As I mentioned before, for several months I was confronted by a succession of situations which put me way out of my comfort zone. One of the crumbling edifices I resisted for many months was an abscessed tooth, because the conventional options for its resolution – a root canal or an extraction – did not appeal. There is a ton of information, especially in cyberspace, about alternative treatments for all kinds of illnesses that conventional medicine would have us believe are irreversible, but there seems to be far less available about teeth.
In the land of Oz, getting an opinion from a dentist on what needs doing to your teeth is a bit like getting a quote on what needs doing to your car after a routine check. According to a 2009 investigation by Choice, the Australian consumer watchdog magazine, not only is over-servicing common, but suggested treatment plans vary dramatically from dentist to dentist. An undercover “patient”, carrying her x-rays, was sent to 14 dentists across Sydney for a check-up, and apparently received almost the same number of different recommendations on what needed doing. Admittedly this was several years ago, but I dare say things haven’t changed much during that time. Indeed, I myself have several times got wildly contrasting views when I have consulted more than one dental practitioner.
Australia tends to follow very similar protocols to the U.S. in the health arena. Both the medical and dental models in our two countries seem to be based on treating symptoms, and a number of the preventative measures routinely recommended in these systems may even generate more symptoms in some cases, especially where diet is concerned. Personally, I am a big believer in food as medicine, and in ingesting fresh fruit and vegetables in their raw, unprocessed state where possible. I have seen dramatic, even life-saving results in people who have gone down this road, mainly when they have also focused pretty intensively on the non-physical aspects of whatever ailment they are afflicted with.
So it makes perfect sense to me that we should be able to reverse a lot of our issues related to oral health with a combination of dietary measures, emotional investigation and specific mouth treatments. Having said that, by the time a tooth develops an abscess you may not be able to resurrect it by non-invasive means; I couldn’t. But it prompted me to do a ton of research – not to mention experimenting – and I discovered that there are lots of simple physical things you can do to be proactive about caring for those precious little toothipegs...
In Cure Tooth Decay, a fascinating book which gives an account of the history of dentistry, its author, Ramiel Nagel, says you can reverse tooth decay by “remineralizing” your teeth with a diet high in good quality, organically produced animal protein, and by minimising your intake of grains. This is based on the 1930s findings of eminent dentist Weston A. Price, founder of the research institute of the U.S. National Dental Association. And even if you are not a vegetarian who wants to cut out the mooing middle man, I reckon you can’t go wrong getting a ton of leafies into you, because, as we all know, greens are among the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet.
Something I have been doing every day for over two years is a practice from traditional Ayurvedic medicine called “oil pulling”. If you do it consistently, this treatment is reputed to draw toxins not only from the mouth, but from the whole body. In India they mostly use sesame oil, but coconut oil is popular in the west because it is supposed to also whiten the teeth; a seasoned coconut oil swisher was telling me only the other day that she has noticed her teeth looking cleaner than they were a few months ago. And I too have really noticed how much healthier my mouth in general is since I began.
I use 1 tbs organic sesame, extra virgin olive or coconut oil and swish it round my mouth for 15-20 minutes first thing every morning, before even having a mouthful of water. It does make conversing a little challenging, but I am now quite adept at conveying messages via gurgling. I also suggest spitting out anything you have swished round your mouth, so as to avoid ingesting any bacteria present, and rinsing a couple of times before you eat or drink anything.
A friend of mine with a tooth abscess admirably managed to chew several whole cloves of raw organic garlic every day for a couple of weeks until the swelling permanently disappeared. He was also taking colloidal silver internally. Unfortunately, as much as I like intense flavours, that much unadulterated garlic was too strong and burnt my mouth. It would also have probably given me heartburn had I been able to get it down, even though I am not particularly prone to indigestion. A way I like to eat raw garlic is to crush the clove and mix it with some mashed avocado, a pinch of Celtic sea salt and a little fresh lemon juice.
There are countless other foods and herbs which contribute to the health of teeth. You can’t go past the pointy bit in the middle of an apple, which I reckon should be renamed “God’s tooth scraper”. And there are lots of recipes on the net for making your own toothpaste. A number of these are based on the recommendations by Dr. Paul Keyes, a leading researcher and pioneer of preventative treatments for gum disease. Over 20 years ago he was advocating a home-care routine involving brushing with a combination of baking soda and salt. He reputedly said that none of the thousands of dental practitioners attending his lectures had ever seen gum disease flourish in a person who had regularly followed this protocol.
I myself have been concocting and using homemade toothpaste for the last couple of years, based on the recipe below. In fact, it is one of my favourite show-and-tells when friends come to visit, though I have to say people mostly find it a little on the intense, pungent side if they are adventurous enough to actually taste it! This is probably because I also routinely add a few drops of essential oil, such as clove or peppermint (a word of caution: be careful – they are HOT!), but I dare say the 10-flavor, rock-your-socks-off aromatherapy cocktails I am prone to mixing to add bite to my toothpaste are probably overkill for most taste buds, sometimes even mine...
3 parts baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) – I would recommend using one that is aluminium free.
1 part Himalayan or Celtic sea salt, ground fine.
Combine and keep in a small lidded jar.
Use 1 tsp -1tbs of this powder and add enough colloidal silver as the liquid component to make a thick paste just before applying to teeth.
For more information, check out these fascinating websites:
I would love to read comments about the successes you have had with improving the health of your gums and teeth! What has worked for you?
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