With a myriad of toothpastes, one more natural than another, what should you pay attention to when choosing one for you and your family? Where to start ? Which questions to ask ?
• Do the oral products I’m using for my mouth have an impact on my overall health?
• What is an oral microbiome? Is there such a thing as an oral microbiome?
• Does the food I eat impact it?
First, are you one of those people who wait until the last minute before seeing a dentist? It’s so expensive and unpleasant. I have a tooth infection, teeth growing in all directions, my jaw hurts, I have inflamed gum, but I don’t want to go, the pain will pass. If that sounds familiar, your mouth is in need of much deserve TLC. Did you know that by paying attention to your nutrition and by choosing carefully your daily mouth hygiene product you could decrease your visit to the dentist? Therefore, use those saved pounds to finally go on that trip of a lifetime you’ve been putting off or to simply treat yourself to whatever your heart desire.
The oral microbiome is a set of microorganisms found in your mouth that serve to protect your mouth and thereby your health. To keep your mouth healthy, you must learn to take care of it. These microorganisms are located in the membrane that covers the walls of your mouth and part of your gums, also called the oral mucosa. The oral mucosa has an incredible capacity to absorb almost everything that comes into contact with it. This is why it is important to use products that will help it function properly, which is to protect you from dangerous ingredients that, once in your blood, can affect your body and possibly your brain. Many of these chemicals, when consumed, can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause multiple neurological symptoms such as dizziness, headaches or memory-loss problems.
According to Dr. Curatola, Dentist, Associate Professor at New York University, Author and Humanitarian known for his contributions in the field of cosmetic dentistry and wellness, the mouth is like a mirror that reflects the health of the entire body. Chronic low-level oral disease creates inflammation that can lead to cardiovascular problems or even diabetes. The oral microbiome contains 20 billion microorganisms, maintaining its balance is of utmost importance. The following factors: diet, supplements, exercise, mouth cleaning products, stress can have an impact on the balance of your microbiome and your oral health.
A fresh, odourless taste in the morning is a good indication of a balanced microbiome in the mouth. When unbalanced, the oral microbiome becomes sticky, thick, smelly, like a film on the teeth in the morning.
Dr. Curatola also mentions the benefits of a balanced oral microbiome: it brings minerals (calcium and phosphorus) from saliva to the surface of the TIG (digestive tract consisting of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and anus). “While the teeth can remineralise and heal, the microbiome in the mouth takes molecular oxygen from the air and transports it to the epithelial cells of the gums.” In other words, an oxygenated gum will reduce inflammation of the oral mucosa and keep free radicals away. Therefore, the first thing to do is to get rid of all the dangerous chemicals you use every day such as alcohol-based mouthwash, xylitol, inorganic essential oils, fluoride toothpaste.
After cleaning your products and choosing the right ones for your oral hygiene, let’s look at nutrition. Although delicious, sugar and sweets are foods that create an imbalance in the microbiome and cause it to move to a more acidic state. To promote the body’s neutral alkaline state, we recommend washing your teeth with a good organic toothpaste after eating sugar or fruit. This excellent trick helps to counteract the high level of acidity. Remember, sweet = acidity = cavities.
Nearly 60 years ago, Dr. Weston Price, a seasoned dentist who has studied the Inuit First Nations in Canada, the Aborigines in Australia, the Maori in New Zealand, Peruvian, Amazonian and African tribes, discovered some amazing things. These people had very few – if any – of the oral problems we experience today: no cavities, no gum inflammation or crooked teeth. It wasn’t until he analysed their diet that he realised that their diet was completely different. They consumed ten times more vitamins A and D as well as fat-soluble vitamins, many more healthy fats, such as those found in animal fats – butter, lard, egg yolks, fish oils and foods such as liver and other offal, fish eggs and shellfish. Dr. Price was the first to understand the relationship between tooth mineralization and fat-soluble vitamin K2. For a healthy mouth, follow the example of these nations and go out for a daily dose of sunshine, vitamins D3 and K2 (especially if you live in cold climates), vitamin C, vitamin A or fermented cod liver.
An interesting fact mentioned by Dr. Curatola is that healthy exercise such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) improves the flow of oxygen in your body and therefore the breathing of your teeth. Also, you have a liquid in your teeth that carries nutrients and minerals through your body. Physical activity therefore improves the flow of oxygen and liquid. Moving allows you to maintain good body and oral health.
In times of great stress, your body reacts and for some people saliva dries up, which has an impact on your sleep as well as on the regeneration of your brain and body, some will experience sleep apnea or even teeth grinding. One thing is certain, this stress has a negative impact on your oral microbiome. To learn more about the negative impact of stress on the oral microbiome you can consult the study conducted by the University of Florida in December 2018 online here.
Now that we’ve covered several points about oral health, the oral microbiota and factors to pay attention to such as diet, supplements, physical activity and stress, let’s take a look at some of the most harmful ingredients in your toothpaste.
IIncluded in most toothpastes, even natural ones, sodium fluoride is often considered in conventional dentistry as a safe ingredient that helps remineralise weakened tooth enamel and can reverse the first signs of tooth deterioration. How does it work? Sodium fluoride would add a protective layer six nanometres thick, which would actually be removed by simple chewing. It can also be toxic to children. Children who drink fluoridated water and swallow more toothpaste than adults are much more exposed to fluoride and its negative health effects. If too much fluoride is ingested, it can build up in bones and tissues, affecting joint flexibility, the thyroid gland and brain function.
Used as an antimicrobial agent, Triclosan is negatively impacting the thyroid hormones and testosterone. It also disturbs the brain and the reproductive system.
Carrageenan is a pro-inflammatory ingredient that you do not want either in your food, or in your mouth.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a skin irritant and a surfactant (used for its foaming effect and cleansing power). It irritates the oral mucosa and stresses the oral microbiota.
It’s a skin irritant that is also used in engine coolants and antifreeze. I’m sure you don’t want this in your mouth.
Although many toothpastes do not contain dyes or other colourants, Parabens or sodium fluoride, they may still contain GMO ingredients as well as harmful and synthetic chemicals.
To avoid them, the best thing to do is to choose a toothpaste that is certified organic, 100% vegan, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, gluten-free, GMO-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free, paraben-free, alcohol-free, colourant-free and, ideally, not tested on animals. Look for the Ecocert certification icon – internationally recognized as the most reliable. Our Toothpastes do not contain any of the harmful ingredients mentioned above, they are Ecocert certified and they are recognised for the quality of their 100% natural herbal products with beneficial properties for the body, face, mouth and hair.