Sunday, August 22, 2010

Remineralization of Teeth

Natural Treatments for Promoting Enamel Strengthening
Enamel Re-Mineralization

Dentists will tell you flat out that re-growing enamel is not possible. The formation of enamel is a complex process that occurs via special cells called ameloblasts. When the new tooth erupts into the mouth, the ameloblasts die off because they are removed from their source of nutrition. Once the ameloblasts die off, there is no way to create new enamel.
Scientists have tried to artificially create enamel but the actual matrix structure is very complex and tough to replicate.
Like your nails, enamel is dead. However, like your nails, which can grow much quicker with lots of sunshine (Vitamin D) and good diet, enamel can be made to re-mineralize and strengthen through good diet and oral hygiene.Enamel is composed of a complex matrix of minerals, largely crystalline calcium phosphate. This high mineral content (96%) makes enamel one of the hardest substances in the human body, but also makes it vulnerable to a process called de-mineralization which leeches out mineral content from the enamel, thus weaking the enamel layer. This enamel layer is only 3mm or so thick. Even small changes in this layer will open weak spots for the acids produced by the dental bacteria to penetrate.
Your tooth enamel is in a constant state of flux between- demineralizing and remineralizing. Although this process is microscopic on a daily level, a poor diet combined with poor dental hygiene can quite rapidly cause your enamel to weaken over months and eventually to cause decay with certainty over years.
Acidic foods and acid from bacteria slowly dissolve some of the minerals out of your enamel everyday. But those minerals are quickly replaced by minerals and enzymes in your saliva. When the acids begin to dissolve mineral more quickly than your saliva can replace it you get a cavity.
Whiter Teeth Naturally
Whiteness of teeth depends on the color of the enamel and the underlying dentin in thetooth. Dentin is naturally yellow and begins to shine through the translucent enamel.Once you re-mineralize the enamel the thicker layer shows less of the yellow dentin underneath and naturally whitens the teeth. Although this effect is way more subtle than the dramatic whiter than white of an oxidizing agent such as Hydrogen Peroxide, overtime working on re-mineralzing your teeth will keep them from developing that dull yellow look.
How can we prevent tooth enamel loss?The question then becomes how can we naturally strengthen the enamel layer through re-mineralization, and also, most importantly, act quickly to stop the de-mineralization or weakening of the enamel layer?
First let's look at what de-mineralizes or weakens the enamel. There are four main factors that will quickly wreak havoc with tooth enamel.
An acid environment promotoes enamel lossCoke and most soda's contain not only lots of sugar but phosphoric acid, which is the same acid dentists use to etch the enamel prior to inserting a filling. There is no surer way to lose enamel quickly. Please visit this site from Columbia University New York, and look at the pictures of a tooth bathing in coke turning brown and sticky like chewed up candy, in a matter of a few weeks. Enamel can also be harmed by acid introduced from the mouth by acid reflux or vomiting. Bulimics commonly have severe enamel loss, and often need major cosmetic dental treatment to reverse years of enamel loss due to the acid stripping the enamel from the inside of the teeth.
Physical Force. Teeth can chip or be subject to trauma leading to loss of enamel. Chewing does not effect enamel loss, but grinding the teeth can lead to severe enamel loss and poor dental health as the teeth become compromised. Some dental treatments - poking and prodding with sharp instruments, careless scraping, veneers which require the delicate shaving of the enamel can also weaken the enamel layer, leading to root canals and dental decay.
Commercial Toothpastes harmful for re-mineralisationMost toothpaste contains glycerin. Many non fluoride toothpastes use glycerin as a common filler. Glycerin is an in-active ingredient in most toothpastes and is used as a filler. The glycerine is sticky and coats the tooth with a thin film which makes it more difficult for the tooth to re-mineralize. The re-mineralization process occurs through the saliva. Coat the enamel with a sticky residue of paste, and they won't remineralize. Nearly all commercial toothpastes contain glycerin. For toothpastes that don't click here.
