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EO Water For A Healthier Mouth
Part 2

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Due to significant interest in this fascinating 5 – part series EO Water for a Healthier Mouth, Dr Paul is currently adding more information to the article, we will make this available as a
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In Part 1 of this series, I introduced a patient’s serious dental problem that one dentist attributed to the use of Electrolyzed Oxidizing – EO water.  Our friend, Jenny (not her real name), had severe loss of tooth structure over approximately 6 years.  She was nice enough to share the photos of her dilemma (shown in Part 1).  Teeth grind against each other as part of their normal function, and so they do wear down over time, but her loss is probably the equivalent of a few decades of wear and tear… but it all occurred in just 6 short years.

In my discussions with Jenny, I decided that her situation presented so many teaching opportunities that apply to almost all of us, that I began work on this 5-part series.  If you haven’t yet read Part 1, please do, so you’ll understand the thread.  We introduced the first of five major Players in the human mouth.

Player 2 – Bacteria

There are more types of bugs than bacteria in the mouth, but it’s these little critters that play such an important role in our daily oral health so we’ll focus on them.  It’s reported that in a clean mouth, each tooth surface can have from 1,000 to 100,000 bacteria living on them.  Those that don’t brush and floss can have as many as 100 million up to 1 billion bacteria on each tooth.  I’ve seen mouths so dirty that it took us 45 minutes of cleaning just to uncover all the teeth.  Gross.  Even worse, I’ve had people with such bad breath due to poor oral health that we had to spray out the entire office after the patient left.  Gross squared.

How could that happen?  Bacteria are like weeds.  That’s how it could happen.  They NEVER stop growing.  There’s no such thing as a sterile mouth unless you actually live in a bubble.  Babies are born with sterile mouths, but within hours pick up bacteria from the people who handle them most in the first few hours.  These bacteria usually come from the mother, but studies have shown babies often picked up bacterial strains from the nurses who handled them most if mother wasn’t able to do so.

Which raises a weird question: should we be checking out the mouths of the doctors or nurses or midwives that are going to be handling our precious little newborns before we let them do so?  It’s not as weird a question as you think when you understand how the strains of bacteria you carry throughout life can greatly influence your oral health.

My strictly medical doctor friends seem to focus on only strep throat or tonsillitis when they check a patient’s mouth.  They often call me if there’s anything going on beyond those two things.  But the bacteria that live on the soft tissues inside your mouth (cheeks, lips, throat, and that funny little punching bag called a uvula) are a little different than the ones that grow on hard surfaces such as teeth, crowns, or even dentures.

The mouth contains the only part of your body that doesn’t naturally shed its surface periodically and those would be called teeth.  Therefore, bacteria can have a much longer ride on your teeth than anywhere else in the body.  The bacteria that grows on hard objects we all know as plaque.

Plaque is really a biofilm made by bacteria trying to attach to your tooth (or filling, crown, veneer, retainer, implant, or denture).  These bacteria want to colonize on your tooth and they create their own sticky substance in which to colonize (I wonder if they design flags and set up mini-governments?).  If you let bacterial plaque sit undisturbed for about 7 days, you may get the beginning of cavities (Player 3 in this scenario).  You also might have the beginnings of a nice case of gum disease (Player 5).  We’ll talk more about those later.

plaque500x331But here is a major point to consider.  Plaque has the consistency of a thick mayonnaise so it’s a bit sticky, but doesn’t take much effort at all to wipe off.  It’s just not that difficult to remove.

Like I said before, plaque grows like weeds, NEVER stops growing, and it depends what you feed your plaque.  Is your diet high in simple carbs that are easily broken down by bacteria? If you thought sugar was the only dietary culprit for dental problems, you would be wrong.  Plaque bacteria love any simple carb (like ripe bananas and other fruit) and give off a by-product of acid.  In Part 1 of this series we showed how acid caused problems for teeth.  It was also the alleged culprit (in the form of acidic EO water) of our friend Jenny losing around 40+ years of tooth structure in just 6 years.  Hang tight and we’ll see if that’s the case or not.

So without going into hours and hours of info about microbiology (yawn), let’s just make a generalized blanket statement or two.  Since plaque grows like weeds and usually causes disease if left undisturbed to colonize, we all know we need to remove it often, whether we actually do that or not.  Dental plaque should be disturbed and removed at least twice a day to prevent colonization and and its potential damage to both your teeth and gums (and heart).  And the way you choose to disrupt the colonization can also cause great harm.  So here are the two blanket statements.

