Foods that Help Fight Cavities

Foods that can help fight cavities. Wholistic Dentistry Solana Beach.

What defines holistic dentistry is that we don’t treat your mouth as an individual part of your body. We treat the entire person as one connected system.  Your dental health is connected to your overall health and vice versa.

When you begin to look at things that way, you realize that fighting cavities is more than just brushing and flossing. Obviously, those are extremely important parts of the fight, but a more holistic solution goes even further.

We want to look at fighting cavities as a complete solution.

Did you know that some foods can help strengthen your teeth to prevent cavities while others may even help restore weakened enamel?

How is this possible?

Some studies have determined that certain fat-soluble vitamins can help keep your teeth healthy. The nutrients that seem to have the greatest impact on your dental health include:

  • Vitamin A – This vitamin helps support the osteoimmune system (i.e. the immune system tied directly to your skeletal system).
  • Vitamin D – If you’re low in vitamin D, your body releases a certain hormone that will pull calcium from your teeth. On the other hand, if you’re getting enough of it, it can contribute to the formation of dentin.
  • Vitamin K2 – Supports the bone-building cells in your body and may help carry calcium into your teeth and bones.

We’ve previously discussed whether or not changing your diet can reverse tooth decay, but let’s get a little more specific, here. Let’s take a more complete approach to protecting your teeth by getting plenty of the following foods in your diet.

But first, a general guideline:

Try replacing processed foods with foods such as free-range eggs, raw butter and milk, grass-fed animal organs, fermented foods , healthy fats  and avoid white flour products, sweets, and excess sugar.

Now, on to the list of foods to seek out:

Liver – Liver may not exactly be a staple of modern culinary cuisine, but maybe it should be. It is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. It is a great source of iron, fat soluble vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamins K1 and K2. It even has more vitamin C than blueberries or kale. These nutrients can significantly contribute to your oral health.

Cheese – Cheese is low on sugar and high on protein and calcium, which are both critical allies in the fight against cavities. The calcium provides the minerals that your enamel needs, and the proteins help counteract some of the acids that damage your teeth. Be sure to stick to cheeses from grass-fed cows.

Whole grains – Your daily allowance of whole grains can provide iron and vitamin B which contribute to the health of your gums. Bran, brown rice, and whole-grain pasta may also have magnesium, which is good for bones and teeth.

Spinach – Dark, leafy greens like spinach are great sources of iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Spinach also contains a lot of antioxidants, which have some benefits that extend to dental health, too.

Butter – For years, butter was derided as unhealthy, but, in fact, it’s a good source of those important fat-soluble vitamins. You can find vitamins A, D, and K2 in butter, but only if it comes from a grass-fed cow.

Garlic – Most people only think of this food’s effect on their breath, but the antibacterial properties of garlic actually make it a strong fighter against cavities. Garlic contains prebiotic fiber, that contributes to stronger teeth, and Allicin, which provides the antibacterial qualities.

Sauerkraut – There are a couple important elements in sauerkraut that make it good for your teeth. The first is that it contains lactic-acid-forming bacteria, which can inhibit the disease-causing bacteria you want to avoid. It is also a good source of vitamin K2.

Cold-water fatty fish – This category of fish includes mackerel, cod, haddock and others, and is a good source of vitamin D and vitamin K2.

Cucumbers – This vegetable is considered a cooling alkaline food, which means it can help regain control of a mouth that has overheated from all the acids in the other beverages and foods we consume.

Water – This is probably the most obvious one that you’ve heard over and over again, but it’s worth repeating. Not only does it rinse the food residue from your teeth, it helps flush toxins from the rest of your body.

There are a lot of foods out there that are great for your teeth (and many that aren’t). When you combine healthy eating – which is to say a diet that is full of teeth-friendly foods – with your at-home routines and regular dental checkups, you will be able to do more in the fight against tooth decay.

If you’d like to know more, we’d be happy to consult with you and help create a diet plan that protects your teeth and contributes to your overall health.

How Do You Know When Your Mouth Isn’t Healthy?

Is that pain in your mouth due to a little extra sensitivity, or is it somethingIs your mouth healthy? Dentist in San Diego CA Articlemore?

Are you gums bleeding because you switched to a new toothbrush with stiffer bristles, or should you be concerned?

The health of your mouth is directly related to your overall health, so if you begin to notice certain signs, take them seriously.

