Is Drinking Lemon Water Bad For Your Teeth?

10010433 - lemon water with fresh lemons and green plants

I have had an unusually large number of patients come in for their dental appointments lately complaining of sensitive teeth!  The first question I always ask is:  “Have you started drinking lemon water”?

While many well-meaning naturopathic doctors even recommend it to their clients instead of coffee, I am quite concerned that they have not also counseled these people on the possible side-effects of this daily habit to their teeth.

Although There Are Health Benefits, Lemon Water Can Cause Damage to Your Teeth

While drinking lemon water is reported to help with boosting the immune system, improving digestion and strengthening the liver, it can have devastating effects on the teeth that may be irreparable.

Signs of Enamel Erosion Include:

  • Tooth Discoloration – Enamel gives teeth their white appearance. Once it wears away, the teeth may have a yellow tint because the dentin, the substance underneath the enamel is showing.
  • Transparent Edges – If the edges of the teeth are transparent, this is a sign that the enamel is thin and not very strong.
  • Tooth Sensitivity – The protective enamel has been eroded and the inside of the tooth is more exposed to temperatures that make eating and drinking hot and cold things uncomfortable.

How to Prevent Acid Erosion

While there are a variety of toothpastes now on the market that can help with “Acid Erosion”, I feel the best approach is always preventative and suggest the following:

  1. Don’t Sip: If you are going to drink lemon water have it all at once, do not sip on it.
  1. Use a Straw: Try drinking it through a straw to avoid bathing all of your teeth in the citric acid.
  1. Never brush your teeth immediately after drinking lemon water: The citric acid softens the enamel and brushing them immediately after will wear the enamel more easily. Instead wait 30-60 minutes to brush, rinse with water immediately after drinking, and/or if possible, rinse with an alkaline substance such as baking soda water or milk.
  1. Try lemon essential oil in instead: It has all of the benefits, but the oil is made from the lemon peel not the fruit. This makes it healthier for your teeth!  1-2 drops in a glass of water is ideal; your teeth will thank you for it!

What other measures do you take to combat acid erosion?

I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time,

Kathleen

New Study Indicates that Wi-Fi Could Increase Mercury Exposure from Dental Amalgams

23133811 - transmitter wi-fi on white background (done in 3d)

The Journal of Neuroimmunology recently published a study entitled “Effect of radiofrequency radiation from Wi-Fi devices on mercury release from amalgam restorations,”

Thankfully, I follow Sayer Ji’s, Green Med info website and because of this, became aware of the study. My good friend Karen Armstrong, who also follows Sayer, kindly sent me the link to this information as well, a sure sign that this was something I had to write about! Continue reading

I Got a Canary for Christmas!

canary-systemA dream came true for me this year, when due to a number of serendipitous events I ended up with a Canary for Christmas!

While our family has enjoyed a number of these heavenly songbirds as family pets over the years, this “Canary” is not an actual bird but a new technology.  Like the proverbial “canary in the coal mine”, this Canary is also used to detect subtle changes thereby preventing future problems.

The Canary System

Known as The Canary System, “it is a precise, low-powered laser based instrument that detects the presence of cracks and tooth decay before they are large enough to appear on dental x-rays.  When placed on the tooth, a low-powered, pulsating laser light is shone on the tooth during a 3 second scan.  Measuring the crystal structure of the tooth, the laser light can penetrate below the tooth surface and permit detection of tooth decay as small as 50 microns (20 times smaller than a millimeter) and as deep as 5mm from the tooth surface”.

Canary Number

Using a complex algorithm, The Canary System converts the information obtained into a Canary Number on a scale from 0 to 100.  The lower the number the healthier the enamel, the higher the number the higher suggestion of cracks and tooth decay.

There are a quite a number of evidence-based, peer-reviewed studies to support this new technology.  In fact, an independent clinical study led by Dr. Ben Amaechi at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, released on March 18, 2015, found The Canary System “to exhibit superior performance compared to bitewing radiography for the detection of proximal caries”.

