free download PDF e-Book at No BS Water. We will be sending out Dr Paul’s e-Book and Video when it’s ready… Request your FREE Copy below.
Get your copy of Dr. Paul’s Healthier Mouth e-Book
A few weeks ago I received some questions about some pretty serious dental issues. This person (I’ll call her Jenny, which is not her real name) had been to her dentist who knew she had been using a special type of water as a mouth rinse to help the health of her mouth.
She had severe loss of enamel on her upper front teeth he had documented with photos.
Jenny’s dentist had told her that her new dental problems were from using this very unique disinfecting water as a mouth rinse. He had also given some advice that I couldn’t totally agree with.
Jenny and I had a couple of long conversations and I decided I had better use this blog to correct some serious misconceptions out there about teeth… especially as it relates to water. So here we are.
This series of posts is about the health of your mouth. Oral hygiene. Gum disease. Cavities. Yuck. You may have heard that your mouth has more germs than your southernmost…. let’s just say “any other part of your body.” You get the picture. And what you were just thinking is true. The mouth does have more. Gross! We don’t even want to think about oral hygiene… but it’s a real problem for us all.
And how does water fit into this scenario? Let me count the ways. Hydration is important for your whole body, including your mouth. Your immune system has very special one-of-a-kind defenses built into your mouth because it’s your most active portal of bringing the outside world into your body.
It’s also the only part of your body where a hard material (your teeth) penetrate the “armor” of your skin or mucous membrane and allow bacteria to accumulate and actually penetrate into your body at this weak portal. That’s the basis of gum disease (which can lead to heart damage among other things). It’s the area where this very unique arrangement of your immune system occurs. Good hydration helps that defense system keep in great shape.
But today I want to talk about a very special type of water that can help in the oral hygiene battle. It’s the one Jenny has been using. It’s known as Electrolyzed Oxidizing Water (EO Water). By now on our blog you should realize that all water is not the same. The EO water topic is so broad that we created a one-hour webinar about it, and still didn’t include everything we could have talked about. But for now let’s talk about its use in oral hygiene.
And I’ll add this little caveat. Not even all Electrolyzed Oxidizing Waters are the same. Quality matters here as well!
With a record of safety, people have been using EO water willy nilly as a mouth rinse to kill germs on contact. At least that’s how the thinking has gone up to this point in time. It’s what our friend Jenny was thinking when she used it as a mouth rinse for health reasons. Even self-proclaimed experts have said you could rinse your mouth with EO water to kill germs without any repercussions to the body…
And they would be WRONG…
I hope I have your attention. This stuff matters to every one of us who owns a mouth.
Let me set the record straight in this 5-part post. I’m guessing that 99% of you reading this post, including dentists, will learn something you’ve never known before about your teeth, gums, and oral health. We’re going to break this discussion down by talking about 5 different players in the human mouth and how they interact with each other.
- Bacteria (and their reduction by brushing, flossing, and anti-bacterial mouth rinses… this is where the EO water comes in)
- Cavities (officially called caries)
- Gum disease (officially called periodontal disease)
I’ve got to lay down a few features of these 5 players so you’ll understand how relevant this is for a blog about water. There will be far more left unsaid than said because every topic could have multiple books written about it (and they have). Also, these are not the only players on oral health, but let’s try and keep it as succinct as possible.
Player 1 – Teeth
Fangs. Pearly Whites. Chiclets. Grill. Whatever you call your teeth, they’re important, but not vital for a healthy life. They affect how you speak, chew, and how you appear to others. If I asked 100 patients who came to my clinic what they wanted us to do for their mouth, 99 times I would hear just two words: whiter and straighter.
By survey, your teeth are generally in the top three things people notice about you on first impression (hair, teeth, overall face… and for the curious among you, the fourth would be clothing). Taking care of them would be in your best interest, right? But how? We’ll get to that when we introduce the rest of the players.
Most of your tooth is made of a very hard substance called Dentin, which is harder than bone. The part of the tooth above the gumline in a normal healthy mouth has the dentin covered with enamel. This is the hardest substance in the body and will survive major catastrophes from drowning to fires. That’s why teeth are often used for forensic identification in disasters. Enamel has to be hard because you grind teeth together thousands of times per day for almost 100 years if you live that long.
Tooth enamel is really tough stuff, even though it can be chipped, cracked, or broken due to trauma. It can be abraded away (think sandpaper) by grinding teeth together or using abrasive toothbrushes and/or toothpaste. [Aside: If you’re brushing directly with baking soda or salt or anything else like that… STOP! You’re abrading your teeth away] The first rule of teeth is the same rule as the medical Hippocratic oath: first do no harm.
But enamel has a very insidious, silent enemy and it’s called acid.
Because enamel and dentin are made of mineral, they are very easily dissolved by acid. Even children learn this at a very young age. Most dentists have been asked by one of their young patients if they can have any teeth that they have pulled out so the child can use them in a science experiment at school. Kids then put these human teeth in a certain brand of cola that rhymes with smoke — as in “up in smoke” — because that’s exactly what happens to the teeth. A few days in this cola and the teeth totally disappear as if by magic. It’s not magic. The whole tooth simply dissolves in the acid of this drink.
Acid is that bad for teeth…
You might be thinking to yourself, “But I don’t drink that “up in smoke” drink, so I must be safe.” Maybe. The same thing happens with most acidic substances when the pH around the tooth drops below 5.5. The enamel begins to dissolve away at pH 5.5.
If you think only Colas and soft drinks (all around pH 2.6-2.9) affect your teeth badly, you would be wrong. Even if you’re a strict vegetarian, you damage your teeth every time you eat any food with a pH below 5.5. Let me give you some approximate pH readings of different foods to make my point.
- Apple pH 3.3 to 3.9
- Apricots pH 3.3 to 4.8
- Blackberries pH 3.8 to 4.5
- Loganberries pH 2.7 to 3.5
- Orange juice pH 3.3
- Tomatoes pH 4.3 to 4.9
And for non-vegetarians, even things like broiled salmon can have a pH as low as 5.3. My point is that eating even the healthiest of foods can cause the mineral in your teeth to be dissolved. That will happen until the enamel surface rises back above 5.5 pH.
The same happens for any acid applied to your tooth, whether it’s from lemons or from plaque bacteria or from EO water (which has a pH of 2.5 to 2.7). So you see the potential problem. And you see why Jenny’s dentist thought EO water had something to do with her very serious enamel loss problem.
Next post we’ll introduce Player 2, Bacteria, and discuss how that affects your oral health. Not all bacteria are bad for you. Others can be an absolute nightmare. And we’ll continue with our story of Jenny and what she discovered. I guarantee it will apply to most of you reading this series.