Your teeth are part of more than just a pretty smile. Teeth are a window to your health and style. Study after study has shown how our teeth and gums can be affected by our health. In turn, studies have also demonstrated how our health and what we put into our bodies can affect our teeth and gums.
More and more, people understand just how much our teeth and our body are interconnected. Bacteria in the teeth and gums can cause heart disease and an unhealthy gut, and vice versa. What you put into your body and how you care for your teeth affects your health in the long run.
Why is oral health important?
Teeth are not just there to be pearly and white. When it comes to the human body, teeth have many essential functions.
Obviously, teeth are essential to eating. There is a reason why teeth are strong and need to remain healthy. Teeth need to be able to withstand the constant wear and tear of chewing and the power of the jawbones. Teeth are used to grind food down to make food particles smaller and more efficient to digest. Teeth are so important that for many animals in the wild, if their teeth are not healthy, they risk not being able to survive.
As there is so much emphasis placed on teeth for eating and cosmetic purposes, people may sometimes overlook the fact that teeth are essential for speaking well. Teeth allow humans to annunciate and create the correct sounds to communicate with each other. Shifting and missing teeth can affect speech in very noticeable ways.
Teeth are bone, and bone is what gives each person’s face a unique shape. Facial appearance is affected by the form of a person’s jaw and teeth. Tooth loss can make the cheeks sink in, causing the face to look aged.
Unlike the bones in our bodies, teeth do not have a thick covering of fat and muscle to protect it. Teeth are subject to falls, bumps, and crashes and must be able to withstand impact.
A healthy set of teeth can provide confidence. Because teeth are front and center when a person presents himself or herself to the world, healthy teeth can give a boost of self-assurance. Their first appearance often judges people, and your smile is the first thing people see.
What Are Teeth Made Of?
Contrary to popular belief, teeth and bones are not the same. They do share many common features, but teeth are not bone. Both teeth and bone are made of calcium. 99% of the calcium in the human body can is in bone and teeth.
However, bones have living tissue and have a central core made of marrow. They are sturdy but flexible.
Teeth, on the other hand, are not living tissue and have no marrow. They are the hardest substance in the human body.
Made of layers of dentin, enamel, cementum, and pulp, teeth are not living tissue. The surrounding tissue is made of tough enamel, containing no nerves or blood.
The enamel and dentin are made mostly of calcium and phosphorous, both minerals. These minerals are what give the enamel (and bone) their hardness. These minerals are also what prevents teeth from decaying and developing cavities.
The core of a tooth is the pulp, which has nerves and blood vessels. The nerves and blood vessels within the teeth are part of the body’s more extensive nervous system and send messages back and forth from the teeth to the body. The body is continually providing the brain and body with information and vice versa.
As strong as teeth are, they are very vulnerable to infections and decay. Over time, demineralization of the enamel occurs because of their constant exposure to the outside world. However, this also demonstrates that teeth are subject to whatever the body is exposed to, both inside and outside.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
The reason most given for tooth decay is that humans need to brush, floss, and use fluoride more often. To a degree, this is true. When food debris, our teeth remain on our teeth for too long, the acids from the debris can eat through the tooth’s protective layer and dissolve the softer tissue underneath. If the acids eat enough of the outer layers away (demineralization), the pulp becomes exposed and infected. The result is called a cavity.
How did the debris get onto the teeth in the first place? And why does the debris turn into acid? The answers to these
questions depend on the diet, the type of food left on the teeth, and the pH balance of the mouth.
Dental caries (cavities) occur because of demineralization. Demineralization occurs for several reasons, but the main reason is that the teeth were not healthy enough in the first place. If teeth do not obtain enough of the necessary vitamins and minerals to develop strength, demineralization can occur relatively quickly. Ensuring that teeth get the essential minerals they need to stay healthy keeps demineralization from happening in the first place.
The phytic acid contained in the food consumed, inside the sugar and starches, can keep teeth from becoming strong and promote tooth decay. If the tooth is strong, bacteria will have a tougher time affecting the tooth and breaking it down. Bacteria in the mouth can increase by consuming sugars left on the teeth. The excess bacteria put out acid wastes as a byproduct. The acid then breaks down the minerals in the tooth, creating a cavity. If the enamel is durable, the acid cannot penetrate. If enough minerals become quickly, the enamel can remineralize and become strong. In this way, cavities cannot form.
Can Teeth Regenerate?
You can not regrow an entire tooth again, but you can remineralize them.
You can not regrow an entire tooth again, but you can remineralize them.
The dentin and enamel can regrow and become hard again through the buildup of minerals within the tooth. The demineralization of teeth is not a one-way pocess. Teeth can be remineralized to recover health and strength.
Teeth can heal themselves naturally, with some help from you. Although the entire tooth cannot regenerate, the outer layer of dentin does. Dentin’s powerful ability to regenerate and remineralize can allow the teeth to heal, and keep teeth healthy and strengthened.
Currently, traditional dentistry relies on metal, plastic, or glass dental fillings to repair teeth. However, a February 2018 article in Scientific American demonstrated a study in which teeth could become restored through regrowth. The study showed how teeth could be induced to grow back like skin, able to repair themselves—with a little assistance.
