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Now for the final chapter in this series with Dental Surgeon Dr Paul
and a Healthier Mouth with EO Water…
Today is about answers and solutions. We’ll cover something for every human being who owns a mouth.
Here we are at the end of our journey. In this 5-Part series on EO Water fot a Healthier Mouth we’ve learned about the basics of a healthy mouth such as what to do about a small cavity and how a tooth brush may not help for some of them. If you use a toothbrush incorrectly, it may lead to tooth abrasion. We’ve also learned about periodontal maintenance and how gingivitis is more of an inflammatory condition rather than the damaging part of gum disease.
Now let’s finish up our discussion about periodontitis, the real gum disease. The CDC says almost half (47.2%) of adults have some form of it. I’m also going to explain how to stop receding gums, or at least minimize the risk.
And finally, we’ll solve the mystery of why our friend Jenny’s teeth became rapidly damaged in just a few short years. I’ll offer some solutions for ALL the things we discussed and give home remedies for swollen gums, and we’ll talk about the best dentist recommended mouthwash I can think of. It’s called Electrolyzed Oxidizing Water or EO Water.
Here we go!
Plaque bacteria is always involved in gum disease, but doesn’t necessarily cause it. I know that sounds strange, but hear me out.
There are many people who don’t take care of their mouths well and they have a lot of plaque, but DON’T have damaging gum disease (or even cavities) as a result and simply get inflamed gums or gingivitis (I can hear you say “lucky them”).
On the flip side, there are plenty of people who take care of their mouths exceptionally well and have minimal plaque (and no gingivitis), yet they struggle all their lives against losing their teeth to gum disease. These are the people who require periodontal maintenance, sometimes as often as every two to three months.
This paradox is explained by the variability of each person’s immune system. It is the WAR between your immune system and plaque bacteria that causes the casualties (damage to the ligament and bone), not just the presence of plaque alone. It totally depends how YOUR body reacts to plaque and tartar (calcified mix of minerals and plaque, usually in those who have “hard saliva”).
But consider this… if there was no plaque at all, there would be no war.
But consider this… if there was no plaque at all, there would be no war.
That option isn’t realistic, but by minimizing the plaque, you help swing the battle in favor of your body winning. Hence we have brushing, flossing, and mouth rinses. And don’t forget the periodic trip to your dentist and hygienist to clear out the plaque and tartar hiding in recesses you often don’t reach well on your own.
Remember that your teeth are the only part of the human body where a hard substance protrudes through either your skin or mucous membrane. The relevance of that is that skin and mucous membranes slough off periodically and so bacteria can’t stay attached to them for a long time and form giant, undisturbed colonies.
On teeth, bacteria can and do build great colonies and there’s no natural system to disrupt them except for the food we chew that wipes off SOME areas of our teeth. Undisturbed plaque will create havoc if we don’t disrupt their colonization quite frequently. If left alone, plaque bacteria often will invade into the body and is associated with some types of heart disease. Now THAT’S what I call an invasion.
Let’s look at the various results of the war. In our analogy I compared a healthy tooth that is strongly anchored in bone to a strong fence post buried very deeply in solid dirt. The tooth has a covering of gums above it (while the solid dirt has a covering of grass above it). Both gums and grass protect the material that they cover, but really have nothing to do with direct structural support.
With gingivitis we only had inflammation of the gums, but without damage. Contrast that with periodontitis where we have inflammation, infection, and damage of the bone supporting the tooth, as well as the ligament that attaches the tooth to bone. Notice the damage caused to the SUPPORT structure of the tooth, but not the tooth itself. In our fence post analogy, it means the fence post is intact, but much of the dirt around it has gone away. You can see how much easier it would be for the fence post to move if pushed with the force an elephant would apply.
One of the things people notice when they have moderate or severe gum disease is that their teeth are moving or tipping from their normal position. Without bone support, they’re only held in by gums. Look at the x-rays as well as the photos and it’s easy to see why.
Depending on the depth of destruction, people sometimes label it as mild (or early), moderate, or severe periodontitis. There are several clinical names such as juvenile periodontitis or acute necrotizing ulcerative periodontitis or refractory periodontitis, but it’s beyond the scope of what we’re teaching here to explain all the differences. Your dentist will let you know if you have one of these unique types.
When damage to the ligament and bone become severe, the gums may or may not be receded. That’s the reason we use that little probe to find the true level of attachment. Think of that little probe as a dipstick, just like you use to check the oil level in your car. It tells a lot about what your eyes can’t see underneath.
Gum disease is about your immune system and how you either help it or not. Eating and drinking the best foods will certainly help your body’s immune system. Removing plaque from your teeth at least twice a day, to the best of your ability, will also help in that very unique part of your body where invaders can gather and set up camp. I say WIPE ‘EM OUT.
The best method is a soft, mechanical toothbrush if used well. If a tooth brush is used poorly, it can damage your teeth and gums. Flossing is another great way to remove plaque between teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Again, if you use it poorly, you can wreck your teeth and gums.
And last but not least, a good mouthwash that will kill bacteria, but without doing harm. I mentioned EO water as the best dentist recommended mouthwash I can think of. I still haven’t changed my mind on that, and neither will you if you take up the practice. Many people have told me that at their next dental checkup after starting this practice that their dentists and hygienists have been pleasantly surprised at what they’ve seen. They always ask “What have you been doing to get such great results all of a sudden?”
So we’re lacking just two things to wrap up this series. We need to summarize all the good things we’ve talked about… and we can’t forget the mystery of Jenny’s rapid damage to her mouth.
