The health of the mouth is a direct representation of the health of the body.

Take a good look at your mouth. What do you see?

Mercury Amalgam Fillings?
Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns?
Root Canals?
Missing Teeth?
Titanium Implants?

Trovato Nutrition works closely with one of the best Biologic Dental Offices on the East Coast.

Chances are, the more dental work you have experienced, the greater the burden your mouth puts on the rest of your body. But why did you need all that dental work in the first place? It is time to learn the facts.

What we eat directly and indirectly affects the health of the mouth!

There is overwhelming evidence linking sugar consumption and dental caries (cavities). Sugar and products typically associated with sugar are the main culprits, but other carbohydrates are also to blame. Studies show that high consumption of starchy vegetables and fruits are also linked with the occurrence of dental cavities.

Weston Price, D.D.S. conducted extensive research that led to the publication of his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration in 1939. Price observed that in societies living in isolation and eating a “native diet,” the rate of tooth decay or gum disease was virtually non-existent. It wasn’t until the introduction of sugar and processed foods that he saw breakdown of the oral environment. Price even witnessed mal-development of orofacial structures, affecting the balance and function of the entire musculoskeletal system.

Cavities occur because of demineralization of tooth enamel and dentin. Demineralization is caused by organic acids produced through the anaerobic metabolism of dietary sugar by the bacteria that reside in dental plaque on our teeth. These acids create an imbalance in the salivary pH, dissolving the mineral salts found in enamel, and forcing the saliva to basically pull out the minerals in attempts to balance out the pH. Mineral salts are 90% tri calcium phosphate and 10% calcium carbonate.

Streptococci, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are a few types of bacteria that contribute to the development of dental caries. The bacteria in your mouth use dietary sugar to produce insoluble plaque matrix polymers to aid in their colonization on the surface of your teeth. Once they have a stable living environment, the bacteria can eat both glucose and fructose (sugar from fruit). The metabolism of the sugar produces lactic acid, acetic acid, and formic acid.

When we consume sugar, or similar carbohydrates, we are feeding the bacteria, allowing them to produce acid, and ultimately lowering the pH in our mouths. The lower oral pH increases the solubility of calcium hydroxyapatite in the teeth, and, as calcium is lost from the surface of the tooth, the tooth becomes more prone to decay.

Demineralization occurs when the pH in the mouth reaches 5.5 or lower. Our saliva is a natural defense against demineralization and contains calcium and phosphate that will remineralize damaged teeth if allowed to work properly for sufficient time. This process is not quick, and it cannot work at all if the pH of our saliva is too low (too acidic). This is far too often the case with today’s standard American diet (SAD).

Another researcher, Harold F. Hawkins, D.D.S., published his book Applied Nutrition in 1947, writing about his research into the role of nutrition in the development of dental decay and gum disease. He looked at why some individuals were more prone to decay while others were relatively immune.

He found that the people who were less likely to get tooth decay had diets that not only reduced the amount of acids produced by the bacteria but also maintained ways to neutralize the acids that were produced. Acids can be buffered by the alkaline salts of minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium. The concentration of the acids can also be diluted with adequate hydration, therefore reducing their ability chemically to interact with the calcium salts in the teeth.

To expand on the dilution theory, Hawkins found that 74% of those who were prone to decay had a deficiency in the average amount of saliva, whereas only 23% of those immune to decay did. Today, almost all dentists would agree that dry mouth contributes to tooth decay.

Hawkins also discovered that those who were more prone to decay were lacking in a digestive enzyme produced in the mouth that is important to breaking down carbohydrates. The enzyme is called ptyalin, and 66% of those who were decay-prone were deficient compared to only 24% of those immune to decay. He found that one’s level of ptyalin was related to two factors: quantity of vitamin B in the diet and the amount of carbohydrates in the body (the more carbs consumed that require this enzyme, the less of the enzyme that is available).

In summary, tooth decay can be prevented with good home care and diet. We must aim to increase (alkalinize) the pH of our diet, allowing the oral environment to function properly. Low sugar/high-glycemic carbohydrate intake, adequate hydration with clean water, and the intake of alkaline minerals through the diet and supplementation will keep the pH of the oral environment in balance and deter the formation of acids and the breakdown of teeth.

Simplified: Sugar causes acids, minerals get rid of acids. But ALL OF THAT is just the foundation of how to maintain teeth health. There are THREE other factors that play a role that we teach about at Trovato Nutrition.

Biologic Dental Exam
The purpose of the biologic dental exam is to view X-rays, chart out the existing dentistry, and educate the patient on what is in their mouth and how it may be affecting the rest of their body. We will then come up with a logical game plan on how to address some of the issues. Trovato Nutrition has a specific syntax of care, but ultimately, everything we do is about gathering enough information to educate the client on exactly what is going on inside their mouths. Anything the patient wishes to do is then going to be their decision.

Further Reading
For more information on biologic dentistry, please visit Meeting House Dental