What kind of assistance? Teeth require a lot of minerals! Their strength requires enough reserves of calcium and other building blocks of teeth to remineralize. Because teeth cannot produce its own “building blocks,” it needs it from diet and additional supplementation.
How Vitamins and Minerals Effect Teeth
Maintaining healthy teeth through diet is one of the first ways to help teeth regenerate. Diet has a significant impact on teeth.
Teeth are more likely to regenerate if they have the foundation necessary to do so. Here are some of the vitamins and minerals needed to keep teeth healthy naturally. The diet humans consume can impact how these nutrients are used by the body to promote good oral health.
Calcium’s Effect on Teeth
As 99% of the calcium is located in bones and teeth, calcium is integral to healthy teeth. When the body does not have enough calcium for the 1% found in the muscles and blood, the calcium is taken from the bones and teeth. The lack of calcium leaves little left for teeth to be able to repair itself. Maintaining calcium and other nutrients is essential for healthy teeth.
Calcium within the teeth can be stripped away by acids within our foods and bacteria.
Vitamin D’s and Phosphorus’ Effect on Teeth
That calcium needs Vitamin D for absorption into the body. Without Vitamin D, the calcium consumed in the diet is not efficiently absorbed; therefore, wasting calcium. Just like Vitamin D, to use calcium effectively, the body also needs phosphorus.
Similarly, the body also requires an adequate supply of Vitamin D for remineralizing teeth. When people spend most of their time indoors, they may not adequately receive sunlight exposure. As a result, they may experience Vitamin D deficiency. Fortunately, you can intake Vitamin D by consuming vitamin-D rich foods and supplements. Such examples of foods may include fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolks, and cheese.
Phytic Acid’s Effect on Teeth
Phytic acid is often called an “anti-nutrient” because it is a nutrient thief. It steals vitamins and minerals from the digestive system by preventing them from being digested. The list of minerals that it “steals” includes calcium. It takes calcium and other calcifying agents away from the human body, compromising healthy teeth. Not only that, but phytic acid also takes vitamins and minerals from the entire body.
Phytic acid can found in our modern grains, legumes, and nuts. Diets high in phytic acid are low in calcium and other necessary vitamins and minerals. When phytic acid is present, vital nutrients are squandered away and left unused. Even when consuming a sufficient amount of food, a person can still be malnourished if there is too much phytic acid present because the body can not use the nutrients. When removed from the diet, beneficial vitamins and minerals can begin to strengthen and remineralize teeth.
In short, a diet with even small amounts of phytic acid can compromise the absorption of nutrients into the body, especially minerals calcium. In the long term, when a diet contains high levels of phytic acid, the body begins to break down and slowly fall apart. Teeth are especially vulnerable to this slow breakdown, because the enamel and dentin in teeth rely on minerals obtained through diet. When these minerals are not available, teeth can demineralize. And then, be unable to remineralize without assistance.
Dietary Changes to Make for Healthy Teeth
Making changes into your diet is an easy way toward healthy teeth. By optimizing the diet, it sets the foundation for remineralization to take place. For some people, the right food could prevent tooth decay altogether.
Drink lots of water.
Water is not only good for your body, but it is also essential for the health and strength of your teeth. There is a reason why doctors and nutritionists prefer water as a beverage over all other liquids. Water is calorie-free, sugar-free, and acid-free. It will not break down or stain your teeth. Drinking or rinsing your mouth out with water after every meal is a simple way to remineralize the teeth if there is no access to a toothbrush.
Dry mouth is also a cause of tooth decay. Saliva is essential for a healthy mouth. Our saliva works to neutralize the acids in food and drink. Our mouth can then have an environment suitable for remineralization without acid. However, the temperature, weather, or illness can all result in a dry mouth. Drinking water can help to counteract these issues.
Eat Fewer Grains.
It is not grains that are the culprit. Many societies have consumed grains and lived well. Grains are what made civilization even possible for humans! Animals nourish themselves on grains and eat grains raw because their digestive systems are equipped to digest grains that way. Grain is good for humans, too. However, a human being’s digestive system requires extra processing of grain to consume it well. So, it is not grains that are to blame for its harmful effects on us. It is the way our grains are processed and cultivated in these modern times that is to blame.
The modern quick-rise breads and casseroles sold at the stores are not processed correctly. Essential processing steps generally used in most cultures have been skipped for the sake of convenience. There is a reason why most cultures soak or ferment their grains for long periods before cooking. The soaking simulates the natural process seeds go through in nature. Soaking makes the seeds more nutritious by deactivating the phytic acid and other nutrient inhibitors in the grains. Although this step takes time, it prepares the grain by breaking down substances that would otherwise make digesting difficult. Lastly, modern grains are also grown using chemicals and pesticides.
However, the modern grains we eat are bad for teeth in two ways. They have high phytic acid content, and they turn into sugar in the mouth, causing harmful bacteria to grow. The phytic acid in grains can interfere with our health in general. High phytic acid-containing foods include oatmeal, whole grains, nuts, and beans.
