So many of us who are interested in health completely disregard our teeth and our mouths. We forget that our bodies are a holistic and interconnected system, one that can only function optimally if everything is running smoothly. If your liver wasn’t working properly, it would affect your entire body. Well, the same could be said about your mouth.
Your mouth is the gateway to your body, which you use to either nourish it with healthy foods or destroy it with toxins. Whatever you put in your mouth ends up affecting your entire body drastically. A cleaner mouth isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, it’s crucial for your overall health, as it can play a key role in disease prevention. Poor oral health has been linked to inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
Risks of Poor Dental Health
More than 500 species of bacteria can be found in the oral cavity of a healthy mouth, and they can be beneficial or harmful for the health of your mouth. The “good” bacteria, also referred to as probiotics, can aid in digestion, synthesize vitamins, and protect our mouths from the “bad” bacteria. The bad bacteria is often what causes disease and various mouth-related health problems such as bad breath, gingivitis, periodontitis, cavities, and plaque build-up.
Taking note of the bacteria and toxin levels in our mouths isn’t just crucial for the health of our mouths, but our entire bodies. Infections and bacterial overgrowth in the mouth can affect the entire body, moving throughout it and causing other health problems such as heart disease, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, and low birth weight.
One study proved that poor dental health can actually result in endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of your heart. This can happen when germs and bacteria from your mouth spread throughout your bloodstream and attach themselves to damaged areas of your heart.
Another study looked at brain samples from ten patients without dementia and compared them to ten patients with dementia. The research suggested that there was a link between dementia and chronic periodontal (gum) disease as well as Alzheimer’s.
The researchers explained, “This new research indicates a possible association between gum disease and individuals who may be susceptible to developing Alzheimer’s disease, if exposed to the appropriate trigger!”
Dr. Josef Issels, MD, a well-known cancer specialist, asks all of his cancer patients to have their dead teeth removed. In his book Cancer: A Second Opinion, he explains his methods for healing cancer and the link the mouth has to the disease. Dr. Issels has worked with 16,000 cancer patients over the course of 40 years and approximately 90% of his patients had multiple dead teeth in their mouths. He discusses in his book and provides compelling evidence on the link dead teeth have to cancer, as he argues the harmful toxins they release can cause the disease.
So, why don’t doctors look more carefully into our dental health when discussing treatment, causes, and prevention of diseases?
The Issues and Politics Within the Dental Industry
If you’re familiar with the issues with fluoride in our drinking water, you can likely guess that there’s a strong link between the government and the dental industry. The American Dental Association (ADA) spends a lot of money to get their foot into the door of politics, throwing the U.S. government millions of dollars to influence legislation.
Between 2009 and 2012, the ADA spent a shocking $39 million on lobbying efforts. The ADA has worked very hard to keep dental costs extremely high for citizens, making it practically unavailable to low-income households.
Much of what the dental industry supports and encourages consumers to purchase and use “to improve oral health” actually poses numerous threats to our dental health. Commercial toothpastes primarily use toxic substances as a means to “clean your mouth,” as the ingredients in regular toothpastes can cause enamel damage, dental flourosis, stomach ailments, skin rashes, and more.
One of the worst ingredients found in most conventional and “dentist approved” toothpastes is fluoride. Fluoride has been a known neurotoxin for a long time, but the government claims it benefits our teeth. In reality, it’s not even known to actually prevent the buildup of harmful oral bacteria; however, it is known to be toxic, with long-term ingestion linked to brain, heart, and bone issues.
Conventional dentists also use a mixture of toxic substances to fill your teeth, commonly referred to as “silver fillings” in the North American dental industry, consisting primarily of mercury, silver, copper, and tin. The amalgam is actually 50% mercury, which passes through cell membranes, across your blood-brain barrier, and directly into your central nervous system, and can cause serious psychological, neurological, and immunological issues. Every time you chew with a silver filling in your mouth, methylmercury is released, resulting in the suppression of your immune system. Metal fillings pose a grave threat to children in particular because their brains are still developing.
Many European countries have banned the use of these fillings and Canada has issued warnings discouraging their use among children and pregnant women. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) still haven’t addressed this issue sufficiently. Check out this Dr. Mercola article regarding alternatives to mercury fillings and the many countries that use them.
Clearly, we’re not being told the full story when it comes to our dental health, particularly how to actually care for our teeth. In addition, our mouths can also show us the health of our bodies.
How Our Mouths Communicate Our Overall Health
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the tongue is a microcosm of the entire body and will reflect its excesses and deficiencies. The shape, colour, coating, and texture of the tongue can indicate digestive issues and body imbalances.
Tongue areas correspond to internal organs in Chinese Medicine; much like reflexology, different parts of the tongue correspond to different organs. As a mirror of the body’s digestive system, the tongue can reflect the toxicity level in the gut, show potential food sensitivities or a weak digestion, point to malabsorption of nutrients, and reveal the health of other organs in the body.
This diagram illustrates which organs relate to certain areas of the tongue:
Alternatively, the colour and shape of your tongue can depict emotional and physical ailments. Check out this diagram that shows you how your tongue can communicate the overall health of your body:
You can read more about this in our CE article:
What Is Your Tongue Telling You About Your Health?
According to TCM, Qi energy is everywhere on Earth; when you’re healthy, Qi is flowing freely through you, whereas when you’re unhealthy, you either have a blockage from Qi or your “Qi tank” is low. Meridians are essentially energy highways that hold and transport Qi, blood, and fluids throughout the body.
“Conditions in the mouth have a profound potential to reflect and influence the health of the whole person. Disruptions to the flow of energy through the mouth may affect remote regions of the body and disruptions elsewhere may manifest in the mouth. These relationships are a result of communication between the Acupuncture Meridians and the Teeth.”
– The Center For Holistic Dentistry
According to the meridian system, poor oral health can result in poor organ health as well as energy blockages.
Check out this chart that shows the relationships between organs and teeth in regards to TCM:
You can read more about that in our CE article:
How Can We Detox Our Mouths and Keep Them Healthy?
It’s clear that our mouths can communicate some of the bodily problems we have, or alternatively they can cause problems if our oral health is poor. So, armed with this knowledge, how can we put it to good use?
For starters, search for any signs your mouth is giving you that could mean your body is in distress. Check out your tongue and your teeth, but even burping can indicate that your body is detoxing.
You should also try your best to only use safe products and reduce your intake of toxins. Brush regularly using an organic tooth brush, replace your toothbrush every few months and/or after being sick, use fluoride-free/all-natural toothpaste, floss using tea tree oil, eat organic plant-based foods, and regularly visit a dentist.
Some great ways to detox the mouth include:
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing vegetable oil in your mouth for 20 minutes to eliminate toxins from the mouth and body, whiten teeth, remove plaque, support kidney function, relieve migraines, and more.
Perhaps the fastest way to clean bacterial buildup is through the Ayurvedic practice of tongue scraping. This practice is known to improve taste receptors, improve bad breath, aid digestion, and improve overall oral health.
Drinking green tea can actually improve the health of your mouth, as this study showed. Amongst many other health benefits, green tea has antimicrobial properties that can aid in controlling your oral microbes.
The medical industry often looks at an issue and only focuses on treating the symptom, rather than the root cause. We cover up our pains with pharmaceutical products instead of actually looking at the root cause and treating and preventing that.
Our mouths play an important role in determining our overall health, meaning they can also play a role in treating it. Be conscious of what you’re putting into your body through your mouth and take note of the signals your mouth is sending you about your health.