Prevent tooth loss naturally
Q: I watched my wife go through the painful process of getting dentures, and it was just awful! I’ve been lucky with my teeth and want to keep them. I brush regularly and floss when I can. Is there anything else worth trying?
Dr. Wright: There’s an old dentist’s saying that if you ignore your teeth, they’ll go away. I’m glad to hear you’re interested in giving your teeth the care and attention they deserve, and, indeed, there are some natural treatments that will help your teeth and gums stay healthy.
The first item on the list is propolis, a resin manufactured by bees. Propolis has strong antimicrobial benefits against all kinds of bacteria, including ones that cause tooth decay. In one double-blind crossover study, researchers looked at whether propolis could fight and prevent plaque buildup. Volunteers who used a propolis mouthwash were able to significantly reduce plaque on their teeth, and propolis toothpastes have shown similar, positive results.
You also may be able to protect your teeth simply by making green or black tea your morning beverage of choice. Several studies have found that the tannins in tea can prevent two of the major types of bacteria involved in tooth decay, Streptococeus mutans and S. sobrinus, from adhering to teeth. And one double-blind study also found that chewing green tea candy can reduce gum inflammation.
Another simple, affordable option for taking care of your gums is tea tree oil. In one double-blind study volunteers received treatment with either tea tree oil gel, a chlorhexidine gel, or a placebo gel. Tea tree oil significantly improved volunteers’ gum health, reducing both bleeding and gingivitis.
Give these safe, natural remedies a try, and let’s see if we can keep those chompers chomping a good long time.
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