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HEALTH

Oral Microbiome & Remineralization to Restore Tooth & Gum Health

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You don’t have to be a dentist to spot a healthy, beautiful smile a mile away. 

Clean healthy teeth and fresh-smelling breath can be the first things we notice about those around us. 

And, why wouldn’t we? Dental health and hygiene are so important that they are taught as early as preschool. It ranks equally with all other hygiene practices in those regards. 

But, are the typical exhortations of brushing twice a day and flossing all that are needed to keep your mouth clean and healthy? 

What other factors affect the health of your mouth? 

Could your oral hygiene and health affect other areas of your body? 

If so, what can you do to ensure you are facilitating the health of not just your teeth, but your whole mouth? 

Dental Health

We often associate dental health with teeth, but dental health doesn’t stop at your teeth. 

It refers to the health of your mouth as a whole. From your teeth, to your gums, to your mouth, and the presence or absence of injury or infection there. 

And, no, despite the suggestion from the popular commercial, just a stick of a particular brand of gum won’t clean up a “dirty mouth” either. It’s far more complex than that.

In fact, the health of your mouth can be an indicator of the health of your entire body. 

Hmmm, that statement sounds familiar, but in reference to a different area of the body. 

We generally hear of your gut or digestive tract health being a good indicator of the condition of your entire body. 

The bacteria that live in your gut, trillions of bacteria, aid in many functions. This microbiome houses your immune system and facilitates its important actions and responses. It metabolizes nutrients and serves as a barrier to infection, just to name a few. 

So then, how would your mouth serve as a measure of total body health as well?

While your gut is home to the largest group of bacteria (microbiome) in your body, the runner-up is none other than your mouth! 

Oral Microbiome

More than 700 kinds of bacteria reside in your mouth. 

These bacteria are vitally important to the health of your mouth and in turn, your body. Your oral microbiome is responsible for: 

  • aiding in the remineralization of your teeth
  • carrying molecules of oxygen to your gums and soft tissues in your mouth
  • removing free radicals and waste products
  • protecting your body from harmful environmental organisms  

The warm temperatures, pH levels of your saliva, and continual presence of moisture in your mouth provide a comfortable environment suited for the survival of these bacteria. 

And, like the microbiome of your gut, these bacteria in your mouth need to remain in balance. 

When balanced, the bacteria within your mouth form a thin, clear, odorless layer of protection over your teeth. 

When unbalanced, this same layer becomes thick, sticky, and has an off-putting odor. 

A continual absence of this needed balance results in bad breath, bleeding gums, and tooth decay, which can lead to infection and can even cause disease. 

The pH levels in your mouth play a large role in preserving this balance, and those levels are influenced greatly by what you eat and drink. 

When your diet contains large amounts of fermentable carbohydrates (sugars like sucrose, fructose, and glucose), the layer of bacteria on your teeth work to break down these carbohydrates and this creates an environment that is overly acidic. 

This acidic, unbalanced, environment leads to the demineralization of your teeth, which dentists consider to be the first step to tooth decay. 

  • Poor nutrition
  • Stress
  • Toxins
  • Inflammation
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Excess sugar 

All of those things listed there can lead to demineralization. 

But, there are many things that you can do to both promote a healthy balance in your oral microbiome and remineralize your teeth! 

Remineralization

Chances are, from early childhood, you’ve learned that brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing will prevent tooth decay. 

So, why do some individuals who religiously adhere to this cardinal rule of oral health still experience demineralization, tooth decay, bleeding gums, and bad breath? 

All of those metaphoric roads listed above lead to an imbalance in the oral microbiome. 

You can remineralize your teeth and balance this delicate community of bacteria in the following ways:

1- Probiotics

The health of your gut is linked to the health of your entire body. Since your mouth is the second largest home to bacteria in your body, second only to your gut, a healthy gut leads to a healthy mouth! 

Probiotics balance your gut microbiome by introducing healthy amounts of good bacteria and inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria there. 

Some consider the pH of your mouth to be the biggest factor in remineralizing your teeth. And, probiotics promote this balance in your gut and your mouth, keeping the environment from becoming too acidic. 

2- Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has become popular in recent years. 

It involves swishing 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth for roughly 10-20 minutes as soon as you wake up, before eating or drinking anything. 

After this duration of time, you spit out the oil (trash can, not drain), rinse out your mouth, and brush your teeth as usual. 

Most recommend repeating this practice 3-5 times per week for the best results. 

Oil pulling removes harmful toxins from your mouth and promotes a balance in your oral microbiome. 

