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Tooth facts

Periodontal or gum disease is a misnomer; it is really a bone disease. It is caused by bacteria attaching to the root of the tooth under the gum line. The first stage is the gums swell and bleed easily hence people called it gum disease or pyorrhea. The next step is destruction of the jaw bone that holds the tooth in your mouth. Once the bone is destroyed we cannot get it to grow back. Researchers are working with bone grafts and synthetic bone but it is best to preven the loss. The good news is you only need one third of the root embedded in bone to keep the teeth in your mouth, anything less than that the teeth are not sturdy enough to function well.

An old home remedy is to brush with hydrogen peroxide. There is good science behind this and it can work. The particular bacteria that causes most periodontal problems are anaerobic, which simply stated means does not like oxygen. There is little to no oxygen under the gums which is why this bacteria thrives there. Hydrogen peroxide is similar to water, H2O with extra oxygen.

Many grandmothers suggested you "brush with peroxide when your gums bleed." If you are prone to gum problems you can include this as part of your oral hygiene routine. Peroxide straight from the bottle is most likely too strong if not diluted and may burn your mouth. If you dilute peroxide with water or minty mouthwash you should come up with a solution that works. The best way to deliver this home treatment is to start with a 50:50 mix of peroxide and mouthwash and actually dip your soft bristled tooth brush into the mixture and brush your teeth. If it burns then add in an equal amount of water making it a 1/3 peroxide mix; then keep diluting until you are comfortable. Some people rinse or gargle with peroxide which can help lower bacteria counts for certain sore throats but to really get to the roots where the bacteria lives it is more effective to brush with it. This will also kill bacteria on your toothbrush. A nice side effect of having healthier gums and better smelling breath is the whitening effect on your teeth; peroxide is a bleaching agent that will help dilute surface food stains! Naturally you should not use this as a substitute for seeking dental care nor if you are allergic to or highly senstive to peroxide. It is not for ingestion so expectorate.