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Your Mouth and its Mortal Enemies
13 June 2017 No comments
Common mouth diseases and their natural treatments
Do you take excellent care of your mouth (oral cavity) and everything in it? You should. And on a daily basis, we might add. Your mouth including your teeth and gums play an essential role in your digestive system. Furthermore, your mouth has an additional task, and that is speech. If your mouth is troubled by common mouth diseases, it may affect the way you talk.
Your tongue is responsible for taste and helps you out with the words you speak. Your lips keep your food in place while you masticate (chew). Also, your lips contribute to pronunciation. You cut, tear, and grind food with your teeth before swallowing it. In the end, all the structures in your mouth work together to provide your body with adequately prepared nutrition. If it weren’t for them, a huge chunk of steak would still be present in your stomach, unaltered and still intact. Imagine how hard that would be for the rest of your gastrointestinal tract to digest! Your mouth and its structural soldiers are gatekeepers of good nutrition. Keep them alert and healthy.
If you don’t take good care of the structures in your mouth, you may experience some of the common mouth diseases below:
- Gingivitis. Gingivitis is the medical term for early gum disease and inflammation. The main cause of gingivitis is bacteria that produce toxins. These toxins lead to swelling, redness, and more inflammation. You’ll notice this especially when you brush your teeth, and your gums begin to bleed. Untreated, gingivitis can worsen to periodontal disease where bones and supporting tissues for your teeth are affected.
- Mouth ulcers. There are many causes of mouth ulcers. Often they are caused by B vitamin or other nutritional deficiencies. They can be painful or painless. The main point you should remember is that if your mouth ulcer lasts more than ten days, you should see your dentist.
- Oral candidiasis (thrush ). Fungal infection in the mouth manifests as white spots on the surface of your tongue or mouth. Swallowing is difficult, and patients often complain of a sore throat.
- Cold sores. These skin lesions are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). They appear as clusters of red blisters outside your mouth, most commonly around the lips or under the nose. They’re very contagious.
- Scurvy. An almost forgotten disease, scurvy is rarely seen nowadays except for in a few selected populations. It’s caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. In the past, it was frequent among 17th and 18th-century sailors on long voyages. Nowadays, it’s limited to developing countries as a result of malnutrition. Aside from gum disease, other symptoms include anaemia, weakness, easy bruisability, personality changes, and poor wound healing.
Natural Remedies for Your Mouth’s Mortal Enemies
- Bioflavonoids. The majority of the diseases mentioned above cause some degree of inflammation in your mouth. What better way to fight inflammation than with naturally occurring bioflavonoids. These compounds are the subject of intense research since they’ve been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-thrombogenic, antidiabetic, neuroprotective, and anticancer properties. There are several types of bioflavonoids found naturally in fruits, vegetables, wine, tea, and even dark chocolates.
- Fruits rich in vitamin C are also super packed with bioflavonoids. Examples include fruit from the camu camu tree (Myrciaria dubia), flowers or rose hips of the plant Rosa canina, fruit of the acerola shrub (Malphigia emarginata), and the fruit of the amla tree (Phyllanthus emblica).
Together with bioflavonoids, vitamin C serves as a potent antioxidant hunting down the waste products of inflammation and prohibiting them from causing further damage. Of course, if you’re not looking for something different, the usual oranges, red peppers, grapefruit, and guavas are around too. Vitamin C is needed in the production of collagen, a structural protein that has an essential role in gum healing.
- Antioxidant rich foods like berries, red & purple grapes, dark chocolate, tea, red cabbage and other fresh fruits and vegetables work hand in hand with vitamin C and bioflavonoids to fight inflammation. They’re great for gum disease.
- B Vitamins. There are eight wonderful vitamins in the B complex. They’re all required for cell growth in your gums. Deficiency in any one of them can lead to recurrent mouth sores, oral candidiasis, and atrophic glossitis (inflamed tongue). Signs that may indicate that you have a vitamin B deficiency include a swollen tongue, pale tissues on the inner sides of your cheeks, difficulty swallowing, and a burning sensation on your tongue. A special shout out goes to vitamin B12 for its inverse relationship with tooth loss. Research documented that the more vitamin B12 you have in your system, the lower your chances are of suffering from tooth loss secondary to gum disease. Good sources of vitamin B12 include red meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and eggs.
- Coconut oil pulling. Coconut oil has established its presence and usefulness when it comes to your health. Did you know that it can help you detoxify your oral cavity? That’s right. Coconut oil pulling is an amazing oral detoxification method done by rinsing your mouth with a tablespoon of coconut oil for 10-20 minutes. Research has documented that coconut oil pulling prevents tooth decay, reduces harmful bacteria (like Streptococcus mutans, a cause of dental plaque), and decreases the severity of gingivitis symptoms. Click here for instructions.
- Lysine for cold sores. Most cases of cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Aside from conventional treatment with antiviral drugs, lysine can be used to help alleviate the symptoms, make your recovery faster, and probably decrease the number of attacks per year. Oral lysine interferes with the absorption of arginine in your digestive tract. Arginine is a known activator of HSV-1. Lysine, like vitamin C is also needed in the formation of collagen.
- Propolis or bee glue is a substance made by bees which contains a lot of flavonoids.
- Eucalyptus oil has shown some antimicrobial properties against HSV-1 and fungal species that colonise your oral cavity. A few drops can be added to water as an oral rinse.
- Thyme oil contains thymol, a natural dental varnish that shields your teeth from tooth decay. It also has natural antibacterial properties that get rid of harmful bacteria in your mouth.
- Colloidal silver. This solution of fine silver and water may be a good option for people with HSV-1. Not only does it support the immune system but it may also interfere with the normal function of the virus.
- Of course, let’s not forget the mainstays of oral care: calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D.
Click here for additional practical and easy-to-do tips to keep your gums and teeth healthy.
The Bottom Line
You don’t have to worry about the signs and symptoms of common mouth diseases if you take good care of your mouth. Though it's still good to be familiar with them. Natural forms of treatments and our useful tips will help you in taking care of your mouth and the structures within so you can prevent mouth diseases altogether. Keep those gatekeepers healthy!
- Ross, A. C. (2014). Modern nutrition in health and disease. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
- Fundukian, L. J. (2014). The Gale encyclopedia of alternative medicine. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, Cengage Learning.