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Let food be your medicine










The teeth and gums need to be cared for through out life as the bacteria that flourish there can destroy the teeth silently beneath the gums without any symptoms for some time. Consuming too much sugary or carbohydrate foods can help feed the pathogenic bacteria and certain chemical conditions such as smoking can even cause friendly bacteria to switch into pathogenic types and begin to attack the teeth and gums.

The mouth is teaming with bacteria at all times and the balance of good and bad bacteria needs to be kept in check. at all times. Going to bed without cleaning the teeth allows the pathogenic (bad) bacteria to proliferate all night long and build up in layers upon the teeth and working their way  underneath the teeth deep into the root canals especially after sweet foods or alcohol. This is why the teeth can feel 'furry' in the morning and the breath tastes and smells rancid. That is thousands of bacteria that have been allowed to breed undisturbed and the smell is their toxic waste.


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This is also usually caused by this also or by infection and imbalance of bacteria in the guts. There is no point disguising this odour using lots of powerful harsh chemical mouthwashes as the alcohol in the mouthwash actually exasperates the problem and can provide the optimal conditions in the intestines for worms and parasites to infest and proliferate. The only way to clear the halitosis is to remove the root cause. Mouthwashes can not reach inside the tooth roots where the seriously damaging bacteria reside.

The bad bacteria produce a sticky substance by eating carbohydrates that are ingested and this allows them to stick to the teeth and breed. They then move up the teeth underneath the gums and begin to attack the soft tissues there causing pockets where more food gets trapped which continues to feed them and eventually the gums become inflamed, painful and swollen.

Unfortunately, by this time, much damage has been done already which is why it is vital to clean between the teeth after eating any food at all as soon as teeth are formed as a child. Floss and inter-dental brushes are the best way to do this.

Always use a soft toothbrush as it is not wise to cause abrasions to the gums as this allows the pathogenic bacterial to enter the gums and infect them. Change the toothbrush at least every 6 months and after any infections.

Always remember to brush the gums as well as the teeth and at least 2 full  minutes should be spent cleaning all teeth and the gums thoroughly after eating any food.

Avoid fluoride and other chemicals in toothpaste and drinking water. Drink bottled mineral water and use bicarbonate of soda and toothpastes with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, fennel, tea tree oil and coconut oil etc to clean the teeth as they are all gentle bacterial cleansers which do not damage the tooth enamel. Always remember to brush your gums as well as your teeth.

A visit to the professional dental hygienist every six months will ensure that the plaque and tartar that the bacteria has formed on the teeth gets removed before it can do serious damage inside the gums.

The longer it is left to clean the teeth professionally the more difficult and painful it becomes because the hygienist then has to clean underneath the gum pockets made by the bacteria as well.

Always avoid giving sweets to children to prevent tooth decay and many other adverse side affects. See Sugar Dangers.

Gum Disease

Diseased gums pump high levels of harmful bacterial components into the bloodstream. The skin of the oral cavity is known as "Oral Mucosa". It is very rich with blood vessels and if outside bacteria and the toxins which they produce get into the blood stream, they are off and running throughout the body.


 Periodontitis and Gingivitis

Periodontitus is one of two common types of gum inflammation, the other being gingivitis. Gingivitis is where the soft tissue around the teeth becomes inflamed, whereas Periodontitis is a deeper condition that affects the tissue that support the teeth and is also associated with loss of bone around the base of the teeth. The two diseases are linked in that persistent gingivitis can lead to periodontitis.

Gingivitus comes from bacteria that get into the soft gum tissue and infect it. The bacteria live in the plaque that builds up around the base of teeth due to poor dental hygiene. Plaque is a gradual accumulation of food debris, saliva and minerals.

Smoking tobacco causes serious gum disease and receding gums and will lead to tooth loss due to ingestion of the toxic chemicals in the burning tobacco. Nicotine also suppresses the signs of gum disease such as bleeding as it constricts the blood vessels and lowers the immune response to infection. The toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke then lead to infection and loss of tissue and eventually effect the bones which hold the teeth. If left untreated it can eventually lead to excruciatingly painful oral and jawbone cancer.


As dental plaque gets harder and thicker, it becomes what is known as dental calculus or tartar, a hard calcified layer that is virtually impossible to shift with normal brushing, you would have to get the dental hygienist to do it. It can even descend into pockets around the base of teeth inside the gums. This provides an ideal environment for the bacteria to breed and cause gum inflammation. For many people the symptoms are mild, with some bleeding but little pain or irritation, so it can be quite advanced before it is detected. It can also be associated with bad breath.


