I have a dentist. His name is Dr. Ron Ehrlich from the Sydney Holistic Dental Centre. He gets it. He doesn’t eat sugar. He does exercise in the same way I do. He is actively engaged in the wholefood movement and shares more than just a fill-in with his patients. Over the years he’s shared some fabulously open-minded tips for wellness. I figured all my friends here would benefit from hearing them, too. It’s definitely stuff a dentist generally only shares with their friends…Over to Ronald…
1. Grind your teeth? Try to correct your breathing.
Ninety-five per cent of us don’t have enough room for the 32 teeth we have in our mouths. Not having enough room for your teeth means your airway is not as big as it could be and it’s now recognised that grinding is most often linked to “sleep disordered breathing” including snoring and sleep apnoea. So working on breathing through the nose helps for lots of reasons – including reducing the incidence and effect of tooth grinding, which results in premature wearing or cracking of teeth, broken fillings, headaches, neck aches or a sore jaw.
Which brings me too…
2. Forget mouthguards: tape your mouth shut at night. Serious!
Try using Micropore (3M) tape over your mouth….yes, I’m serious. You’ll be amazed how something so simple can make a difference. Using the 7-8 hours of sleep to practice breathing through your nose evens out your breathing and stabilises your body chemistry. And because it improves sleep and evens out your breathing, by that same reasoning it also helps reduce the grinding of teeth. [I tried four different – expensive – mouth guards, all of which didn’t stop me from grinding, before trying this tape method. It’s the ONLY thing that’s ever worked and costs a few dollars a month! – Sarah.].
3. Getting mouth ulcers? Avoid grains.
Mouth ulcers (aphthous ulcers) are a common problem. They are an autoimmune response. Try avoiding all grains for a few months. Grains produce a protein called zonulin (…look it up), that causes leaky gut that results in a whole range of autoimmune conditions.
And while we’re avoiding things…
4. Avoid sugar.
Not only is this obvious for protecting your teeth, but sugary foods also inflame and restrict the airway, which will increase any current/potential breathing problems you have.
5. Sleep on your side.
Stomach sleeping twists your body. It’s not healthy. It also isn’t good for your breathing at night. It affects the muscles of your head, neck and jaw and can be an important part of why you might be waking with a headache or other muscular pain. Or why you’ve been prescribed a mouthguard. Try to sleep on your side with a pillow to snuggle into.
6. Steer clear of flouride. Yes, you heard right!
If the hardest part of your body decays because of what you eat imagine what’s happening to the rest of your body. While fluoride may make teeth harder, know this:
- it’s neurotoxic
- it can affect children’s IQ
- it can be a problem in young male bone development
- it’s been linked to bone cancers
- it affects thyroid function
7. Choose a non-toxic toothpaste.
Be thorough when you choosing a new toothpaste. I always avoid flouride and sodium lauryl sulphate in mine. Try an essential oil blend – they’re good for you and usually have a nice taste.
Dr Ron Ehrlich is based in Sydney and you can contact him at the Sydney Holistic Dental Centre.
He writes and podcasts on a bunch of things wellness. You can listen in on his weekly podcast here.