How many teeth in your mouth (and what do they mean)?

How many teeth in your mouth (and what do they mean)?

Holding onto baby teeth

There are usually 32 teeth in an adult human mouth, and each of them has their own emotional and psychological associations which can help us to understand why one tooth is vulnerable to decay when another isn’t.

The gummy smile of a newborn baby hides the secret of their adult appearance. We are born with the buds of all our baby teeth (aka milk teeth or deciduous teeth) AND our adult teeth (aka permanent teeth) lying in wait inside our gums.

Baby teeth start to emerge after a few months, causing sleepless nights for many parents. It takes a couple of years for all 20 baby teeth to come through. They start falling out at about 6-7 years old, in the same order that they came in.

Not everyone loses all their baby teeth on time, in order, or ever. Baby teeth that won’t budge may force the adult teeth to come through at odd angles in the gum, sometimes causing much more serious problems than ‘shark teeth’.

A physical reason for baby teeth that won’t budge may be that the jaw is too narrow and the teeth are too crowded for the adult tooth to push the baby tooth out of the way. 

A narrow jaw and crowded teeth can often be avoided with natural interventions ranging from chewing tough food from an early age to myofacial therapy- with no need for tooth extractions or braces. 

There may also be emotional or psychological factors influencing baby teeth to stay put, for example a child’s reluctance to grow into the expectations and responsibilities that come with maturity.

Are your teeth trying to tell you something that you can’t quite make sense of?

In this free Masterclass you’ll learn how to:

  • How to tell the difference between oral health symptoms and the underlying causes
  • Understand the metaphysical meanings of your teeth and gum issues
  • Practice a simple way to tune into your teeth that you can use any time

The wisdom of teeth

With 32 teeth, adults have many more teeth than babies because our jaws are bigger and there’s more room for more teeth. However, diets heavy in grains and light on teeth healing nutrients make for narrow jaws and crowded teeth.

Some people don’t ever grow 4 wisdom teeth (aka third molars), possibly an evolutionary response to the narrowing of our jaws in agricultural cultures. I started adulthood with 31 teeth because I only had 3 wisdoms and they were impacted- not growing in straight – which was why they all got extracted in my early 20s.

It’s common to have wisdom teeth cause a world of trouble in the back of our mouths (like the naughty kids at the back of the class). They can even disrupt the alignment of our front teeth as they jostle for space in our gums.

Dentists are often very proactive about extracting wisdom teeth, even when they are not causing problems. The rationale is that the later in life wisdom teeth are extracted, the worse the complications.

However, wisdom teeth play an important role in the energy system of the body, particularly the expression of our individuality. 

Wisdom teeth sit on three meridians including the Heart Meridian so the metaphysical associations with these teeth include emotions of loneliness, grief, inhibition and humiliation.  It’s not surprising that these are common problems for young adults around the age wisdom teeth emerge.

In  Dr Michèle Caffin’s framework the upper right wisdom tooth relates to the way we try to communicate with the material and spiritual worlds. The top left wisdom relates to a fear of rejection. The lower right wisdom is aligned with the energy of our physical body. The lower left wisdom reflects how we express our feelings with the people around us.

How many teeth give you grief?

There is no right or wrong number of teeth for us to grow. Some people are gifted with more than 32, many of us grow fewer.

The important thing is to keep our teeth healthy and strong throughout our lives.  When a tooth is extracted as a result of decay, infection or gum disease, the metaphysical influences underlying our symptoms remain unresolved.

The purely physical responses by dentistry to teeth and gum problems, such as fillings, root canals and extractions can leave us vulnerable to ongoing issues in that part of the mouth or on in the rest of the body connected to that Meridian.

However, you can learn to work constructively with the energy of teeth that have been extracted, root canaled or filled, to help resolve current issues and prevent problems developing in the future. 

For a deeper understanding of the emotional, psychological, spiritual or ancestral factors that might be influencing your symptoms watch the Listen to your teeth: Understanding your mouth’s metaphysical messages Masterclass for FREE.

Are your teeth trying to tell you something that you can’t quite make sense of?

