I’ve been spending a lot of time ruminating on dental health. Last year I started seeing a dentist again after a long hiatus. As a youngster I dutifully saw the dentist every six months, thanks to our family’s dental insurance.
As an adult I had no issues with my teeth and no dental insurance, so it became a low priority. However, last year I decided it was better to see the dentist as preventive care and especially before major problems erupted!
I researched a lot of dentists to find one I thought would be a good match for me. I was specifically wanting a dentist with a more holistic approach, who had many years of experience and who stayed current with dental research.
Once I found a good match I scheduled an appointment, admittedly with a little trepidation. After not seeing the dentist for many years I was a little nervous at what he might find.
I left my initial appointment with relief! I had some issues with a crown that needed to be dealt with, but I had no current cavities. The biggest concern, however, was my gums. I was showing beginning stages of gingivitis as evidenced by bleeding gums and pockets that were measured in the fours and fives.
I wasn’t nervous about my gums though; I knew I had herbs to help me! From that day forward I brushed and flossed daily (as usual) and I also used an herbal mouth wash at least once a day.
Three months later I was back at the dentist to get the crown work done and I requested to have my pockets re-evaluated. At first the dentist said there was no point in checking again so soon since there was no way my gums could have made any significant changes, but I insisted.
No more bleeding gums! AND all of my pockets had been reduced to one’s and two’s. The dental hygienist who did the original evaluation and the follow up was amazed. He’d never seen such dramatic results.
Thank you herbs!
Before we get into today’s herbs and mouth wash recipe I want to say a few things about dental health.
Modern popular opinion often falsely believes that dental health is solely a localized issue. But even if someone has impeccable oral hygiene, meaning that they brush and floss every day, use mouth washes, etc., tooth decay and gum disease can still be an issue. Thus, we need to take a more holistic approach to dental health and understand that it is a systemic issue as well as a localized issue.
So what does that mean? Systemic vs. Local?
When I say a local problem I am referring to the bacteria in the mouth that undeniably play a role in tooth decay and gum disease. These harmful bacteria eat carbohydrates in the mouth and then excrete acids that alter the pH of the mouth.
When the pH around teeth drops below 5.5 it starts to erode the enamel. Erosion of the enamel leads to porous teeth. Bacteria can then continue to bore through these holes, going through all layers of the tooth until it reaches the tooth pulp, which then creates a major infection.