UPDATE as of 5/2/17: The bright white spots in my teeth have enlarged, and now fill up the entire lower half of my two front teeth. My smile continues to naturally brighten as the translucent areas are filled in. You can remineralize teeth! My supplement regimen is listed towards the bottom of this post if you’re interested.
You can remineralize teeth! I didn’t really give my teeth much thought until my 30’s. Up until then, they had served me well – I even got compliments on my smile. What more could I ask for? Unfortunately, sometime between the ages of 20 and 30 my teeth went from pearly white to grayish – almost translucent – without me noticing! Clearly, a very subtle and gradual change had taken place and the resulting dingy smile snuck up on me. See the photograph at the right from the Sensodyne ProNamel website.
I began buying enamel-boosting toothpaste and whitening strips. No results – you can’t whiten something that is translucent because you can see what’s behind it, and that was my mouth.
When my toothpaste didn’t help I started wondering why. Upon inspection, I realized the ingredients in my toothpaste were entirely counterproductive to the repairs I was hoping to make; remineralize teeth.
Here are some common ingredients found in your toothpaste:
- Fluoride Folks, you do not have a fluoride deficiency! You do not need fluoride, and if you research enough you will become infuriated by the trail of big business that got this chemical waste product purposely added to your municipal water supply. It accumulates in your body and is associated with a laundry list of issues ranging from Alzheimer’s to early onset puberty. There is “substantial evidence of neurotoxicity” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Triclosan A registered pesticide that has been linked to antimicrobial drug resistance. It’s found in some products to prevent gingivitis and is also being reviewed by the FDA because studies show it may alter hormone regulation. The Environmental Working Group ranks this ingredient as a 7 – meaning, HIGH HAZARD, and yet it continues to remain an ingredient in mainstream toothpaste, hand soap, hand sanitizer, etc.
- Glycerin This ingredient is used as an inexpensive filler and carrier for active ingredients. Unfortunately, it coats your teeth and won’t allow your saliva to remineralize your enamel!!! H-E-L-L-O, transparent teeth!
- Artificial Sweeteners Some are known excitotoxins.
- Detergents/Surfactants These ingredients are for your foaming pleasure, which is unnecessary for a clean mouth, by-the-way. You probably stopped buying facial cleansers and shampoos with sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate because you were told those ingredients are known skin irritants, suspected carcinogens, and gene mutagens, but did you realize you’re likely putting them in your mouth every day?
We’ll stop there, but we could continue for pages. It is no wonder your toothpaste contains a warning to call poison control if swallowed!
Our teeth are fascinating. Having never really given them any thought, I am now perfectly delighted by their innate intelligence, and their ability to heal themselves. Read that again. If you have a cavity, plaque build-up, translucent teeth or gingivitis, your teeth can heal, in fact, regenerate – they just need your support and the proper nutrients needed to accomplish the task at hand. Your teeth are living. This is astounding news!
Look at the diagram on the left and find the pulp chamber. This is also called the root canal. It contains cells, connective tissue, and blood vessels. This is where the magic happens! Nutrients from your bloodstream are transported to your dental fluid.
The idea that your enamel is what makes your teeth white is erroneous. Your enamel is actually clear, like glass, and is honeycomb-like and primarily made of a crystal called hydroxyapatite, which is a crystalline calcium phosphate. It’s in a constant state motion; breaking up and breaking down 24/7.
If your saliva has a neutral pH of 7 then calcium and phosphate can freely move into your tooth enamel. When present, and able to flow freely, calcium and phosphate build more crystals, which builds a strong enamel. Acidic saliva (a pH below 7) causes the crystals to dissolve, which breaks down the honeycomb-like pattern of your enamel. When your enamel is porous you are susceptible to staining and damage.
Just below the enamel, you find dentine. Dentine is living tissue. It supports the enamel. The nutrient-rich fluid in the pulp is taken to the dentine by way of odontoblasts, which are connective cells sitting on the outside of the pulp chamber acting like a pump pulling nutrients out of the pulp chamber and delivering them to the dentine through the dentinal fluid flow transport mechanism (fancy for your God-given internal toothbrush). There are miles of tubules inside the dentine going from the pulp to the dentine-enamel interface. The tubules carry nutrients with the dental fluid. Stem cells are contained in the pulp tissue. These stem cells can differentiate into new odontoblasts when the teeth are damaged so long as there is sufficient minerals, fat-soluble vitamins, parotid hormone and dentinal lymph flow present.
