Michelle Janbakhsh DDS
Oral Disease Affects Most Everyone
Dental diseases are the most prevalent chronic infectious diseases in the world, affecting up to 90% of school children and the vast majority of adults.
The oral cavity is a biologic soup and our teeth are a part of this dynamic environment. This environment constantly goes under a cycle reaction of de-mineralization & re-mineralization. Each acidic food or drink makes the oral PH acidic and the teeth structure will de-mineralize. Also pathogenic bacteria on the surface of the enamel continually reduces the PH resulting in de-mineralization localized chemical dissolution of the dental structure. These metabolic events take place in the biofilm, also called dental plaque, that covers the affected area. Additionally, it is important to know that bacteria found in dental decay is transmissible through saliva.
Healthy Saliva Maintains Healthy Teeth and Gums
Healthy saliva can buffer the acids from the plaque and acidic condition when stimulated. The stimulated saliva PH increases to 7.8 that help in "de-mineralization – re-mineralization" cycle. As the PH recovers, the de-mineralized structure can re-mineralize using the dissolved minerals. However, when there is an imbalance in the system, the re-mineralization process will not occur and the dissolution of the tooth structure will take place.
Patients with dry mouth (such as in Sjogren’s syndrome, cancer radiation therapy, or a side effect of medication) are especially more susceptible in developing cavities/ oral disease.
Ways to Prevent Dental Disease and Improve Oral Care
- Use of mouth washes such as Tooth & Gum Tonic or Chlorhexidine can disrupt the adhesion of the biofilm and consequently the bacterial metabolism which results in acid production.
- Use of nutraceutical phenols such as herbal lollipops, which contain extracts from licorice root that selectively kills cavity causing bacteria and periodontal disease causing bacteria. The compound also slows the biofilm formation.
- Probiotic dental therapy using a blend of three beneficial bacteria naturally present in a healthy mouth. This approach replenishes the mouths healthy bacteria by crowding out harmful bacteria.
- Use of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as an oral powder/ paste helps prevent the return of the disease causing bacteria. It is antibacterial and helps create a large PH shift to neutralize acidic oral environment.
- Xylitol containing products (toothpaste, mouth wash, spray, gum etc.) help to increase the salivary flow and tooth re-mineralization.
- Products such as MI paste help to strengthen teeth by replenishing calcium and phosphates that are needed building blocks of the tooth structure. It also helps produce a saliva like environment with normal acid level, as well as inhibiting the attachment of the “bad bacteria” and helps attract “good bacteria,” therefore changing the mouth biofilm.
- Having an anti-inflammatory, alkaline, low glycemic diet will definitely help to shift the oral / body imbalance into a more balanced healthy state.
Michelle Janbakhsh, DDS is a holistic and biological dentist and an Invisalign Preferred Provider at National Integrative Health Associates, NIHA, the leading integrative medicine and dental center serving the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia metro region. She treats adults and children for family and cosmetic dentistry.