Swish Away Your Cavities and Rebuild Your Damaged Teeth

snerfuStarred Page By snerfu, 27th Dec 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Oral Care

Oil pulling is not known to many, yet it is a very old practice. It has several health benefits, primarily in preserving the oral hygiene and in related sectors like digestion and calmer disposition. Let us look at the methods of doing this and how it changes our lives.

What is caries?

Caries is a major dental problem that can occur in root or on enamel of teeth. In general terms, this refers to destructive action on bones anywhere in the body. When it occurs in tooth, people call it tooth decay. Remineralisation and demineralisation are important processes that determine the health of the teeth. Food debris that accumulates on surface of teeth produces acids. These acids are responsible for dental caries.

What is oil pulling? How long has it been in use?

Oil pulling is a method of cleansing the using oil. Awareness of this type of cleansing method is not widespread. Use of oil pulling in conventional methods of medicine is prevalent since ancient times.

Why should anyone use toothpaste for brushing?

One should toothpaste for a number of reasons.
1) Provides soft interface for cleaning action
2) Contains agents that cut across plaque
3) Helps shine teeth
4) Contains fluoride that helps fight plaque build up
Toothpaste mixes with water to form foam that reduces the effect of bristles that impact directly. This prevents damage to gums and helps provide a smoother action while brushing. There are certain substances present that help to shine the teeth. It also helps in remineralisation.

Certain amount of plaque is already present in the mouth. The agents in toothpaste help reduce acidity and react with plaque and subsequently dislodge them from their place. Regular use of toothpastes will prevent formation of plaque. Almost all toothpastes contain fluoride that is very effective in fighting plaque.

What are the advantages of oil pulling?

One can summarize those advantages of oil pulling as follows.
a) Use of natural material
b) Removes bacteria
c) Protects the enamel
d) Strengthens gums
e) Prevents odour in mouth
Oil is natural and has several beneficial properties. We use them in cooking for those very same beneficial purposes. When we use them for gargling or swishing, certain amount of oil is absorbed. This helps in metabolic activities of the person.

These are very effective in removing bacteria, because of their higher density. They have lower acidity and hence provide a safe environment where bacteria cannot grow. Bacteria are exposed to the more viscous flow of oils and get washed away.

Oil protects enamel by providing more minerals and by coating the surfaces of teeth. They thus protect gums and prevent any material from sticking in gaps. Since there is lower amount of food particles left for bacteria to act upon, the odour formed in the mouth is lesser.

What common factors contribute to tooth decay?

One can see some habits that lead to tooth decay, very common, but very often not avoided are these following points.
1) Not brushing after eating
2) Not replacing toothbrush soon enough
3) Using hard-bristled toothbrush
4) Not flossing
5) Use mouthwashes
6) Eating too much of candy and sweets
7) Not having a regular check up with your dentist

People simply gargle after a meal. There is some amount of food left behind in the crevices or stuck in fissures of teeth. When you brush, you remove all these food particles.

When toothbrush becomes old through prolonged use, there is improper bristle action. The brushing does not produce enough cleaning response. This could cause bacteria build up leading to formation of plaque.

Using hard-bristled toothbrush is also detrimental to oral hygiene. The hard bristles tear up gums causing pus formation. The loosened gums will be ideal places for food particles to remain and create excessive bacteria.

Flossing removes those particle lodged between teeth. This is more so for people who are aged. For people with large gaps in their teeth, flossing is more helpful than brushing.
Rinse your mouth with mouthwashes containing fluoride. These prevent bacteria from forming. If you are prone to eat too much sweet, try to rinse the mouth out often. This will deter formation of plaque.

It is important that you one have periodic check up. This way one will know if there is any decay in hidden corners. Regular professional cleaning will help preserve the teeth and gums in immaculate condition.

What steps should one take while brushing?

First, buy a toothbrush that is recognised. Use toothpaste that has at least one of the following.
a) Minerals
b) Crystals for shining
c) Fluoride

Use any method comfortable but make sure that you cover your entire mouth. If you find difficulty handling the brush, change the toothbrush.

