Could a Chinese Herb, “Galla Chinesis”, Prevent Tooth Decay?

Chinese herb to prevent tooth decay

Just this week, while reading Dr. Joe Mercola’s daily newsletter, I learned about a recent study done by Chinese researchers showing that a Chinese herb, Galla Chinesis shows great promise at preventing tooth decay.

What is Galla Chinesis?

According to lead author Xuelian Huang and his team, Galla Chinesis (also known as Chinese gall or Chinese sumac) was found to have “strong potential to prevent caries due to its antibacterial capacity and tooth mineralization benefit.”

 “Galla Chinesis water extract has been demonstrated to inhibit dental caries by favorably shifting the demineralization/remineralization balance of enamel and inhibiting the biomass and acid formation of dental biofilm”.

In layman’s terms; the herb appears to be able to inhibit the formation of bacterial plaque and its acid attack on teeth as well as making teeth stronger.

What Does This Mean for Dentistry?

Unfortunately, a commercial product containing this herb could be years in the making as the team has yet to identify the active ingredient responsible for the anticaries claim!

Having Healthier Teeth Starts with a Healthier Diet

In the meantime, please remember as Dr. Mercola so eloquently points out “your best answer is already at hand.  If you want to have healthy teeth, you must start from the inside out, and that means cleaning up your diet”.

As we head into the Christmas season with so many sugar-laden foods at our finger-tips please remember that the highly-addictive, “white death” sugar has been implicated as a major player in more than just tooth decay.  According to webmd.comEating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks”.

Educating ourselves should always be the first step in understanding why we should or should not do certain things and if we know why, it helps us to own and embrace a good habit.  I know how difficult it is to say no, especially with the many tempting holiday goodies everywhere we go!  Be smart, and try to always remember the health effects of everything you put into your mouth during the holidays.

On that note; I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas season and may joy and peace be with you and yours throughout the coming New Year.

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

IST – Interim Stabilization Therapy

IST- Interim Stabilization Therapy King City

IST stands for Interim Stabilization Therapy.

“IST provides temporary care for decayed teeth and teeth affected by trauma, to relieve pain and reduce the risk of further damage to the tooth structure until the client can gain access to care from a dentist.”

IST was introduced by the Ontario Region First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Children’s Oral Health Initiative (COHI). In August 2010, the region’s COHI team identified the need to provide a caries control procedure similar to that of Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART), which is provided by COHI Health Canada dental therapists in all regions other than Ontario and Quebec.

What is the Difference Between IST and ART?

What differentiates IST and ART is that the IST protocol does not allow for the manual removal of decayed tooth structure, which is within the scope of practice of Dental Therapists but not Dental Hygienists. What is particularly wonderful about the IST though, is that we “are” allowed to provide a temporary filling to a broken-down tooth without using freezing or a drill!

How Does IST Shape Up as a Long-Term Solution?

After taking an Interim Stabilization Therapy course a number of years ago, I began providing these temporary fillings on an emergency basis for my patients until they were able to get to a dentist and have a proper filling done. Interestingly, many of my patients that are without dental insurance did not go to a dentist after to have the filling re-done, so I have had a chance to observe the long-term retention of my IST fillings! Since many are still in place, this has led me to do some research into this form of treatment to see how IST shapes up as a longer-term solution!

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I actually found a study done by the Region of Peel in May of this year whose Research Question was:

What is the effectiveness and recommended use of Interim Stabilization Therapy (IST)/Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) for temporary tooth restoration?

According to the study a grey literature search was conducted that identified fourteen documents, but since I did not know what a grey literature search was I offer this Wikipedia definition before continuing:

What is Grey Literature?

Grey literature are materials and research produced by organizations outside of the traditional commercial or academic publishing and distribution channels. Common grey literature publication types include reports (annual, research, technical, project, etc.), working papers, government documents, white papers and evaluations. Organizations that produce grey literature include government departments and agencies, civil society or non-governmental organisations, academic centres and departments, and private companies and consultants.

Grey literature may be made available to the public, or distributed privately within organizations or groups, and may lack a systematic means of distribution and collection. The standard of quality, review and production of grey literature can vary considerably. Grey literature may be difficult to discover, access, and evaluate, but this can be addressed through the formulation of sound search strategies.

I will continue with my findings next month in my blog, but in the meantime, if you or someone you know has an emergency and can’t get to a dentist, please remember that we dental hygienists may also be able to help!

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

Bee Propolis Reduces Tooth Sensitivity

bee propolis reduces tooth sensitivity

I am always on the lookout for more natural solutions to oral health care problems and this week I came across a study that was published in 2014 in The Journal of The Indian Society of Periodontology that concluded:

Propolis was more effective than 5% potassium nitrate in relieving dentinal hypersensitivity and had an immediate and sustained effect.

According to this study, the all-natural propolis was actually found to be “better” than the potassium nitrate.  I am very familiar with potassium nitrate as it is the most common de-sensitizing ingredient found in most over-the-counter de-sensitizing toothpastes on the market today. While it does work for most people by reducing symptoms I am concerned that it does not address the root cause of tooth sensitivity!  While I really feel that this should always be our goal; healing the tooth instead of masking the symptoms, there are times when temporary relief is the most immediate concern! 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