Care of Teeth and Gums: Natural Oral Health Care
Our oral health is very important to our overall health. Your oral health can actually provide insights to the health of your entire body. The bacteria in your mouth can provide a snapshot of what’s going on in other areas of the body. Bacteria is present naturally in the mouth and daily oral hygiene like brushing, flossing, and rinsing can control these bacteria. However, without proper care, these bacteria can reach high levels and cause problems both in the mouth, in the form of tooth decay and gum diseases, and around the body. You can help prevent or reduce the risks of these conditions by participating in good care of teeth and gums. Here, we give you some suggestions for natural oral health care that can improve both oral, and overall health.
Conditions Related to Poor Dental Health
Some studies have suggested that oral bacteria, and the corresponding inflammation that happens with the gum disease periodontitis, could be connected to some diseases. Additionally, some diseases or health conditions like HIV/AIDS and diabetes can weaken the body’s immune system and resistance to infections that can make oral health conditions even more significant.
Conditions that are connected to poor oral health or bad bacteria in the mouth include endocarditis, which occurs when germs spread from places in your body like your mouth through your blood stream into your heart, and cardiovascular disease, where there may be a connection between oral bacterial infections and clogged arteries or stroke. At the same time, poor oral health can be made worse if you have conditions like diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and osteoporosis.
Natural Solutions for Enhancing Teeth and Gum Health
There are many ways you can care for your oral health. Firstly there are the things your dentist has told you to do daily: brush, floss, and rinse using mouthwash. However, there are many other natural oral health care tips that you may not have heard of that can impact your oral health.
Oil pulling – oil pulling is an ayurvedic health procedure that has been used for thousands of years. It involves using coconut oil (or uncooked sesame oil or turmeric) as a mouth rinse for 15-20 minutes daily. Coconut oil contains many anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so it helps get rid of bacteria naturally as well as naturally whiten the teeth. The lipophilic oil in coconut oil attracts oils and fat-soluble toxins and has somewhat of a detergent effect on plaque and toxins in the mouth.
A number of peer-reviewed research articles have been published evaluating the benefits of using coconut oil as a mouth rinse. They have found that oil pulling has been found to deter bacteria and plaque and also to enhance healthy gums while providing a barrier to bacteria exposure into the blood. In addition to helping rid the mouth of bad bacteria, oil pulling can also reduce the microbes in the mouth that cause bad breath.
Eat Calcium-rich foods – keep your teeth strong and neutralize acid with calcium-rich foods with plant origins like green vegetables, sesame seeds, and tahini.
Use Neem – neem trees have also been touted as “miracle” plants and many ayurvedic and natural health remedies include using this tree. Neem, just like coconut oil, is naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. You can find natural toothpastes with neem or neem oil extract in them, use neem tea, take capsules, or find neem extract gels. Studies have suggested that using neem gels can reduce plaque more efficiently than many commercial mouthwashes.
Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and carbonated beverages – while you can enjoy these things in moderation in conjunction with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene, these products have been shown to increase tooth decay, weaken enamel, and increase the amount of acid in the mouth.
Good Oral Hygiene as Part of an Overall Healthy Lifestyle
Good oral hygiene is linked to good overall health. By taking the time to care for your teeth and gums, you can help to prevent bad bacteria from affecting other areas in your body as well as protect your teeth from weakening and decay. Add natural oral health care habits to your self-care, diet, and exercise routine for outstanding overall health.