Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dental Health Without Dentistry.

My understanding of oral health is holistic and multifactorial, but it is relatively simple to explain. The easiest approach is to look at tooth decay.

If one needs to go to a dentist for mechanical intervention, it implies to me that preventative measures have not been taken. It is wise to look at how to prevent tooth decay, but it feels good as well as being wise to look at how to give your body a really tip top healthy bacterial flora.

Tooth decay, I am led to believe, is caused by bacteria which eat the teeth surface. The mouth being full of bacteria, certain conditions give rise to the bacteria which eat the teeth. The two key conditions are

1. excess acidity ph balance in the mouth, combined with

2. a sucrose base to stimulate growth of the decay bacteria.

Consequently, several conditions suggest themselves. Generally the advice is to cease to eat sweets and sugary tasting foods, but I feel it is easier to phrase this notion in the positive sense: eat wholefoods and avoid all processed foods, and use herbs and spices for taste and for their antiseptic and antibacterial effect. The Italian herbs, and the Indian herbs which are mixed together for curry flavoring, are the commonest antiseptic combinations. Choose to eat garlic every few weeks for a fine overall antibiotic to keep the middle range of bacterias in balance.

Generally, when eating sugar, follow it with lots of liquid to dilute the sugar in the mouth. Water dilutes excess growths of bacteria, levelling the field for more stable diversity of flora.

Generally, the bacterial flora in the gut and skin is out of balance when tooth decay is present. Dry-brushing skin, using neti pots for the nose, and getting a nice cheap tongue cleaner are all ways to help. Fasting is another fantastic and powerful way to cultivate different bacteria in the body.

When you pass through polluted streets, breath through your nose rather than your mouth; your nose is a perfect air filter, cold air warmer, and detoxifier; in addition, the quality of the snot in the nose provides a brilliantly intelligent and ancient early warning signal of bacterial imbalance. All primates including humans are found to eat snot, and it is thought that consuming it might inoculate one against environmental bacteria, but in a smoggy polluted environment this instinct is probably unwise, and it is better to clean the nose and wash your hands while sitting on the toilet. Picking your nose in the toilet has the wonderful benefit of bringing a fresh diversity of bacteria to the nostril, allowing a great new stimulus to the resident flora, and it fits in nicely with the existing hand-washing ritual after using the toilet.

Brushing teeth with bicarb soda, which is strongly alkaline, gets rid of the acidic condition in the mouth that gives rise to the decay bacteria. However, my feeling/intuition is that excessive use of bicarb soda on the mouth creates more rather than less bacterial diversity than is healthy, so I seldom brush with it.

Many herbs and essential oils are beneficial and harmful to different bacteria combinations. Using a diversity of them sensitively and occasionally seems to be optimal, because it feels balanced.

So these are my suggestions of oral health and wellbeing. The single key change to create lifelong oral health is to simply cease to buy anything with sugar (or anything which has a word ending with “–ose” such as fructose or sucrose on the label), and to instead buy grains, beans, herbs, and legumes. Stevia seems like a decent sweetener.

Amazingly, immunologists have discovered in the last few years that the jaw has its own specialised immune system reponsonsible for healing and maintaining the mouth and gums. I don’t floss and I don’t brush with bicarb soda mainly because my gums tend to bleed afterwards and I don’t feel good about it. I especially like how my gums and lips feel when I drink lots and lots of clean purified water: they are soft, cool, and the tissues are not inflamed but relaxed.

So:

Avoid all processed foods with sugar in them, and buy whole foods.

Drink lots of water, especially after eating sugar.

Brush with bicarb soda sometimes to balance acidity/ph balance in the mouth.

Keep the body’s marvellous bacterial flora balanced inside and out by eating natural antiseptic herbs, primarily the Italian and Indian herb combinations.

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