Foods that De-mineralize your tooth enamelProbably the worst offenders are the soda and candy. You will need to eliminate all soda's from your diet. If you really have to drink soda, try drinking it all quickly, and rinse your mouth with water afterwards. Sipping and taking regular small slugs is the worst.
Next on the list of worst offenders are all those sticky, strarchy processed foods - cookies, muffins, refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup - basically almost anything that comes in a packet that you love to snack on. The starch is difficult to break down, and causes more acid to be produced in the mouth. They also stick on the teeth. Eliminate all the bad Hydrogenated Oils and margarines, alcohol, tobacco, pasteurized milk, soft drinks and artificial sweeteners of every kind.
Bizarelly, bread and cereals are also bad for your teeth. Although we are always told that wholemeal bread is fine it's not for teeth. It's actually the phytic acid that is present in grains, nuts and seeds that blocks the absorption of minerals that causes the problem, not the bread itself. One way around is this is to soak your cereals or buy them sprouted. Look in the aisles of your health food store and you will find plenty of sprouted grain products.
Celiac disease is a disorder characterized by an auto-immune response to gluten, also commonly results in demineralization of the enamel. The digestive system is impaired and does not properly release vital minerals into the body for use by the teeth in building enamel. Although celiac is an extreme example, it can rapidly be seen how a poor diet can prevent absorption of the vital foods needed for remineralisation. Teenagers that eat all processed foods, junk food, lots of cereals and bread won't be getting anything near the dietary intake they need. Bulimics suffer in two ways. First the acid from the vomit corrodes the inside of the teeth, so much so, that the teeth can hurt. Second, the poor diet makes mineral loss acute. The combination can be very serious for dental health.
How to re-mineralize teeth enamel?Now we now what causes enamel loss, let's look at how you can add re-mineralize and strengthen your enamel. Remember that this is a two stage process. If you don't cure the leeching of the enamel by the acids and take steps to allow for the re-mineralisation you won't be able to reverse the enamel loss.
There are several steps you will need to take the reverse the enamel loss. First you need to ensure the teeth are clean on the surface. The saliva coats the teeth and adds minerals from the trace minerals in your saliva. Avoid anything that leads to a dry mouth - smoking, alcohol etc. or reduces the amount of saliva, won't help. You want to encourage your salivary glands, and keep your teeth very clean.
Throw away your fluoride based toothpaste.Make your own paste by mixing salt and baking soda 50/50 in a container. Then just put a teaspoon in a mixture in a small glass or cup and add a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Just brush on. You can buy commercial toothpastes from Eco-dent - which is a toothpowder which is sold at health foods stores and Whole Foods in the US, but not in their London stores. If you have never used a toothpowder before, put a small pea sized amount on your palm and pick it up using a wet toothbrush. After that, its just like using a paste. Also good is a paste high in calcium and anti-bacterial agents to promote remineralization and reduce dental bacteria from You can also buy tooth soap - just google it, and you will find many suppliers on-line. Or just use a natural olive oil based soap made naturally with no fragrances from a whole food supplier or soap-maker. Don't use a bar soap like Dove or other mass produced soap using petro-chemicals. Not only does it taste awful, you don't want to be rinsing you mouth with petro-chemcial byproducts. The toothsoap sounds awful, but you can used to it very quickly.Now that have clean teeth, the important thing is now to get the saliva to release the minerals back into the enamel. First you have to add the minerals back into your diet.
Foods to add to your diet that will encourage re-mineralization?The first step is make sure that your have adequate supplies of Vitamin D. The crucial effect of vitamin D on bone is to provide the proper balance of calcium and phosphorus to support mineralization, which is exactly what we are trying to achieve. Bioactive vitamin D or calcitriol is a steroid hormone that has long been known for its important role in regulating body levels of calcium and phosphorus, and in mineralization of bone.
