Using Nutrition to Improve Oral Health (+ my oral care routine)
I often talk about the importance of oral health and how the health of your body determines the health of your mouth, and vice-versa. While most of us grew up with conventional dentistry and know the importance of brushing, flossing, and even wearing a night guard if we grind our teeth, it's important to go a few steps deeper into what I call "functional oral health".
What Is Functional Oral Health?
Functional oral health encompasses an understanding that the microbiome of the oral cavity is extremely important. Harmful bacteria is responsible for everything from bad breath, tooth decay, to gum disease. From what I have seen both in my own health and in my practice, is that gut health (as in the gut microbiome/intestinal flora), plays a huge role in the health of your teeth and gums. In this post, I will be sharing how you can improve your oral health through nutrition and through establishing a proper oral care routine.
Eating Raw Carrots and Apples - eating raw carrots and apples will help strengthen your masseter muscles, which is important for oral health long-term, and it will also help lower bacteria causing plaque.
Drink Green or White Tea - drinking green or white tea will help your body be fueled with antioxidants, which help prevent oral decay. Drinking light teas will also help prevent tooth staining. While I am a fan of high-quality coffee, it's important to note that it's still not great for oral health due to the staining and acidic nature.
Incorporate Yellow Dock Root, Alfalfa Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, and Turmeric Root - adding these herbs into your food when possible, or making an herbal infusion with these herbs is a great step that will help your teeth be healthier. All of these herbs are known to support oral health.
Balance Minerals - although this might require an HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis), which does involve working with a practitioner (like me), it's important to know that the best way to get enough minerals is through your diet.
Eat Vitamin K2 - vitamin K2 is extremely important for oral health, and many are low in this nutrient. The best food sources are grass fed butter, cheese, and liver.
Add in an oral probiotic - adding in an oral probiotic (a chewable one, so the bacteria end up directly in the oral cavity) can be one of the best decisions for your oral health. An oral probiotic will be especially helpful if you have spent years using a mouthwash that removes the good bacteria from your mouth along with the harmful bacteria. A spore based probiotic (like JustThrive, use code KALEMEKOURT15) will also be helpful for improving oral health.
How Can You Address Oral Health Beyond Nutrition?
For oral health, it's obviously going to be important to establish a good oral care routine using high quality products. Although there might be other products out there that work well for you, here are some products that have worked well for me.
Christopher's Tooth Powder For Gum Health - I use this powder prior to brushing to address gum health through using herbs that target bacterial overgrowth within the gum-line. If you have ever been told that you are at risk of periodontal disease, this might be a great option for you.
2. Boka Nano-Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste - hydroxyapatite is "a mineral of the apatite group that is the main inorganic constituent of tooth enamel and bone". This toothpaste contains a valuable part of what your teeth are actually comprised of, making this a great addition for most individuals as a regular toothpaste.
3. Tooth and Gums Tonic - amazing for addressing bacterial overgrowth in the mouth, this mouthwash is approved by top biological dentists. Using this every night (either gargling or using a water pic), is a great way to keep bacteria at bay while sleeping.
4. Oral Probiotics - using an oral probiotic (as mentioned above) is a great way to replenish your mouth with good bacteria. There are many options available, but this is one that worked well for me.