Coffee Can Help Boost Your Oral Health

Coffee Tastes Great and Can Help You to Fight Oral Cancer and Tooth Decay!

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Smiling girl drinking coffee

Personally speaking, it doesn’t take much to convince me that another cup of coffee is a good idea. While certainly not in the ranks of coffee “super-users” I do hold my own at 3 to 4 cups a day. With over 100 million coffee drinkers in America and with over half of us consuming coffee every day, I am certainly not alone.

While coffee and caffeine has long had a bit of a bad boy reputation, even banned in some circles, much of the negativity was long on belief and short on actual research.

Sure too much of anything is generally a bad thing–consuming 12 cups a day is hardly recommended–but more and more research is pointing to the many health benefits associated to moderate coffee consumption.

And you might ask, “What has all of this coffee buzz have to do with oral health?”

Interestingly enough there are two very positive oral benefits associated to coffee consumption, or at least supported by research.

Coffee Consumption and a Reduced Risk of Oral and Throat Cancer

A comprehensive study was completed in Milan, Italy. This study pooled the information from nine case-controlled studies on the subject of head and neck cancers (over 5,000 cases with cancer were compared to over 9000 cases that were cancer free). The results strongly support the relationship between coffee consumption and the decrease in risk of oral and throat cancer. Coffee drinkers in these tests generally consumed between 1 to 4 cups a day.

Here is a link to an abstract of the study on Coffee Use and Lowered Risk of Oral Cancer

Coffee and a Reduction in Tooth Decay and Cavities

coffee; cup of coffee; black coffee; health benefits; oral health

Espresso Cup with smiley face on wooden table,

Several studies have provided some great news for us coffee drinkers. (Note that these tests were done using higher grade coffee roasts, think Arabica) The studies found that compounds in coffee showed a very positive effect in inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the dental biofilm–specifically the s. mutans bacteria that is the primary villain in the tooth decay process.

Ideally the exact compounds in coffee will be identified and isolated for use in oral health care as there are some downsides to consider:

One, if you use sugar and milk (also a sugar source) in your coffee then these will promote the tooth decay process.

Two, coffee is highly acidic and this can prove detrimental as well to your tooth enamel.

Three, it is no secret that coffee will stain your teeth and give them an unsightly yellowish-brown color.

For best results it would be recommended that you drink your coffee black and it certainly would not hurt to keep consumption on the moderate side.

With over a 1000 compounds in coffee it may be a while before the responsible compounds are isolated, but I sincerely doubt that the isolated compounds will beat the fun, joy and satisfaction of great cup of coffee to start the day.

And while certainly not a replacement for twice-a-day brushing and once-a-day flossing, if you are a coffee lover it is good to know that a smart intake of coffee could actually be beneficial for your oral health as well.

So, in summation, enjoy that cup of joe knowing that a moderate intake of high-quality coffee could be helping out your teeth and health, providing support for great oral health.

Can You Rebuild Your Enamel and Dentin?

Can Teeth Regrow, Rebuild and Remineralize?

Is there hope for healing cavities and rebuilding a healthy mouth?

teeth, oral health, smile, fixing teeth, cavity prevention, remineralize teethThe answer may be surprising.

For years and years most people have adopted the idea that teeth are rather like stones in your mouth, once they begin to erode or decay (cavities and enamel loss) they are only salvageable by crowns and repairs, or implants and false teeth. Perhaps because teeth are hard, and so do not appear to have life, or perhaps because of lack of education, we have come to believe that the only answer lies in dental restorations, repairs or replacements.

Of course no one is suggesting that dental work should be skipped or avoided (as much as we might like to hear that!) as often teeth are so damaged and far gone that there is no other realistic option.

But the truth is that diet and supplementation can do more than reduce cavity formation, they can actually assist the regrowth and healing of your teeth to a healthier state.

Think about it, you started life without teeth and they grew in. They did not just suddenly appear from nowhere. Then, once they grew in, your baby teeth fell out and new adult teeth GREW. The simple fact is that your teeth have life and the cells do grow. They may be “slow growers” and maybe pretty dang hard, but they do have life.

