If you’ve got loose teeth, then you’ve got gum disease. It may not be at an advanced stage yet, but I’ll put money on it that you see blood on your toothbrush when you clean your teeth.
Perhaps you’re already aware that you have problems with your gums and have resorted to expensive and painful treatments with your periodontist.
You can spend thousands and have deep cleanings and periodontal surgeries, but unless you change your diet, the problems won’t go away.
If your gum disease hasn’t progressed that far yet, then consider yourself lucky. You can turn the problem around and avoid all that costly unpleasant ‘treatment.’
You’re unlikely to hear dietary advice from your dentist, which is a real head scratcher because the work of pioneering dentist Dr. Weston Price demonstrated the link between our modern processed nutrient-poor diet and tooth decay and gum disease decades ago.
All of those bacteria causing so much trouble in your mouth are taking advantage of the diseased state in your body. With good nutrition they wouldn’t be able to cause any damage.
A long time ago two theories of disease competed for prominence. One was Germ Theory advanced by Louis Pasteur. The other was the Terrain Theory of disease proposed by Antoine Béchamp. Béchamp, a fellow of the French Academy of Sciences was one of France’s most prominent scientists and his theories and research results stood in strong opposition to Pasteur’s germ theory of disease.
Germ Theory holds that microorganisms, bacteria, virus and fungi, are the cause of most diseases. Terrain theory however maintains that the disease comes first and then germs take their opportunity to invade the weakened tissues. Béchamp found that the diseased cellular environment is created by a nutrient deficient diet.
Realistically the truth probably lies somewhere in between the two opposing theories, but once medical science adopts a theory, they’re pretty stubborn about changing their minds.
How long did we have to wait for the establishment to start acknowledging that fat wasn’t actually the enemy they had made it out to be? Even though there is a change apparent in that area, most doctors and nutritionists still caution us to eat low fat, even though the theory about fat consumption and heart disease has been proven false.
So, if we take the Terrain Theory of disease as a possible starting point it should follow that by strengthening tissues with good nutrition, the microorganisms compounding the problem should be neutralized by the good bacteria.
Well it turns out that that is what happens. And holistic dentists that studied and built on the work of pioneering dentist Dr Weston A. Price know this and treat their patients accordingly.
- 1 It’s All About Nutrition
- 2 Food, Soil, Vitamins and Minerals
- 3 Dr. Weston Price
- 4 Ensure Proper Dental Hygiene
- 5 Avoid Hard Foods
- 6 Use A Salt Water Rinse
- 7 Try Oil Pulling
- 8 Stop Smoking
- 9 Cut Out Sugar
- 10 Take Vitamin C
- 11 Eat The Right Fats
- 12 Get the Full Range Of Fat Soluble Vitamins
- 13 Take Magnesium
- 14 Limit Refined Carbohydrates
- 15 Chew Garlic
- 16 Eat Fish to Get Omega 3 Or Take A Supplement
- 17 Use Sage Leaf
It’s All About Nutrition
Making changes to your diet is a hard thing to do successfully. A healthy diet is generally more expensive than a junk food diet. It requires an adjustment in your food preferences, it takes time to shop for fresh food and prepare it at home, and it takes some cooking skills which many people have never had the opportunity pick up.
Families that are too busy to cook at home, never pass on cooking skills to their children. So, processes that should be second nature by adulthood are yet another skill that needs to be learned and fitted into a busy schedule.
And if finding the time to prepare nutritious food is a struggle, then it’s fair to assume that for most people the suggestion of growing some food in their back yard is about as welcome as a toothache.
I’ll suggest it anyway though. The most nutritious fruits and vegetables that you can consume are ones that you’ve just plucked from a living plant. Not ones that have been washed, packed and stored in an artificial atmosphere for weeks or months.
As soon as produce is picked its nutritional content begins to degrade. That’s assuming it was even grown in a way that allowed the plant to be nutrient rich in the first place.
I know you came here looking for cures for your loose teeth, but it’s important that you realize the uphill battle that you face in finding nutritious food, and that means understanding just what is wrong with most of the produce on offer at your local supermarket.
So, bear with me because good nutrition is key to fixing your problem.
Food, Soil, Vitamins and Minerals
The nutrients in your food come from the soil that it is grown in. Minerals present in the soil are taken up by the plant and distributed throughout the plant’s tissues, because plants need an abundance of those minerals to be healthy just as much as we do.
The bacteria and fungi that live on the roots of plants make vitamins.