The bacteria in gum disease can enter your bloodstream through damaged blood vessels which run through the gums. This can increase the toxin load in your bloodstream which increases your risk of many chronic diseases. 

  • Periodontal disease and low-grade infections in the mouth can lead to systemic illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases (heart disease), respiratory ailments (pulmonary or lung disease) and strokes

  • The most common strain of bacteria in dental plaque can cause blood clots that induce heart attacks when they escape into the bloodstream.

  • There is a strong relationship between the bacterium causing gum disease and atherosclerosis.

  • Chronic periodontitis is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer of the tongue 

  • Periodontal disease may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.


Diet is also important especially for athletes and anyone else doing intense physical exercise. Many minerals are lost during sweating which need to be replaced regularly. Lost minerals can affect the bones and teeth and are also required to help eradicate infections within the body, speed up healing and detoxify the system. The long term affect of neglecting minerals is brittle bones and teeth. If the athletes diet also includes a lot of carbohydrates and sugary energy drinks this compounds the problem. It was noted during the 2012 Olympics in London that a far larger group of competing athletes had poor gum and teeth health than other people of the same age group.

The elderly have a similar dilemma as important minerals and phytonutrients are less available to them because the system slows down and absorbs less and toxins build up. This also destroys the teeth and gums. They need to ensure they consume plenty of mineral rich foods and drink bottled mineral water and ensure they get at least 13 minutes of sunshine as many days of the year as possible to ensure adequate supplies of vitamin D are made by the uncovered bare skin.

The skin of the elderly thins out and is less able to manufacture D so they need extra caution and a regular blood test every 6 months to ensure they are not lacking in this vital nutrient and many others such as vitamin B12 and vitamin K.

Consuming plenty of eggs, goat's milk, oily fish and wild mushrooms plus the daily intake of cod liver oil or krill oil, can also help provide extra vitamin D which they often need especially during the winter months. Vitamin D is needed to utilise calcium which is vital for healthy teeth and bones.

Copper and zinc are also vital minerals for the utilisation of vitamin D therefore foods rich in these minerals need to be consumed too.


Foods rich in vitamin C can prevent and help to treat gum disease but citrus fruits and any acidic foods can damage the tooth enamel so it is always wise to clean you teeth after consuming them.

Being deficient in vitamin D can cause gum disease. Sun exposure of 15 minutes twice a week is necessary to enable the body to make sufficient levels of vitamin D. Sunscreens, windows and pollution can stop the body from being able to do this. Then, and during the winter months, extra vitamin D rich foods must be consumed such as oily fish, eggs etc. See vitamin D.

A lack of iron can cause swollen sore gums especially for women with heavy menstruation. Consuming iron-rich foods can help to alleviate pain and swelling if a deficiency is the cause. See Iron.


Various medications and alcohol consumption force the expulsion of zinc through the urine. This can have a profound affect on the body and cause delayed wound healing which can also affect damaged gums.

Anyone who drinks alcohol regularly needs to ensure their diet contains plenty of the following zinc-rich foods and at least one of them the day after drinking:

Beef, butternut squash seeds, calf's liver, chaga mushrooms, chia seeds, chicory, chlorella, clams, cockles, cucumber, egg yolk, flax seeds, goji berries, lamb, legumes, milk, nuts, oats, octopus, organ meats, oysters, peanuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, rabbit, spirulina, suma, veal, venison, watermelon seeds and whole grains.

Highest sources of zinc in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Oysters 78.6 mg

  • Chlorella 71 mg

  • Wheat germ 16.7 mg

  • Beef 12.3 mg

  • Calf's liver 11.9 mg

  • Hemp seeds 11.5 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 10.3 mg

  • Sesame and watermelon seeds 10.2 mg

  • Bamboo shoots, endives and gourds 9 mg

  • Chervil (herb) 8.8 mg

  • Lamb 8.7 mg

  • Venison 8.6 mg

  • Alfalfa seeds (sprouted), amaranth leaves, Crimini mushrooms, Irish moss and tea 8 mg

  • Crab 7.6 mg

  • Lobster 7.3 mg

  • Agave, basil, beefalo, broccoli, elk, emu, oats, ostrich, spinach and turkey 7 mg

