Cavities and gum disease are painful, unpleasant and can lead further medical conditions ranging from bad breath to heart disease.
It’s one of the many reasons why an excellent oral hygiene regimen is so important—using mouthwash, flossing every day, and brushing your teeth using proper technique. Read on for the ways organic oral care can prevent, slow or even reverse these problems.
What is a Cavity?
That shiny white stuff on your teeth? That’s called enamel. When bacteria in your mouth interacts with the sugars in foods it creates acids which can begin softening that enamel. If left untreated, the acids can eventually create a hole—a cavity—in the tooth. You might be able to see the cavity, but more commonly you’ll notice that you have one through pain (especially when eating or drinking very hot or cold foods) or pressure or sensitivity when biting down on something.
Do I Have to Go to a Dentist If I Have a Cavity?
It depends on how far along the cavity is. The first stage of tooth decay is when the outside of the tooth begins weakening and spots of soft, pitted enamel form. These are often called “microcavities” and will appear as white spots on your teeth. The good news is that it is possible to reverse these microcavities without going to a dentist (though it can’t hurt to do so).
You’ll want to continue excellent oral care. It also helps to adjust your diet to promote “remineralization” (which is the process by which begins to heal and harden again).
As you can imagine, you’ll want to avoid particularly sugary or acid foods. But you’ll also want to eat foods high in vitamin K2, such as eggs or grass-fed meat, cheese or butter (when animals are fed a diet of corn, as they are on most factory farms, the amount of K2 that gets into our food is greatly reduced).
Other foods which promote remineralization include avocados, apples, celery, and leafy bitter greens like chard or spinach. You’ll also want to avoid foods that are high in phytic acid, including grains, beans, nuts or unfermented soy.
Once the decay has penetrated the enamel, however, it’s a different story. Some people have reported using diet to completely heal the cavity, but most medical experts agree that once the enamel is gone it’s impossible for it to grow back, and a filling is the only way to stop the decay from spreading.
It’s important to visit a dentist if you get a real cavity, as the decay can spread quite fast once it breaches the enamel. At the very least, you should combine diet, an excellent organic oral care regimen, and a trip to the dentist as soon as you can.
What is Gum Disease?
The most common type of gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis starts with plaque, a sticky layer of mostly bacteria that forms on your teeth. If plaque isn’t removed (by, for instance, brushing your teeth twice daily) it can form tartar, which is harder and serves as a sort of “shield” for the plaque and bacteria, making them harder to remove.
The gum around the root of your teeth is called the “gingvia” and if the plaque and tarter are allowed to build up it can become inflamed, leading to gingivitis.
Gingivitis can lead to bad breath, can cause your gums to recede or your teeth to become painful or sensitive, and you can even end up losing teeth if it is left untreated. It has also been linked to other health conditions, including respiratory disease, diabetes, and heart disease.
What Can I do About It?
So what can you do to prevent gum disease or heal it once it begins to start? There are a number of organic solutions that you can try:
- Green tea has been shown to have antioxidants that reduce inflammation. This can help with the inflammation around the gums that leads to gingivitis.
- Rinsing your mouth with saltwater reduces inflammation and also kills bacteria. Saltwater can also damage your teeth, however, so you won’t want to do this every day.
- Baking soda and water will help neutralize acids which can cause gum disease. This is one reason our organic, all-natural toothpastes include exactly these ingredients.
- Many people have found improvements after rinsing with sesame or coconut oils.
- Brush two or three times a day. Make sure you use a tooth brush with soft bristles (the hard bristles can irritate the gums and exacerbate the gingivitis). Even better, use an electric toothbrush to really get rid of plaque.
- Give up smoking or chewing tobacco, if you do these things.
- Avoid sugary foods, such as soda or candy.
- Use an organic mouthwash. Our Blisque Organic Mouthwash contains naturally mined baking soda and aloe vera inner fillet leaf juice along with other botanicals. These have been shown to reduce plaque and gingivitis.
It’s important to keep on top of any signs of gum disease. If gingivitis is left untreated it can turn into periodontitis. Periodontitis is when the inflammation in your gums creates “pockets” between your teeth and the gums. These pockets then fill with plaque, bacteria and tarter.
If you develop periodontitis, you’ll want to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Bacteria eating at the root of the tooth can cause tooth loss. Some research has also shown that the bacteria can enter your bloodstream through your gums, possibly affecting your heart, lungs and other organs.
Why Choose Organic?
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best line of defense against both gum disease and cavities is excellent oral care. Practicing that oral care with organic products has several benefits.
First off, our products contain no chemicals or synthetic ingredients. Looking at our labels isn’t like opening a college chemistry text—you’ll recognize every ingredient.
This also means our products are also good for the environment. No environmentally- damaging chemicals are included in the product or are used in the production process.
Everything is all-natural and 100% from the earth. If you are interested in learning news about our products or learning more about proper organic oral care, subscribe to our mailing list.