3- Saliva Production

Your saliva plays possibly the largest role in keeping the environment for the microbiome in your mouth from becoming too acidic (and thus leading to demineralization). 

Having adequate amounts of saliva is thus crucial for remineralization. 

You can boost saliva production and avoid dry mouth in the following ways: 

  • Hydrate! Make it a goal to always stay hydrated. Sip water frequently throughout the day to boost saliva production.
  • Ditch the tobacco. Both smoking and chewing tobacco can cause a lack of saliva and lead to demineralization.
  • Limit caffeine. Caffeine can hinder saliva production and cause dry mouth. Also, many caffeinated beverages contain large amounts of sugar which are a primary cause of tooth demineralization.
  • Breathe through your nose. Mouth breathing can dry out your mouth.
  • Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol. These can both dry out your mouth and disrupt the balance of the oral microbiome.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to your room and thus your oral and nasal cavities.

4- Dietary Changes

Your diet can be the biggest contributor of demineralization and the biggest aid in remineralization!

So, what should you eat and drink?

First, foods rich in vitamins and minerals are a must! 

Leafy greens and other organic vegetables, wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats, healthy fats, and eggs all promote remineralization. 

And, some cheeses and low acid, fermented dairy products like kefir have been known to be healthy remineralization-aiding options, but milk tells a different story. 

Traditional dairy milk products contain lactose. Because lactose is a type of sugar, it greatly increases the level of acidity in your mouth. 

Choosing dairy free milk options like almond or oat milk can provide the calcium that your teeth need for remineralization, while avoiding the acidic effects of lactose.

Besides dairy milk, other foods and drinks can wreak havoc on your teeth. 

  • Acidic fruits and fruit juices contain high amounts of acid that can contribute to an imbalance in the oral microbiome and demineralize your teeth.
  • Sugar, when eaten frequently, even in small amounts, contributes to an overly acidic environment in your mouth, leading to demineralization, tooth decay, and ultimately, disease. 
  • Simple carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, pasta and white bread all turn to fermentable sugars in your mouth, which once again leads to the acidic environment that you’re trying to avoid to promote oral health.

5- Avoid Phytic Acid

Your body, specifically your teeth, need calcium and other minerals for remineralization to occur naturally.

So, when it comes to the health of your teeth, avoiding foods and beverages that contain phytic acid is of monumental importance. 

Phytic acid is considered an “anti-nutrient.” It adheres to nutrients and minerals that your body needs, like calcium, zinc, and iron and keeps your body from absorbing them. 

Grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes are the primary sources of phytic acid. 

Cutting out foods high in phytic acid and replacing them with foods that are high in essential nutrients and minerals will promote remineralization. 

And, if you can’t see yourself living without grains or legumes, you can opt for their sprouted versions or fermented grains like sourdough instead, which are considered phytic acid lowering foods.

You can optimize your dental health by balancing your oral microbiome. Balancing these bacteria keeps your teeth healthy and hinders demineralization which leads to tooth decay and disease. 

To aid in remineralization you can:

  • Eat probiotic rich foods or use a quality probiotic supplement
  • Practice oil pulling
  • Boost your saliva production
  • Eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals 
  • Avoid sugars, simple carbs, acidic foods and drinks, and dairy milk
  • Cut out foods high in phytic acid

Try this for 60 seconds to rebuild your teeth & gums overnight.

Doctors still can’t believe their eyes…

Every person who did this 60-second trick before going to bed experienced a dramatic rejuvenation of their gums, rebuilt their teeth…

And even got rid of bad breath and ugly spots…

No matter how advanced their tooth decay was…

And all they had to do was mix 2 dirt-cheap ingredients.

Some of them even claim they’ll never have to go to the dentist again after this…

See here the breakthrough method that’s making dental implants absolutely useless!

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HEALTH

10 Tinnitus Remedies That May Provide Relief

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Do you hear that? …that ringing? …that continual ringing? (or buzzing, humming, pulsing, etc noise)

If you’ve experienced a ringing in your ears, then the following list of troubles may be just as common for you: 

Fatigue. Stress. Trouble Sleeping. Difficulty concentrating. Anxiety. Headaches. Depression. 

Tinnitus, often characterized by a ringing in the ears, is experienced by at least 15-20% of adults. And, as we’ve just seen, a ringing in the ears is often only the start of the trouble it can cause. 

So then, what spells relief for tinnitus? 

While there’s no known cure for tinnitus, there are effective ways to manage the symptoms! 

Read on to find ten effective ways to find relief for the ringing

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a symptom of trouble occurring within your auditory system. 