In this free Masterclass you’ll learn how to:

  • How to tell the difference between oral health symptoms and the underlying causes
  • Understand the metaphysical meanings of your teeth and gum issues
  • Practice a simple way to tune into your teeth that you can use any time

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

Gentle toothbrushing for healthier gums

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Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

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Chicken liver pâté

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Natural solutions for gingivitis or gum disease

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Learning to love liver to prevent a root canal

For a genuine super-food, liver gets a very bad rap. Most people, when I recommend liver as a essential teeth and gum healing food, grimace and shudder at thought of eating this most accessible of offal.  However, when I ask if they think they could bear to eat pâté, they will often relax.

Living teeth need living food

The approach to a teeth healing that I advocate involves getting nutrients in their original context, from eating real food.  The isolated nutrients in supplements, especially when synthesised rather than extracted, lack the complex synergies and the activating qualities available only in whole foods and combinations of foods. These synergies and activating qualities enable our bodies to turn the nutrients we eat into the hormones and proteins that teeth and gums need to be strong and healthy.

Stabilize Receding Gums with Whole Foods

Stabilize Receding Gums with Whole Foods

TMJ Disorder

Are you growing ‘long in the tooth’?

The underlying cause of gum disease is nutrient deficiency in your body which causes inflammation and bone loss in gums. Gum recession is often the first symptom to be noticed.  Receding gums don’t have to lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease. You can manage gum health with natural and self-help strategies.

You can help to stabilize receding gums and gingivitis with the teeth healing diet plus three special gum healing foods.

 

Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes only.  Please consult your health practitioner and use common sense. Terms and conditions here.

Gum Anatomy

The gums are made up of

  • gum tissue which is the pink skin around your teeth
  • periodontal ligament which consists of lots of microscopic strands of cartilage that connect your tooth into the socket
  • alveolar bone which is the section of the jaw and palate which includes the sockets that hold the teeth in place
  • cenentum which is the outer layer of the tooth below the gum line where the periodontal ligament connect the tooth to the alveolar bone
 

Giving the wrong message

Receding gums are often a source of shame becuase dentists and dental hygienists tell us that they are caused by not flossing enough. 

The mainstream explanation of gum disease is that it is caused by inadequate oral hygiene leading to gingivitis causing bacterial toxins in plaque which  stimulates a chronic inflammatory response known as gum disease or periodontitis.

That is why dentistry focuses on removing plaque and the tooth decay caused by bacteria. But plaque bacteria is not the underlying cause of receding gums or gum disease.

Eating right to stabilize receding gums

In 2010 new research summarised the consensus of periodontal science findings that most people’s bodies are able to respond to the bacteria in plaque without developing gum disease.

Not all bodies are vulnerable to plaque. In well nourished bodies, plaque doesn’t trigger gum disease because the most significant underlying influence on gum disease is actually the food we eat, not our oral hygiene habits.

Healthy gums are fed by nutrient-rich body fluids supplied through the circulatory and fluid systems.

Resilience to gum disease depends on a diet of whole foods that contain up to ten times more fat soluble vitamins and two to four times more minerals than in a normal modern diet.

The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are found most readily in animal fats and without them we are not able to absorb and use the minerals that we do eat.  The teeth healing diet I summarise in my free Feed Your Teeth Guide outlines the foods that supply fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients needed to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.

 Feed Your Gums

Eating to heal and prevent gum disease is a little different than a diet targeting tooth decay as it involves a greater emphasis on vitamin C and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and iodine.

Recent research shows that an improved diet can have as positive effect on gum disease as scaling and root planing which is one of the common dental procedures for treating gingivitis.

Whether you are eating for your teeth or your gums, synthetic vitamins and minerals can help but they are not as effective as nutrients from whole foods and may have unintended side effects because they are so specific and isolated.  Keep reading to learn about just three of the most effective whole foods that can help to stabilize receding gums.

 

 

Kelp

Kelp is an balanced source of trace minerals including . It supports glandular function and balanced blood chemistry. Kelp also helps the body to utilize and metabolize food.

