Dental caries, also known as cavities, is the decay of teeth. Caries are caused by the acid created by bacteria that collect on the teeth. The acid gradually dissolves the enamel and dentin that coat the teeth, exposing the tissue below.
Periodontal disease manifests as gingivitis, or the inflammation of the tissue—it becomes inflamed and swollen—and the bone that surrounds the teeth. Gradually, the gum recedes from the teeth and the teeth themselves loosen. The disease can become chronic, making gums and teeth sensitive to various types of food (sweets) and liquids (especially hot or cold). Pus can be discharged from the gums.
What is Teeth and Gum Disease?
From Modern Western Medicine
In addition to dental caries, the most common condition affecting the teeth and gums is gingivitis (or inflammation of the gums). Gingivitis can lead to periodontitis (inflammation of the tissues that surround the teeth at their base), which is characterized by the gradual loss of the gums that surround the teeth. Dental caries and gingivitis can lead to more serious disorders, including dental abscess, granuloma, dental cyst, and periapical periodontitis.
Gingivitis is most often cause by poor oral hygiene. Plaque collects between teeth and gums, fostering the growth of bacteria that leads to periodontal disease.
Periapical periodontitis is often caused when a cavity occurs below a filling; the tissue surrounding the cavity becomes infected and pus-filled. The area must be drained and cleaned; sometimes the tooth must be extracted, as well.
From Traditional Medicine
As virtually any dentist will attest, both tooth and gum disorders are caused by the typical American diet. Foods that are especially deleterious are those high in protein and refined foods, such as those devoid of fiber and rich in sugar. Traditional people around the world who eat diets rich in vegetables and grains do not suffer from tooth and gum disease. Archaeological discoveries have demonstrated that even early humans had little sign of such disorders, in large measure because their diets had such a high quantity of vegetable foods.
Chinese medicine maintains that the gums are nourished by the liver. The more the liver is stressed by toxins, the greater the degeneration of the gums.
Recent studies suggest a link between osteoporosis and tooth and gum disease.
Food to Eat
- Raw fruits
- Raw and lightly cooked vegetables
- Whole, unrefined grains. Dried corn especially helps promote healthy teeth and gums.
- Green vegetables
- Sea vegetables
Foods to Avoid
- Refined grains
- Overcooked foods
Massage gums with the following herbs:
- Eucalyptus oil: massage once a day
- Witch hazel: massage once a day
- Vitamin E: massage once a day
1 oz. hydrastis
1 oz. myrrh
1 pint water
Rinse three times a day.
Brush with baking soda to help stop gingivitis and pyorrhea.
- Beta-carotene: 15 – 30 mg daily
- Vitamin B complex
Thiamine: 1.5 mg per day
Riboflavin: 1.8 mg per day
Vitamin B6: 2 – 10 mg per day
Vitamin B12: 2 – 10 mg per day
Niacin: 20 mg per day
- Folic acid: 400 mcg per day
- Vitamin C: 100 – 500 mg per day
- Vitamin E: 100 IU per day; also apply topically to the gums
- Zinc: 15 mg per day
- Calcium and magnesium in ratio of 2:1: calcium, 800 mg per day, and magnesium, 400 mg per day