Made up of specific parts of your brain and your middle, inner, and outer ear, your auditory system processes both how you hear and understand sounds.

Tinnitus is characterized by a regular, or constant, sound heard even though no external sound is present. 

These constant or regular sounds are often described as ringing, hissing, buzzing, whistling, or humming. And, in more severe instances, some people can hear louder, more profound sounds such as breaking glass or running machinery.

Tinnitus can be experienced in one ear, or both simultaneously. And, it can be constant or even temporary. 

Most people who suffer from such symptoms experience what is known as subjective tinnitus, where the sufferer alone can hear these sounds. However, in roughly 5% of cases, objective tinnitus occurs, where a physician can also hear the pulsing sounds heard by the patient. 

In the case of objective tinnitus, blood vessel complications or even muscle contractions can be the cause of the pulsing sounds that are heard. 

But, in the cases of the more common subjective tinnitus, let’s address the elephant in the room…or rather, the ear…

Why do people experience tinnitus?

We mentioned that tinnitus is a symptom rather than a condition or disease itself, but what does this mean for sufferers? 

If you’re experiencing tinnitus, those plaguing sounds in your ear(s), are likely due to damage incurred to your auditory system. 

Such damage can be gradual or immediate, and is often caused by one or more of the following:

  • head and/or neck injuries
  • age-related hearing loss
  • sudden or constant exposure to loud noises 
  • fluid in the ear
  • wax buildup in the ear
  • high blood pressure
  • tumors in the ear or on the auditory nerve
  • certain medications (including antibiotics)
  • medication taken in large doses (such as aspirin)
  • ear/nose/throat infections

Tinnitus symptoms can be exacerbated by depression, high levels of stress, a lack of sleep, and illness. 

Some people even experience greater symptoms when they consume too much caffeine or alcohol. 

While there is presently no cure known to work for all those dealing with tinnitus, there have studies that have yielded promising results that may lead to a breakthrough in the future. Thankfully, there are some things you can do right now to manage the perception of the sounds heard, lessen the symptoms, and find relief to improve your quality of life while experiencing tinnitus. 

How To Get Relief From Tinnitus?

Most people have found they can experience relief from tinnitus. And, this relief can be found from a wide range of sources, from simple lifestyle changes to more involved measures.

Here we’ll list the most common and effective tinnitus remedies that have provided relief for many sufferers. 

Exercise

The fact that exercise can improve health isn’t new information, but can it really improve something like tinnitus? 

Actually, yes! 

Stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, and illness can all contribute to worsening tinnitus symptoms. And, worsening tinnitus can contribute to stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, and then illness. So, exercise can help relieve tinnitus in multiple ways. 

Exercise improves your immune responses (helping to fight illness). It is a proven method of stress relief. And, exercise can even improve sleep quality. Improvements in each of these areas can lessen tinnitus severity. 

Dietary Changes

Some people have found tinnitus triggers within their diet. 

For instance, sodium has been found to contribute to instances of tinnitus. So, lowering salt intake has been known to reduce tinnitus, and this has also proven effective at lowering blood pressure, especially helpful in those tinnitus sufferers whose condition stems from hypertension. 

And, as instances of tinnitus were found to increase in individuals consuming foods with high levels of iron, calcium, and fat, controlling consumed amounts of these minerals and nutrients may help to reduce symptoms as well. 

Meditation and Stress Reduction

Mindful meditation and mindful breathing practices are effective ways to relieve stress and thereby lessen the intensity of tinnitus. 

As tinnitus can bring about much stress, practicing effective ways to reduce stress can go a long way in your efforts to find relief in dealing with symptoms. 

Besides reducing overall stress, these methods can help you to focus your mind on things other than the symptoms of tinnitus. 

Acupuncture

While acupuncture is often skipped over, not being seen as a conventional or traditional method of treatment, tinnitus sufferers have found great relief with this practice. 

Acupuncture can decrease inflammation and improve blood circulation, making this method of relief especially effective for those suffering from tinnitus symptoms due to high blood pressure or a head or neck injury.

And, studies have shown acupuncture can reduce the intensity at which tinnitus symptoms are experienced.

Hearing Aids

If your tinnitus symptoms are a result of hearing loss, hearing aids can provide relief. 

As you lose your ability to hear, your brain begins to change the way it processes sounds. In this process, you can experience ringing, buzzing, or humming sounds…or tinnitus. 

As the use of hearing aids can improve hearing, tinnitus symptoms can lessen. 

