Last year I listened to (and was fascinated) by the Oral Health Summit. I have to admit that due to all the research I do constantly, it is rare that I come across much new information which I can apply to my own health journey. I just have most of the foundations in place now. To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations for an oral health summit, however, what I learnt was fascinating …. and infact totally, wondrously NEW.
Interestingly I discovered that the importance of dental health could be applied to my healing journey in a big way.
It is finally completely crystal clear to me that EVERY part of us – mind, body & soul is intricately linked. To be fully healthy and happy our system must run smoothly as a complete whole.
Take a moment to absorb this fully.
Because I truly felt that I had acknowledged this already, but it appears that a concept can sit at surface level, just under, or it can completely sink right down deep until it becomes the very solid foundation upon which it all exists for you.
Another level altogether. A grounding truth.
Any glitch in the wheel will potentially (and likely) affect any part of the entire system. I have known this for a long time of course, yet for some reason I never really took onboard how the importance of dental care was also pivotal, and how the mouth could have a role to play in my own recovery from Autoimmune Disease and Lyme Disease. It just didn’t seem like there could be a tangible link?
I was wrong.
Which is good because this re-evaluation opens and expands my mind further.
I am always happy and excited to learn more.
One of my favourite oral experts is Nadine Artemis who speaks passionately about the importance of dental health. She is also the founder of my absolute favourite clean beauty brand – Living Libations. I love hearing her speak, and as someone who – hands up in confession – does not really like teeth, and actually hates cleaning them – I am totally inspired and have a new found respect and passion for oral health now.
Valuable and Interesting points from the Oral Health Summit
- The mouth is linked to the gut. This is crucial information as most experts have agreed for a while that chronic health conditions all begin – or have roots – in the gut – especially any type of inflammatory condition or autoimmune disease like my own. It doesn’t matter whether the basis of your autoimmunity lies – like mine- with the thyroid gland, or perhaps the joints, or the skin, it is all the same in that your body is mistakingly recognising a foreign invader and waging an attack against itself. Infact, if you have 1 autoimmune disease you are more likely to get another… and maybe another. We have to do all we can to calm this response down and re-educate our confused and over tired systems to keep this in check. I come back to the gut again. For almost everything….but I didn’t realise that the mouth was so intrinsically linked. I missed this factor entirely I admit. Our gut is the basis for both disease…. and health and must be happy and in good working order for us to thrive, and if cleaning up our mouths helps the gut further we must explore and apply this to our healing practice too.
- Any major (tooth or gum) infections in the mouth will drag down the body in the same way as infections located elsewhere in the body. Wow, this is huge. I have spent years trying to rid my body of ongoing infections and I never once considered how a tooth infection – hidden or known – would be linked. I need to lesson the body burden in every way possible so if I can clean up my mouth I can potentially take the load down further. Interesting.
- Lyme spirochetes can hide in the gums. Again this was mind-blowing for me as someone who has recently discovered Lyme and confections to likely to be the root cause of my health issues. The spirochetes hide almost anywhere and slowly with a careful approach, treatment for Lyme Disease focuses on finding and ridding the body of spirochetes which hide away. If we can eradicate a few (and stop new ones burrowing away) by working on better oral health this could have a huge impact on the entire system again. As I say I work on the principle of taking down the load to hopefully one day reach the (reverse) tipping point and start winning. Perhaps then my own immune system will be able to keep things in check.
- Tooth and Gum Disease are quite simply infections. Interestingly, whilst I always understood that it was obviously beneficial to pull any old infections and germs from the mouth in order to keep the area clean and the breath fresh, I hadn’t fully comprehended that this also has a genuine knock on positive effect on our entire body and immune system. If we rid ourselves of infections in the mouth it actually prevents them from spreading further and becoming unmanageable. I’m sure you’ve heard the statistics linking poor oral health with a higher risk of heart disease. Facts don’t lie.The plaque not open looks unsightly, it also damages our whole being.
