Letter writer: Why don’t dentists share tooth tip?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I appreciated the excellent article “Tooth Talk: Local Dentists Offer Tips for Preventing Oral Health Problems” by Cindy Kunst [Jan 25, Xpress], but I would like to mention an additional dental hygiene regimen.

I have been plagued by tooth decay all my life, and by age 70, I was spending thousands of dollars every year and still losing teeth. About this time, I developed a dull ache in a molar that I could tell would be another abscess. I mentioned this to a friend, and she said, “Have you tried this thing they do in India, of rinsing your mouth every day with coconut oil and turmeric?” She said that she had been doing it for a while and that the toothache she had had disappeared.

I was skeptical but desperate, so, following her instructions, I began rinsing my mouth for 20 minutes or more twice a day with about a tablespoon of coconut oil and a half teaspoon of turmeric. After about two weeks, my toothache was gone. After six months, I went in for my regular cleaning and, for perhaps the first time in my life, the hygienist found no new decay, and she was effusive about how healthy my gums looked. Six months after that, again, no new decay. It has now been over two years with no new decay.

This is the only thing that has ever worked for me for preventing tooth decay. My question is this: Why have none of the dozen or so dentists I have had in my life ever mentioned it? If I had known about this 30 years ago, or even 10 years ago, I would still have a full set of teeth. Should we not be able to rely upon those who are specifically charged with dental health to tell us the things that are really effective?

Dentists, as well as the other mainstream health professionals, focus on those aspects of medicine that are the most profitable: those being diagnoses and treatment. They largely neglect prevention and aren’t that strong on cure, either. I see this as being due not to the integrity of the dentist, but to structural biases within the professions that make practitioners confine themselves to only those things they are trained in.

I’ve tried to follow my dentists’ recommendations for tooth decay prevention all my life, and it never really worked. Only this worked, plus taking vitamin K as recommended by an article in the excellent Well Being Journal (“Nutritional Remedies for Tooth Decay and Bone Health,” www.wellbeingjournal.com, March/April, 2014).

I urge dentists reading this to inform yourselves about this regimen by googling “oil pulling” and to inform your patients about it. It’s easy, safe, inexpensive, and it really works. I welcome comments from readers at 828-242-6073.

— Rusty Sivils


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

14 thoughts on “Letter writer: Why don’t dentists share tooth tip?

  1. ApePeeD

    Warning: The person who posted this message is NOT a dentist or a dental hygienist, and could be pulling your leg to buy her coconut oil and turmeric.

    But god forbid that anyone heeds my warnings.

    • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

      Yet scientific study has determined that amalgam fillings do leech mercury into the mouth, and dentists cannot recommend amalgam filling removal for that reason or advertise themselves as amalgam-free dentists per ADA. rules.. So herein is an example where some dental agenda trumps science.

        • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

          Wikipedia… Wow you must be super intelligent.

          • Peter Robbins

            You’re not interesting, either. Why don’t you try discussing the topic actually raised in the letter to the editor? I’m sure you’re convinced you know all about it.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            MY entire point for commenting was to countered your assumption that the LTE’s concern was likely due to scientific concerns. The preponderance of evidence, though, indicates that the dental profession does not necessarily operate according to the dictums of science, but according to the expediencies of politics. Just imagine the repercussions of an organization that has insisted for nearly 160 years that amalgam fillings are 100% safe to suddenly claim that they are not. It will never happen. This is the same material that enters a dentist’s office as hazardous material, and any leftover material must be disposed of as hazardous material. Yet somehow putting it in the mouths of people makes it safe.

            Still want to stick with your scientific paradigm?

          • Peter Robbins

            The word “probably” does not preclude groovy fringe theories. Stick it to the Establishment, man!

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            I’m awed by your scientific prowess. Please explain to us unwashed masses how a hazardous material suddenly become safe by storing it in the mouth.

          • Peter Robbins

            Read the Wikipedia article and click on those medical links that look as if they might discuss the safety issue in a manner that answers your question. Then pretend I gave you the answer.

          • Peter Robbins

            I hope this satisfies your apparent need for chest-bumping. If not, too bad. Your comments are tangential, at best, and my time is more valuable than yours. No further inquiries will be entertained.

  2. Theodore Zuckerman

    Very often, an abscessed tooth will hurt quite a lot for a few days, be extremely painful, then the pain will subside quite a bit after the pulp dies. However this is usually not the end of your problems with that tooth. The bones around the tip of the root tips generally remain infected, the tooth can get loose and “sore” – as opposed to extremely painful. You may still need dental care in order to keep the tooth. However the sooner you get the tooth treated to remove an infected pulp, the better the chances that this root canal therapy will help save the tooth and the less time the dentist will have to spend on it, to save it. While certainly oil-pulling can not hurt you, I would like to see some scientific studies before trying it. Also, whether it can prevent small cavities from getting larger is quite a different thing than whether it can stop an abscess from happening, once this process has started. The former seems at least plausible, but not the latter. An abscess can develop on the inside a tooth that has not had a cavity and that has a pulp chamber that is not open to the mouth. In such a tooth, there is no way that anything that you put on the outside of the tooth, can reach the pulp chamber or affect the pulp chamber.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.