Kelp is a sea vegetable that is enjoyed in many traditional cuisines from China to the Hebredies. Kelp is sold in dried pieces, as powder or granules or processed into noodles. I prefer to eat it as a tasty condiment. Eating kelp as a whole food is much safer than taking kelp supplements which are so concentrated that you can overdose with iodine, sodium or heavy metals. 

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of kelp powder or granules 4-6 days a week is sufficient for most people to keep gums healthy. I keep a jar of kelp granules on our dining table and sprinkle it onto cooked vegetables, salads and other savory dishes 4-5 times a week. 

 

*Avoid kelp if you have a thyroid disorder, high blood pressure or heart failure. 

 

Green tea

Studies have shown that green tea reduces symptoms of gum disease including gum pocket depth, bleeding gums and attachment of gums to teeth. 

Green tea contains catechin (aka epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG) which is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial flavinoid. These are the properties that seems to make green tea effective at preventing gum disease.

Green tea also helps prevent tooth decay, inhibits the development of oral cancer and freshens your breath!

 

Drink no more than five cups of green tea every day to enjoy the benefits for your gums.  The most healthy way to drink green tea is to make it with non-fluoridated water (i.e. spring or filtered water). Make it in a ceramic pot with water that has cooled for three minutes after boiling. Let it steep for three minutes before drinking. 

 

*Green tea can cause stomach upsets in some people (like me). 

 

 

 

 

Parsley

Chewing on a handful of raw parsley every day supplies a significant dose of vitamin C as well as vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, Beta Carotene, Folic Acid and Iron- all nutrients that support gum health.

A mouthful of freshly picked parsley has the additional benefit of offering a great workout for the jaw, as chewing on the fibrous plant  helps to strengthen and rebuild the bone.

*High doses of parsley should be avoided during pregnancy; if you are on blood-thinning medication or have kidney or gallbladder disease. 

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Yoga for Receding Gums

Yoga for Receding Gums

TMJ Disorder

Receding gums and jaw tension

Clenching or grinding teeth is one of the major causes of receding gums. When you clench or grind your teeth even a little bit, it rocks the teeth which can wear down the top of the bone socket inside your gums.

The best way help stabilize your receding gums is to relax your jaw completely, as often as possible.

My TMJ playlist includes a range of self-help tactics that I’ve curated from around You Tube, but this simple yoga hack is my own variation.

 

I’ve been practicing yoga for about 30 years, and almost daily for the last dozen. These days I usually just follow an online class, but whatever kind of yoga I’m doing, I turn it into teeth healing practice with this simple hack.

A simple exercise to help stabilize your receding gums

In any inversion pose where my face is pointing towards the floor (eg forward fold, downward dog, or child pose). I consciously relax my jaw and face and let my lips fall down into a duck face.

If you want to do this exercise without doing yoga, simple get on your hands and knees, or just lean forward so your face is pointing downwards (make sure you aren’t hurting your back or your neck as you bend forward).

Here’s what to do: Breathing deeply and steadily pay attention to all the muscles around your mouth, jaw and eyes and deliberately release your normal facial expression and let the muscles of your face give way to gravity.

For extra fun, you can try blowing our your breath in a horsey huff to loosen up your lips some more, or gently shake your head side to side and letting your loose cheeks and lips sway with the motion.

Toothache home remedy

This hack is good relieving toothache, particularly those deep in the root aches that are particularly painful at night.

Keeping your jaw relaxed takes the pressure off of the nerves in your jaw, giving pain relief that is sometimes instant.

The only side effects are good ones: relaxing the jaw also allows blood to flow more freely, carrying nutrients and oxygen to the teeth and gums so that the body’s can carry out natural remineralization and bone growth.

It even helps to prevent cavities because clenching and grinding puts pressure on the enamel causing cracks and chips.

 

Most people are so used to carrying tension in their jaw that they aren’t even aware of it.

It might take several sessions of practice before you can really feel what its like to have your jaw completely relaxed.

Doing this exercise regularly will make it easier to notice when your jaw is tense, so you can mindfully relax it, throughout your day.