So, how do you know when your mouth isn’t as healthy as it could be?

Keep an eye out for some of these signs and symptoms:

Tooth or jaw pain – This is probably the most obvious sign that something isn’t quite right in your mouth. Unfortunately, too many people tell themselves that the pain will “just go away,” or try to take care of it with some over-the-counter painkillers. Pain is your body’s way of saying that something is wrong, so make sure you come and get it checked out.

Bleeding gums – If your gums bleed whenever you brush them, it is usually caused by inflammation. Your gums have a huge impact on the health of your mouth, and if they’re inflamed, it could be a sign of gingivitis or periodontitis.

Dry mouth – If your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva, it could lead to sores, tooth decay, cracked lips, and more. This could be caused by disease, medications, or the inevitable aging process. If you can’t determine the cause, then it might be a sign of bacteria or other problems.

Sores – Canker sores are not exactly a rare occurrence for some people. They show up and then disappear in a few days. However, if they don’t seem to go away, or other lesions or other unusual patches show up, it’s time to come in for a consultation.

Constant bad breath – Are people backing away from you while you speak, even when you didn’t have a spicy meal for lunch? Unexplained bad breath could be the first sign of gingivitis, so get it checked out before this condition has a chance to get worse.

Sensitivity – If you feel increased sensitivity to hot and cold, it might be an indication of tooth decay. If you are experiencing this situation, it’s usually because the dental decay has started to reach the nerves and blood vessels.

When These Signs Mean Something More

We’ve covered the mouth-body connection before, but it’s worth pointing out how the symptoms we find in your mouth may indicate potential concerns throughout the rest of your body.

We have even produced a tooth meridian chart that shows exactly how the mouth and body are connected. Take a look at this interactive chart and discover whether or not some of the aches and pains you may be feeling in your teeth could actually be related to some other problems.

This connection goes both ways. If your mouth has unchecked bacteria or inflammation from periodontitis, it can contribute to some diseases and other problems. At the same time, certain diseases, like diabetes, can lower a person’s ability to fight of infections, making oral problems a more serious risk.

Holistic Dental Solutions

If you begin to see signs of an unhealthy mouth, be sure to get in touch with us as soon as possible.

Every patient is different, so while your symptoms may be similar, our approach to restoring your health will be unique to your body and your situation. Here, we treat the whole patient, not just the symptoms.

Whether you’re experiencing severe pain or a little bleeding when you brush your teeth, talk to us about your concerns and we’ll recommend the best course of action.

 

Natural Dental Products We Recommend for Kids

February was National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) and coming up this month is World Oral Health Day, so we want to take the opportunity to teach both parents and children about better health routines and provide some extra education about the best ways to make oral hygiene an important part of their life.

Recommended Natural Kids Dental Products

The Benefits of Natural Dental Products for Kids

Health-conscious parents spend a lot of time looking at the ingredients lists on the foods they provide their children. This is a great habit to get into. You can ensure that your kids are getting healthier foods and avoid a lot of the chemically enhanced and sugar-filled snacks that line the modern grocery stores.

Now, treat your dental products the exact same way.

Have you ever looked at the list of ingredients going into your child’s toothpaste and mouthwash?

The number of artificial sweeteners, dyes, and abrasives should be enough to give anyone a reason to pause and think about what they are using in their children’s mouth.

There are a range of natural products available that offer the same cavity-fighting protection, just without all the potentially ill effects of those ingredients with the impossible-to-pronounce names.

Remember, holistic dentistry is about treating the whole person, not just the teeth. And that means your kids should use the healthiest available, even from a very young age. This way, they can learn to protect their teeth while avoiding a number of unwanted (and possibly toxic) ingredients.

Getting the Right Products for Your Kids

The slogan for this year’s NCDHM campaign was: “Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.”

Now, if you’ve talked to us before or spent know much about holistic dentistry, you know that we don’t encourage the use of fluoride. You can find a number of articles and videos about the problems with fluoride here.

So, while we completely support the intent of this program and the way it encourages parents and teachers to help children develop better dental habits, it’s important to understand exactly what is going into your chosen dental products. You have access to a wide range of healthy dental products and there are plenty of holistic alternatives for your kids.

These natural dental products that are great for children and toddlers:

When In Doubt, Check It Out

While there are regulations on what dental products can claim, it’s easy for some marketers to spin the facts and make something seem “natural” when really, it’s not. They may be “safe” for children, but are they “healthy” for children?

