Mental Health, Your Mouth and Fluoride

Mental Health, Your Mouth and Fluoride

Mental health fitness: your oral health may be linked more than you know

Mental Health means a lot of different things. There are mental health issues that are tied to genetics and mental health issues affected by age, experience, general health and a barrage of other factors. Consider that, for most otherwise healthy individuals, many conditions our body and minds experience are closely tied to a variety many parts of our lives. Environment, health, diet, genetics, amount of sleep, even physical exercise have been shown to affect our mental health. How does the health of your mouth relate to these things?

The mouth is a vector to the rest of the body, and mind. Everything that enters the mouth enters the body via the gastro (stomach) system or directly through the thin, permeable skin inside the mouth.  Consequently toxins from pesticides, chemicals, metals and other harmful substances can go directly into the bloodstream. After prolonged exposure enough of any toxin can build up. This is how metals from dental work, even fluoride, can eventually affect peoples physical, even mental health.

Fluoride as it relates to mental health

For decades many generations of Americans have believed that healthy smiles are dependent on the use of fluoride.  There are many opinions from many different professionals regarding fluoride, just ask. To develop a broader understanding of the fluoride issue look at the various facts about fluoride. Particularly in relation to how it affects a persons mental health.

When it all started

Ever since the 1950’s American dentist have been recommending preventative fluoride treatment.  For decades dentist noticed that community with natural supplies of fluoride in the water had significantly less incidents of tooth decay. Cue the flood of fluoride into the American household. What started as an additive to community water supplies ended up being in toothpaste, mouthwash, baby supplements, even foods that are canned using water supplies fluoridated. All of this resulting in two thirds of the American municipal water supply being treated with added fluoride, and a barrage of healthcare products, supplements and even some foods.

When fluoride occurs naturally, a mineral called calcium fluoride, trace amounts of it absorb over time into ground water. The mineral-calcium fluoride-routinely shows up in natural water supplies and surrounding community population demonstrate lower incidence of cavities. Adding fluoride in its natural form to municipal water supplies would seem like the thing a good argument. Except that the fluoride added to municipal water does not occur naturally.

Fluoride added to water today comes from chemical waste products.  A debate to add fluoride to water bases all research on communities with natural fluoride. No substantial evidence has shown chemical waste derived fluoride to reduce dental decay.

How this relates to mental health

Fluoride is a Toxin.

Across the country adults are aware of the inherent danger in fluoride exposure. Children can easily overdose, pets can get sick. We withhold toothpaste with fluoride to infants and young children. American consumers educate themselves on many toxins that find their way into homes and foods, even avoiding plastics in foods, BPA’s, over processed foods and pesticides. Yet fluoride gets a green light.

“Fluoride is not an unknown. Science has linked fluoride exposure to cancer, complications with diabetes, dementia, arthritis, mental defects, alzheimer’s, birth defects and a whole myriad of other complications. Still we have not eliminated or reduced our exposure, our children’s exposure or the eventual overload to the environment to the toxins of fluoride.”

Knowing that fluoride can be so toxic and detrimental many educated consumers are choosing to reduce and eliminate as much fluoride as possible from our bodies.

Alternatives to Fluoride

There are ways to help tooth enamel stay strong and resilient while avoiding fluoridated products. Focusing on foods that are especially good at remineralizing teeth, eliminate or reduce food or drinks that soften and wear out enamel. Products like xylitol have shown potential in remineralizing and protecting enamel. These are just a few of the options when it comes to eliminating a toxic substances while continuing to protect your teeth and overall health both mental and physical.

Contact our office for products and information about alternatives to fluoride.

Ref:

50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation

The Code of Tooth Sensitivity

The Code of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity

Sharp or subtle, when teeth become sensitive to the foods you eat or drink, even the activity of your day it affects your quality of life. It also may be affecting your health.  A variety of circumstances can lead to tooth sensitivity, all of them indicating that its time to do something different. From serious likelihood of infection to simple remineralization this article can help you determine what actions to start with.  bigstock-Face-full-of-pain-51688675

Teeth Are Alive

Teeth are alive, each tooth with it’s own nutrifying blood source, it’s own dedicated nerve and a living ligament to keep it anchored into the jaw bone. For this reason each tooth has the potential to cause you a significant amount of pain if something goes amiss. Think of tooth sensitivity as a red flag, a warning signal, your teeth’s way to communicate with the rest of the body when something is wrong.