Unhealthy teeth are not necessarily a lost cause

To a marked degree they can heal and remineralize themselves but they do need help. The answer lies primarily in diet and in supplementation. Just as a poor diet and a lack (or non-absorption) of minerals can ruin your teeth, the reverse is true–a proper diet and the adequate absorption of minerals can assist new dentin and enamel to form.

(Dentin is the bone-like substance that makes up most of the tooth. It is found just under the enamel, which is the cover of the tooth. Dentin is organic and can grow, enamel is inorganic but it can remineralize.)

Amazingly this information is not new news. It was researched and discovered close to a century ago by the brilliant husband-and-wife team, the Mellanbys, in England. They did a tremendous amount of work in the field of nutrition (most famously for solving the condition known as rickets) and one of their studies clearly showed the relationship between diet and cavity formation, as well as cavity HEALING.

“… When the enamel and dentin are injured by attrition or caries, teeth do not remain passive but respond to the injury by producing a reaction of the odontoblasts (note: odontoblasts are cells in the dental pulp that make dentin) in the dental pulp in an area generally corresponding to the damaged tissue and resulting in a laying down of what is known as secondary dentine.

In 1922 Dr. May Mellanby proceeded to investigate this phenomenon under varying nutritional conditions and found that she could control the secondary dentine laid down in the teeth of animals as a reaction to attrition both in quality and quantity, independently of the original structure of the tooth.”

Dr. May Mellanby went on to establish that a diet high in calcifying qualities (for example, rich in vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus) could not only reverse dental attrition and decay but it also produced NEW dentin. This new dentin was abundantly produced and even regardless of the original structure the new dentin was well formed.

More famously she went on to do a set of trials on groups of children. These were children that lived in institutional facilities thus giving her complete dietary control. A six-month trial was done with full dental examinations at the start and at the conclusion.

The children were divided into three groups:

Group One: Ate a normal diet plus oatmeal. (Oatmeal, like many grains and cereals is rich in phytic acid, which actively inhibits mineral absorption.)
Group Two: Ate a normal diet plus vitamin D.
Group Three: Ate a grain and cereal free diet (thus reducing the blocking of mineral absorption) and also took vitamin D.

(Note: This was a “normal diet” circa the 1920’s that one might find in England. It included carbohydrates and even milk, sugar and jam.)

The results were quite interesting.

  • Group One did not fair too well and saw no improvement in the teeth plus continued with the formation of new cavities.
  • Group Two saw significant healing in the teeth and fewer cavities were formed (simply by adding vitamin D to their diets).
  • Group Three saw dramatic results with a healing of most all of the cavities and very few new ones formed.

These findings were validated in later studies by other researchers and while there is much that could be said about them the point to be made here is:

The study demonstrated that teeth can heal themselves, when given the right nutrients and minerals, and when those minerals were not blocked from absorption.

As Dr. Edward Mellanby said:

“The hardening of carious areas that takes place in the teeth of children fed on diets of high calcifying value indicates the arrest of the active process and may result in “healing” of the infected area. As might be surmised, this phenomenon is accompanied by a laying down of a thick barrier of well-formed secondary denture… “

The key elements to healing were found to be:

  • A diet high in minerals, especially calcium
  • A diet that is loaded with fat-soluble vitamins, such a vitamin D, and fats such as cod liver oil or grass fed butter
  • A diet low in phytic acid (mostly found in grains and nuts)

Interesting side note: Prior to the 20th Century bread was not only whole grain but it underwent a process of rising and fermentation that a. was much longer and b. involved the use of naturally occurring yeasts. This process naturally broke down the phytic acid, so these early breads did not have the same mineral blocking capacity that today’s modern grain based foods possess.

GREAT ORAL HEALTH Oral Probiotics and the Healing of Teeth

oral probiotics, healing teeth, oral health, remineralize enamel. regrow dentin, tooth decayIn developing our advanced blend of probiotics it was quite important that we also addressed the problem of healing your teeth as well. And, while advanced cavities and serious dental issues will require address by a dentist there is much that can be done to strengthen your teeth, support the healing process and fight off beginning stages of cavity formation.

