Book of the month: September

“We have been taught to brush twice daily, floss, and get check ups to prevent tooth decay; yet the staggering number of cavities, crowns, root canals, and extracted teeth confirm that something is missing from our oral care. Although there is a plethora of fluoride treatments, mouthwashes, and periodontal promises, there has been more dental decay in the past hundred years than in any previous century.”

When looking at our body’s health, we barely ever think about our teeth. They seem like they are just dead and sitting there after all, a cosmetic problem we can solve with braces and bleaches. My teeth and I have an interesting relationship. From a very early age on I had teeth extracted, moved around, and re-aligned. I had so much fluoride treatment that I forever have a stain on one tooth, I have super short roots because of all the orthodontics, and my gums have been receding since I was 16 - even though I follow all of my dentist’s instructions to the T. You may have realized by now that I take rituals and routines around health very seriously, and so I would floss, and brush, and rinse, and go to regular teeth cleanings and check ups, and every time leave more frustrated than before. During pregnancy my gums started bleeding constantly, and even after giving birth, this didn’t change much. My dentist kept telling me to brush and floss, I kept doing it, and nothing changed. I was taking care of all my nutrient intake and looking after my teeth, but it still wasn’t working. So… I read Nadine Artemis’ book out of pure frustration.

“I […] grew up thinking that one needs medical doctors to take care of the body and dentists to take care of the mouth. So, like many people I believed that the mouth was separate from the rest of the body. As I became aware of this curious “disconnect” between how we think about the mouth and body, I was struck by the way Western medicine and dentistry treat the symptoms instead of the sources or causes of body imbalances.”

I was introduced to Nadine Artemis through several podcasts where she was interviewed. She has incredible holistic knowledge, meaning that she looks at the whole body, not just one isolated part. She is not a dentist - let’s be very clear about that - but her book is thoroughly researched, and really serves as a fantastic journey through your mouth and your whole body. I love books that open your eyes, where you don’t want to read what you are reading because it is so shocking, and so against everything you believe. And then you start to do some of your own research, and start to see how many people are actually talking about this topic. “Holistic dental care” is one of these books.

“If toothpaste is the magic cleaner for our teeth, why is the incidence of cavities at an all-time high? And why do most brands of toothpaste come with a big warning label that reads “may be harmful if swallowed”?

Years ago when I started to clean up my beauty products, one of the first things to go was my conventional toothpaste. Once I realized how the ingredients affected me I started to shudder, and switched brands. Other than adding oil pulling to my daily routine, that was pretty much it. “Holistic dental care” has opened my eyes to so many other ways to keep my mouth healthy and clean. Nadine Artemis introduces you to the 8 steps of self-dentistry. You don’t even need to read the book to start doing them today:

“Since teeth are a living structure in a dynamic relationship with the mind and the body, they can also heal much like bones; they can create new tissue and exist without perishing in acid and bacteria.”

I have switched to using essential oils for my mouth care. I didn’t need much convincing since I love essential oils for every other area of my life. I have been diligently doing the 8 steps twice a day for the last 6 months. Within weeks my gums stopped bleeding. My teeth are not sensitive at all anymore - and this coming from a person, who couldn’t drink ice water (I still don’t for digestive health, but that is a different topic :-)). My dentist was impressed with how much healthier my gums are, bright and bouncy, as well as how my teeth’s strength has improved. All of this is a fantastic win for me after years of bad news at the dentist office. I have changed several things in my diet and lifestyle after reading this book, and so far I love the progress I am seeing. I still have a long way to go to heal my receding gums, and continue to heal my teeth, so I will keep you updated on my progress. Let me share some of my favorite insights with you:

  • Dental health is part of our overall health. Every tooth is connected to our blood vessels, and therefore connected to the rest of the body. Teeth are alive and not just dead stones sitting in our mouth.

  • Our teeth have an internal tooth brush to help keep our teeth strong and healthy. A fluid that actually originates close to the intestine, seeps up and into each tooth, filling the tooth with minerals and nutrients to rebuild and maintain it. It pearls out on to the surface of the tooth, coating the tooth with a healing film. If this fluid system is compromised (for example through stress or diet), the flow reverses and draws the fluid back into the tooth, bringing with it bacteria, microbes, acid and fungi causing inflammation and decay.

  • Sugar sitting on the tooth is not the actual problem of a decaying tooth. Instead, eating sugar raises your blood insulin levels, which in turn stops the parotid gland from producing enough hormones to have good fluid flow into the teeth. The sugar is rotting the tooth from the inside.

  • Did you know that sleep apnea is related to the fact that we have a lack of breastfeeding babies, which helps to expand the size of the mouth palate, helping you to breathe better? Fascinating!

  • There is an outside story of decay to a tooth: bacteria sitting in your mouth feed on food that gets stuck, then they excrete waste, which forms a biofilm, also called plaque. This plaque starts to harden as more bacteria grow in it, and form tartar and eventually calculus. This means that the saliva can’t get to the tooth anymore to coat it with protection, so the enamel weakens and decay begins.

  • The inside story of tooth decay is the hormonal imbalance, which effects the internal tooth brush. Hormones are everywhere and influence everything! Teeth health is connected to our gut health, our hormones, our diet, our lifestyle - it's not just about what we put in our mouth.

Other than the fascinating journey through your mouth, the book also gives you tips on what nutrients to pay close attention to, how tooth paste and mouth washes affect your mouth health, how to look for a new dentist, taking care of kids’ teeth, and what botanicals are useful for the care of mouth and teeth. It’s a little book of so much eye opening, useful information, I am sure you will love it!

For more information:

Nadine Artemis:

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