Your teeth have several defenses to the help protect and keep them healthy. Below the gum line there is the periodontal ligament and the jawbone, these, paired with the gums themselves are essential to keeping teeth healthy, and alive. They provide protection, ensure healthy blood supply and encapsulate over half of the tooth to provide strength and leverage for chewing and biting. That slippery stuff known as saliva plays another huge role in keeping teeth clean, healthy, strong and alive.  Then there is the layer of enamel on the outside of the tooth, enamel also provides strength and bears the burden of being the last line of defense. The stronger your enamel the better teeth can fend off attacks from bacteria and decay, enamel even buffers the effects wear and tear.

anatomy of a healthy tooth

A Variety of Causes For Tooth Sensitivity

Triggering tooth sensitivity with a sip of a hot drink, a bite of cold ice cream, sometimes just breathing in fresh air or biting into something sweet is no fun, while getting at the cause can be a bit tricky, many people find it reassuring that tooth sensitivity is fixable. Here are some of the most common related types of tooth sensitivity:

  • Sinus problems can make teeth hurt, ache or become sensitive. Pressure in the maxillary sinus just above the jaw bone can push down into the jaw bone and surrounding nerves causing inflammation in surrounding tissues, including the nerve tissues of your teeth.
  • Orthodontic work can also make teeth ache, and become sensitive as the teeth and periodontal ligaments are adjusted to their proper alignment.

While the previous causes of tooth sensitivity may not require the attention of your dentist, the next few warrant a call and an appointment as soon as possible

  • Infections in the root of a tooth also make teeth hypersensitive to sensation, including hot, cold, sweet and sour, you may not be able to see anything wrong on the tooth or in the mouth.
  • Abscesses and periodontal infections tend to be associated with a lot of pain, not just sensitivity to hot or cold. There can, however be just deep sensitivity, especially at the initial onset of infection.
  • Cavities. or decay in the tooth itself, can cause tooth sensitivity especially when a cavity is still new and has not fully infected the root.
  • Several teeth hurting in one localized area of the mouth can be from;
    • Infection, as bacteria multiply and invade surrounding tissues the infection can spread, additionally as infection compounds–or gets worse–the blood supply to healthy tissue becomes compromised thus aiding in the spread of the infection as healthy tissues die.
    • Injury, in the instance of a broken tooth or a tooth loosened from trauma, may allow surrounding tissues to become inflamed.  The nerve or nerves (if several nearby teeth are also disturbed) become over stimulated and begin sending alarms to the brain that things are in need of repair.
    • teeth grinding or bruxism can cause localized sensitivity or even pain. Clenching or grinding the teeth–usually at night or while sleeping–can crack, fracture or even break teeth. The cracks and fissures can cause sensitivity as the enamel can no longer properly protect the nerve inside the tooth. Because of the irregular bite and tooth alignment in some mouths, it is possible to have one area of the mouth affected more than other parts of the mouth.
    • Failing dental work. If you have fillings, bridges, crowns or other dental work and the teeth involved or surrounding teeth are sensitive or hurting it could mean your dental work is failing.

So far all of the circumstances we have covered are situations that you may have little control to “fixing” by yourself. While there may be a few other causes of tooth sensitivity the ones in this article are the most typical and the last reason is, by far, one of the most common. Thankfully it is one that you can improve the symptoms of, even sometimes eliminating tooth sensitivity all together.

Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive Teeth

  • Thin, weak, and worn out tooth enamel is the most common cause of sensitive teeth. Your teeth are formed with a dense, strong coating of enamel. As you age, chewing, various foods, and the things you drink wear down and even soften the enamel making it thinner and more porous. Thereby allowing the delicate nerve inside to be over stimulated. Dentist once believed that there was very little to do if tooth enamel began to fail. Modern dentistry has better been able to definitively determine factors that can aid in remineralization of enamel weakened or worn out.
    • There are foods and diets that aid in remineralization.
    • Oil pulling can increase the enamels ability to absorb good minerals and improve the natural balance of your saliva while reducing pathogens.
    • Homemade toothpaste, the best of which employ added minerals, can not only whiten teeth but add needed minerals to reinforce and help fill in overly porous enamel, eventually leading to diminished tooth sensitivity.