The three-prong attack can be summed up in:

  1. Introducing powerful and beneficial probiotic strains that crowd out and kill off harmful bacteria overgrowth
  2. Using bacterial strains that work to rebalance your mouth’s pH to healthy, non-acidic levels
  3. Utilizing mineral supplementation that provides a form of calcium that is highly effective for remineralizing your enamel–making the surface dense,strong, and and resistant to breakdown

Ongoing use of our oral probiotics can buffer the acids in your mouth, creating a more healthy alkaline environment, lower the levels of acid-producing “bad bacteria” and then boost the protective hardness of your enamel on a microscopic level… quite a one-two-three knock out punch to the chances of further dental decay.

Conclusion:

Work to limit cereals, grains and sugars in your diet, cut back on nuts and add our oral probiotic blend to your daily oral regimen and you can super boost the health and strength of your teeth!

BLIS M18 in Clinical Study Shows Significant Results in Treating Cavity-Prone Children

BLIS M18 and Preventing Cavities

Blonde Smiling Kid Thumbs UpAre oral probiotics effective in preventing cavities, especially in children and young adults? This group of scientific researchers seem to think so and they found significant reductions in the key indicators that lead to cavities, plaque deposits and the presence of the S. Mutans strain of bacteria in the mouth.

The study was conducted by a team of research scientists in Italy to examine the effectiveness of the probiotic strain BLIS M18 as a preventive measure in reducing the incidence of dental caries (cavities) in at-risk patients.

Selected were a group of 76 children that were determined to be at-risk for the development of dental caries. The children were separated into two groups, both dissolved tablets in their mouths but only one group received tablets containing the oral probiotic BLIS M18. The children continued to take the tablets for 90 days, at which time results were measured.

The group taking the oral probiotic M18 saw a 50% reduction in the amount of dental plaque. Additionally, and quite importantly, this group also saw a 75% reduction in mutans streptococci-these are the bacteria that are closely associated with causing cavities. That was a huge result and improvement from a very simple daily action of sucking on a lozenge.

Here is what the researchers wrote:

“According to our results, 90 days treatment with this oral probiotic has increased the chances of avoiding new cavities in children”

They went on to discuss how the strain M18 actually releases bacteriocins (like natural antibiotics) that inhibit the growth of the S. Mutans bacteria. The M18 strain also releases enzymes that help to breakdown plaque and to balance the pH levels in the mouth.

As the researchers said “dietary supplementation with BLIS M18 significantly increases the chances of avoiding dental caries… ”

Our Advanced Oral Probiotics are packed with BLIS M18, and also BLIS K12 which is great for overall immune health and fighting ear-nose-throat infections. What a great and simple way to boost the oral health for the whole family.

How to Prevent Cavities and Inhibit Dental Caries

Your Basic Rules and Guidelines to Prevent Cavities and Inhibit Dental Caries

We covered a lot of territory in the last few posts, so a simple summation of what to do is in order.

Here you are, how to prevent tooth decay:

smiling people, healthy smiles, healthy teeth, prevent tooth decay, oral healthFirst, realize that dental caries don’t “just happen” and although we are all genetically different “poor genes” is not an excuse. Realizing that you CAN PREVENT tooth decay is step one.

Two, understand that the fundamental cause of tooth decay is the effect of corrosive acid on the teeth. This literally eats away at the enamel and sucks the minerals right out as well. Over time the enamel disappears and holes or cavities appear. So controlling the acidic pH in your mouth is the top preventative approach.

Three, acid does not just appear either. It is created by bacteria, the chief culprit being the group of bacteria known as mutans streptococci. Here is a very basic view of how the streptococci bacteria contributes to tooth decay:

These are highly adaptable and hardy bacteria. They have specialized properties that allow them to adhere to the teeth, this adhesion of bacteria (also known as BIOFILM) is what forms plaque. This bacteria uses SUCROSE to form the sticky substance that allows adhesion. The bacteria also metabolizes other sugars–such as glucose, fructose and lactose–into acids. The acid then eats away at the teeth.