The fact is most people are very deficient in Vitamin D. Especially in the winter, where it is almost impossible to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D from sunshine, vitamin D levels are woefully deficient. Research carried out by a team of scientists from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine analyzed vitamin D levels in 13,331 individuals. An unhealthy deficiency of vitamin D is considered to be a blood level of 17.8 nanograms per millileter or lower, while the optimal blood level is suggested to be 30 nanograms per milliliter or higher. In the summer, most people slap on the suncreen and don't get the necessary sun. Kids now spend so much time in the car or inside, that they rarely get the sun exposure they need. Approximately 41 percent of U.S. men and 53 percent of U.S. women have levels lower than 28 nanograms per milliliter.
Good dietary sources of Vitamin D are fish oil , krill oil and egg yolks, and you can always use a supplement. It is recommended that you have a lab test your Vitamin D levels and optimize accordingly. You can never get too much Vitamin D from the sun - but you can from too many supplements. Particularly good and effective is the krill oil.
Home Made Stocks encourage enamel growthMake your own stocks from chicken, marrow, fish bones etc. the traditional way and freeze the contents so that you can have a daily broth full of calcium and gelatin that can be easily absorbed by the body for bone growth. Marrow bone, and fish stock using the heads of the fish are particularly good. The commerical stocks just won't cut it and are full of salt and other chemicals to prolong the life of the product. You can make this process easier by making a lot of stock in one go and freezing it for use in soups and sauces throughout the week.
Traditional Sea SaltSea Salt contains many trace minerals that are vital to bone growth. Many people have tried to cut down on their salt intake from processed foods by simply not using salt at home. This is well meaning but a big mistake. You need a little sea salt, and no processed foods. Use a traditional sea salt - many of the best are French, but avoid the processed table salts.
Traditional Fermented FoodsEat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, natto, pickled vegetables, and other foods that contain high levels of natural probiotics.
Kefir or Raw Milk for bone growthDrink raw unpasteurized milk - not the pasteurized variety - or Kefir.
Vitamin K2 essential for bone growth and mineral absorbtion Eat at foods high in Vitamin K2 such as marrow, natto, high vitamin butter, egg yolks, hard cheese, chicken liver pate and salami cured naturally.
Finally, make sure you Vitamin C levels are high to promote strong gum health. For more on the best diet for optimal dental health click here.
The steps to strengthen your enamel are not that easy. This is why the dentists are empirically correct when they say it's impossible to reverse tooth decay and strenghten enamel.
Very few people do this. Many people who just can't give up their refined food sugar addictions are going to find it hard. Even if you cannot follow all of the diet, eliminating the worst offenders and adding the good oils will make a big difference. Your teeth will be less sensitive in a relatively short amount of time. Vegetarians will find the diet particularly challenging, especially if they are unwilling to take krill oil or fish oil supplement. Natto is an excellent source of K2, but is an acquired taste. Read - it's absoutely foul. Many people will be unwilling or unable for legal reasons to purchase raw milk.
Key to the diet is ensuring adequate Vitamin D levels and taking the krill or fish oil. Just taking this step alone will result in better dental health. You don't have to do ALL of the things mentioned.
Oil Pulling One of the best ways to stimulate your salivary glands and get rid of the toxic dental bacteria is to try oil pulling. Just swill a teaspoon of olive or sesame oil around your mouth for 15 minutes or more, and then carefully spit out all the oil. You will find the oil is now white. This gets your teeth clean, encourages the flow of saliva, and releases minerals from the oil.
Remember, the mineralization - demineralization process is a constant one. By taking a few steps to ensure that you are mineralizing more than you are de-mineralzing, you can keep your enamel strong and healthy, and never suffer from cavities.
Once the enamel is penetrated, and then drilled by your dentist for a filling, the tooth is susceptible to further decay. To halt the inevitable slide from filling, to larger filling to crown, to root canal, to implant, you need to concentrate on preventing the enamel de-mineralization, through diet.
Cause of Tooth Discoloration

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