For more information on tooth sensitivity click on the links throughout the article or call our office to talk with a specialist today. At Marilyn K Jones Dentisty, we have the skills, experience, and expertise you need to ensure a healthy mouth and teeth.  Call or visit today: Marilyn K Jones DDS, (713).785.7767 and at mjones@hal-pc.org.

 

 

 

What Risks are Hiding in Your Toothpaste?

Chemicals in Your Toothpaste

News regarding triclosan, a chemical known for its potential to disrupt endocrine processes in the body and potential to promote cancer, recently surged into the spotlight after safety studies were released in a Freedom of Information Act compliance from the FDA. Triclosan, a chemical added to a variety of products, reportedly aids in fighting bacterial growth. The chemical is added to pet food dispensers, cutting boards, and hand soaps and some toothpaste among other things. Sometimes triclosan is listed only as a preservative in the list of ingredients.

While the EU (European Union) has banned the use of triclosan in any product that comes into contact with food millions of Americans are putting it in their mouth, on their toothbrushes, everyday.  Colgate wants consumers to feel reassured, and has released its own press release stating there is no reason to doubt the FDA’s current ruling on the chemical triclosan, that fights bacteria, thereby aiding in defense of periodontal disease and potentially reducing cavities.

The Studies

While triclosan studies abound there are no black and white definitives as to what it will do and what it won’t do.  Independent scientist agree that research shows test groups (of animals) have side effects indicating a disruption in the body’s endocrine processes, the processes responsible for regulating hormones and normal growth patterns.

The real news might be that the FDA said it would investigate the safety of triclosan in 1974 but in 1976 the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act went into effect, thereby grandfathering in all existing substances and chemicals with no further testing required. 

The Fall Out

Other countries have banned the chemical triclosan from foods and materials that may come into contact with food. Now several states are individually reviewing triclosan, some have already passed laws prohibiting triclosan.

The FDA and other government agencies want consumers to believe they are safe but the past two decades have extensively increased our understanding and knowledge regarding carcinogens and how the endocrine system works.

The Hidden Risks

On a molecular level the chemical triclosan looks very similar to both thyroid hormones and to PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyls, (the stuff banned from plastics in order to prevent them leaching into our bodies and wreaking havoc.) When a chemical looks like one of the hormones in our bodies it allows it to react with hormone receptors in the body.

Increases in certain hormones have been shown to correlate with increases in breast, ovarian, and testicular cancers to name a few.  It’s widely held, in the scientific community, that long term exposure to chemicals that potentially react with the body on a hormonal level or affect the body’s natural endocrine processes should be avoided.

So why would any of us want to keep brushing our teeth with chemicals that have scientifically been linked to dangerous side effects, increased risks, cancers and a number of other dangerous health maladies?

The Remedy

True triclosan may possess the potential to fight bacteria but there are natural choices out there that can offer some of those same properties, get your teeth whiter and eliminate preservatives, and harmful chemicals like triclosan from your day to day use, all the while helping to remineralize your pearly whites. Try this:

Recipe For a Brighter, No Chemical, Smile!

5 parts Calcium powder (Calcium Carbonate vitamins pulverized into a fine powder–a clean coffee grinder or small food processor can speed this up)
2 parts Baking Soda
3-5 parts coconut oil to get desired texture
Optional ingredients: Essential oils for flavor (mint, cinnamon, and orange are all good), Grapefruit Seed Extract, Stevia to sweeten.

This recipe is fluoride free and triclosan free, making it safe for everyone in the house, grown-ups, kids, even Fido, though I can’t promise he will appreciate it as much as you. Store in a glass jar with tight fitting lid or look on amazon.com for refillable squeeze tubes now available for just such a thing!