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Why you need to be aware of oral inflammation

The gums and the mucosal lining of the mouth are exposed to the outside world and susceptible to microbial growth and infections. If you don’t get cleanings done on a regular basis, then these microbes make a home around your teeth and under your gums, creating constant inflammation. They can also gain access to the rest of your body because bleeding or ‘leaky’ gums can give aggressive microbes access to your bloodstream.

Why This is Important.  With any infection, including Covid 19, the goal is to maintain a healthy immune system and to lower systemic inflammation. If your body is fighting other bacteria and infections on different fronts, including in your mouth and gut, then your immune system is already overtaxed. It takes a lot of energy for your body to fight infections 24/7, which is what happens with gum disease. So it’s important to support gum and tooth health and keep your gums from getting red and inflamed or allowing them to bleed. Following are the most important things you can do at home to keep your mouth healthy:

Use Baking Soda – The easiest way to use baking soda is once a day, pick some up with a wet toothbrush and massage it along your gum line. Don’t be too aggressive as it is abrasive. I recommend that you do this after you brush your teeth as you have always done.  Then spit out the excess.

You can also make a suspension with baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide bought at the drugstore. First, dilute the hydrogen peroxide by 50%, then add the baking soda to form a loose slurry. Dip a tool such as the Doctor’s Brushpick or Soft Picks by GUM into the slurry and use it to massage the gums in between the teeth.

Floss Every Day – Floss at least once a day. Usually, this is best at night after you have eaten your last meal for the day.  My favorite floss is one that stretches and frays as you floss, made by Dr. Tungs.

Use a Rubber Tip – Use a rubber tip to wipe the plaque off along your gum line that otherwise sticks and is hard to remove.

I have made bicarbonate, or baking soda, a staple for everyone’s dental health because it kills spirochetes and amoeba. These are microbes not fully killed by anything else, including antibiotics.

Amoebae are aggressive parasites that cause the gums to bleed and then feed on the blood. So some cases of amoeba need even more aggressive management, requiring a solution of bleach so diluted that it becomes homeopathic.

pH Paper – Another excellent, simple practice is to use pH paper to test whether your mouth is alkaline or acidic. Simply tear off a small strip, wet it on your tongue and wait a few seconds for the color to change.  There is a handy color chart that tells you what your pH level is.

Ideally, you want a 7.0 pH for your saliva. 5.5 is too acidic. 8 or above is too alkaline. If it‘s too acidic, it can be because of stress or a diet too high in sugar or acidic foods and beverages. These include coffee, lemons, carbonated drinks and vinegar.

Over my 35 years of practice, I have seen these approaches work!

Dr. Carey O’Rielly, DDS is a holistic dentist practicing at Integrative Dentistry in Encinitas together with Dr. Bo Ah Kim and Dr. Hyung Jin Bae. To learn more about oral health, visit our website at myholisticdentist.com or contact us at 760-632-1304.

Read more Integrative Dentistry columns.

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