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Friday, October 27, 2023

Oral Health for Total Health podcast

 Perhaps you’ve heard that our ancient Cro-Magnon ancestors in Europe of perhaps 35,000 years ago and more tend to have near-perfect dentition, despite not having toothbrushes, floss, or dentists…

Why do you suppose this is?  And it’s not because they lived such short lives that they didn’t have time to develop cavities and the like.  Some did die young; indeed, such active lives in the outdoors, hunting with primitive tools and fighting large animals took their toll.  But, as always when comparing mortality in ancient times, we often forget that mortality figures are skewed by infant mortality in those times before hospitals and birthing assistance.  Many infants (and young mothers) dying in childbirth just make overall death rates far more likely, and much younger.

Indeed, many Cro-magnon men and women, once they reached adulthood, went on to live quite long lives.  After all- they all exercised intensively, perforce, and ate a wonderful, Paleolithic diet of mostly meat, with some fruits and vegetables, when available.  No sedentary couch potatoes were possible in those times!

Most skulls of these early humans display wonderful tooth health, lifelong, unless a tooth was literally knocked out by a bad fall, or in a brutal fight.  Today, strangely, virtually all of us, with very few exceptions, have many major tooth and gums interventions over our lives, at great pain and expense.  Why?

Back to the Future:

Certain things we are encouraged to do today should be gotten rid of!  Others should be supplemented by other practices, ones that are more rooted in the biology of our Paleolithic ancestors.  

For instance, I believe that dentist ‘interventions’ should be kept at the minimum.  Sterilizing your oral cavity by, say going inside your mouth and completely carpet bombing the microbiome of your mouth and teeth, will destroy the bad bacteria, but also killing all of the good bacteria.  Here is what recent research, and myself recommend:

Do NOT floss!  Almost all dentists will deny it, but flossing pushes the bacteria from between the teeth deep into the gums.  Not good!

Use a water pick appliance instead. Water gently flushes the teeth and gums, and does so comparatively gently.


Don’t brush 3X per day, and don’t use a fluoridated toothpaste.  

Once at night before bed is plenty.  An electric toothbrush is the best, followed by the Water Pick.  Use a natural toothpaste like Earth Paste.  If you can, avoid fluoridated water- fluoride is actually a toxic chemical, that causes weaker, more brittle teeth that also become mottled and brownish-yellow.

Do buy Xylitol sweetened gums and candies!

Xylitol, which is a natural sweetener made from plants, is indigestible to the bad bacteria in your mouth.  BUT, they don’t know it, and eat that xylitol to their fill- and then starve!  Then, the good bacteria can multiply therein…

The last, and most transformative to your dental health, is to start oil pulling daily!  If you’re not familiar with this ancient Ayurvedic practice, here is how to do it:

Keep a little dish or bowl of coconut oil in your bathroom.  Sprinkle it liberally with Xylitol.  (It’s inexpensive, and can be used in baked goods as well in lieu of sugar).  

Each day, as you prepare to shower, cut a small piece of the hardened oil (in winter), and spoon out a bit into your mouth in summer.  Start in to “swishing’ it about in your mouth as you shower, pushing it all around, through your teeth, whatever, as you go.

At the end of your bathroom routine (mine is each morning after my workout), spit the oil out into the toilet, knowing that bad bacteria galore has been starved and swept via the oil out of your oral cavity!  You are now clean as the wind-driven snow, without using harsh chemicals ala the dentist, and yet your mouth is thriving with beneficial organisms working avidly on your oral health.  For their health, is your health!  You are a team, for life.

That is it.  Of course, the more carnivorous your overall diet, the better it is for your health, both of mouth, and body!  Sugar is bad for you, and best avoided, and while honey, maple syrup, and fruit are all better than sugar: they should be minimized.  

Animal products are your friends in food.  Dairy, meat, and animal fats like tallow and butter and cheese are all wonderful!  

Seed oils: margarine, corn and every other vegetable nightmare oil are horrible!  Also, many vegetables like spinach and beet greens and kale are loaded with oxalates, which are very damaging.  

But, that is the subject for another podcast…

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