Sound Machines

Sound machines and sound-masking devices offer effective tinnitus relief as they provide external noise, usually pleasant or warm sounds, that can essentially “drown out” the sounds heard internally. 

These machines are often devices you can place on a table or nearby stand but also come in sizes small enough to fit in the ear (electronic devices made to be worn in the ear). 

Studies have shown that white or pink noises were most effective at masking tinnitus sounds. 

Behavioral Therapy

Working with a behavioral or cognitive therapist or counselor has also proven to be effective in dealing with the effects of tinnitus. 

Those who have dealt with tinnitus over long periods of time can experience high levels of stress, and behavioral therapy has proven helpful in teaching sufferers to live with and even cope with this condition. 

Medication

While there isn’t a known medication to specifically treat tinnitus, some antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications have been known to improve the quality of life for tinnitus sufferers by making the sounds less intrusive in daily life. 

Supplements

Many vitamins and minerals are effective at both treating and offering relief for a wide range of symptoms and conditions, including tinnitus. The most common supplements used as a relief for tinnitus are zinc, ginkgo biloba, and magnesium (their effectiveness is detailed below). 

Zinc- Some studies have shown those experiencing tinnitus to be deficient in zinc. In such studies, both the severity and loudness of tinnitus were greater in those individuals with low levels of zinc. 

Zinc is also known to improve nerve transmission within auditory pathways, and as we’ve seen earlier here, improvements in hearing have often lessened the instances and severity of tinnitus. 

Ginkgo Biloba- This herb is most noted for its ability to stimulate circulation. For those experiencing tinnitus due to poor blood circulation or even hypertension, ginkgo biloba may offer relief. 

Magnesium- Studies have shown magnesium to decrease the severity of symptoms of tinnitus. This mineral is often associated with ear health as it has been found to protect the inner ear from damage caused by loud noises, as it works to block damage to cells within the ear from free radical molecules (experienced in instances of loud noise). 

Say No To Alcohol, Tobacco, And Caffeine

Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine can all hinder blood flow, a known contributor to tinnitus. And, regular consumption of each of these is known to increase blood pressure, another contributing factor to tinnitus. 

Limiting or avoiding these substances can not only improve your overall health but may also provide relief for tinnitus. 

**If you are newly experiencing symptoms, your tinnitus has increased or become persistent, or if you find that your tinnitus symptoms are interfering with your ability to sleep, work, or enjoy your life (to the point of causing depressive symptoms), please see your doctor. 

Upon a routine hearing examination, a physician can refer you to a specialist if warranted. 

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HEALTH

Link Between Diabetes And Dementia?

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Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are diminishing the health of many across the nation, increasingly affecting children as well, at an alarming rate. 

And, though I’m sure you’ve heard of the ways that these factors can adversely affect your health, putting you at risk for concerns such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes to name a few, they can also affect the health of your brain. 

Instances of diabetes leading to dementia are growing, and this is causing researchers to dig a bit further into this now-commonly-known link.  

So, what is the connection between diabetes and dementia? 

Do age and onset make a difference? 

And, if you have diabetes, or are at risk for diabetes, what can you do to reduce your risk of cognitive decline? 

Diabetes & Dementia

Diabetes is a health condition that changes how your body converts food into energy. 

As you eat, foods are normally broken down into glucose (sugar) which is released into your bloodstream. 

When the amount of sugar in your blood increases, this sends a signal to your pancreas to release insulin, a substance that allows your cells to then use that sugar as energy. 

In the case of diabetes, however, the body doesn’t produce adequate amounts of insulin, causing too much sugar to remain in the bloodstream.  

This can then lead to further health concerns such as kidney disease, problems with vision, heart disease, stroke, and dementia. 

And, it’s the last threat on that list that is garnering much attention as of late. 

Diabetics actually have a 73% greater risk of developing dementia than non-diabetics, with type 1 diabetics being 93% more likely to develop dementia. 

And, while dementia can be caused by a number of illnesses or even injury, specifically speaking of its link to diabetes, it is thought that high levels of blood sugar and insulin can also cause harm or damage to the brain. 

So then, what is the connection between these two health conditions? 

First, we know that diabetes most often leads to a slow and subtle decline in brain function, but in patients who already are experiencing cognitive decline, the likelihood of this decline progressing to full-blown dementia increases greatly. 

But, aside from those already experiencing cognitive decline, diabetes knowingly causes damage to blood vessels, and it is also a known risk factor for vascular dementia, a type of cognitive decline often associated with brain damage due to problems with a lack of blood supply to the brain. 

