Mouth Matters

Thinking beyond mainstream dentistry.


When I was eleven, I was marched off to the orthodontist. I spent hours in a mildew smelling, dark wood-panelled office, on the corner of South Park and Spring Garden in Halifax. I don't know whether I really needed braces, but braces I got. I didn't seem to have a say in the matter.

It was a painful and traumatic affair. Metal bands were placed around every tooth and then joined together like a of group day care kids on a tow line, and tightened and torqued once a month.

There was a night piece I wore around my head like a bit in a horses mouth followed by retainers that were intended to keep the teeth from returning to their crooked and natural organization.

The trauma of those years set me up for a lifetime of jaw issues, avoidance of the dentist and ultimately a misunderstanding of the role of oral health.

That we separate oral health from general overall health is a symptom of a medical system in need of a rethinking. Your mouth, along with your gut, has a lot to do with the types of microbes you produce that directly impact your mood, your digestion and your immunity.

The feel good hormone serotonin is produced in your gut and then travels to your brain. Mainstream medicine is focusing on the role of the gut biome in the development of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

There are microbials, that our mouth, if healthy, produces to protect us from things like gum disease, bone loss and dental caries, according to Functional Dentist Dr Steven Lin.

He says brushing your teeth and flossing or water picking are only part of the solution and that what you eat can have a profound impact on the health of your mouth. He goes so far as to say that tooth decay, that has only gone as far as the enamel, can be restored through remineralization of the teeth through diet, particularly by upping your ingestion of organ meats.

While sugar can be a much hailed culprit in the dysfunction of the the environment in the mouth, it turns out that mouth washes and some tooth pastes are setting us up for problems because they kill off the good bacteria in our mouths. If you suffer from canker sores the substance Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which is found in most commercial toothpastes could be the culprit, according to Dr. Lin.

A healthier alternative to toothpaste, he says,  is some form of tooth powder that contains baking soda and calcium.


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What's going on in your mouth says a lot about what's going on in the rest of your body.


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