  1. Get the gunk off
  2. Don’t damage your mouth in the process.

The humble toothbrush.  It’s with us to stay.  Marketers keep coming up with different ways to sell the darn things… and some of them are hilarious.  Angled heads, spinning, cross-angled bristles, vibrating, pulsating, diamond shape, bristles change colors when they’re worn out, spring-loaded handles…. these folks are pretty creative.  Backed up by studies that show sometimes as little as a 2% increase in plaque removal… and very little of it relevant to your oral health.

Here’s what is relevant.  SOFT bristles that will get as far into the nooks and crannies as possible, but without doing abrasion damage to the tooth (remember, you’re only trying to remove something that has the consistency of sticky mayonnaise).  There should be lots and lots of small bristles and the ends of them should be polished to they are rounded.  Really cheap toothbrushes (99 cent stores come to mind) often have bristles that are simply cut to length during manufacturing and leave sharp ends to abrade your teeth and gums.

The same goes for toothpastes.  Some of them can be extremely abrasive, especially the cheap ones.  Major brands tend to be safer because they have a multi-billion-dollar reputation to keep up.

But the worst things you can brush with are abrasive powders or crystals.  I mean things like salt or baking powder.  There are so many people who put baking soda or salt (or both) in the palm of their hand and then dab it with a wet toothbrush and start going to town on their teeth.  You might as well use particles from sandpaper.  Add a hard-bristle toothbrush and a back-and-forth sawing motion to the mix and you can literally cut your teeth right off.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  All that in an attempt to remove something like mayonnaise.  It’s like using a sandblaster to wipe your kitchen counter rather than a soft cloth.

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Then there’s floss, or dental tape, or other kinds of gizmos to get in between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach.  Remember, the goal is to disturb the plaque so it can’t set up a good colony, and at the same time, NOT harm yourself in the process.

Mouth rinses are another way people attempt to keep down the levels of bacteria in your mouth.  Many are laden with alcohol that dry out and damage the gums and mucous membranes in the mouth.  There are many types of rinses to attempt to keep the plaque levels down.  You’ll never kill all the bacteria because there are too many microscopic recesses in your mouth for them to hide.

Here’s a thought (and I’m ranting on this one).  Have you seen those ads that say their mouth rinse will kill 99.9% of germs on contact?  Sounds good, right?  If there are 8 million bacteria in a milliliter of saliva (and there are), this could theoretically cut it down to just 8000 (and that’s still enough bacteria to do harm).  But what TYPE of bacteria are remaining?  These mouth rinses can’t kill all TYPES of bacteria.

So we finally come to the point of today’s post.  Electrolyzed Oxidizing (EO) water has killed every type of bacteria, virus, etc. against which it’s ever been tested.  There are zero types of bacteria or viruses that escape it.  That includes everything from Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) to Salmonella to E. coli to Hepatitis to Tuberculosis to HIV.

Do you see why people are tempted to rinse with EO water as an antiseptic mouth rinse?  It seems to do no harm at all to skin, gums, mucous membranes, etc.  Even the dangling uvula at the back of your mouth survives to dangle another day.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is the teeth themselves.  EO water has a pH of 2.5 to 2.7 and will rapidly dissolve mineral from your teeth.  But you may remember from Part 1 of this series that so do many foods dissolve mineral from your teeth.  If the time of application of the acid isn’t very long, then mineral loss occurs only in the outer 100 microns that act as a mineral “bank account” for your tooth.  If the pH of the tooth is raised back above 5.5, then mineral will be deposited back into the tooth from calcium and phosphate in your saliva.  That’s the design and it works well.  Otherwise we could never eat acidic foods.

The good news is the EO water has been shown to kill in 30 seconds all but some food poisoning bacterial types (which took 2 minutes to kill, but aren’t relevant to your plaque bacteria).

So if you rinse with EO water and swish rapidly for 30 seconds, you’ve given yourself the best mouth rinse I know of.  But then you should get the pH of the teeth back up above 5.5 A.S.A.P.  That’s simple.  Swish again for a few seconds with alkaline water that’s generated from the same device that created the EO water.

It’s a bonus that the alkaline water from a quality device also has anti-inflammatory properties for your gums and mucous membranes.  Perfect for promotion of a healthy mouth.

But for the BIG question… is EO water safe for you?

Is EO water safe for YOU to use as a mouth rinse to keep your plaque levels down?  And the mystery of our friend Jenny remains.  Did the EO water she was using to rinse her mouth cause the serious loss of enamel shown in the pictures?  We’ll continue the discussion in Part 3 and keep pushing toward the answer.

Until then…


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