We covered a lot of territory in the last few posts, so a simple summation of what to do is in order.
First, realize that dental caries don’t “just happen” and although we are all genetically different “poor genes” is not an excuse. Realizing that you CAN PREVENT tooth decay is step one.
Two, understand that the fundamental cause of tooth decay is the effect of corrosive acid on the teeth. This literally eats away at the enamel and sucks the minerals right out as well. Over time the enamel disappears and holes or cavities appear. So controlling the acidic pH in your mouth is the top preventative approach.
Three, acid does not just appear either. It is created by bacteria, the chief culprit being the group of bacteria known as mutans streptococci. Here is a very basic view of how the streptococci bacteria contributes to tooth decay:
These are highly adaptable and hardy bacteria. They have specialized properties that allow them to adhere to the teeth, this adhesion of bacteria (also known as BIOFILM) is what forms plaque. This bacteria uses SUCROSE to form the sticky substance that allows adhesion. The bacteria also metabolizes other sugars–such as glucose, fructose and lactose–into acids. The acid then eats away at the teeth.
Four, the important concept here is that a sticky biofilm, in constant and immediate content with your teeth, will lead to tooth decay WHEN that biofilm becomes ACIDIC. You will never get rid of the biofilm, nor do you need to. What you need to do is to fight the acidic conditions and control the balance of bacteria in the biofilm.
Five, dietary factors can help greatly in controlling the acidic pH levels in your mouth and in the biofilm. Sugars and simple carbohydrates are super-food for the mutans streptococci and so limiting these foods is an important step. Perhaps even more important is limiting the frequency and timing of such foods. Constant or ongoing exposure to such foods means that your mouth is always acidic and this is BAD.
Follow such foods with a water-rinse. An additional step would be to follow with non-acidic foods or drink (cheese or black tea-no sugar!). Saliva plays a huge role in lowering the acidic pH, so a sugar-free gum with Xylitol is a good way to follow up such foods–as this both stimulates saliva flow and inhibits bacterial growth.
Six, twice-a-day oral hygiene including both brushing and flossing. It is important to keep in mind that the purpose of these actions is NOT to just clean food from the mouth. The most important reason is to disturb the bacterial growth and formation of the biofilm. Brushing and flossing does just that and so is not something to “put off” or “catch up” on, it must be done regularly and twice-a-day for optimal disruption of the oral bacteria life cycle.
Seven, using our advanced oral probiotics (Great Oral Health) to “fight fire with fire.” Oral probiotics infiltrate into the biofilm on your teeth and into your gums. Here they stabilize the pH by a) crowding out the s. mutans bacteria, b) producing substances that actively inhibit the growth of the s. mutans and c) they produce non-acidic byproducts that actually counter the acids created by the s. mutans.
The beauty of our oral probiotics is that they go to work as part of your body’s natural and native system, this means not only more powerful results but also “around the clock” protection as they become a part of the living, active biofilm in your mouth.
Unlike drugs or harsh chemicals that kill off ALL bacteria (fundamentally a bad idea) our oral probiotics will build a healthier and beneficial environment in your mouth. As this occurs, then your body is able to go about restoring the damage and healing itself. We have even included powerful ingredients to assist in the healing and remineralization of your teeth.
While this process does not occur overnight (the body does need time to heal once a healthy environment is reestablished) the reduction in cavity production and the restoration of gum health has been well documented in multiple medical studies and clinical trials.
There you have it, follow these guidelines–and add our oral probiotics to your regimen–and we can safely say that “Great Oral Health is in your future.”