Let’s talk about teeth…
I recently rewatched a video I made for my Facebook groups and realized my bottom teeth were doing most of the talking. I guess this is just one of those things that happen as we get older due to aging and drooping skin.
Although it’s been quite a journey, the teeth movement is a result of treating other health issues. Learn about how your teeth and gums are indicators of overall health.
Teeth & Gums Are Indicators Of Overall Health
Starting from the beginning, this whole process began because my gums were quite inflamed. Gum inflammation indicates inflammation throughout the rest of the body. So I began to work with a biological dentist who approaches my dental care by looking at the underlying causes.
Identifying The Cause Of Inflammation
First, I did a DNA test along with a biome test of my mouth to determine the balance of bacteria. The results of these tests also provide information about gut health.
Are you wondering why a dentist would worry about a patient’s gut health?
According to Dr. Steven Lin, “Often, the problems I see in the mouth are caused by the digestive system. Also, there may be a clue in the mouth that suggests a problem with the gut microbiome.”
After the DNA and biome tests, I underwent a gum cleaning that went far beyond the usual teeth cleaning. It cleared away the deep plaque hidden under my gums. This will help me to avoid gum issues later on.
Additionally, my dentist evaluated the position of my teeth. This led to surprising news. My dentist determined that I had a propensity towards sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment & Prevention
Before I go into the details of my sleep apnea prevention treatment plan, you must understand what sleep apnea is.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, you might have sleep apnea.”
Because sleep apnea isn’t something I want in my life, I chose to be proactive and was given a take-home test. I rigged up the tubes and wires and slept with this device for 3 nights.
[image of Ciely in Sleep Apnea take-home test]
Once my dentist reviewed my take-home test results, she determined that sure enough, I was heading in the sleep apnea direction. This was especially surprising since I did not have any symptoms at this point. But I appreciate catching this early and having the chance to take proactive measures.
Broadening My Palette
Once it was determined that the positioning of my teeth was a red flag of bigger problems, we got to work.
Thus began a year-long program of wearing a retainer that began to move my cranial bones to broaden my palette. This was necessary to open my nostrils and the back of my throat.
The broad palette is something we should all have. However, too much sugar, processed foods, and orthodontic work, such as braces, have interfered with the correct structure of the palette.
Adjusting My Teeth For Overall Health
Wearing this retainer resulted in the spreading of my teeth, which resulted in significant movement of my bottom teeth. Watch my Facebook live video for a look at these retainers. In the video, you can see that the retainer has expanded. When I started this process, they were completely closed.
Every couple of days, I expanded the retainer. And while it is making significant progress in broadening my palette, I’ve become more aware of my bottom teeth. Even family members who had not seen me in a while were concerned about my well-being. But no, all is well.
However, the more I thought about it, I figured some of you would find this topic interesting. After all, my sleep has improved. Moreover, this process will prevent sleep apnea from developing as I get older.
The full expansion of my palette has happened, and now I am in the maintenance phase. There are several products that I use to aid in getting a good night’s sleep. And if you know me, you know I’m going to share my tips and tricks with you!
To help open my nasal passages, I’ve incorporated nasal strips into my routine. These are also great at relieving congestion due to colds and allergies.
An alternative to nasal strips is nose dilators. These soft nose vents made of silicone help to increase airflow through the nasal passage.
Because mouth breathing results in snoring, it’s important to keep my mouth shut to help me and my partner get good sleep. Mouth tape is great at keeping my lips closed and promoting nose breathing while I sleep.
Come November, I will begin using the Invisalign orthodontic procedure to re-align everything. I don’t regret the process of widening my palette, but I am looking forward to not being self-conscious about my teeth anymore.
My Dental Health Routine
While this process is lengthy, it is worth it! I wasn’t even aware of any sleep problems until I realized my sleep was improving. Below I outline how I holistically cater to my teeth.
My morning dental care regime is to start with a dry handheld toothbrush. Using the toothbrush, I gently circulate the bristles into the gums with no toothpaste. I never use toothpaste (more on that below).
Since I’m always looking for opportunities to strengthen my body, I take this time to work on my balance. I like to stand on one foot while I’m using the toothbrush. As I switch quadrants of teeth, I switch to the other foot. But of course, I’m always careful to catch myself if I lose balance!
Once I’m done brushing and balancing, I move on to floss. Using tea tree oil dental tape, I massage well into the gums. If you notice bleeding while flossing, then back off and be gentle. But be aware that the bleeding is indicative of not flossing enough. So if you notice blood while flossing, that means you need to step it up to at least once a day. The bleeding will subside as you get more consistent.
Next, I mix up my own homemade mouthwash. To do this, I add a teaspoon of baking powder and a half teaspoon of salt to a quarter cup of warm water. This is the mixture I use to gargle and swish around in my mouth to balance the pH and add minerals.
The last step of my morning dental routine is to use a tongue scraper. According to Healthline, “Debris, bacteria, and dead cells can build up on your tongue over time. This can lead to bad breath and harm your overall oral health.”
Finally, in the evening I use my Sonicare toothbrush. This toothbrush is great and pauses every 30 seconds as a signal to move to the next quadrant. And of course, I take advantage of this time to balance on one foot and switch to the next as I switch quadrants.
Again, I do not use any toothpaste. The reason for this is that I don’t want to kill the bacteria in my mouth. Instead, I want to remove the particles.
According to PatientConnect, “patients who first brushed their teeth with a toothbrush that didn’t contain toothpaste (and then with toothpaste afterward) saw a 63% reduction in plaque build-up and a 55% drop in bleeding.”
I maintain my good breath by eating healthy live foods and occasionally chewing on bones to support the biome of my mouth.
Teeth Are Bones, Too!
As this journey continues to unfold, I will share my progress with you along the way.
Ultimately, the message here is to know that your teeth and the biome in your mouth play an important role in your ongoing health. I will review my oral care program with you soon, because teeth are bones, too!
WakeUp To Indicators Of Overall Health
Bones are the foundation of a healthy life. Because teeth are bones, they require just as much care and maintenance as the rest of your body.
If you are on a mission to improve your bone health, know that you don’t have to go along this journey alone. I’ve spent decades researching and doing trial and error so that you don’t have to. If you’re ready to take the steps towards a healthy you, let’s get in touch and address the top indicators of overall health. Contact WakeUp Health and get started today!