Can we just pause for a second to revel in the miraculous!! Each individual tooth possesses these superpowers. Wow!
So, back to translucent teeth…
How do we truly whiten our smile – permanently? You can remineralize teeth! If you’ve whitened your teeth previously, you’ve likely noticed that you have a new brighter smile that turns dingy more quickly than before you began whitening, and you may also notice your teeth begin to appear dull with repeated use. This is because the treatments eat away at the enamel, which makes them more vulnerable to staining. Thus the only way to truly whiten is to heal your teeth from within.
Dentine is very white. It’s your tooth enamel that is translucent. This means my translucent teeth were actually trying to show me that my dentine was screaming for nutrients. Dentine uniquely requires vitamin K to produce osteocalcin, which is a protein that organizes calcium and phosphorus deposits into the bone for mineralization. So….if you have enough minerals, fat-soluble vitamins and work to maintain an internal pH that is alkaline you can rebuild your teeth.
My translucent teeth now have bright white spots inside them. They are literally repairing themselves from the inside out, and I can see it! Here is my regimen, if you’re curious:
UPDATE as of 5/2/17: The bright white spots in my teeth have enlarged, and now fill up the entire lower half of my two front teeth. My smile continues to naturally brighten as the translucent areas are filled in. You can remineralize teeth!
- When I do not have time to make my own toothpaste (DIY recipe here), I use Redmond Earthpaste. Changing your toothpaste is essential if you truly want to repair your teeth. The switch is weird at first because Redmond Earthpaste does not foam, but give it two days and you will never go back! Your gums will turn a light, healthy pink and your hygienist will comment on how clean your teeth are because plaque will become a thing of the past!
- I take Mg Plus Guard by Perque every night before bed. I give my boys Natural Calm Plus Calcium by Natural Vitality – they LOVE the taste! It’s a yummy fizzy drink.
- I put Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil on my thighs and rump twice a day because we need more magnesium than our digestive tract can handle orally.
- I take A-D-K by Davinci Labs daily. I have been trying to raise my serum vitamin D levels for years, but it didn’t happen until I started taking A-D-K by Davinci Labs with Digestzymes by Designs for Health. Medical tests performed by Genova Diagnostics showed my body needed support digesting proteins and fats. Truly, this changed everything!
- These are the two products I use to supplement trace minerals: ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops and MultiMinerals by ProThera.
- I take OmegAvail Ultra by Designs for Health. If you are one who gets sick when taking fish oil consider taking Digestzymes by Designs for Health – perhaps, like me, your body is not properly digesting fats. Your skin and hair will thank you for the help!!
A few final notes…
High insulin levels negatively affect your hypothalamus, which then affects your parotid gland. Your parotid gland is your largest salivary gland. Thus, high insulin levels, most commonly caused by a high-carb, high-sugar diet, will negatively affect your dentinal fluid flow (that magical internal toothbrush). Cut down on your sugar intake in order to increase dentinal fluid flow.
Magnesium must be highlighted before we close. This little miracle mineral deserves its own article, and it will one day get one. It is VERY SAFE to assume you are highly deficient in magnesium. Modern agricultural practices affecting our food supply, pharmaceutical drug use and stress are just three of the many causes for a deficiency. Magnesium binding sites have been found in 3751 human proteins! These proteins are essential for building, repairing and maintaining your bodies cells. Imagine a door lock. The binding site is the lock and the magnesium is the key. 3751 human proteins have magnesium binding sites – this means that magnesium is literally the key to your health! Science is only beginning to unravel its importance. Nearly every known human disease has a link to magnesium deficiency.
For the sake of this article please note that magnesium is also an essential and required cofactor for calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, B vitamins, copper, zinc, and potassium. Without the key (magnesium) you cannot enjoy the benefits behind the lock (nutritional value of the other vitamins). I like the transdermal application of magnesium oil because it does not negatively affect my digestive system. Your teeth will thank you.
My gratitude goes to the following authors for their knowledge and inspiration for this article:
Magnificent Magnesium by Dennis Goodman, MD
Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Mark Sircus, OMD
The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean, MD, ND
Holistic Dental Care The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums by Nadine Artemis
The Case Against Fluoride by Paul Connett, Ph.D., James Beck, MD, Ph.D. and H.S. Micklem, DPhil