  • Cocoa powder 6.8 mg

  • Asparagus, chicken livers, laver seaweed, mushrooms, parsley and rice bran 5.7 mg

  • Cashew nuts 5.6 mg

  • Pork 5.1 mg

  • Jute (herb), lemon grass, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, radishes and shiitake mushrooms 5 mg

  • Agar seaweed, butterbur, cauliflower, chicory, Chinese cabbage, chives, coriander, green beans, lentils, lettuce, okra, rocket, spring onions, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes and wasabi (yellow) 3.4 mg

  • Peanuts 3.3 mg

  • Cheddar cheese 3.1 mg

  • Mozzarella cheese 2.9 mg

  • Anchovies and rabbit 2.4 mg

  • Cabbage, cucumber, jalapeno peppers, , kidney beans, navy beans, spirulina and turnip greens 2 mg

  • Mussels 1.6 mg

  • Arrowroot, artichokes (globe), beetroot, bell peppers, black eyed peas, borage, broad beans, Brussel sprouts, butter beans, cabbage, carrots, celery, chilli peppers, courgettes, dandelion greens, garlic, horseradish, kale, kelp, mustard greens, peas, pinto beans, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, Swede, sweet potato, tomatoes (red),  wakame (seaweed), watercress and winged beans 1.2 mg

Those taking medications on a long term basis also need to become aware of the risks of malnutrition. Many medications interfere with both absorption and manufacture of unimportant nutrients and some force expulsion of minerals through the urine. When the body is lacking in any minerals it will take them from the bones and teeth leaving both in a weekend state where they become porous and brittle. This then allows easier access for tooth destroying bacteria. See the B complex of vitamins as these are the nutrients most lost through medications.


Using antibiotics to fight bad breath can cause further problems due to the fact that bacteria mutates very quickly and becomes resistant to antibiotics. There is now a strain of tuberculosis in India which is completely resistant to all antibiotics. Furthermore, prolonged use of two antibiotics (aureomytin and vancomycin) can lead to thrush, hearing loss and kidney damage. Probiotics are by far the best way to treat mouth disorders caused by bacteria. Consuming natural live yoghurt, brine pickles and all other probiotic and fermented foods are a good way to readdress the balance of bacteria in the body including the mouth.

Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar helps remove stains and kill bacteria in the mouth and gums. Gargle with apple cider vinegar every morning and then brush teeth as usual. Regularly eating apples also helps, as the crunchy fruit scrubs the teeth like a toothbrush.

Ash Gourd is an effective cure for pyorrhoea (bleeding gums).

Black peppercorns are useful if chewed as they can help clean out the bacteria and relieve pain.

Bicarbonate of soda has been shown to decrease dental plaque acidity induced by sucrose and its buffering capacity is important to prevent dental cavities. Other studies have shown that bicarbonate inhibits plaque formation on teeth and, in addition, increases calcium uptake by dental enamel. When mixed with a little coconut oil, it makes an ideal and natural anti-bacterial toothpaste that has powerful cleansing abilities. Coconut oil effectively inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, that can cause cavities and mouth infections, without causing any harmful side-effects.

Bicarbonate of soda: Check the pH of saliva with pHydrion paper. If your saliva pH is below 7.2 then you are at risk for cavities, mouth sores, bacteria, yeast and even oral cancer. To increase the oral pH to a normal 7.2 or greater, drink 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in 2 ounces of distilled water. It is that simple to neutralise the acids that cause cavities, mouth sores, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16), bacteria, yeast and even oral cancer.

Chamomile tea can reduce bleeding from gums when used as a mouth wash.

Cashew leaves: Chew one or two cashew leaves and let the juice remain in the mouth.

Cloves: For toothache crush one or two cloves and place next to the affected tooth. Let the juice remain in the mouth for some time. If clove oil or mint oil is available, soak a small piece of cotton in clove oil and put it on the affected tooth.

Cranberry juice (pure and unsweetened) can help to prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth.

Fagara is used as a chewing stick in Nigeria. Water extracts from the plant showed activities against bacteria significant to periodontal disease.

Guava: The unripe guava is rich in tannic, malic, oxalic and phospheric acids as well as calcium and manganese. Chewing it is an excellent tonic for the teeth and gums. It helps cure bleeding from gums due to stypic effect and stops halitosis (bad breath). Chewing tender leaves of guava tree also stops bleeding from gums and bad breath.

