A Holistic Approach to Oral Health

Article Summary

In this article, Jenny Berkeley walks you through some of the viewpoints on Oral Care from a holistic perspective. She also gives you a few tips on how to take charge of your own oral care habits.

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Oral care is such an important part of our lives, from 3 years old to our senior years. Like the old saying, "You never miss the well till the water runs dry," you never miss your teeth until you have to deal with the possibility of losing your teeth. In my article, I'll share with you a strategy to great oral health.

Perfect White Smiles

The North American version of the perfect bleach-white smile is not only unrealistic but creates emotional baggage, anxiety, and unnecessary dental expenses for the working class people. Through mass media such as radio, television, movies, magazines, and newspapers, it has been the aim of the industry to turn ordinary people into obsessive compulsive tooth and mouth people. This mass marketing strategy has been so effective over the past 100 years that there are billions of customers today for mouth- and teeth-related services and products each year.

The Errors You've Been Taught About Your Bad Teeth

If you think about it, you've been told all your life that the reason for your bad teeth amounts to two things. You've been told that you are not getting enough calcium and this is why you do not have strong teeth. And you've been told that the dairy industry has the solution for you with their bovine milk product which is loaded with calcium. The second thing you've been told is that you are not brushing between meals which is why you have cavities and tooth decay. The toothpaste and mouthwash manufacturers have the solution for you with their toothpastes and mouthwashes. The government also has a solution for you by using the industrial waste of the aluminum industry and adding it to your drinking water, a process called fluoridation of the water. All the promoted solutions to the problems of your bad teeth should have eliminated the problem, correct? Why is it that we still have people with bad teeth year after year?

Jenny BerkeleyRN, CHN 

The simple answer is that the cause of the majority of your teeth problems are related to your diet and lifestyle choices.

it has been the aim of the industry to turn ordinary people into obsessive compulsive tooth and mouth people

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Mistaking the Disease For the Cure

Dairy, milk, cheese, or yogurt from a cow is a very unhealthy substance to your body. Cow milk is meant to grow baby cows into 500-lb. cows. It's not meant to grow humans or add more calcium to human bones. Approximately 70% of adults worldwide are lactose intolerant. Native Americans and Asians have the highest lactose intolerance. You'll also see high rates of lactose intolerance among Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, and southern Europeans. Lactose intolerance is lowest among northern Europeans and their descendants. In the USA approximately 25% of Caucasians, 51% of Hispanics, and 75% of all African Americans have insufficient levels of lactase to digest dairy products, whereas 90% of Asian Americans are lactose intolerant.i,ii

Being lactose intolerant does not mean you will have to be hospitalized necessarily. It does mean that your body will produce an immune system response in an attempt to regulate and/or mitigate the negative effects of the dairy. You might experience puffiness, bloating, a rise in your body temperature, the production of mucous in your intestines and nasal passages, constipation, or diarrhoea. Animal milk is also not a good source of calcium for humans as most of it passes through you unabsorbed. Cow milk might also contain contaminants like pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, blood, and pus.

Fluoride is not good for you in any way, shape, or form. Dr Mercola writes, "Assuming you live in an area that fluoridates water, and you drink from the municipal water supply, you're being exposed to a toxic drug-like substance every time you take a sip. Fluoridating water is reckless, as you cannot control the dose ingested, or who receives it, and there's no medical supervision. Water fluoridation clearly violates your right to informed consent as far as medical decisions go. There is not a single process in your body that requires fluoride, but swallowing this toxin has been found to damage your soft tissues (brain, kidneys, and endocrine system), as well as teeth (dental fluorosis) and bones (skeletal fluorosis). There are more than 100 published studies illustrating fluoride's harm to your brain, plus 25 published studies directly linking fluoride exposure to reduced IQ in children!" Fluoride is a toxic industrial waste product which is also contaminated with lead, arsenic, radionucleotides, aluminum and more. According to declassified files from the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Energy Commission, promoting fluoride and water fluoridation in the USA was to protect the bomb and aluminum and other fluoride polluting industries from liability.