If consuming grains, choose organic whole grains. Look for words like “organic”, “stone-ground”, “sprouted”, “sourdough”, or “whole grain breads”. Pay special attention to how the grains you buy are processed and cooked. Even items marked “whole wheat” can result in phytic acid. Grains are very healthy for the body–if eaten in the right way.
Because grains are so pervasive in the modern diet, it is not always possible to avoid consuming grain products with phytic acid. This means that supplementation may be necessary to obtain the nutrients needed for optimal bone development.
Eat More Vegetables
Vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli are a good source of calcium and other nutrients. Eaten as salads, they also encourage a healthy mouth environment because of their fibrous texture.
Dry mouth is also a cause of tooth decay. Saliva is essential for a healthy mouth. Our saliva works to neutralize the acids in food and drink. If acid is neutralized by saliva, then our mouth can have an environment suitable for remineralization. However, the temperature, weather, or illness can all result in a dry mouth. Drinking water can help to counteract these issues.
Stay Away from Processed Sugar
White sugar and refined carbohydrates encourage cavity development. Even when Vitamin D and calcium are present, processed sugar can still create an oral environment perfect for cavities. Diets that are high in processed sugar causes the proliferation of harmful bacteria in the mouth, which produce acids in the mouth. These acids strip away the enamel on the teeth. Staying away from processed sugar ensures that these bacteria are kept to a minimum.
Heal Your Gut.
It does seem strange that healing the gut can create healthy teeth. However, teeth are the beginning of the digestive process, and the organs and tissues are interconnected. How can you heal your gut? Through the consumption of good bacteria, like probiotics.
An unhealthy gut affects teeth in several ways. The pH level inside the body affects the pH level in the mouth. If the pH level in the mouth is not correct, the mouth becomes acidic, and the enamel becomes eroded. An unhealthy gut can also have an overabundance of mutans streptococci. Mutans streptococci are the kind of bacteria known to cause tooth decay. An unhealthy gut also keeps beneficial vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, calcium, and Vitamin D from being absorbed. If minerals are not available to repair the tooth enamel, remineralization cannot happen.
Scientists are discovering just how important the gut is for overall health. Probiotics heal the gut by decreasing the number of harmful bacteria and creating an environment optimal for processing vitamins and minerals. If the gut is unhealthy, then the body is unable to digest food the way it should. Thus, the body will be deprived of essential nutrients, causing the body to become unwell.
Phytic acid is a phosphorous molecule that takes calcium away from the human body, compromising healthy teeth. The modern human diet and growing practices have produced diets high in phytic acid from grains and nuts. Diets high in phytic acid are low in calcium and other necessary vitamins and minerals. Upon removal of phytic acid from the diet, the beneficial vitamins and minerals can begin to strengthen and remineralize teeth. As a result, a healthy diet is essential for teeth health. You may also consider supplementation of minerals due to phytic acid’s presence in the modern diet.
How Teeth Can Be Remineralized
Just like skin, teeth can usually repair minor cavities on their own. By remineralizing, enamel can be strengthened and repaired before a cavity forms or becomes larger. Tooth decay can be healed with mineralization, to a degree. Remineralization is only useful on the outer part of the tooth. It is essential to start the task of remineralization as soon as possible to prevent any decay from going deeper into the enamel. Supplementation of minerals may be necessary to remineralize as quickly as possible.
Teeth are remineralized through a diet low in foods containing phytic acid, high in foods containing calcium and vitamin D, and supplementation of orthosilicic acid. What is orthosilicic acid? It is a natural form of silicon, one of the most abundant elements present in the earth. (To be clear, silicon and silicone—the human-made product—are two different products.)
Orthosilic acid is a natural ingredient found in seafood, seawater, and whole grains. It is sometimes called “soluble silica” because it is organic and edible. Orthosilic acid is involved in the development of collagen and bone by stimulating collagen and bone-forming cells. Studies have shown that orthosilicic acid promotes bone mineralization in both humans and animals. Silicon concentrations in humans become lower with age, especially in women. Studies show that low silicon content is present when there is decreased bone mineral content. Supplementation of orthosilicic acid can help bone, including teeth, become stronger.
Silidyn products are known for their extensively researched formulations focused on bone and connective tissue support. Silidyn products are available in pharmacies worldwide and, in the US, exclusively through Silidyn USA. Orthosilic acid, contained in all Silidyn products, maintains and optimizes good health overall. The company’s primary focus is providing bone and tissue regeneration. Extensive research drives all of the Silidyn products.
Because the modern diet, especially grains, prevents adequate absorption of the vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy enamel development, teeth may need a little boost to remineralize. Adding orthosilicic acid to a teeth maintenance regimen can provide your teeth with the help it needs to fight bacteria and acids. Nature’s wear and tear, and the mouth’s environment can compromise your teeth’s ability to stay strong. By providing your teeth with the right minerals, like orthosilicic contained in Silidyn, the teeth’s enamel can become healthier and stay stronger.