My monthly in-office presentations are all about the oral-systemic (mouth-body) connection; how the health of the mouth can affect the rest of the body, and the reciprocal effect of the state of body health affecting oral health as well. As a Wellness Center, we believe that education along with prevention is key to oral health development and maintenance. This is why we spend a lot of time with each new patient in assessing their entire oral system – teeth, gums and TMJ’s. For instance, as important as it is to remove tooth decay as early as possible and repair it properly, it is even more important to assess its cause to prevent further decay. Oral bacteria that are involved in tooth decay both thrive within, and contribute to, an oral environment that is acidic in nature. One of the basic oral assessments we perform with new patients is to determine the relative acidity or alkalinity (pH) of the mouth through placing their saliva on pH strips. These strips change color which indicates either an acidic, neutral or alkaline salivary pH. Bacteria that are responsible for tooth decay live within a sticky matrix that covers the teeth and gums called a “biofilm.” They multiply in the presence of acidic foods we all like, such ashighly processed sugary foods, sodas, orange juice, highly preserved sauces and condiments, anything baked with white flour, foods high in trans fats and anything containing high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. Meats, cheeses and white rice are also acidifying. Needless to say, the majority of our new patients do test acidic with the saliva tests.
Bacteria involved in gum disease also flourish in an acidic environment. Through laboratory testing of a patient’s saliva we can determine the types and numbers of bacteria in their mouth that affect the progression of gum disease. Higher levels of destructive bacteria, as opposed healthy bacteria in our oral flora will increase the rate of gum destruction and bone loss. In fact, the more acidic the environment for longer periods of time, the higher the levels of destructive bacteria there will be.
pH gauges the activity of hydrogen ions in the various liquids of our bodies - blood, saliva, urine, etc. Each of these fluids may vary from one another slightly, however it is well-recognized that in an optimally healthy body state, each should be within a neutral or slightly alkaline state. As an example, water tests neutral (7.0 pH). Numbers above this norm indicate alkaline; those below it indicate an acidic state. In general, degenerative diseases are the result of acid waste buildups within the body. When we are born, we have the highest alkaline mineral concentration and also the highest body pH. From that point on, the normal process of life is to gradually acidify. That is why these degenerative diseases do not occur when you are young.
For years we have been recommending pH changing protocols to our patients to move their oral pH away from an acidic state as part of our cavity and gum disease prevention regimens. These regimens consist of neutralizing mouth rinses, brushing with a neutral acidity toothpaste, alkaline milk product application, coaching for effective plaque removal and regular hygiene maintenance. Although these protocols are helpful, it becomes a losing battle if the patient doesn’t follow the recommended nutritional and daily self-care regimens. In other words, if the pH of the entire body is acidic, local measures to change the oral pH can be relatively ineffective.
A new system of products named “7.2” has been developed that is designed to improve one’s general health through developing a bodily pH of 7.2 (slightly alkaline). It consists of the highest quality natural, organic and non-allergenic nutritional supplements that not only are effective on their own, but more readily assimilated at a body pH of 7.2. At this pH level the cells become healthy and are effectively able to absorb the nutrients they require. Healthy cells in this type environment are effective in eliminating waste products. Body cells in an acidic pH environment build up waste products that leave them weak, less functional and more vulnerable to many diseases. As a result, infectious organisms have a better chance of affecting these cells throughout the entire body including tooth decay and gum disease. We are all excited about this new product, which was developed by a doctor who realized this need himself after having become frustrated with poor patient compliance in following his individualized nutritional regimens, especially with the decreasing nutritional content of fruits and vegetables coupled with today’s hectic pace and a population addicted to processed and fast food. He spent a lot of time and resources testing and re-testing his products for compactness, quality and effectiveness – and an amazingly pleasant taste! The system comes with pH testing strips as well that quantifiably demonstrates a change to the ideal pH of 7.2.
We are seeing positive results in our patients’ health as well as experiencing personal changes with examples of reduced and eliminated joint pain due to its effective anti-oxidant component, cessation of acid reflux with no need for further medication and weight loss. We are proud to offer this system of products as it truly personifies the essence of the mouth body connection and the reciprocal effect of one upon the other.