Imagine a dental diet designed to keep your teeth and gums in good health. What does it look like? Does it have any impact on your health beyond the limit of your tongue?
Few people realize that there is a strong connection between gum infection (periodontitis) and systemic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Even fewer might consider how the foods we eat affect the microbes that live in our mouths. Yet the oral microbiota has a powerful influence on the health of our gums as well as our teeth. Consequently, the influence of our diet reaches far beyond the mouth and affects our entire body. Our guest, Dr. Steven Lin, practices integrative dentistry in Australia and sees the effects in his patients’ lives.
When we were kids, the dentist told us not to eat too much candy because that could cause cavities. Dr. Lin has examined the reports of Dr. Weston A. Price from the early 20th century. Dr. Price traveled the world collecting data on diet and dentition. He concluded that many orthodontic problems appear only when people adopt a “Western” diet full of processed foods. Apparently giving children food that must be chewed encourages the proper development of jaws with space for well-aligned teeth.
Dr. Price referred to a mysterious dietary compound he called activator X. Decades later, scientists concluded that activator X is vitamin K2. What are the best food sources for this little-known vitamin? How does it alter oral health?
You may have learned that vitamin K is the vitamin in green leafy vegetables that promotes proper clotting of blood. That is vitamin K1. Vitamin K2 is found primarily in fats from grass-fed animals, such as butter, ghee, cream and whole milk.
Keeping our mouths healthy and our oral microbiota balanced has a positive impact on health throughout the life span. Young children, seniors and people between those extremes all benefit from a diet based primarily on whole foods with few if any processed foods.
Dr. Steven Lin is a board-accredited dentist, TEDx speaker, and international #1 Amazon best selling author. He is the author of The Dental Diet: The Surprising Link between Your Teeth, Real Food, and Life-Changing Natural Health. His website is www.drstevenlin.com/the-dental-diet
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