Holy Basil is useful for treating teeth disorders. Its leaves, dried in the sun and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustered oil to make a paste and used as toothpaste. This is very good for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums. It is also useful in pyorrhoea and other gum disorders.

Mango: Toothpowder made of burnt mango leaves also helps in reducing toothache.

Neem powder can be used to reduce teeth and gum inflammation.

Oat straw can strengthen teeth due to its high calcium content and its ability to stimulate the luteinizing hormone which boosts hormone levels that stimulate cell growth.

Peelu: The twigs and fibres of Middle Eastern peelu tree have been used since the time of the Prophet Muhammad, who is said to have recommended its use to clean teeth and purify the mouth. Because its use dates back to the middle of the first millennia, many believe the “Kayu Sugi,” or chewing stick, is the world’s oldest toothbrush. Traditionally, the outer bark is removed and a person chews on the interior fibres for gentle, non-abrasive oral care which will prevent cavities and gum disease. Walnut and olive twigs are also used for the same purpose. The great benefit of using these natural twig toothbrushes is that they lack the usual abrasive chemicals added to normal toothpaste.

Pomegranate juice can reduce bleeding from gums and help to treat gingivitis when used as a mouthwash.

Raisins contain oleanolic acid, a phytochemical, protects teeth against tooth decay, cavities, brittleness of teeth etc. It effectively prevents growth of Streptococcus Mutans and Porphyromonas Gingivalis, two of the species of bacteria which are most responsible for cavities and other dental problems. Raisins should be eaten with nuts or avocado as the fat in these foods helps absorption of carotenoids.

NOTE: The longer raisins stick to the teeth, the better, as it ensures longer contact of oleanolic acid with the teeth preventing growth of bacteria. The boron in raisins also plays a very important role in checking growth of germs in the mouth as well promoting health of bones and teeth.

Sea salt: Gargle with lukewarm water mixed with sea salt as and when required.

Oil pulling is excellent for oral health as it draws out bacteria and removes plaque, thus treating issues like bad breath, toothache, sensitivity and gum disease. It will also help brighten the teeth, heal mouth sores, prevent cavities and keep gums healthy. A 2013 Indian study analysed and approved by the Institutional Review Board of Meenakshi University found this therapy to have a significant effect on plaque and gingivitis in participants suffering from plaque-induced gingivitis. Scientists explain that the microorganisms in the mouth consist of a single cell that is covered with a fatty membrane. When they come in contact with oil, which is also a fat, they naturally adhere to each other.

Take one tablespoon of any edible oil of choice and swill around the mouth and suck between the teeth for at least one minute then spit it out. Do not gargle or swallow the oil. Then clean teeth as normal. Coconut oil is the best type to use as it has powerful bacteria killing abilities.

Oral health is essential for overall health as well because certain diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease are linked with gum disease. In addition to the oral health benefits, here are some other health benefits of oil pulling.

  • Alleviates allergies.

  • Clears sinuses and reduces infections.

  • Improves the lymphatic system.

  • Prevents heart disease.

  • Promotes better sleep.

  • Reduces eczema.

  • Regulates menstrual cycles and reduces PMS.

  • Relieves headaches and migraines.

  • Stimulates metabolism.

  • Supports kidney function.

  • Treats arthritis and related illnesses.

These remedies will help reduce the pain but they will not cure the problem. Consult your dentist to find out if the tooth needs to be filled or removed or an underlying problem such as an abscess is the cause of tooth pain. To find out how to cleanse the system and fight off bacteria see:

Infant Oral Mutilation

Some uneducated African people engage in a primitive traditional practise where the young tooth buds of babies and young children, from six months to three years of age, are gouged out using unsterile cutting instruments. They believe these natural tooth buds of new primary teeth to be worms and bad spirits causing ill health to the child.

This practice has severe and irreversible detrimental consequences for the secondary teeth and gums in later life.

The complications of infant oral mutilation include anaemia, pneumonia, meningitis and tetanus, as well as risk of transmission of blood born infections such as hepatitis B and HIV. In severe cases septicaemia can lead to death.

As well as being prevalent in Africa, this barbaric practise has now been seen in western countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the USA where Africans have relocated to.

Associated articles

  • Bone Disorders for more information and natural foods to consume to protect teeth.

  • Sugar Dangers to find out why sugar is bad for the teeth.

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC


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