SUMMARY ANSWERS AND SOLUTIONS FOR YOU…
1. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but it has two major enemies: abrasion and ACID. Solution: use a soft toothbrush, non-abrasive toothpaste, floss well, and use EO water correctly as your mouthwash. Avoid prolonged application of acid foods to your teeth.
2. Pits and grooves in teeth are too small to clean with a toothbrush or floss. Solution: visit your dentist regularly to check for these small cavities and get them taken care of as early as possible. (Aside: many people believe sealants should be used to prevent these groove cavities before they start. Here’s a hint: they’ve been trying that since the 1950s and they still haven’t found a material strong enough to stand up to the biting forces without chipping and breaking out in just a few years. That’s another topic for another time).
3. Gum disease affects almost half the adult population. Vigilance in plaque removal at least twice a day is the BEST way to fight off this invader. If you lose that battle, the supporting structure of your teeth will disappear, your teeth may start to drift and move, and you will have bad breath for a lifetime (and you won’t be very kissable). Solution: Get the plaque off and don’t do yourself any harm in the process from abrasion or erosion. Brush, floss, EO Water rinse… repeat. And say hi to your dentist now and then.
4. Don’t practice bruxism. What? Aaahh, now we get to the solution to the Jenny mystery.
THE MYSTERY OF JENNY’S RAPID TOOTH DAMAGE SOLVED…
Here’s Jenny’s original picture. Her dentist documented several decades worth of tooth damage in just 6 short years. He also attributed it to her use of EO water as a mouth rinse. I’m going to suggest otherwise. Let me point out a few features that will make sense to you now that you understand all the things we’ve talked about. I wonder if some of these things might apply to you?
1. Jenny is better than average at keeping her mouth clean, but not perfect. She minimizes plaque and it shows, especially in relation to her gums. She has no visible inflammatory gingivitis OR periodontitis. SHE HAS NO GUM DISEASE. Her teeth are rock solid and the picture clearly shows that. There is no drifting of teeth at all.
2. Jenny has a small cavity or two. No big deal. Cavities happen. For her they occurred in between teeth where flossing might have helped. EO water would NOT help here because it doesn’t get in to those places where teeth contact each other. A quick few fillings and that will take care of her small cavity problem, but it’s NOT what I’d recommend here. You’ll understand in a minute.
3. Jenny has no sign of GENERALIZED erosion of her teeth, which is what would happen if the damage were caused by rinsing with acidic EO water incorrectly. She clearly has signs of LOCALIZED damage to her teeth, but acids don’t act selectively. They will dissolve any part of the teeth that they touch. Her use of EO water was a great idea as it killed plaque bacteria and did NOT do her any harm.
4. The mystery of Jenny’s rapid damage to her teeth is knowing that her damage is caused by (drum roll please……) severe bruxism. There’s that crazy word again. Let me explain.
Let’s go back to our earlier example of a healthy tooth being anchored strongly within bone. Under these circumstances the teeth can withstand all of the forces applied to them during chewing, and even teeth grinding (which is a much higher force). I compared that to a strong fence post buried deeply in the ground, so much so that it would withstand forces equivalent to an elephant pushing on it. No problem. The post will stand.
But have you ever seen a big animal like an elephant continually rub against a fence post as a nervous habit? The fence post stands firm but gets abraded away. The elephants skin can heal itself as the damage is slow, but the fence post can’t. Over time, the sum total of the damage will be evident, just like in Jenny’s teeth (which also can’t heal themselves from abrasion).
I’m showing a cross section of the wooden post as another analogy. Let’s say the post is covered by a very hard layer of bark that takes a long time to get through. This could be compared to the enamel of the teeth. But with my fictitious fence post I want you to imagine that the wood inside the bark is about 7 times softer than the bark when it comes to the rubbing of the elephant against it. So once the elephant’s rubbing breaks through the bark, the damage to the fence post will be roughly 7 times faster.
This is the answer to the mystery of Jenny’s rapid tooth damage. The dentin inside the tooth is about 7 times softer than the outer covering of enamel when it comes to abrasion. Once the enamel is worn through, bruxism damage happens F-A-S-T. In this case 6 years caused around 40 years of damage. YIKES.
See if you can see the specific wear facets created in her teeth by teeth grinding. I’ve highlighted a couple of areas where you can see very clear edges reflected. Edges mean abrasion damage, not generalized erosion due to acid. EO water is perfectly safe and is the best dentist recommended mouthwash I can think of.
What could Jenny have done to prevent all this?
I once made one for a big muscular wrestler dude and he chewed through that thing in about 6 months (which was a record), but his teeth were still undamaged. A night guard will usually last several years if made well. Don’t try to break his record.
Jenny has had a mouthguard for several years, but clearly hasn’t been wearing it regularly. Now she has a much more severe problem as a result. One option would be to fix her small fillings and then make her a new night guard and encourage her to wear it every single night. That wouldn’t help all that exposed softer dentin to abrasion during the daytime though.
A better solution might be to do a reverse veneer or V-shaped one that would incorporate the cavities in the design. Dental materials have come so far that we can now bond oddly-shaped pieces of porcelain to your teeth without a lot of cutting or prep work (which causes more loss of tooth structure). Most dentists would simply put traditional crowns on these teeth (which does require a lot of prep work), but I would consider that a bit excessive in this case.
So there you have it. Mystery solved. It’s been a long journey, but hopefully you learned something that you can apply to yourself or someone you love. We all know about brushing and flossing as part of good oral hygiene and periodontal maintenance. You likely didn’t know about EO water. To learn more, join us often on this blog or join us for one of our free educational water webinars. EO water is the best dentist recommended mouthwash I’ve ever seen.