Four, the important concept here is that a sticky biofilm, in constant and immediate content with your teeth, will lead to tooth decay WHEN that biofilm becomes ACIDIC. You will never get rid of the biofilm, nor do you need to. What you need to do is to fight the acidic conditions and control the balance of bacteria in the biofilm.

Five, dietary factors can help greatly in controlling the acidic pH levels in your mouth and in the biofilm. Sugars and simple carbohydrates are super-food for the mutans streptococci and so limiting these foods is an important step. Perhaps even more important is limiting the frequency and timing of such foods. Constant or ongoing exposure to such foods means that your mouth is always acidic and this is BAD.

Follow such foods with a water-rinse. An additional step would be to follow with non-acidic foods or drink (cheese or black tea-no sugar!). Saliva plays a huge role in lowering the acidic pH, so a sugar-free gum with Xylitol is a good way to follow up such foods–as this both stimulates saliva flow and inhibits bacterial growth.

Six, twice-a-day oral hygiene including both brushing and flossing. It is important to keep in mind that the purpose of these actions is NOT to just clean food from the mouth. The most important reason is to disturb the bacterial growth and formation of the biofilm. Brushing and flossing does just that and so is not something to “put off” or “catch up” on, it must be done regularly and twice-a-day for optimal disruption of the oral bacteria life cycle.

Seven, using our advanced oral probiotics (Great Oral Health) to “fight fire with fire.” Oral probiotics infiltrate into the biofilm on your teeth and into your gums. Here they stabilize the pH by a) crowding out the s. mutans bacteria, b) producing substances that actively inhibit the growth of the s. mutans and c) they produce non-acidic byproducts that actually counter the acids created by the s. mutans.

SV Bottle 375pxThe beauty of our oral probiotics is that they go to work as part of your body’s natural and native system, this means not only more powerful results but also “around the clock” protection as they become a part of the living, active biofilm in your mouth.

Unlike drugs or harsh chemicals that kill off ALL bacteria (fundamentally a bad idea) our oral probiotics will build a healthier and beneficial environment in your mouth. As this occurs, then your body is able to go about restoring the damage and healing itself. We have even included powerful ingredients to assist in the healing and remineralization of your teeth.

While this process does not occur overnight (the body does need time to heal once a healthy environment is reestablished) the reduction in cavity production and the restoration of gum health has been well documented in multiple medical studies and clinical trials.

There you have it, follow these guidelines–and add our oral probiotics to your regimen–and we can safely say that “Great Oral Health is in your future.”

Food, Diet, Oral Care and Tooth Decay

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Foods and Dietary Practices that Can Cause Tooth Decay

If you read our earlier posts you know that the cause of tooth decay is, in simple terms, ACID. Acid is produced by certain bacteria in your mouth, these bacteria produce acid as a part of their life cycle and this production is fueled by sugar.

This process creates acids and an acidic pH level in the mouth resulting in demineralization and erosion of the enamel… creating holes and crumbling the otherwise strong teeth. So the solution lies with controlling the acid and pH created.

The further solution lies with consistently controlling the acidic environment in your mouth. This task is actually simpler than one would think and certainly is simpler than fixing cavities, getting a root canal or wearing dentures!

First is diet, the obvious answer is to avoid or limit sugary foods and acidic drinks. Now, this is not realistic for most of us on a 100% basis but there are ways to moderate the bad effects of acids and sugars in our diet, more on that in a moment.

But, since high sugar intake–whether from sweets, added sugars, condiments or simple carbohydrates, such as white flour that rapidly breaks down to sugars–is bad for your health then cutting back on these is a wise idea… and you might even lose some weight.

Other prime culprits are acidic drinks, such as sodas (whether diet or sugar) and many juices. For example:

  • Gatorade has a pH of 2.4 is loaded with sugar
  • Orange juice isn’t much better with a pH of 3.8 and tons of sugar as well-bad choice
  • Coke and Pepsi are around a pH of 2.5, no need to point out the high sugar content there
  • Most diet sodas are in the 3.0 range
  • For comparison, stomach acid is at a pH of 2.0. A neutral pH is around 7.0–drinks in this range would include milk, water and brewed tea (no sugar)

Point being that these worthless drinks-sodas, diet sodas and even juices–deliver the double whammy of acid and sugars, a perfect cocktail for tooth decay.