As you’re shopping and making the choices for your child’s dental health, just remember that there are some ingredients that can be avoided and some that can contribute to a more holistic approach to dentistry.

Some ingredients to avoid include: fluoride, titanium dioxide, and sodium lauryl sulfate.

Natural ingredients that you may watch for include organic coconut oil, vitamin C, and even organic strawberry extract to add a little flavor.

Be sure to talk to us about the best products for your kids’ dental health. We’ll be happy to discuss a wide range of options with you.

How We Get You in and Out of the Office Faster

Your time is precious, and, if you’re like most of us, it’s probably in pretty short supply. We understand that, but we also want you to receive the best dental treatments possible.

Modern dental technology is making it possible for us to get you in and out of the office faster, while still ensuring you get healthy and aesthetically pleasing results.

It wasn’t that long ago that really serious cosmetic and restorative procedures required an extensive treatment and probably multiple visits to the office. The patient would have to rely on temporary replacement crowns while the lab took the time to produce a permanent crown or veneer.

Now, with the new CAD/CAM technology we have in the office, we can construct, produce, and insert individual ceramic restorations chairside in a single appointment.

Let’s take a closer look at how this technology speeds these cosmetic and restorative procedures, reduces the number of office visits, and provides superior fitting restorations.

CEREC Technology

You can get brand new, custom crowns in a single day with our CEREC machine. CEREC technology allows us to control every phase of the restoration process and – everything from the initial digital impressions to the virtual models of the teeth, and milling the ceramic that is safe for your mouth and looks completely natural.

To be a little more specific, this system uses 3D photography and CAD/CAM technology to take some detailed impressions of your teeth. This level of precision lets us create better crowns and veneers that fit perfectly in your mouth. And, as a nice side note, it means we can create impressions without using any of the molding putty that was once so common.

The Importance of Precise Imaging

Our 3D imaging camera scans your entire mouth so we can replicate the exact contours of your teeth. This helps us ensure the crown will fit correctly on the first try and last for a very long time. The level of detail in these cameras can produce images with virtually no distortion.

Get a Great Smile in One Day

We want you to have a great, healthy smile that you are happy to share with others. We don’t want you to have to spend too much time in the office, when there’s so many other things you could be doing.

CEREC technology allows us to help you maintain a healthier mouth and a happier smile. More importantly, it lets us take care of your cosmetic and restorative needs in a single visit. Contact us today to learn more about this procedure and our high-tech office.

Healthy Gums Healthy Mouth

Your gums are important parts of your mouth that protect your jawbones and help keep your teeth securely in place.

Regardless, taking care of them can be seen as an inconvenience. The brushing and flossing between each tooth can be a pain. Sometimes, your gums become irritated and bleed, taking away your motivation to properly care for them.

Healthy Gums = Healthy Mouth

Taking the time to properly care for your gums, however, results in a healthy mouth that will give you a healthy bite, teeth and overall oral health that will give you beautiful smile for years to come and freedom from jaw problems, crooked teeth, loose or missing teeth, headaches, tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, broken teeth, missing teeth, infected or decayed teeth, bad breath, dry mouth, heartburn, breathing disorders and oral cancer.

These various dental issues that affect the teeth, jaws and overall oral health all point back to how healthy the gums are. Issues with the gums can progress to cause these issues in other parts of the mouth.

The most common gum health issue is gum disease.

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is the infection of the gum tissue that lead to gum inflammation and loose teeth. If the infection progresses from gingivitis to periodititis, teeth can be lost.

Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is minor plaque buildup along the gums by the teeth. This stage of periodontal disease can and is easily treated. If treatment is ignored, gingivitis can escalate to the more serious periodititus. In this second stage of periodontal disease, the infection can spread to the tooth and jaw bone. If not treated, the jaw bone can get so severely damaged, it can no longer securely hold teeth in place.

Taking the time to daily care for your gums as well as your teeth can help prevent gingivitis and periodontitis.

What do patients who already have the early stages of gum disease do?

How Periodontal Disease is Treated

Fortunately, periodontal disease can be easily treated if caught early on. The two common methods of treating gum disease are scaling and root planing.

Scaling. The scaling procedure involves the removal of tartar, plaque and biofilm from the tooth surface and the area just below the gum line. Usually, manual hand instruments are used, though some dentists may use a combination of manual and electronic instruments.