How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralise cavities?    How long it takes to remineralise cavities, reverse decay or regrow receding gums depends on three factors. Your symptoms, how severe they are and how long you've had them for How wholeheartedly you are able to...

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Stop tooth decay naturally

Stop tooth decay naturally

TMJ Disorder

Healing tooth decay

 

A holistic approach to remineralize tooth decay is probably quite different from almost all the mainstream dental advice you’ve ever received.

It starts from the principle that the health of our teeth and gums is tied to the health of the rest of our body, in a two way interaction.

In order, to understand holistic teeth healing strategies, you really have to understand how teeth, and the rest of your body, are connected.

Watch the video, or keep reading to understand the mechanics and anatomy of teeth remineralization.

 

Healthy bodies remineralize tooth decay constantly

In a healthy mouth, nutrients and oxygen are delivered by the blood stream into the root of the tooth, and these nourishing vital fluids pass from inside the tooth out into the enamel by way of 300 yards of microscopic tubules. The tooth’s sponge-like quality means that when everything is working well, your teeth enamel is constantly being renewed from the inside out.  As long as the fluid flow is going from the center of the tooth outwards then tooth decay can be prevented or even reversed.

Tooth decay is a symptom of weak teeth

The fluid flow can impeded by high blood sugar levels, stress, hormonal shifts like pregnancy or adolescence and a lack of certain vitamins and minerals.  When the fluid isn’t flowing outwards, the spongey network of tubules in the enamel suck in the bacteria, toxins and fermentable carbohydrates (old food) from the mouth. That’s what causes decay, inflammation and ultimately toothache.

Decay will only occur if the tooth is vulnerable from the inside. So, holistic teeth healing is a whole body approach aimed at allowing that flow of nutritious fluids into the teeth and supporting the body to express its natural inclination to constantly remineralise.

Foods that prevent tooth decay

Diet is the most important aspect of holistic teeth healing because if your teeth are getting the right nutrients flowing into them, they are amazingly resilient. The teeth healing diet I follow is based on the recommendations of  Dr Weston A. Price and made famous in Ramiel Nagel’s book Cure Tooth Decay and Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions.

I eat lots of animal protein in the form of  grass-fed meat; organ meat especially liver; bone broth, raw dairy, and eggs.  I also eat lots of fresh nutrient-dense vegetables and fruit.  It happens to be an delicious and filling way to eat that has not only transformed my terrible teeth, but also improved my skin, hair and nails.  And my gut is better! I no longer have the tummy troubles that used to plague me for years.

Check out Feed Your Teeth, my user-friendly guide to teeth healing foods.

Other strategies to help heal tooth decay

The next priority in my hierarchy of holisitic teeth healing strategies is to make sure that your jaw is relaxed so those nutritious fluids can flow freely to the teeth and gums.  TMJ disorder, misaligned bite, or tension in your neck and shoulders can all be contributing to mouth problems by blocking the free flow of fluids to your teeth. Clenching and grinding also puts pressure on the roots and can wear down your tooth enamel. I’ve put together a playlist of free TMJ relaxation exercises for you to try.

Hygiene is the third line of holistic defense with a lot of botanical and mineral options for cleaning teeth and gums. Check out my resources for oral hygiene self care.

Holistic teeth healing can also involve working with your emotions and mindset, genetics and ancestral influences, the energetic body, toxins in the environment and in your body, and dental relationships including anxiety and trauma. These are almost always the underlying issues that need to be addressed. Check out my overview of the metaphysical approaches that can help heal your teeth and gums.

A holisitic approach to remineralize tooth decay is probably quite different from almost all the mainstream dental advice you’ve ever receive.

Emergency Teeth Relief Toolkit

 

Seven natural self help strageties for teeth and gum relief

Download for free now and also get regular holistic oral health information, tips and updates in the Holistic Tooth Fairy Circle.

Recommended Reading

Cure Tooth Decay

Nourishing Traditions

Holistic Dental Care

I love recommending books and I love the Book Depository so I have partnered with them for my recommendations. If you choose to purchase a book through my link, I may receive a commission. Win win! Yay!

Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

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10 common oral hygiene mistakes

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