Plants grown in soils that have been stripped of their minerals because the land has been planted for years without having its organic material replaced aren’t healthy plants.
Plants grown in soil that is plowed and harrowed multiple times a year have access to very little vitamin producing bacteria.
And guess what? Those plants become vulnerable to disease and pest attack, just like we do when we don’t have good levels of nutrition.
Plants trying to grow in a hostile terrain don’t fare too well. Farmers try to compensate for the loss of soil nutrients with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides.
For their trouble and expense, they get an end product that looks like food but it’s actually a poor mimic of true food.
When soil is tilled, the microorganisms in the soil get exposed to air and they die. It’s a slaughter. The beneficial bacteria in soil need very small amounts of filtered oxygen which is naturally present in soil that is full of organic matter tilled by worms. Too much oxygen and light and those bacteria can’t survive.
Cultivated soil isn’t home to worms. A couple of acres of uncultivated soil and its worms can produce up to 10,000 kilos of worm castings in one year. Worm castings are an incredibly rich, and 100% free fertilizer. Those worms also dig the soil. They’re nature’s tillers, working to a depth of 5 meters. They create a growing environment where the plants can send their finest roots deep down into the soil to access an abundance of minerals
Soil that gets cultivated by heavy tractors develops a layer of hardpan beneath the depth of the plow blades. Roots never get past that hardpan, water can’t sink in and there’s no organic matter to absorb it – which is one reason why 12 million hectares of farmland worldwide are lost to desertification each year, even as the global population continues to grow.
The minerals in the top few feet of soil are long gone after years of planting without putting anything back into the soil, and the minerals deeper down are locked away from the plants’ roots by the hardpan.
Soil like that doesn’t even deserve to be called soil because soil is a living thing. That stuff on the ground holding the plants roots to the earth on most farms is just dirt. It’s particles of silt, sand and clay.
In tilled soils devoid of worms, once the soil settles after planting there’s nothing doing any more tilling, there’s nothing creating tiny air passages. That kind of environment is the perfect place for anaerobic bacteria to thrive, and anaerobic bacteria cause plant diseases. To stave off those diseases for growing viable crop, farmers have to spray their crops with chemicals. Healthy living soil would make that unnecessary. Healthy soils would make beasts like Monsanto unnecessary.
If I had a health issue like gum disease, the first thing I would try to do is get the most nutrient packed food that I can. And that’s food grown in nutrient rich soil and picked on the day that you want to eat it. The best source is a garden right outside your door.
Growing food isn’t hard. It takes some time and some knowledge, but it absolutely isn’t hard. There’s a system that makes it super easy too. It’s called Square Foot Gardening.
One Square Foot Gardening unit is 16 square feet. That space will hold 130 plants and depending on how much produce you want to eat, will provide enough fresh vegetables for one person.
The guy who developed this intensive gardening technique, Mel Bartholomew, has a book that explains it all in detail, or you can watch any one of thousands of videos on YouTube that cover the technique.
Additional Square Foot Garden units can be added to make the garden as big as you want, but if you want to go big, I suggest a slightly different method, and once again if you check YouTube for a video by Emilia Hazelip you’ll get up to speed.
If you’re reading this in the spring, you can get started right away and in 60 – 90 days you’ll be eating the best vegetables you ever tasted. If it’s winter, then you get a few months to plan and prepare.
If you don’t have any yard space, or any free time, if the thought of spending time growing food fills you with horror, or if you’re older or have mobility problems, then search out some good suppliers at your local farmers market. Even if you do decide that you want to grow your produce you’ll still need a good supply until you harvest your own.
Find out how the different vendors are producing their food. A lot will be using normal growing methods dependent on cultivation and chemicals, but you’ll find others who are working differently.
You’ll pay more for a superior product but it’s a small price to pay for your health, and better quality products always cost more no matter what you’re buying. Buy a $25 pair of shoes and they’ll be shabby looking and falling apart before too long. Spend $250 and you could have a pair of shoes that lasts for 20 years.
Check out your areas community supported agriculture CSA program too for farm to table food.
Okay then, I’ve rattled on long enough about plants. I just wanted to impress upon you why it’s important that you get good quality food. You’ve got loose teeth and gum problems, you absolutely are deficient in nutrients, and to fix that you HAVE to get some quality food inside you.
Dr. Weston Price
In the 1930’s Weston A. Price, a dentist from Cleveland, set out to discover what lay behind good dental health.
He traveled the globe and studied the diets of isolated, non-industrialized people who were still living a traditional way of life.
