What’s your level of oral unawareness?
Are you someone who rarely looks inside your mouth, at least not further than the front teeth that show when you smile?
Do you pay attention to how your teeth and gums feel when there’s no discomfort?
When your teeth feel sensitive, do you buy a numbing toothpaste?
When your teeth hurt, does your dentist offer drilling and filling as the only real solution.
You probably know that you have to scrub away bacteria from your teeth, but you probably weren’t taught to nurture the complex, and mostly helpful microbiome, that makes up your oral environment.
You probably know that sugar affects your oral health but did you know that grains do too? What about the role your teeth and gums play in your digestion and immunity?
Teeth and gums play a critical role in your overall wellbeing, yet a culture of dental disconnect means most people don’t really understand or prioritise their oral health.
Where does oral unawareness come from?
Historically the dentistry has been disconnected from medicine.
This disconnection is evident from many angles, from education and training to insurance coverage.
Dentists aren’t usually trained or encouraged to address environmental or systemic influences on oral health such as nutrition, stress, breathing or sleep.
Their education about prevention is mostly limited to the dangers of sugar and the necessity of flossing.
Instead, dentists are taught to perform surgical repairs and to use industrial chemicals (including neurotoxins such as mercury and fluoride). (2)
Dentists are the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, and yet there is no one telling you not to jump in the first place.
In recent decades medical researchers have found links between teeth and gum problems and many systemic diseases including;
- heart disease,(3)
- diabetes, (4)
- Alzheimer’s Disease,(5)
- rheumatoid arthritis,(6)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (7)
- and low birth weight (8)
Although it’s now more common to recommend gum treatment before cardiac surgery, few other disease protocols include addressing oral health.
This mouth-body disconnection is just as apparent in complementary health as in mainstream medicine.
Complementary health modalities rarely include more than cursory attention to oral health in their training. This means that most natural health practitioners don’t feel confident to diagnose or remedy teeth and gum problems.
Dental disconnect is not just institutionalised at the professional level. Somewhere along the way, oral health products got categorised with cosmetics and beauty rather than health and wellbeing. (1)
Toothpaste, mouthwash and other oral hygiene products are often regulated with skin cosmetics rather than alongside food, even though both go in your mouth.
Teeth whitening products marketed to improve the visual appeal of the mouth, are often far too harsh for teeth with discoloration caused by demineralisation and can dangerously unbalance the delicate oral microbiome in your mouth.
Even though the mouth is the gateway to the digestive system and consists mostly of permeable mucus membranes, mainstream toothpaste and mouthwash routinely includes ingredients that are not considered food-safe (9).
Many dentists now routinely recommend cosmetic procedures. They’re up-selling their services to us by making us feel bad about how our teeth look.
Did you know that a lot of cosmetic dental procedures actually damage the health of our teeth and gums?
- many orthodontic treatments involve extracting healthy teeth,
- dental (and over-the-counter) whitening treatments weaken tooth enamel,
- veneers and crowns involve shaving off the enamel surface of our teeth, permanently damaging the structural integrity.
Of all the ways that dental disconnect is harmful, the most insidious may be the deliberate damage to teeth for profit, marketed by preying on our insecurities about appearance.
So what can you do about oral unawareness?
If you stay disconnected from your mouth for too long, your teeth or gums will probably start trying to get to get your attention with uncomfortable or damaging symptoms.
Practicing connection with your body means you can pick up messages from your mouths while they are still quiet and gentle.
What’s the best way for you to practice connecting with your teeth and gums?
Here are three practical things you can try to help reconnect with your oral health.
- Do a bit of research into oral health, going beyond ‘how to get a whiter smile’. As you do, pause to pay attention to a single, slow, gentle breath before and after you read or watch something new.
- Sit outside on the earth and sink your attention into your root chakra. Feel the minerals in your teeth align with the minerals in the ground below you.
- Look at your teeth lovingly every time you brush and floss. With relaxed curiosity ask, what do you need today? Notice any thoughts, memories, images, or sensations that cross your awareness.
Check out Listen to your Teeth, my free Masterclass which explains more about metaphysical influences on oral health, and includes a guided meditation to tune into your own intuitive wisdom.
Are your teeth trying to tell you something that you can’t quite make sense of?
In this free live Masterclass you’ll learn 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
- Mary Otto, Teeth, 2017
- Mark A, Breiner Whole Body Dentistry, 2011
- Gum disease and the connection to heart disease
- The Relationship Between Oral Health and Diabetes Mellitus
- Alzheimer’s is linked to gum disease
- Periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis: the evidence accumulates for complex pathobiologic interactions
- Could the Cure for IBD Be Inside Your Mouth?
- Research Links Poor Dental Hygiene to Low Birth Weight & Preterm Babies
- Nadine Artemis, Holistic Dental Care , 2013
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.