I am as skeptical to alternate medicine as the "real" medicine, after finding that it's hard to find studies which weren't funded with an agenda or have issues in their statistical methods or testing procedures etc. Take the following with a dose of salt. - Though now after writing this, it all seems so simple and obvious that I am having second thoughts whether there's anything to talk about here.
I didn't really take good care of my oral hygiene in a long time - I only brushed and used tooth pick when I felt like need to (this clearly wasn't enough) and there wasn't any symptoms, until it was to the point some root canals were needed (atleast according to my dentist). There's fish in the sea with teeth that live 100 years, do they go to plague buildup removal? - question that motivated my research.
Anyway, after the first root canal I've been brushing my teeth and haven't had cavities but the gum condition is close to "irreversible" point where the "pockets" are getting very deep. And with such deep pockets, how do you really clean them I found myself asking. So I started doing some research on what is going on there and after my dentist said "some people don't have these issues" but couldn't really elaborate any further or offer advice beyond the brush/floss regime.
I felt there had to be more to this - why some people don't get tooth decay? From there I discovered the bacteria that somehow had been transmitted to my mouth which use sugar to create the ideal conditions for tooth decay. Then I started asking my dentist, how do I remove that bacteria. And she thought it was impossible. I asked about doing analysis of what's in my mouth in terms of bacteria but apparently mouth bacteria which cause the need to drill belong to some other profession.
As I'm feeling the pressure of having to do something before those pockets get beyond 4 mm deep which is supposedly "borderline" on whether they can heal, I found what I was looking for - other people, even professionals in it, are questioning the "industry practise".
Now I am sure the dentist profession has gained a lot of useful knowledge in the areas of surgery and such operations, but it's time that the focus moves beyond just drilling holes when you go to a dentist - given there's some research suggesting that there could be ways to have results that don't end up in filling or root canals while getting same result. Today there's more dental clinics than any other services where I live (more than grocery stores or bars within same area), which suggest room for improvement.
You can find the book by searching for: Money by the Mouthful (and another one is: Become Dentally Self Sufficient)
The summary of what this doctor is saying is that all you need is salt water irrigation - no wonder those fish in the sea don't need frequent dentist visits or toothpaste and no wonder it's not advertised - where's the money in that. I've also heard of a story where someone started developing dental issues only after their first dental check, before coming across this book. Similar things are mentioned in these materials and makes sense to me - when the dentist examines the teeth, they don't clean the sharp metal instruments between going from teeth to teeth. If you have/acquire Mutans bacteria and eat anything with sucrose after this poking around with the sharp tools before the poked surface restored itself and fail to do intensive cleaning until the area heals, the Mutans can now create its glue like substance inside that crack allowing a cavity to begin forming.
I am going to try the saline water irrigation suggested to see if my current 4 mm pockets will heal - unfortunately I already have few teeth that will likely need surgical operations eventually. I'm currently doing toothpaste+brushing+flossing - but brush nor the floss reach in few places which have got quite bad. I'm also avoiding everything with sucrose as it enables the adherence of the acid producing bacteria. That really is the key problem here - if I didn't have the bacteria then sucrose would be like any other sugar and the management wouldn't be as much of a chore.
@androidi: ok, you are definitely an ubergeek. I am curious however, to see how it goes. I suspect it is actually true, and salt water is probably all you really need most of the time, for preventative measures.
Or you could just brush your teeth after eating carb loaded foods like cookies or pretzels. Since fish don't eat cookies, they don't have to brush their teeth.
First world problems.
This isn't a response to your comment Josh, I just wanted to amend that the information in those materials differs a bit from what I remember hearing in the dentist office, though the methods suggested in the book kind of cover this angle as they promote self-polishing every two weeks using a substance that would harden the teeth surface against the attack.
While the following study is quite recent, this isn't really news as the one thing I do remember from my very early dentist visits was "don't brush your teeth after eating" - I kind of took that that to the extreme of brushing only once a day and not as well to entirely remove the biofilm as to me having such oily* feel on the teeth all the time felt normal.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14684979 Brushing abrasion of softened and remineralised dentin - "after intra-oral periods of 30 and 60 min, wear was not significantly higher than in unbrushed controls. It is concluded that for protection of dentin surfaces at least 30 min should elapse before toothbrushing after an erosive attack."
TL;DR: following are just some thoughts about ideas I read of while googling this.