Root Planing. Root planing involves the same tartar, plaque and biofilm as scaling, but is done to the surface of the tooth root below the gum line, to decrease the inflammation of the gum tissue.

Both procedures also smooth out rough areas to make it harder for future tartar and plaque build-up.

These two procedures are sometimes referred to as a professional deep cleaning.

Why a Deep Cleaning is Needed to Stop Gum Disease

Deep cleaning is often a part of the routine twice yearly teeth cleaning and examination. This regular professional cleaning plays an essential part in maintaining the health of your gums and will ensure a healthy mouth. Healthy, strong gums will bring you relief from:

  • Strong gums aren’t as sensitive and prone to cuts and bleeding.
  • Healthy gums accumulate less dangerous plaque than unhealthy ones.
  • Gum recession. Gums that are taken care will not recede like unhealthy gums. Receding gums can cause pain, discomfort and increased sensitivity. It can also lead to tooth problems.
  • Tighter “pockets” between the teeth and gums. The “pocket” between the gum and tooth are where the plaque that causes periodontal disease forms and grows if not treated. Healthier gums will be “hug” the tooth more securely, creating less space for plaque to accumulate.

Gum disease is nothing you want to deal with. If left untreated, it can lead to additional dental problems concerning your teeth, jaws and overall oral health.

Daily, at-home brushing and flossing accompanied with regular, twice-yearly professional deep cleaning are the best methods to prevent gum disease and keep it from progressing to something more severe.

The office of Dr. Stacey Godes takes the oral health of each patient seriously. We are a holistic dentistry that maintains patients’ oral health utilizing the most natural and safe methods and products available. You won’t find any dangerous chemicals or metal fillings here.

Contact us today to schedule a deep cleaning appointment and let us help you keep your beautiful, healthy smile.

Research Shows a Link Between Periodontal Disease and Breast Cancer

periodontal disease linked to breast cancerBreast cancer or just the “big C” in general is a horrible disease to suffer from or to watch a loved one suffer from. In the U.S. breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. Periodontal disease is extremely serious and without proper care it can be linked between many other diseases, but research has discovered that there is now a new risk to be added to that list: breast cancer. Many women suffer from breast cancer, which is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells, but women who are postmenopausal and suffer from periodontal disease are more likely to develop breast cancer than those without, especially if they are smokers.

Despite the fact that oral-associated microbes have been found in breast tumors, very little research had been done on the link between periodontal disease and cancer. Recently The University at Buffalo has done research and discovered that gum disease has in fact been linked to breast cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. They monitored over 73,000 women who were postmenopausal, 26.1 percent of those women had periodontal disease at the beginning of the study.

At the end of the study, 6.7 years later, 2,124 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and throughout all of the women in the study those with periodontal disease had a 14 percent higher risk of breast cancer.

Research has shown several possible causes for the link to periodontal disease, such as:

  • When brushing, flossing and chewing, bacteria from the oral cavity get into the bloodstream and although the bacteria is cleared rather quickly, there is sizable exposure to tissues. Long term exposure to the breast tissue could be the cause.
  • Another possible cause that could impact chronic diseases is inflammation in other parts of the body.

Previous to the research done at The University at Buffalo only three very small studies were done in order to discover the link between periodontal disease and breast cancer. Because of  the small size of these studies they weren’t able to examine the possible effects from smoking and the research showed no significant increase in risk. However, the study done at The University at Buffalo was able to do their research on a much larger-scale of women, which allowed them to look more closely at how smoking affected the relationship between periodontal disease and breast cancer.

“There’s been an explosion of information recently that makes it clear that many different parts of the body that were thought to be sterile contain bacteria and other microbes,” Freudenheim says. These bacteria may influence diseases that were previously thought to have no infectious component.”

Periodontal disease or oral disease of any kind is very serious. Now that there has been research that links this disease to breast cancer it makes it even more of an issue for woman, especially for those who are postmenopausal. Having good oral hygiene is important for your health and that includes regular visits to our office. Call today and schedule a checkup. Our trained and knowledgeable staff is ready to make sure you have a healthy mouth.

What is Holistic Dentistry

What is Holistic Dentistry

 

Are you curious about holistic dentistry? Check out our simple infographic to see what that part of our practice is all about! Call us today to get all of your questions answered.