One way to help control this is follow sugar intake with some pH balancing foods, such as cheese, or drinks such as black tea (no sugar) or water. However there is another factor that plays a big role in this, timing and exposure. Your body is a wondrous mechanism and it of course has evolved a method of stabilizing acid in the mouth, this is primarily through the production of saliva. Saliva helps to stabilize the pH to non-acidic levels as well as to remove the food particles and sugars from the mouth.

This process takes time, so if one is continually eating or drinking the sugary or acidic foods then the body never has a chance to restore a healthier pH level AND this gives the acid time to eat away at your teeth.

Example: one 16-oz soda or sugary treat taken in one sitting is far, far, far less destructive than that same soda sipped on all day long or a treat nibbled at.

So, while far better to knock off all that inferior food, you can do a lot to control the pH of your mouth by not sipping or grazing on these foods all day long. And when you do so, follow up with a rinse of water or a glass of brewed black tea-or a higher pH food such as a piece of cheese. In addition, chewing with a sugar-free gum (your best choice is a Xylitol sweetened gum) can help to not only clear the mouth but to stimulate saliva flow as well.

MESSAGE: Control the sugars and acidity by minimally NOT GRAZING or DRINKING acidic or sugars or simple carbohydrates throughout the day. Limit consumption of not only quantity but frequency as well. Follow such foods, minimally, with a rinse or swish of clean water.

A Consistent Oral Health Regimen to Prevent Cavities

While we won’t go into the best way to brush or floss your teeth here, there is one point that is important to make and will hopefully help to inspire you to take regular care of your teeth.

Most of us think of brush, flossing or tongue scraping as a means of cleaning our teeth and removing food residue. While this is true there is another VERY IMPORTANT reason we do these actions: we are disturbing the bacterial colonies and disrupting the destructive actions such as acid production and plaque build-up. That is why regular, routine oral hygiene is so important. If it was just food removal and cleaning then one could probably skip it and slack off, but the bacteria has a life cycle and the oral hygiene is a very critical element in the ongoing task of disrupting that life cycle before it causes harm to your teeth and gums.
Lesson to be learned: keep your oral health routine consistent and follow a twice-a-day practice for the best oral health results.

Oral Probiotics for Great Oral Health

Our oral probiotics do a number of amazing things for your mouth and for your health. But there are two actions or benefits that are really important to mention in terms of dental caries or cavities.

  • One, the beneficial bacteria introduced works to inhibit the acid-producing bacteria by both crowding it out and by killing it off. This beneficial bacteria creates its own higher pH levels. So it delivers a double blow against an acidic and destructive pH level, restoring a healthier, neutral pH balance to your mouth.
  • Two, the beneficial bacteria stimulates saliva flow which is critical to the health of your mouth and to combating tooth decay.
  • Three: our formulation contains ingredients that actually remineralize the teeth, helping your body to restore and heal the damage caused by acidic erosion over time.

There you have it, follow this advice, get regular cleanings and consider adding our oral probiotics to your regimen and you’ll be way ahead in winning the game against tooth decay.

How Do Dental Cavities Form and Can They Be Prevented?

How Dental Cavities Form

cavites, oral health, dental caries, cavity prevention, oral probioticsWe all can agree that dental caries, or tooth cavities, are a bad thing. While the loss of teeth, with its attendant pain and discomfort, is bad enough there are also other factors to consider, such as: inability to eat well leading to poor nutrition, the bacterial infections that accompany tooth decay and which can spread into the gums and throughout your entire system, plus the expense of surgery and dental repairs. Without doubt it is in your best interests to prevent cavities and such.