* I thought about these processes a bit after reading that some people also have had (anecdotal) success using oil in some manner/formulation to stop the progress of the gum disease they had - unclear what stage theirs was. The materials in the op also suggest that if ones oral hygiene isn't so good as to keep the relevant bacteria in control, having long existing hardened plague removed would actually increase the rate of progress of the gum disease. This seems counter-intuitive but is exactly what happened in my case and it does make sense - the hardened calcium (& bacteria) deposit on the teeth cause gingivitis, which is bad, but if you remove that and then don't have top notch cleaning procedudes in place, you actually lose a layer that would be on top of the acid attacks on the enamel. I suspect most dental practises do not emphasize this enough as I am not sure this has been studied. After the calculus has been removed, you're left with areas between the gum and the tooth - any S.Mutans in the mouth and lack of zero sucrose diet would enable the colonization of those impossible to brush areas, leading to increased pocket size, which leads to the surgical procedures. This is what I believe is going on with most people, if it wasn't, there wouldn't be so many dental practises around.
Of course it would be very controversial in the dentist office to say "just leave the inflammation and plague deposit right there", however that is what they should be advicing * unless * they can have enough follow up and education in place to ensure the patient that they can keep their teeth as clean as straight from the professional cleaning all day long. The 2nd book mentioned in the op goes into that in depth. However it doesn't say anything about using oil and doesn't really talk much about baking soda.
Further areas of research should be the effect of using anti-bacterial oil formulations, perhaps just before eating, idea being to coat the teeth before the acid attack begins, and using baking soda at some point (perhaps in the oil and also as a rinse after eating) to neutralize the acid attack. After this using a saline rinse and irrigator to clean up oil remains, to allow the saliva to do its normal duties between the meals, would seem sensible to me. A procedure along these lines would likely need to continue until the bacteria is in control, as sampled by a lab, and the pockets have returned to <2mm. However, rinsing using an oil formulation that isn't effective against gram- negative anaerobic rods which are suggested responsible for gum disease would likely worsen the situation because of following:
I haven't found any information on whether there's a risk associated with use of dental probes and such - common sense would say that if you didn't have the bacteria in every pocket already, you would after a dental checkup - given how local retail stores don't really sell much irrigator units that are probably required deeper pockets (just rinsing water in mouth are very unlikely to completely clean such places because of surface tension and difficulty of completely cleaning any sort of tight pocket-like area. Now there has been also suggestions that using too much pressure in the irrigator might be bad but I haven't really researched this. Now if you had some non-antibacterial oil deep in the pockets with some sucrose in it and no way to wash it out, that doesn't sound ideal. It's possible salt water rinse + saliva are effective enough washing the oil away from the pockets, probably that's why "4 mm pockets" are "borderline" as the cleaning beyond that gets more inefficient.
PS. I haven't done this yet but if anyone is interested in the gum disease bacteria (The S.Mutans and Lactobacillus are mainly related to the biofilm creation and acid attack), they can be found by searching 'gum disease Bacteroides / Fusobacteria'.
Brush softly and floss at least once a day and you'll be fine. This action does more than just remove biologics from your teeth, it stimulates the gums and lets them do their job. You might find that once you get the teeth back in shape, some of your sensitivity to...um...everything will subside.
After I started using electric brush and having those dental hygienist scrapings etc, the gum issues really started get going. Before that I only brushed once a day and didn't do water rinsing after eating, resulting in a ton of cavities due lack of acid dilution.
It's largely about government not taking action on the writers 'fluoride makes teeth brittle' research, but has stuff that's interesting to look into, though I'm very wary about taking supplements as it suggests to do because they tend to be one big dose in a pill and if swallowed, won't be specific to teeth. I'd probably divide the recommended supplement such that a portion of the daily amount is taken on each meal.
Like all dentist said, don't brush your teeth too hard, too often, wrong direction, brush too stiff, bad old brush, and etc. Most people makes it worse due to improper care.
Personally I don't recommend brushing after eating. You will just brush open more holes to get food stuck inside. Wait for 2 hours, allow your mouth to digest food a bit more and additional swallowing.
Looks like we have the choice of low tech (salt water) or high tech from CES this year:
@androidi: I would suspect it was just bad timing that the dental issues showed up at the same time you started taking better care of your teeth. Cavities take a while to form, and a dental pick will find it earlier than you would notice.
I have had pretty much every dental device, routine, or procedure in the book due to some seriously bad genetics, so who knows, it might be that you have similar issues, but you'll still do yourself a world of good to brush and floss daily.
On a side note, now that we can essentially eliminate 'snaggle-tooth' through dental procedures, are we fooling evolution into creating children with worse and worse teeth
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