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