What should be shape of toothbrush one uses?

This should be pointed and about 1 inch across. Toothbrush bristles should not be too long or hard. Avoid brushes with handles that are too long. This will provoke an awkward brushing action that will injure the interior of mouth. Similarly, if the handle is too small, one will not have an effective brushing action.

How does mouthwash effect oral hygiene?

Calcium lactate mouthwash does not reduce plaque formation. However, mineral deposit was increased and this helps reduce formation of caries. Remineralisation here acts to preserve enamel. Mouthwash helps to alter pH conditions inside the mouth. Since acidic conditions lead to decay, these mouthwashes help to preserve optimum condition where bacteria cannot form.

What is decalcification? What relationship does decalcification bear to tooth decay?

Calcium in your tooth will leach out and if one is not careful enough, this will lead to tooth decay. It begins with formation of plaque that produces streptococcus mutans. Mouth bacteria feed on sugars and gives out acidic by-products. One may also develop white spots on tooth enamel, which is an indication of weak spots. If one does not attend to these destructive forces, it will destroy enamel and begin to attack interiors of teeth.

Can one reconstruct decayed teeth?

One can modify teeth that have mild attacks of decay. One may use teeth implants or go in for surgery if there is serious damage to root canal. However, avoiding tooth decay by modifying the diet and proper regular oral hygiene is best.

What danger does demineralization pose?

Demineralisation of outer layer of enamel takes place when one has sweet or acidic drinks. Acid attack layers of enamel and once depletion takes place fully the rot set it. Depletion of calcium and phosphate takes place during this process.

What chemical processes take place during tooth decay?

About 90-96% of the teeth enamel, is composed of minerals. These minerals become soluble when pH reaches 5.5, which is slightly acidic. Inner layers of teeth like dentin have lower content of minerals. Thus, they are easily decayed when exposed to acidic medium.

Why does the root of the tooth get decayed faster for some people?

Root of teeth is made primarily of cementum that has lesser content of minerals. Bacteria collect from food particles left behind to form plaque. The inner corners of mouth that have lower saliva flow rate will form plaque faster. Roots of teeth also decay faster for this reason.

What do you mean by remineralisation?
Remineralisation is a slow process that helps teeth reverse the bad effects of demineralisation. Use these steps to correct and regain your dental health.
a) Diet corrections
b) Avoid instances of dry mouth
c) Proper dental hygiene
Saliva is primary agent in avoiding demineralisation as this will act upon acids produced in the mouth and neutralise them. Problems occur for those who have lesser saliva production due to disease or due to physiological disposition. Over-the-counter medications and systemic diseases can cause hypo-salivation (lesser saliva production) or xerostomia (dry mouth syndrome). This happens also due to ageing or sometimes its cause may remain unknown. Normal flow of saliva is minimum flow rate of 0.3—0.4ml/minute.

How can we improve the Remineralisation process?
a) Use sea salt
b) Supplement food with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K2
c) Adding more vegetable and soups
d) Oil pulling at home

What is actual method of doing oil pulling for beginners?

Material used: Coconut oil or sesame oil
Frequency of repetition: Once a day / three to four times a week
Use coconut oil two to three teaspoons for swishing. Swishing is a technique of swirling oil in your mouth, in between gums and over all interiors to draw bacteria out. After you swish that oil for about a minute, spit it all out. This way one can remove all bacteria in the mouth. Since food is main cause for build up of bacteria, one should do this oil pulling only after finishing meals. Wait for half-an-hour and then begin. After you complete this process, wash with warm water to remove any unpleasant taste.

First timers will notice some effects like mucus drainage, headache or mild congestion. However, old timers will tell you that it is nothing to worry about at all. It has more advantages than one can recount.