These people were largely untouched by modern grain-based diets and mostly sourced food the way that we have since the dawn of mankind. By hunting and gathering. That’s not to say that they didn’t consume some grain products, just that the bulk of their diet was wholesome natural sourced food.
What he found were people devoid of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, rickets, tooth decay, overcrowded jaws or gum disease. Even the elderly members of the groups had strong healthy teeth.
It’s a myth that our distant ancestors had decayed teeth and spongy, bleeding gums, they had really good dental health. As Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA reports “Hunter-gatherers had really good teeth, but as soon as you get to farming populations, you see this massive change. Huge amounts of gum disease. And cavities start cropping up.”
When Price analyzed the foods eaten by these groups following a traditional diet, he found that in comparison to the American diet at that time they provided:
- at least four times as many minerals and water-soluble vitamins
- at least ten times the fat-soluble vitamins, from animal foods
Remember this was back in the 30’s. People diets then were better than those eaten today!
Fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A and D act as catalysts for mineral absorption. Without those vitamins and the dietary fat to utilize them, we can’t make use of the minerals in our foods.
Dr. Price also discovered an abundance of a fat-soluble nutrient that he called Activator X. Today we think that this is vitamin K2. K2 is present in butter from grass fed cows and in organ meats and shellfish.
- All of the traditional diets contained animal products. Milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, meat, organ meat, poultry, fish and shellfish, insects, bones and fat.
- These people consumed some of their animal products raw.
- They fermented some vegetables, increasing the beneficial bacteria and enzymes present in these foods.
- Seeds, grains and nuts were soaked, sprouted or fermented to neutralize naturally occurring antinutrients like phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors and tannins.
- Traditional diets contained nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Modern diets are heavy in omega-6 fatty acids and these are proinflammatory, whereas omega-3 is anti-inflammatory.
- All traditional diets contained real salt. Table salt is a synthetic product that causes health problems because it’s just sodium without the other minerals that balance and compliment sodium’s actions in your body. Mineral salts and sea salts contain those additional nutrients.
- All of the cultures made use of animal bones by turning them into rich bone broths.
One final thing about these ‘primitive’ people. They didn’t have toothbrushes, or toothpaste, or floss or mouthwash. They didn’t get dental checkups and twice-yearly specialist cleaning.
At most they chewed on a twig to clean their teeth. And yet they didn’t have cavities or gum disease. They had a diet that gave them healthy teeth and gums (and bones and hearts and arteries). And that’s a diet that you should aim to mimic if you want to hang onto your teeth.
Okay then let’s look at a strategy that you can employ to strengthen your teeth and heal your gums.
Ensure Proper Dental Hygiene
Brush your teeth in the morning, at night and after meals. Night time brushing is the most important one. All day long you produce saliva. Saliva naturally inhibits bacteria, but when you go to bed, saliva production really slows down. If you go to bed with a mouth full of bacteria, there is little to stop them from launching an attack on your teeth and your gums all night long.
Use disclosing tablets that dye the plaque on your teeth. This way you can see the plaque that you would have missed and get rid of it.
Use a soft toothbrush. Hard bristles damage your delicate gum tissues and they don’t clean teeth any better than soft bristles.
Currently the jury is out on flossing. After years of recommending that flossing helps to remove plaque and prevent gum disease, the US government has dropped that advice, and the National Health Service in the UK is reviewing its dental health guidelines too. It turns out that we don’t have any proof whatsoever that flossing makes one single bit of difference to dental hygiene.
Avoid Hard Foods
If your teeth are loose, you don’t want to put them under more pressure. Instead of crunching on a carrot, grate the carrot and eat it that way. Slice an apple instead of biting into it. Prepare meat so that it isn’t tough to chew. Cook it slowly in a crock pot for tenderness or stew the meat.
Nuts are an excellent food. They’re full of good fats, trace minerals and vitamins but they are hard on loose teeth. Use your food processor to grind nuts down. Either into chopped nuts or an even finer meal. Add these to full fat yogurt with some fresh fruit.
It should go without saying that you need to avoid hard candy!
Use A Salt Water Rinse
The best mouthwash that you can use is one made with a little real salt. Salt is a natural antibacterial, and a real salt like Himalayan mountain salt contains extra minerals that can be absorbed through the tissues in your mouth.
Add a teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water and let the crystals fully dissolve. It will dissolve more quickly if you mill the salt in a grinder.
