Cavities, or dental caries as they are called in dentistry, are the progressive loss of enamel from teeth due to the acid secreted by the streptococcus mutans and lactobacillus species of bacteria. This is in response to their fermentation of glucose, sucrose or fructose that is their food source, and part of the modern industrialized and processed diet. Loss of saliva production due to use of certain medications, medical conditions such as localized head and neck cancers and regional radiation therapy can increase the risk of forming cavities as well.

In addition to tooth brushing, lowering carbohydrate consumption and avoidance of tobacco, there are some other interventions that can save you money on your dentist bill. Firstly, avoid acidic beverages such as soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit infused herbal teas, as they contain substantial quantities of citric acid, which can dissolve tooth enamel. The calcium phosphate salts in hard cheeses help with tooth re-mineralization, if eaten after meals. In addition, the polyphenol in both green and oolong teas known as ECGC or Epigallocatechin Gallate, has an inhibitory effect on those above mentioned mouth bacteria.

As for nutritional interventions, a good multivitamin that contains strontium, zinc, molybdenum, vanadium and manganese will aid in bone building and enamel formation. Finally, using Xylitol gum and toothpaste is also inhibitory to the s. mutans cavity producing bacterium.

Join us next week when we’ll talk about Vitamin B3.

Be Well & Be Zen

Alex Audette TCMP, R.Ac.

 

References:

R. Gaby., Dental Caries., Nutritional Medicine (2011)., ps.243-46., Ch. 258., ISBN13: 978-0-9828850-0-0. Fritz Perlberg Publishing, Concord, NH.

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