What are inherent advantages of oil pulling?
Everything that takes place within the body has a direct relation to the mouth. Proper hygiene and care will ensure that all related activities remain pristine and unaffected. Overall, health improves when conditions are better. Moreover, there are no downsides to this provided one has used oil that is of superior quality.
What are the most effective treatment methods for caries?
1) Use of antimicrobial agents
2) Enhancing saliva flow
3) Changing behaviour
4) Use of sealants
5) Chlorhexidine
6) Fluoride
Antimicrobials can help prevent the formation of mutans streptococci that is primarily responsible for decay of teeth. Presently Chlorhexidine and Fluoride that have proven antimicrobial properties find use in various forms. Doctors use them as solutions in water, gels varnishes or as pastes for treating patients.
Varnishes and gels are most promising. Sealants are useful to close up pits or fissures. These are places where food particle accumulation is greatest.
One can change food habits or related activities like drinking sweetened and carbonated water. Brushing after every meal will also produce improvement in oral hygiene. One could also improve the salivary flow rate through medications.

What is correct method for brushing?


a) Use the brush slightly tilted against the gums
b) Keep movement of toothbrush within a limited range
c) Avoid hasty strokes with brush
d) Use the pointed head of brush to clean corners of mouth
e) Clean outsides and insides of teeth
f) Clean backsides of teeth
g) Rinse thoroughly after a brush
Angling the brush against the gums prevents tearing action. It also lets you get a feel of the mouth and the extent of brushing required. Small strokes will help push debris and polish teeth more effectively. Your mouth has corners you will not reach unless you try.
This is because the mouth closes tightly and will open only if you let it. The teeth accumulate lot of dirt on the backsides and far sides. If one is hasty, one will not remember to clean this portion. After a good brush, one should remember to rinse with water to remove excess toothpaste foam.

What is correct method for flossing?
1) Wrap floss twice over your hand and break of that length
2) Wrap the ends around your finger on either hand
3) Slip floss between teeth and use gentle pulling motion to dislodge any dirt
4) Wrap the floss over a tooth and pull gently
5) Insert floss against a tooth and pull rapidly while sliding it up and then down
6) Repeat the procedure for entire mouth
Do not pull floss over the gums too strongly. Do not use discarded or old floss. They will increase dirt level in mouth. Be particular to floss when you have eaten meats or food items that stick between your teeth.

Does remineralization occur for all people?
Remineralization and demineralization are ongoing processes. It is present in varying rates for different people. If one neglects their oral hygiene, demineralization rate will increase.
For remineralization to occur, it is essential that calcium is present. Presence of fluoride will help in the formation of new mineral crystals. Calcium and phosphate needed for remineralization is present in saliva.

Can we increase remineralization?

Use the following steps for correcting demineralisation and activating mineralisation naturally and effectively.
a) Use dental products that contain xylitol
b) Maintain a zero pH environment in the mouth
c) Eat nutritious food containing vitamins and minerals
Remineralisation occurs when there is constant interaction between minerals and saliva. The minerals deposit on enamel surface strengthening it. One should take care to avoid any food that causes pH imbalance. One can achieve this by including more vegetables in the diet. Good leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins; supplement them with fruits that provide ample amounts of minerals.

Can we see the remineralisation occur?
Remineralisation is a metabolic process that occurs constantly. Over time, we can see our teeth and gums gaining strength and the bad odor disappearing from the mouth.

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Tags

Bacteria, Benefits, Brushing, Floss, Health, Mineralisation, Mouth, Oil Pulling, Plaque, Teeth

Meet the author

author avatar snerfu
Bachelor, Christian, 53, settled in Madurai, India, like to watch football and tennis on TV. I also have occasional walks but try to read the Bible daily. For amusement, I read the newspaper.

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
28th Dec 2013 (#)

Comprehensive take on how to take care of our teeth, thanks Snerfu. I wish I had known these when I was younger! siva

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author avatar snerfu
28th Dec 2013 (#)

Many thanks for encouragement Mr Siva. Hope you have kept some cards to play for the new year.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
1st Jan 2014 (#)

I really enjoyed all of your posts this past 2013 and hope you continue doing it in this 2014, I wish you a Happy and a Prosperous New Year 2014, great job!

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author avatar snerfu
2nd Jan 2014 (#)

As usual your encouragement is contagious. Best wishes for the New Year to you too.

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