The Real Cause of Teeth Problems

The simple answer is that the cause of the majority of your teeth problems are related to your diet and lifestyle choices. Consider that most people consume way too much sugar in their diet these days. According to Statistics Canada, in 2004, Canadians consumed 110.0 grams of sugar a day, the equivalent of 26 teaspoons. That's 9490 teaspoons of sugar a year. The sources of sugar included milk, confectionary (chocolates, candies), processed fruit juices, regular soft drinks/pop/soda. The numbers are higher for Americans. All this sugar in your diet is destroying your health, vitality, and your teeth.

All this sugar in your diet is destroying your health, vitality, and your teeth.

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The second dietary factor related to your teeth problems is the consumption of cooked and highly processed foods. Every meal, every day, you're eating too much processed foods. The problem with processed foods is that you are not eating a whole food, but a refined version that has lost some of its nutrients or phytonutrients or enzymes designed for its proper absorption in the body. Many of these highly processed foods create over-acidity in your body and your body uses calcium from your bones and teeth to buffer and neutralize this acidity.

The last dietary factor is the consumption of animal products such as meats and dairy which are creating acidity in your system. Once again, the body uses up your calcium in your bones and teeth in order to neutralize the acidity.

How to Holistically Practice Oral Care

When I focus on a holistic approach, I consider body, mind, and spirit. Vaughn wrote an article that addresses the spiritual part of your oral care so I won't touch on that here. For the mental (mind) and physical (body) part, I'll give you some strategies below.

The Body

Exercise is important for bone development including your teeth. You should make it a habit to walk and exercise daily so that you can help your body do what it needs to grow.

You must also feed your body with high nutrient foods that ensure you are getting all your nutrients, phytonutrients, trace minerals, and more. You can get this from eating a large variety of different foods from a plant-based diet. Buy only organic foods to reduce and/or eliminate your risk of ingesting pesticides, GMOs, or other undesirable stuff. Eliminate all meat and dairy from your diet. Go 100% plant-based in order to secure good health and vitality for yourself.

The Mind

It is essential that you educate yourself about the dangers present in your food. There is a wealth of information available on the benefits of a high rawfood diet. You can read some books, watch some videos, and even seek the advice of a health and wellness coach to help you get started. Once you get started educating your mind, and changing your diet and lifestyle, your body will respond with noticeable changes too.

Also, be patient with yourself. It may have taken you years of bad habits to create your oral health condition, so don't expect a reversal in a week. Your body takes time, but if you work diligently with your body, you will reap the rewards of what you sow. This is a universal principle.

Your mouth has blood vessels which are connected to the heart. Blood circulates from the heart to the mouth and jaw. When you have infection in your mouth and gums, it can increase the risk of heart issues. Conventional dentistry based on old methodologies may not consider these risks. You should consider working with a dentist who is knowledgeable about a holistic health approach to your oral care. Your dentist should be able to support you in your goals of achieving a holistic oral care plan that is suited to your deeply held beliefs.

When you have infection in your mouth and gums, it can increase the risk of heart issues.

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Remember my motto: "Good health is your birthright, keeping it is your choice." Peace, love, and gratitude. ~ J.


i Editorial, "Lactose intolerance" Lancet 338 (1987): 663-664.
ii B. Levine, "Most frequently asked questions about lactose intolerance," Nutrition Today 31 (1996).
iii Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/health-concerns-about-dairy-products
iv Dr Mercola, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/06/12/the-hard-to-swallow-truth-documentary.aspx
v Statistics Canada, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2011003/article/11540-eng.htm
vi Dairy is Scary: The dairy industry explained in 5 minutes, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcN7SGGoCNI

Jenny Berkeley, RN, Health Educator (91 Posts)

Jenny Berkeley is a nurse of over 25 years, a certified holistic nutritionist, a health educator, a bestselling author of 5 books in the Holistic Health Nurse Series, and a raw food chef. Her career has seen her work both locally in Canada and Internationally. Her knowledge of allopathic medicine and alternative enables her to understand holistically how the body works and heals. She’s been on TV, Radio, and even met the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago. She educates her clients in the knowledge of their own body and their role in keeping themselves well. Her belief, “Good health is your birthright. Keeping it is your choice.”