- Our mouth and tongue displays quite accurately the state of our health. This is obviously why many Chinese and alternative practitioners always ask to look at your tongue. It tells a clear storyand reflects the state of our health accurately.
Cleaning the mouth will clean up the whole system. Just as cleaning up the body will be reflected within the mouth. Its a 2 way deal and approach.
The key points which I have introduced into my life:
- Natural Tooth Paste – Having a thyroid condition means that avoiding flouride (found in commercial toothpastes and tap water) is very important. Flouride is a known endocrine disruptor and damages the thyroid gland. Everyday we could be unknowingly exposing ourselves to a toxin which is damages such a critical gland. I made the switch to natural and homemade toothpaste a while back and I have to say it works far better for me in every way compared to the toxic version. Most things, it seems, are a marketing ploy and cleaning our teeth should be natural and simple. By taking the steps outlined here to really clean up orally the act of tooth brushing will be the simple final polish it was intended to be. You can find my own homemade natural toothpaste recipe HERE
- Oil Pulling – This is an ancient ritual which is said to pull toxins out of the entire mouth area and really deep clean. I have been doing oil pulling – on and off – for a while myself, and yes, whilst it can be a hassle, it is also truly amazing and feels fabulous, and my mouth feels at its most fresh when I make the effort. I suggest trying to do it even once or twice a week for just 5-10 minutes – ideally building to 20 minutes when possible. The idea is to do this prior to eating when we get up. Take a small amount of coconut oil (great antibacterial and anti fungal properties) and swish and really pull between the teeth constantly for allotted time period. Then spit in the toilet bowl (avoid the sink as it will clog drains) and rinse mouth ready for the teeth cleaning stage.
- Use the right tools – I use both an electric toothbrush for ease, and also an ionic hand toothbrush which means I can get to (and around) the back teeth completely and really draw the plaque away with this new technology. Teeth cleaning should be particularly gentle – start at the tops of the gums and brush downward towards and over the teeth. Reverse for lower teeth. Flossing is the next crucial step and I use a natural organic brand, and rub a little tea tree oil along the floss for extra cleansing effects before using. Finally a tongue scraper should be used daily to get the grime off the tongue itself. Many people will then follow with a natural mouthwash too for extra freshness and effect. A simple formula of warm water and seasalt mixed with a few drops of peppermint or tea tree oil (I use the Do-terra brand for quality) is perfect.* Stay posted in this series for some homemade products and more essential oil information.
- Replenish the good bacteria in the mouth – This step is especially beneficial if you have any white coating or your tongue, or if you have candida. The premise is that it is another valuable way of adding in good bacteria. We want to find that delicate balance of crowding out bad bacteria with the good stuff. We want to balance the eco system of the mouth in the same way we do with the gut by taking probiotics. Start by mixing a glass of warm water with baking soda (to alkalise), sea-salt and the powder of a probiotic capsule. Swirl round the mouth, gargle and then swallow. The probiotics taken in this way are working directly on the mouth and throat, in addition to swelling and working on the gut.
Ultimately, the take home from this summit was to avoid tooth decay and gum disease as a priority, and to clear out infections gently.
If one is very sick we must be very gentle and only clean up rather than force out. For instance, whilst ozone and laser therapy can really help clear deep rooted infections the advice for someone with Lyme Disease would be to avoid this until much stronger. The focus is instead on the gentle and consistent clean up. LIke any treatment plan these things can be incredible powerful and can be far too overwhelming done intensely. You can check out my own basic dental routine HERE.
If we can clean our oral health we are more able to heal, and less likely to suffer from poor health as a whole ongoing.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this? Do you practice these suggestions, or are you inspired to start using them? I don’t do them all religiously all of the time, but I have altered my concept of cleaning the mouth now and try to really enjoy the process, knowing that it is part of my healing plan. I find that by having an extra purpose and reason, my motivation to really work on this has increased. And actually, by using lovely natural products and beautiful essential oils it have even become quite a fun ritual of self care.
Check out Part 2 of the Dental Health series.