In fact, the risk of developing vascular dementia increases by 100% in diabetes patients. 

And, as diabetes can lead to heart damage or stroke, blood vessels within the brain can become damaged in such instances. 

Diabetes can also cause chronic inflammation throughout the body which is known to damage brain cells. And, some studies have shown diabetes to cause an increase in the production of a toxic protein which causes damage here as well. 

And, type 2 diabetes, in particular, is linked to a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and even mild cognitive impairments including having difficulty concentrating, problems with memory, learning new things, and making decisions. 

The link here is usually seen in patients with type 2 diabetes and those with Alzheimer’s disease, both suffering from oxidative stress and diminished insulin signaling. Here, insulin resistance in the body leads to diabetes, and insulin resistance in the brain leads to Alzheimer’s disease. 

But, as recent research has given us greater knowledge regarding this connection, a finding that is particularly troubling surrounds the age of onset, given the fact that the age of diabetes diagnoses seems to be getting younger and younger.

Age Of Onset Could Make All The Difference

While the link between diabetes and dementia has been well established, this connection has led scientists to search for even more answers. 

And, the results of this ongoing research have led scientists to believe that the earlier one is diagnosed with diabetes, the greater their risk is for developing dementia. 

Over time, the effects diabetes can have on blood pressure and heart health is thought to be one of the largest contributors to dementia as heart and brain health are closely linked. 

Another risk associated with an early life diagnosis of diabetes is that the longer you are faced with controlling your body’s blood sugars, the more likely you are to have had instances or episodes of low blood sugar as well. 

Instances of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) over time can cause damage to the hippocampus (the brain’s memory center), leading to memory loss and dementia. 

Thankfully, not only are there some things you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes in the first place, but there are also things you can do to reduce your risk of dementia as well, even if you already have diabetes. 

Decreasing Your Risk Of Dementia When Living With Diabetes

So, now we’ve learned that diabetics also have to be concerned with cognitive decline as they manage an already troublesome disease. 

But, thankfully there are some ways to manage that risk! 

Maintaining a healthy weight, or losing weight if you are overweight or obese can reduce your risk of developing diabetes and can prevent complications (like dementia) from the disease if you are a diabetic. 

Losing weight can…

  • keep your blood sugar levels healthy and in turn reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure or the buildup of arterial plaque which can both lead to heart disease or stroke, thus potentially damaging your brain
  • make your body more sensitive to insulin, causing insulin resistance to decrease and allowing diabetes to be better managed
  • reduce the risk of vascular damage, a common link to dementia

Exercise and a healthy diet are often mentioned in conjunction with weight management, and these certainly are crucial in keeping or reaching a healthy weight, but these can also help you to manage diabetes and decrease the risk of the disease progressing to dementia. 

To effectively manage diabetes, aside from controlling blood sugars, be sure to 

  • exercise at least 30 minutes per day 
  • eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins 

These practices can prevent diabetes, keep the disease from progressing, and may potentially reduce the risk of diabetes progressing to dementia. 

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Here’s to the new you!

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HEALTH

10 Daily Habits for a Healthier Lifestyle

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Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming. By implementing small daily habits into your routine, you can gradually improve your overall health and well-being. Here are 10 daily habits you can start incorporating into your life for a healthier lifestyle:

1. Start your day with a glass of water: Hydration is key to good health, so make sure to start your day with a glass of water to kickstart your metabolism and flush out toxins from your body.

2. Eat a nutritious breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make sure to fuel your body with a nutritious meal that includes protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

3. Move your body: Whether it’s going for a walk, doing yoga, or hitting the gym, make sure to incorporate some form of physical activity into your daily routine to keep your body strong and healthy.

4. Practice mindfulness: Take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness through meditation, deep breathing, or simply taking a moment to slow down and focus on the present moment.

5. Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your body to rest and recharge for the next day.

6. Limit processed foods: Try to incorporate more whole foods into your diet and limit processed foods, which are often high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and additives.

7. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support your body’s functions.

8. Practice gratitude: Take time each day to reflect on what you are grateful for, which can help improve your mental health and overall well-being.

9. Limit screen time: Try to limit your exposure to screens, such as phones, computers, and TVs, especially before bed, to improve your sleep quality and reduce eye strain.

10. Stay connected: Make time for social connections with friends and family, as strong relationships have been shown to improve mental health and overall well-being.

By incorporating these 10 daily habits into your routine, you can start living a healthier lifestyle and improve your overall health and well-being. Remember, small changes can lead to big results, so start small and gradually build on these habits to create a healthier and happier you.

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