What the Tooth Fairy Didn't Tell You (Continued)

 

In general, acid-forming foods include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains and legumes. The problem is that many of the non-acid promoting foods like citrus and juices are actually quite acidic going in and are metabolized into alkaline promoting end products, thus helping to maintain an ideal blood pH of 7.35-7.4.

So, a food that is acidic in the mouth (and could promote decay and erosion), may actually be good for the rest of your system. What's bad for your mouth may be good for the rest of you! Confused? You're not alone. Most doctors and dentists are not taught nearly enough about nutrition in medical and dental schools and the field is constantly evolving so it's hard to keep up. For you, it can be very relevant and so it's important that you know that your health care provider is up to date on the topic.

Here's a tip: If you need to eat foods that go in acidic so you can help maintain a healthy pH, then you need to minimize the affect on your teeth. That's part of the rationale for brushing after eating. Rinsing as well has a place and we'll talk a little later about water itself. Read Chapter 9 on brushing and flossing, something I didn't know how to do properly until I was taught how in dental School. Another slip up by the Tooth Fairy.

Keeping up with the science is becoming both more difficult and easier. There's so much to learn and the Internet makes learning it relatively easy.    It takes a commitment of time and resources. A dentist who makes such a commitment can serve you well.

There's been a lot in the news lately about protobiotics. They're advertised all over the place for their gut-helping effect. Probiotics contain specific strains of live bacteria with proven health benefits. Traditionally, they have been associated with gastro-intestinal health. Recently, researchers have begun to test their effectiveness in changing the biofilm in the mouth and other areas such as the genito-urinary tract, the respiratory tract and the immune system. Nothing definitive has emerged but initial results are promising.

In fact, a 2009 study of probiotic-containing mouthwash showed a substantial decrease in the level of marker bacteria. Stay tuned!

The bottom line is that biofilm and everything that goes into its makeup is important to your systemic and overall health. It is a complex issue that should be reviewed and discussed with your health- care providers.

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Last Modified Date: April 22, 2014

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