The Link Between Dental Health and Your Heart
Sometimes it takes a dramatic life event, a brush with death to make you sit up and pay attention. That’s what happened to me.
As you might know already, back in 2012 I suffered an occlusion of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery in my heart. Widowmaker is the alternative name of this bit of anatomy and the resulting heart attack - and that’s appropriate. Because the LAD is the main artery supplying blood to the heart, when it goes, the heart often can’t recover. And, yes, without a heart a body doesn’t function too well. I survived that heart attack, but not that long afterward was in a car accident that left me with nine broken ribs and a cracked sternum. Needless to say, chest pain was not something at that point that I could just brush off, it got right into my psyche, so on top of everything else I had a disastrous but unsurprising case of PTSD.
What Could Have Caused My Heart Attack?
I’ll talk more about my strategies for managing the PTSD in another post, but what I want to talk about today is what happened when I started on a quest to find out what might have been at the root of my health problems (and, yes, the answer certainly has an element of irony because it turns out a root canal lay at the heart of the matter).
I can sort of joke about it now because I’m doing much better healthwise, but I just don’t feel like I can keep what I learned to myself. Too many other people are at risk. Chances are, if you haven’t had a root canal yourself, you know someone who has.
Periodontal Bacteria Linked to Heart Disease
It turns out that there is a known link between certain strains of periodontal bacteria and coronary heart disease. I discovered this to be true in my case after a referral to a nutrition specialist who was also a biological dentist. Two types of bacteria associated with a root canal I’d had years earlier had caused damage to my heart. Even though the tooth had never felt right after the procedure and despite the fact that the area would get infected every couple of years I never put two and two together and neither did the countless doctors, dentists, blood tests and strange diagnosis over the years. And, of course, I had no idea that the bacteria causing the problem could travel elsewhere in the body and cause trouble in places like the heart.
Dr. Weston A. Price - Way Ahead of His Time
In my search for a better understanding of what the link could be, and how best to maintain excellent dental health, I read about the findings of Dr. Weston A. Price. A dentist from Cleveland, Dr. Price travelled widely in the 1930s and 40s, visiting isolated human groups all over the world to try to understand why some cultures seemed to have extremely healthy, straight teeth. His conclusion almost a hundred years ago was that our diet (and its excessive amounts of flour and sugar) was causing all kinds of health problems. His solution was to consume whole, nutrient-dense foods rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and K. If you are interested in his findings and the work being done by the Dr. Weston A. Price Foundation, you’ll find further information on their website.
Better Information Leads to Better Decisions
Dr. Price recognised that root canals were associated with particular bacteria that could cause various diseases, including heart disease. If I had known just how hard it is to get rid of anaerobic bacteria that hides in the jaw bone and in the remnants of dead teeth left behind after a root canal, I would have thought twice about having the procedure done.
Fortunately, I did plenty of research after-the-fact and made some pretty big changes to my diet, removed the offending root canal (and my old mercury-based amalgams), detoxed, and got serious about yoga and meditation. I also started using Meraki Toothypaste (though it wasn’t called that at first) and will soon be changed to Ecoistic Toothypaste.
Meraki Toothypaste - Part of My New Dental Care Regime
We’ve tweaked and refined the formulation over the years, but I have to say there’s no way I would use anything else on my teeth. If you’re wondering what’s in our Toothypaste and why we’ve chosen to include it, read on.
This is a finer version of what you find in the kitchen. Teeth like to be polished and gums like to be massaged: bicarb does both. It also supports a healthy PH balance and is a salt so it reduces bacteria and removes stains.
Food grade diatomaceous earth is the natural version of what the commercial toothpastes call Silica DE. It whitens and polishes teeth and is also ultra nourishing for our gums
Turmeric Oil & Powder
You may have already discovered the many benefits of turmeric for health and have been adding a little to your smoothies. That’s excellent- keep it up! We’ve added turmeric oil to our Toothypaste because it assists in treating gingivitis, periodontitis, and reduces inflammation, and have another version which also incudes Turmeric powder for all the above plus the whitening and brightening of your toothy pegs.
This is the most balanced seed oil available. Rich in antioxidants and linoleum acid, it’s antibacterial and anti-fungal.
We only use Virgin Coconut oil, which is naturally organic. The oil acts to trap bacteria and germs, which you are then able to rinse away. This oil comes straight from the palm tree to our Toothypaste, just as nature intended!
Peppermint oil performs a couple of important functions. First, it kills off anaerobic bacteria which thrive in low oxygen environments (like under the gum line). As a bonus, it makes some of the other not very nice-tasting ingredients taste better.
Nature’s most powerful antibiotic, oregano oil kills germs and bacteria. Treat your gums to a punch of its antimicrobial properties!
Just a pea-sized amount will give your mouth a sparkle, your gums a fighting chance, and your teeth a wonderful healthy polish. Yes, the taste is acquired… we aren’t used to a slightly-salty toothpaste - and it’s not terribly foamy like the commercial type - but it’s so much better for you it’s definitely worth the adjustment period.
Even if you decide not to switch your toothpaste brand, please, please don’t take your teeth and your dental health for granted. So much more is at stake - your heart health, your nervous system, your immune system… If only I had known years ago what I know now, I would have handled my dental procedure options quite differently. Mind you, if I had not had such a wakeup call, maybe I would still be in my old career working in media and I wouldn’t have had this second chance to look at my role in the world in a whole new way.
It’s been quite the healing journey, one in which I’ve learned so much about CBD oil and the many, many benefits of natural hemp. I’ll talk more about those findings in future posts. I’m curious about your experiences with root canals and old-style amalgams. If you’d like to share your story, I’m always open to learning more. Please consider sharing in the comments below so we can all benefit from our shared experiences or take a selfie of your gorgeous Meraki Toothypaste smile and tag us on instagram with #mandaladreamco so we can find you.