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Oral Health

Much research in alternative health of late has been directed toward the links between the gut and the brain – your microbiome. And the gut begins in the mouth. Good oral health is essential for a healthy biome. So let’s look at some factors to consider when we talk about oral health.

Regular brushing of the teeth, gums and tongue. The mouth is warm, moist, and dark – the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. And that bacteria can grow rapidly in such an environment. Regular brushing to remove that bacteria is essential. Few of us brush enough. You should actually brush after each time you eat – a meal or a snack. If you can’t (for whatever reason) ensure you brush with a good quality toothbrush at least twice each day – in the morning after you rise and at bedtime. Overnight there is nothing going on to disrupt the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

Don’t forget to floss! It’s obvious that brushing removes plaque-forming bacteria from the teeth. And it also gets particles from between the teeth often missed by a brush. But it also “massages” the gums, stimulating blood circulation in the mouth with its immune stimulating factors.

Choose a good toothpaste. Toothpaste is effective for removing tartar and plaque, and it also prevents cavities, periodontal disease and bad breath. It is also the agent for removing stains and discolorations from your smile, and adding ingredients to strengthen your teeth, preventing early breakage and tooth loss. Follow brushing and flossing with a good mouthwash to rinse away the stuff you just brushed off and leave a protective barrier against the bacteria.

And there are certainly things to avoid in your toothpaste:

  • We all know that processed white sugar is one of the worst inflammatory substances we can put in our bodies. It is empty calories that feed yeast, fungus, and bacteria while contributing to obesity, tooth decay and numerous diseases.
  • While many people have been told fluoride is a good thing, it is considered an over-the-counter drug by the FDA who actually warns you to keep it out of the reach of children under six; and tells you not to swallow it!
  • Artificial sweeteners often produce a laxative effect, and some have been linked to serious (and sometimes deadly) diseases. Try natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol instead. Xylitol has actually been shown to prevent tooth decay. Dentists love it! Most artificial colors have been banned by the FDA for health reasons. If the toothpaste is colored, ensure it used natural colors.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent often used in tooth and hair products that has been shown to produce microscopic tears in the mouth. An often-used thickening agent called carrageenan has been linked to ulcers and gastrointestinal inflammation. And propylene glycol is an oft-used antifreeze used to soften the paste, but has been linked to nervous system, heart and liver damage.

And there are certainly things to avoid in your toothpaste:
We all know that processed white sugar is one of the worst inflammatory substances we can put in our bodies. It is empty calories that feed yeast, fungus, and bacteria while contributing to obesity, tooth decay and numerous diseases.
While many people have been told fluoride is a good thing, it is considered an over-the-counter drug by the FDA who actually warns you to keep it out of the reach of children under six; and tells you not to swallow it!
Artificial sweeteners often produce a laxative effect, and some have been linked to serious (and sometimes deadly) diseases. Try natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol instead. Xylitol has actually been shown to prevent tooth decay. Dentists love it! Most artificial colors have been banned by the FDA for health reasons. If the toothpaste is colored, ensure it used natural colors.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent often used in tooth and hair products that has been shown to produce microscopic tears in the mouth. An often-used thickening agent called carrageenan has been linked to ulcers and gastrointestinal inflammation. And propylene glycol is an oft-used antifreeze used to soften the paste, but has been linked to nervous system, heart and liver damage.


We all know that processed white sugar is one of the worst inflammatory substances we can put in our bodies. It is empty calories that feed yeast, fungus, and bacteria while contributing to obesity, tooth decay and numerous diseases.
While many people have been told fluoride is a good thing, it is considered an over-the-counter drug by the FDA who actually warns you to keep it out of the reach of children under six; and tells you not to swallow it!
Artificial sweeteners often produce a laxative effect, and some have been linked to serious (and sometimes deadly) diseases. Try natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol instead. Xylitol has actually been shown to prevent tooth decay. Dentists love it! Most artificial colors have been banned by the FDA for health reasons. If the toothpaste is colored, ensure it used natural colors.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent often used in tooth and hair products that has been shown to produce microscopic tears in the mouth. An often-used thickening agent called carrageenan has been linked to ulcers and gastrointestinal inflammation. And propylene glycol is an oft-used antifreeze used to soften the paste, but has been linked to nervous system, heart and liver damage.

Just a word about probiotics. “Pro” means “for”; “biotic” means “life”. And we always want the “good” to win out over the “bad”, right? So if one of the real reasons to brush is to get rid of bad bacteria that cause any number of tooth and mouth disorders, it should make sense to use a good probiotic to fight against the bad stuff that invades our mouths and causes the diseases. I don’t see many toothpastes or mouthwashes with probiotics, but you can certainly use a chewable probiotic at the end of the toothcare routine, and don’t rinse it out of your mouth. They usually taste great and add yet another level of protection to the entryway to your whole digestive system – the mouth!

  • For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

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