Swish and gargle with the salt water rinse 3 or 4 times a day. Or use salt water in your oral irrigation device.
Try Oil Pulling
If you mention oil pulling to your hygienist, he or she will probably react with scorn telling you that it’s just some hokey nonsense on the internet. The internet is indeed full of hokey nonsense, but oil pulling isn’t part of that. It’s an Ayurvedic technique that has a long history of use and it also has some scientific backing.
Oil pulling is simply a method of deep cleaning the mouth using oil. You take a spoonful of coconut oil or sunflower oil and swish it around, drawing it back and forth between your teeth for around 20 minutes. To begin with, you might need to start with shorter sessions because it takes some getting used to, but after a while you’ll be able to go for longer.
Research has shown that oil pulling reduced counts of Streptococcus mutans bacteria, reduced plaque and the aerobic microorganisms in plaque, and improved gum health in people with plaque-induced gingivitis.
Oil pulling has also shown itself to be is as effective as mouthwash at improving bad breath and reducing the microorganisms that may cause it.
Anecdotally people have reported that they experience better dental health, whiter teeth, remineralization of teeth, and for those battling gum disease, better adhesion of gum tissue and a reduction in the depth of pockets.
Smoking is really bad for your health, and it’s really bad for your gum health. Smokers are twice as likely to experience gum disease than non-smokers and they are less likely to respond well to treatments to rectify the problem.
Smoking significantly weakens your immune system and a weak immune system can’t deal effectively with the bacteria present in gum disease or heal the tissue damage that it causes.
Smoking also unleashes a torrent of damaging free radicals in your mouth.
It tough to break a habit, especially if it’s a habit that you enjoy, but you only get one set of teeth, once they’re gone they’re gone for good. I doubt that anyone who wears dentures is truly happy with them, and the implants that were hailed as a major breakthrough have proven to pretty problematic as time has revealed their shortcomings.
Keeping your own teeth for as long as possible is a worthy goal to aim for.
You could even use the money that you’ve been spending each week on cigarettes to get help from a hypnotherapist that specializes in breaking bad habits. It might sound crazy, but hypnotherapy has a solid track record. At least give it a try.
Cut Out Sugar
Sugar provides a food source for the bacteria in your mouth, it also seriously disturbs the bacteria in your gut that make up part of your immune system. Sugar tastes nice and we’re naturally predisposed to favor sweet things, but get that sweetness from fruit, not sugar.
Take Vitamin C
Vitamin C is hands down my favorite nutrient. It can fix so many problems because so many problems are caused by a lack of vitamin C.
Vitamin C in large doses directly combats bacteria and the inflammatory toxins that they produce. Research has shown that people with higher levels of vitamin C in their body have lower levels of plaque on their teeth irrespective of brushing, and Vitamin C is regarded as the “invisible toothbrush.”
Vitamin C is also required to make new healthy gum tissue.
As a powerful antioxidant Vitamin C neutralizes the free radicals that inflamed tissues produce. Unchecked those free radicals cause even more damage to your cells.
When you have a disease that needs healing, your need for vitamin C increases drastically. Vitamin C that isn’t used up quickly is excreted. If you take a lot of vitamin C in one go you can exceed bowel tolerance. This means that it will make you have diarrhea.
For example if you could take a maximum of 1 gram of vitamin C without exceeding bowel tolerance when you’re in good health, once you have an infection to fight off, or a chronic disease, you would be able to take 5 or 6 grams or even more at a time without exceeding bowel tolerance because the vitamin C is being used up by your body.
When animals get sick, they produce huge amounts of vitamin C compared to normal. We don’t have the ability to make vitamin C, so we have to get it all from the foods that we eat or from supplements.
When you’re fighting infection, you can’t get enough vitamin C from your diet to make much difference.
The more vitamin C in circulation when you are combating an infection the better. Liposomal Vitamin C allows much larger doses to be taken without any bowel tolerance problems, and if you can find a holistic medical practitioner, you can receive intravenous Vitamin C that achieves even greater effects.
Doctors that use vitamin C as a treatment recommend that you take vitamin c up to your bowel tolerance and repeat that dose several times a day.
If you take vitamin c in capsule form, then you don’t need to worry about this next bit.
The most cost effective way to take large amounts of vitamin C is by using ascorbic acid powder mixed with water. However, you need to be careful when you drink this because it could affect your tooth enamel since it’s an acid. The safest way to drink vitamin C and avoid tooth enamel issues is to drink the mixture through a straw.
