Healthy Teeth and Gums: Optimising with Food!

Healthy Teeth and Gums: Optimising with Food!

We all want healthy teeth and gums, right? Did you know that the health of our teeth, gums and mouth in general, is a window for the health of our bodies? If we have bleeding gums or chronic mild infection, this can directly increase the inflammation present in the rest of our body and may even be an indicator of ill-health somewhere else in our body. By eating fruits and vegetables, we can positively impact not only our general health, but also create the healthy teeth and gums that we want.

We know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but
how do they help our mouth and teeth?

B VITAMINS

Many fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. For example, folic acid and other B vitamins, found especially in leafy greens supports healthy cell growth in general, supporting a healthy mouth.

FIBRE

Fresh, crisp fruits and raw vegetables help freshen breath and clean plaque from teeth. Eating fibrous, fresh, raw foods such as apples, oranges, carrots or celery, as well as other hard and fibrous vegetables for example, help to clean teeth (although not a substitute for flossing and brushing). The large amount of chewing required, stimulates saliva production, washing away the acids present (citric and malic acids predominantly) as well as other food particles that may be present in the mouth. The chewing also stimulates the gums and reduces cavity causing bacterial build up.

VITAMIN C

Foods rich in vitamin C such as apples, pears, oranges, pineapples, strawberries, cucumbers and tomatoes, protect tissues, including gums from cellular damage as well as against bacterial infection. Vitamin C also provides an immune boost, improves blood vessel and gum health and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

BETA-CAROTENE

Foods rich in beta carotene or any carotenoids, such as carrot, root vegetables (and celery) support vitamin A production, an essential nutrient for strong, healthy teeth.

COFACTORS FOR CALCIUM

Dark leafy green and cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cabbage, chard, asparagus and broccoli, contain a great variety of micronutrients. These include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as the B vitamins already mentioned. Many of these nutrients especially magnesium and phosphorus are important for the body to absorb and store calcium in the bones and teeth. As well as supporting the body’s ability to balance pH, which is essential for strong bones and teeth.

ANTHOCYANINS

Cranberries have been shown to reduce plaque formation and tooth decay by disrupting an enzyme involved in this process. Anthocyanins, phytonutrients (plant nutrients) present in foods containing reds, purples and blues are also healthful. This includes foods such as all berries, pomegranates, cherries, eggplant, plums, prunes, raisins, red grapes, red apples, red onion, red cabbage, red kidney beans and beetroot. These compounds are powerful antioxidants that seem to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties. Further, they may specifically prevent the attachment and colonisation of pathogens.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

These are just a few ways in which fruits and vegetables can help keep your mouth and teeth healthy.
Hopefully, it is clear that a large variety of different fruits and vegetables, especially encompassing the rainbow of colours, can support general health as well as tooth and mount health in a multitude of ways. Thus making eating as wide as possible a variety a useful, cost effective, efficient, simple and healthful strategy for most of us.

The easiest way to make use of the power of healthful fruits and vegetables is just to make sure to incorporate as many as you can into your daily life. Any improvements here will not only improve the quality of your general health, but also greatly impact your mouth. Allowing you strong and healthy teeth and gums, well into old-age.

Another, is to strip your diet back to a simple, clean eating protocol for just a short period of time. During this time, make sure that the majority of what you eat is fresh fruits and vegetables. This allows your digestive system a chance to not work so hard, as you’ve reduced your meat and processed food intake. This in itself, plus the addition of a larger volume of nutrients and fibre from this plant based eating, can allow your body to take a moment and remove more toxins from the system.

A short and simple detoxification process is a great way to periodically help your body to purge and to repair. Are you ready to begin a simple, food-based detoxification process? Click through and Pre-REGISTER your interest to Join Us for a 10 Day Detox Challenge, set to start early in 2020!

Jaw Pain?

Jaw Pain?

Due to a number of recent client questions about the jaw, we thought we would dedicate a blog to more information (please write back if you have other specific questions) …
Are your jaw muscles tight and sore?

You may be surprised to know that the strongest and hardest working joint in the body is the jaw or the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It is almost constantly working, when we talk, chew or clench. With upwards of a couple of thousand movements each day, it comes as no surprise that some of the muscles we use in moving our jaw can become overworked and sore.

Tightness in the jaw is a common problem, and can lead to jaw or tooth pain, jaw clicking or teeth grinding, problems chewing, headaches, dizziness, earaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), eye pain or irritation and / or neck pain. And can often result in poor sleep, constant pain or discomfort and a general disturbance to your quality of life. 

Most commonly, the masseter muscles around the jaw and the temporalis muscles up into your temples (superficially), and the medial and lateral pterygoid muscles (inside the mouth) are the culprits.

The medial and lateral pterygoid muscles are inside the mouth and with pressure, generally are very painful.  Because of their difficult location, accessing them from inside the mouth (along the jawbone, behind the teeth; behind the teeth and backwards, towards the joint itself; and up underneath cheekbone), they are best assessed and treated by a professional.

Fortunately it is relatively easy to massage the superficial muscles yourself so long as you know where to work. And once this tension is released, headaches and neck pain etc. will often subside. A few techniques are offered at the end.
Some things to be mindful of, especially if pain continues, are that constant tension in these muscles can lead to the jaw being disarticulated, and that jaw pain can also be caused by malocclusion of the jaw (incorrect “bite”). While tension in the skull itself (from previous trauma, growth spurts and even pressures occurring at birth) can cause this, the feet and other factors affecting posture can also. These more complex conditions, can be assisted by some very specific dental devices. And the effectiveness of this treatment can often be speed up by reducing the associated tissue (membrane, ligament and muscle) irritation, supporting movement of the bones themselves into better alignment using gentle cranial osteopathic techniques and balancing postural factors using remedial massage and osteopathy and the like.

Ultimately we believe that a personalised combination of dental devices, postural and foot assessment, osteopathic treatment, remedial massage and possibly even soft proprioceptive innersoles, as well as self massage and relaxation techniques are often required for complete resolution of jaw tension and pain, especially in stubborn cases.

“Reduce Your Jaw Pain Now! 5 Use at Home Techniques”