fluoride Linked to Coronary Heart Disease
About the author:
Dr. Michelle Kmiec is a chiropractic physician who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, and a minor in Medical Research. She is a life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from MS and anxiety, became an avid nutrition and health researcher/promoter.
The founder of the website Online Holistic Health and author of “Healthcare Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession“, Dr. Kmiec has been featured in many health magazines and websites, and has been a guest on radio talk shows in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.