It tastes pleasant. I add vitamin c powder to all of my glasses of water throughout the day and really enjoy it.
Eat The Right Fats
Certain vitamins are fat soluble and as we’ve already learned without fat soluble Vitamin A and Vitamin D you can’t absorb minerals. The type of fat that you eat is important. Vegetable oils that are extracted using high heat and chemical solvents are really bad for you, no matter what the advertising for vegetable oil based ‘healthy’ spreads says.
Those damaged oils cause inflammation in your body and inflammation causes free radicals. Free radicals cause cell damage and cell death. They are implicated as a factor in over 60 diseases – heart disease, atherosclerosis, obesity and periodontal disease to name a few.
When you’re battling infection and inflammation, the last thing you want to introduce to your body are more inflammation causing substances.
Good fats to eat include coconut oil, olive oil and grass-fed butter.
Get the Full Range Of Fat Soluble Vitamins
To absorb minerals, you need fat soluble vitamins. But that isn’t their only role. Vitamins carry out innumerable functions in the human body. Vitamin E which is another fat-soluble vitamin is a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals. Vitamin C is water soluble antioxidant. Both antioxidants protect different parts of your cells.
Vitamin A and Vitamin D are both found in animal products like milk. You also make vitamin D in your skin when you’re exposed to sunlight. Vitamin E is abundant in nuts and green leafy vegetables, and vitamin K is available in green leafy vegetables and in fermented foods. But remember, for those vitamins to be present, the food had to be grown in good healthy soil.
Magnesium is one mineral that those fat-soluble vitamins will help you to absorb. When most people think of strong teeth and bones they automatically think of another mineral, calcium. But magnesium is vital to the health of both and it’s a powerful tool in your gum disease fighting arsenal.
A study published in the Journal of Dental Research found that supplementing with magnesium resulted in less attachment loss, reduced probing depth and retention of more teeth than in those who weren’t taking magnesium.
Limit Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates are just another form of sugar to your body. They cause inflammation and they create the perfect environment for bad bacteria to take over from the good gut bacteria that are so critical for your immune system function. And you need your immune system to work at full force to combat your gum disease.
Reducing the amount of nutrient deficient foods like rice, pasta, bread and cereals leaves more room in your diet for nutrient rich foods, like yogurt, eggs, meat, fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Garlic is a very powerful antimicrobial. Taken in large enough amounts it can work as an antibiotic. The difficulty with most infectious diseases is in getting large enough amounts of garlic into your system to tackle the problem. But because the gum disease bacteria are right there in your mouth, the powerful allicin compound in garlic juice can make contact easily and get busy killing the bacteria.
The only downside is garlic breath!
Eat Fish to Get Omega 3 Or Take A Supplement
Scientists from Harvard report that supplementation with omega-3 may improve periodontal outcomes in people with gum disease. Omega-3 supplementation reduced the average depth of pockets and the gingival index which is used to assess the severity of gum disease.
Omega-3 has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Use Sage Leaf
Sage is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Both are actions that will help restore health to your gums and let you enjoy your own teeth for many years to come.
You can use fresh sage leaves or dried. To use fresh, simply chew the leaf and hold it over the affected gum area. With dried leaves, take a small amount and place it around the affected teeth. You can also add a little milled Himalayan salt or sea salt to the sage for even more anti- bacterial activity.
Having health problems sucks. They can leave you feeling overwhelmed and depressed. One of the best antidotes to feeling that way is to take concrete action toward healing yourself.
I’ve only touched on the basics in this article. To get a better understanding of what a healthy human diet looks like you can check out the Paleo community. And a site like Marks Daily Apple is a great place to start.
To learn more about the work of Dr. Weston Price, you can head over to the Weston A. Price Foundation website.
For more information about the importance of Vitamin C and other nutrients, look to the Linus Pauling Institute and the Vitamin C Foundation.
If you think you might like to grow a garden full of nutrient rich food, look into Square Foot Gardening, Permaculture, and Biointensive Gardening.
Use the information that you gather to put together a healthy diet that works for you.
One last thing to keep in mind. Gum disease at whatever stage is a sign of oxidative stress in your body. Unchecked oxidative stress leads to the development of many serious diseases. Anything that you do to address your gum problems will pay dividends where your overall health is concerned.
Updated: October 15, 2018 by Dr. Kimberly Langdon M.D. All medical facts and points stated on this page are correct as of this date. Please be aware that new content and additional references were added in this last update. All the content and media has been uploaded by Lily Greene our webmaster, who is also in charge of page design.