For you children it is a very, very important point. A child’s immune system is often more susceptible than an adult’s and so the bacterial infections pose a greater risk. Additionally there is a pattern between poor oral health and hygiene at a young age that is carried forward into adulthood. And with huge numbers of Americans losing ALL their teeth by age 65, well it is a big favor to your kids to get them off to a strong and healthy start.

So, in a simple view, what are dental caries and how do cavities come about? The simple answer is: ACID. Even if not chemists, we all know that acids can eat away at things and literally dissolve them. This can be a good thing, without stomach acids we could not break down foods and would starve. But in the wrong place ACID is a very bad thing.

The oral cavity is full of bacteria of all kinds. They are not bad by nature, in fact without bacteria you would probably not be here to read this! But when certain bacteria grow out of control, or out of proportion, then problems multiply. This is what happens when dental cavities come about, the bacteria produces acid and the acid attacks the surface of your teeth, the enamel, and “melts” it away.

The main bacterial culprits are the strains called Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus lactobacilli which are present in the biofilm that coats your teeth. (BIOFILM means just what it sounds like, a living film of bacteria that coats a surface, in this case your teeth. Biofilm is very sticky and resists the entrance of other bacteria)

Food and drink (particularly from sugars and simple carbohydrates) stimulate these particular bacteria and in their life process they then produce acids. As they are in a biofilm, on the teeth, this brings the acid into direct contact with the enamel. The acids literally remove the calcium and the phosphate from the enamel, this is called demineralization, and the enamel gets thinner and thinner until holes open up. Without the hard, protective layer of the enamel then the softer interior of the tooth simply rots–and cavities are formed.

This process of course happens over time. Teeth are natively pretty strong and it takes an ongoing assault by the acids to create those cavities. This is good news because it means that tooth decay can be prevented. And, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The actions to prevent tooth decay are actually rather simple, in fact they boil down to effectively controlling the bacteria in your mouth so as to prevent the long-term negative effects of acid on your teeth (as well as plaque build-up and gum disease).

As you will see, in further posts, a big part of why our oral probiotics are so effective is that they stabilize the pH in your mouth to healthy levels. This comes about primarily from rebalancing the bacteria–crowding out the acid-producing “bad” bacteria–and by restoring salvia flow, which is a powerful and natural means of controlling acid in the oral cavity.

Hope this helps and more to come in this series on GREAT ORAL HEALTH!

Tooth Decay Called TOP CHILDHOOD CHRONIC ILLNESS, Can It Be Prevented?

kid smiling, tooth decay, oral health

Cavities, or dental caries, have been around mankind for a long time. Although caries are greatly promoted by sugars and the modern diet this does not mean that they just came into existence. Rather the opposite is true. In terms of recorded diseases, dental caries go all the way back into prehistoric times… back to skulls from millions of years ago where archeological evidence shows signs of tooth decay way back when.

But, this was millions of years ago, before dentists, flossing, brushing, medicines and all of the modern tools and information we have to combat this crisis. Seriously, we should have this licked by now.

Unfortunately the opposite is true, especially amongst our children. It is so bad that it is considered the top chronic childhood illness and just taking care of the tooth decay consumes hundreds of millions of hours each year, not to mention the pain and discomfort related to it.

Oral health and tooth decay is a major health issue for kids and adults alike. Depending upon what geographical area or country you look in, the facts are that two-thirds or more (in some areas this figure is close to 90%, yikes!) are affected with caries, tooth decay is rampant.

As tooth decay, and oral health issues, lead to so many other health issues–from heart disease to malnutrition to depression and others–this is not a minor health concern but one that can undermine our entire health and quality of life.

Diet plays a big role as does maintaining a quality oral health regimen–more on this in future posts. But as the main culprit is bacterial overgrowth and the byproducts of the bacterial life-cycle, then directly addressing this action would be a wise activity.

At Great Oral Health we believe we are providing a big part of that answer with the supplementation of oral probiotics into ones oral health regimen, thus balancing the bacterial colonies and stabilizing the pH to healthy levels.

There will be more information on tacking dental caries effectively in upcoming posts all this week, so read our mini-series for a broader picture on what you can do to improve the oral health of your children, your family and yourself.

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