To put this simply for the public; The Canary System is more accurate than check-up x-rays!  And in case you did not realize this yet, there is no radiation!

I have wanted to have this technology in my office for the last 4 years so that we are able to monitor remineralization therapy; the healing of teeth.   I do believe that our teeth are no different than any other part of the body.  Given the raw materials that they need and stopping the behavior that caused the problem in the first place, if it is not too advanced, we can reverse and repair the damage.  Now, we have an objective way to measure that healing.

I have signed-up for a webinar this afternoon to help me better understand how to use this wonderful, new technology and how I can incorporate it into my daily clinical practice.  Hopefully, as The Canary System becomes more widely used and accepted, it will become a standard of care in all dental offices.

I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time,

Kathleen

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know: Ignaz Semmelweis

Washing hands.

Sometimes in life, science and the subsequent proof we seek lag far behind validating research (this begs a whole other discussion on funding of such today).  In support of my concerns about the dangers of fluoride and how we don’t know what we don’t know, I would like to share the tragic but compelling story of Ignaz Semmelweis. Continue reading

Professional Reactions to My Last Blog on Flossing

58986866 - young woman flossing teeth in front of mirror

I had wondered when I published last month’s blog on flossing if anyone would respond to the picture that we chose to accompany the article.  As I had hoped, a number of Dental Hygiene colleagues responded to the CDHA (my blog posts appear on their site), to alert them of the mistake that I had made.  I was notified of such and here is the truth.. Continue reading

To Floss or Not To Floss

58986866 - young woman flossing teeth in front of mirror

Recently, a patient brought to my attention an Associated Press release that made it to the evening news, stating officials have never really researched the effectiveness of regular flossing.  She then asked me to comment on whether I think it is necessary to floss or not to floss.

While I was aware of the limited data available supporting this oral health care practice, I have personally observed, anecdotally, that the effects of some kind of in-between bacterial disruption on a daily basis really does help to reduce bleeding gums and inflammation. Continue reading

Medical Medium: The Role of Microbes in Oral Diseases

Medical Medium

I recently read Medical Medium, a new book by medical intuitive Anthony William, and it has resonated immensely with my own intuition about the role microbes may play in many diseases, including oral diseases.

According to William, the medical establishment is decades away from uncovering the truths espoused in his book, largely centering on the Epstein Barr virus.  The Epstein Barr virus belongs to the family of herpes viruses including those that cause cold sores, genital herpes, chickenpox and shingles and has been found to be responsible for mononucleosis and Sjogren’s syndromeContinue reading

5 Reasons Why I Recommend ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder

Eco-DentAs a holistic registered dental hygienist, I am often asked by my patients, family and friends what “toothpaste” I recommend. In most cases I suggest that they try ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder and I actually give out samples right here in my office for them to try.  There are many reasons why I recommend this toothpowder over a regular toothpaste, but here are my top 5 reasons why I choose to recommend ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder.

5 Reasons Why I Recommend ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder: Continue reading

3 Strategies to Improve the Oral Microbiome

Oral Microbiome

In last month’s blog, What if the Real Cause of Cavities and Gum Disease is Incorrect, I introduced my belief in the necessity of exploring and acknowledging the oral microbiome as a key to really understanding and treating oral disease.  As I continue to research and learn, I have developed 3 key strategies to help my patients improve their oral microbiome:

  1. Don’t routinely use mouthwash
  2. Eat a minimum of grains and processed carbohydrates
  3. Consider oral Probiotic supplementation

Continue reading

What If the Real Cause of Cavities and Gum Disease is Incorrect?

Dental Hygiene

My husband and I recently had dinner with friends of ours and the after-dinner discussion touched on the “apparent” fact that our ancestors had more oral disease and probably lost many of their teeth at an early age.  Obviously, they did not have the benefit of modern oral health practices such as brushing, flossing, fluoridated toothpaste and fluoridated water.

However, I had read recently that current research suggests that this may not necessarily be true.  I decided to do some research of my own to see if I could find the real cause of cavities and gum disease. Continue reading