Our mouth health is influenced by many things, but it’s primarily it’s influenced by the saliva that flows into it and coats every surface of our gums and teeth. Healthy saliva offers incredible benefits as it is a perfectly balanced supersaturated solution of the minerals that compose our teeth, and immune cells and nutrients that help heal gum tissues. There are studies where saliva has even outshone commercial pastes for re-mineralizing teeth and reducing sensitivity, but we have to give it sufficient opportunity to interact with our teeth and gums.
To enjoy the amazing ability of saliva to increase the mineral density of teeth and help heal gum problems, there are 3 important things to consider:
1) Our daily habits
Every time we sip or snack, we dilute our saliva. Healthy saliva is a supersaturated solution of minerals, literally bursting with the minerals that heal our teeth. Every time we eat or drink anything – even a sip of water – we dilute and thin our saliva and make it acidic, which reduces it’s healing capacity. When we sip or nibble over a prolonged period (especially acidic drinks like wine, beer, sparkling water, soda, teas, coffee etc.) we disable our saliva completely and so our teeth will begin to erode as they lose minerals, becoming progressively weaker and possibly more sensitive. So try to eat and drink in confined intervals and end the session with some Zellie’s dental mints or gum that simulate a flow of alkaline saliva. Then don’t eat or drink for 30-60 minutes as a “mineralizing exercise” for your mouth! If you do this twice or three times a day you should see positive results, especially if you use the afternoon hours when the circadian rhythm of your saliva naturally generates more mineralized saliva to heal your mouth.
2) Our Diet
What we eat influences this mineral content of saliva. We can increase saliva’s mineral content by increasing the variety of vegetables we consume. Try to include new foods into your menu of vegetables, especially selecting ones that boost immune health: foods like garlic, onions, mushrooms, and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower. In a half hour test your mouth pH and if you have acidic saliva, you may find it has improved. It’s great to add veggie variety but another idea is to add a pinch of herbs to meals. You may also want to add fermented food like sauerkraut or kafir to your day, or try colon health probiotics for a couple of months to try and promote mineral absorption from your gut. If you travel, or are under stress, or cannot eat well, maybe consider a good food-derived mineral supplement.
3) Our Parasympathetic Nervous System:
The onslaught of daily life, stress, and hormonal changes can affect our saliva and make it more acidic. Our parasympathetic nervous system is the part of our nervous system that kicks into action as we rest and relax. This system also strives to control our mouth pH and make it more alkaline and defensive, creating a healthier oral environment, where good bacteria will multiply and become protective of our gums and teeth. Sometimes during hormonal change or pregnancy it can be almost impossible to control mouth acidity and this is when our teeth and gums will need some extra help from us!
Additional help is available!
We all need to mineralize our teeth and support our gum health daily, so if you are experiencing hormonal changes, are stressed or pregnant, or if you take medications that dry your saliva (allergy meds, blood pressure mediation, diuretics and more), have had radiation or chemo, or have an autoimmune problem that has attacked your salivary glands, then you will need additional help to protect your teeth and gums to avoid damage and disease.
Zellie’s are made with pure xylitol, and without glycerin. These dental mints and gum were designed to help people with dental problems. Xylitol will reduce plaque and harmful bacteria in the mouth, and xylitol also feeds healthy oral bacteria and stimulates a flow of saliva (even in dry mouths or when salivary glands have been damaged).
For over 40 years, xylitol, used in combination with my Complete Mouth Care System, has helped thousands and thousands of people defend themselves from mouth acidity, dental damage and wear, cavities and gum disease. When we nurture our saliva and use oral care products that work in synergy with this goal, we nurture the healthy bacteria in our mouths and thus develop a healthy oral microbiome that can offer protection and comfort at any age
Be sure to review the best eating & drinking habits above and consider enjoying a wider selection of veggies each day. Also remember the value of rest and relaxation – especially before sleeping at night – a time when our mouths are under extra attack from acidic saliva. Saliva flow is diminished while we sleep and this is why it is so important to use well-selected oral care products that encourage natural healing and boost oral health.
Your dentist can physically repair damaged teeth and clean around your gums but your dentist cannot make your mouth bacterially healthier. This is something we must do daily and we can only achieve this by supporting the health of our saliva and adopting habits that encourage interaction between saliva and our mouth, as often as possible.