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"Ignore your teeth and they'll go away", was a sign I observed once in an orthodontist's office. Cute, but very true. According to the U.S. Public Health Service, 98% of all Americans fall prey to dental disease. The American Dental Association relates that by retirement time the average senior citizen has only five teeth left and 40% are wearing dentures!
Lack of proper nutrients, lack of proper nutrient absorption, poor oral hygiene and smoking contribute to the demise of teeth and the underlying support structures. Fred Miller, DDS states, "You cannot scale and clean teeth without seeing systemic degenerative processes at work unless you are blind. Spongy bleeding gums and loose teeth are oral manifestations of multiple deficiencies and a part of the syndrome of degeneration. The mouth is the barometer of the health as well as the gateway to health."
One of the first signs of dental disease is bleeding gums. When gums are inflamed, this condition is known as gingivitis. Poor diet is the major culprit in gingivitis. Lack of Vitamin C can cause scurvy like symptoms, which include bleeding gums. Flossing daily and brushing from the base of the teeth toward the crown, can do much to clean away plaque. Plaque, which is a film on the teeth, where bacteria will flourish, can harden into a rock like substance, known as tartar. Tartar accumulates at the base of the tooth where the gum line meets, if the plaque isn't brushed off daily. The tartar irritates the gums and causes more bleeding. The bacteria loosen the teeth from the gums and migrate lower, where it forms pus pockets. This extremely dangerous condition is known as "pyorrhea". Pus will discharge into the mouth itself and the teeth will loosen from the sockets. The roots are destroyed and the teeth are extracted and the need for dentures. This entire collection of symptoms is known as "periodontal disease".
Many dental experts feel that loss of bone mass beneath the teeth is the major contributor to dental problems. Harry W. Daniell, M.D. relates in Complimentary Medicine that "the dominant phenomena in tooth loss is not plaque and gingivitis, but 'osteoporosis of the jaws', which causes the teeth to loosen and the gums to retract.” The key is to build a dense bone mass in the dental structure. This is accomplished by proper chewing and necessary nutrients, especially minerals. Eliminating smoking is crucial. William H. Fisher, DDS states: "If the periodontal ligaments and the gingival crevice have been encroached upon by bacteria and other toxins, a bone which is reduced in mass will be more susceptible to invasion by toxins or whatever is acting at the cellular level upon them." In other words, if you do not have a strong bone mass beneath the teeth, it will be easier for bacteria to get in and cause further damage.
People who already have dentures need a strong bone mass because, as Dr. Fisher explained it, "All people inevitably shrink under dentures." The load factor or the pressure involved is not normal to bones, so they all shrink. It's a question of how much and how fast they shrink. The bone was not intended to take as much downward pressure as dentures exert. Even though losing one's upper and lower teeth results in a 90 percent reduction in biting capacity, he or she still is biting harder than this bone will allow, when teeth are loose we know the bone will shrink more, because the patient has a periodontal condition to start with and that condition doesn't seem to stop as soon as the teeth are out, indicating a more systemic cause. Someone with good occlusion, who is biting down well, will have higher bone density. Almost everyone who has periodontal disease has much lower mandibular bone density than those in whom the disease is not present.
Smoking definitely contributes to periodontal disease. Dr. Fisher emphasizes: "Almost everyday when I talk to someone about serious periodontal disease I am reminded that we very rarely see serious periodontal disease in non-smokers.
Smoking causes osteoporosis in women. Dr. Daniell states: "Smoking seems to interfere with the metabolism of estrogen. It decreases 'the estrogen levels in the serum due both to accelerating the metabolism of estrogens and to diminishing estrogen production. These factors explain why many symptoms of estrogen deficiency are so pronounced in smokers. Smokers have earlier menopause, they lose their fertility at an earlier age and they are less likely to sustain a conception. Osteoporosis is part of that picture. " Dr. Daniells points out that smoking hinders calcium absorption. Calcium is not the only nutrient necessary for dense bones.
Dr. Fisher says, “I almost get a catch in my throat when people tell me they take Calcium, because that usually ends it for them. If taking calcium is all they do, they have made some improvement. But it is important for them to consider other aspects of nutrition; Magnesium, B Complex, Folic acid, Thyroid Activator and Vitamin C. All which are important to building bone. One cannot build bone without Calcium, but the matrix to build the bone on cannot be formed without Vitamin C." Other factors contributing to bone loss include multiple pregnancies, low thyroid function, lack of hydrochloric acid and excessive intake of soft drinks.
There are many nutritional substances which will help fortify dental health externally and internally. A couple of drops of Tea Tree Oil on toothpaste and brushing the teeth will act as an antiseptic and germicide. It effectively destroys the germs which live on plaque and helps dissolve the plaque.
Herbal combination to strengthen ligaments, bone and connective tissues are HSN-W, Herbal CA and Bone/Skin Poultice, White Oak bark useful as an astringent for bleeding, spongy gums, (just open a couple of capsules and applied directly).
Oxygenation is very important to kill microbes. Joseph Sugarman (Health, 1/88) says: "The old fashioned, natural method for keeping your teeth clean and your gums healthy was to use baking soda and peroxide.
CoQ-10 is a co-enzyme present in most fresh fruits and vegetables. The CoQ-10 content deteriorates very quickly when the foods are left out on the shelves for long. CoQ-10 has proven to be very effective in treating periodontal disease.
In the book "The Miracle Co-Enzyme Q-10" the authors relate the "Latest research into periodontal disease is not only a local problem. Bacteria growing plaque and their toxic products enter the blood circulation and sensitize some of the cells of the immune system. This resu1ts in a decreased effectiveness of those immune cells, which may produce a generalized ill effect or locally aggravate the gum's redness and bleeding. Periodontal disease is regarded as a generalized disease with a heavy involvement of the immune system. At the most advanced stages or oral disaster CoQ-10 has a great beneficial effect in reversing the disease process locally and systemically through the immune system."
Dr. Edward G. Wiikinson states: "CoQ-10 is essential for every person to live. Without the presence of it, the essential healthy functioning of the cells break down. There is no energy in the cell, in a very real sense it is dying. This is what we see in periodontal disease, a lot of dead cells and inflammation of the connective tissues."
"It appears that most people have an adequate supply of CoQ-10, but some people don't seem to assimilate it as well as others. Periodontal tissues deficient in CoQ-10 when they are diseased and appear to require more CoQ-10 to heal. Persons suffering from periodontal disease could benefit from Coenzyme Q-10 as an adjunct to routine periodontal therapy."
In review, remember the causes of dental disease are: poor diet, poor oral hygiene, lack of bone mass and smoking.
To prevent periodontal disorders altogether or at least keep the process from getting worse, we must have an adequate intake of nutrients, (calcium) Skeletal Strength, Citrus Bioflavonoids w/Vitamin C, Magnesium Complex, B-Complex and Iodine (KELP). All minerals, both micro and trace (Ionic Minerals or Mineral Chi), are essential to health, as are all vitamins (Super Supplement Vitamins and Minerals).
To reduce the risk of periodontal disease don't drink soft drinks and don't smoke. For disease which has already gained a foothold, try a few drops of Tea Tree Oil on your toothbrush and take CoQ-10 and herbal supplements designed to help bones and connective tissue. To increase bone mass, chew firm foods and chew them well, because it is the bearing down pressure which helps build bone density. Most of all, remember to brush properly! Don't ignore your teeth so they will stay in and you can greet each day with a smile!