Nutrition plays a critical role in dental health. It is impossible to have healthy teeth and gums while consuming the Standard American Diet. "Soft teeth" and "poor genetics" are excuses of the past. Meetinghouse Dental Care incorporates dental nutrition into every new patient exam and continually emphasizes the importance of consistent, optimal dietary habits General suggestions like reduce overall sugar intake are widely known, but there are several lesser known nutrition factors that directly affect your ability to maintain a healthy oral environment.
Nutrition and Oral Health
Evidence provided by multiple dentists and doctors through decades of research all come to the same irrefutable conclusion: Diet has an enormous impact on the oral environment.
There is overwhelming evidence linking sugar consumption and dental caries (cavities). Sugar and products typically associated with sugar are the main culprits, but other carbohydrates are also to blame. Studies show that high consumption of starchy vegetables and fruits are also linked with the occurrence of dental cavities.
Historically, dentists have described the decay process through the concept of acid erosion. Example: “You ate too many acidic foods, you caused acid erosion, and all your teeth are now melting away.” Acidic erosion is an outdated theory that is unfortunately still being used by many dentists. The real answer is a bit more complex.
If preventing decay was an easy one sentence answer, then no one would have decay.
The answer combines multiple different topics such as bacteria, sugar, saliva, imbalanced pH, minerals, diet, and an incorrect internal dentition flow. The information can seem overwhelming, and it may take a while to fully integrate everything into your life, but starting with the foundation will provide the saliva (the environment) with the building blocks it needs to keep your teeth happy and healthy.
Sugar and Oral Bacteria
The reason why sugar leads to decay is the bacteria in the mouth. Streptococci, lactobacilli, and biﬁdobacteria are a few types of bacteria that contribute to the development of dental caries. The bacteria in your mouth use dietary sugar to produce insoluble plaque matrix polymers to aid in their colonization on the surface of your teeth. Once they have a stable living environment, the bacteria can eat both glucose and fructose (sugar from fruit). The metabolism of the sugar produces lactic acid, acetic acid, and formic acid.
Increased acidity creates an imbalance in the oral environment and if left alone with no way to balance (neutralize acids), will force the dissolving of mineral salts found in enamel. (Mineral salts are 90% tri calcium phosphate and 10% calcium carbonate.) The loss of minerals is referred to as demineralization. Basically, the acidic saliva panics and borrows minerals from the teeth in attempts to balance out the pH. As calcium and phosphate are lost from the surface of the tooth, the tooth becomes more prone to decay.
Demineralization occurs when the pH in the mouth reaches 5.5 or lower. Our saliva is a natural defense against demineralization and contains calcium and phosphate (along with many other macro and trace minerals) that will neutralize acids and remineralize damaged teeth if allowed to work properly for sufficient time. This process is not quick, and it cannot work at all if the pH of our saliva is too low (too acidic). This is far too often the case with today’s standard American diet (SAD).
Meetinghouse Dental Care and Trovato Nutrition provide oral health nutritional counseling as an integral component of our biological dentistry New Patient Consultation. The nutritional component of the visit reviews your average nutritional intake with the goal of supporting your ability to balance oral pH. Our on-staff biologic dental nutritionist, Anthony Trovato, MSACN, MNM, will perform a biophotonic scan to measure the quality and consistency of your diet, explain the pH cycle, and make suggestions on dietary and home care modifications.
Anthony will efficiently cover as many topics as time allows:
- Biologic dental issues relevant to your mouth
- Importance of salivary pH
- The truth behind "acid erosion"
- Factors to slow the breakdown process
- Importance of mineral and healthy fat intake
- Phytic acid's role in tooth decay
- Oral Microbiome
- Dentinial Flow
If you already eat and drink well, the biophotonic scanner will reflect this, and you can come away from the exam knowing for sure that you current nutritional routine is effective in maintaining an optimal oral environment. Anthony may suggest more advanced home care techniques for even better results such as baking soda soft picks, oil pulling, remineralization products, and oral probiotics.
Every patient is going to be different, not only in their current diet, but also in the baseline health of their oral environment. No matter how cleanly you eat and drink, potential oral sources of toxins like mercury/silver amalgam fillings, root canalled teeth, high oral galvanism, and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can contribute to inflammation and tooth breakdown. Excess oral acidity encourages biofilm growth and inhibits saliva's natural remineralization of teeth. Combining nutritional advice with proper home care will support your health during dental revision.
Nutritional advice is intended to support your oral health as you undertake dental revision. Nutritional information provided will always respect the nutritional recommendations of your healthcare practitioner.
Anthony Trovato attended La Salle University in Philadelphia, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition with Pre-Bio concentrations in 2005. Anthony was awarded Outstanding Nutrition Program Graduate for his class. In 2010, between his undergraduate and graduate studies, Anthony earned a license in Massage Therapy from Cortiva in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
His first Master's degree is in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College in 2012. In 2016 he completed his second bachelors degree in Health Sciences from Quantum University and went on to complete his second Master's degree is in Natural Medicine in 2017 from the same university. Anthony is now in the middle of writing a dissertation on nutrition and reversing the decay process to earn his PhD. Anthony attends continuing education seminars all over the US on biologic dentistry, alternative medicine, whole-body wellness, and advanced nutrition.
For more detailed nutrition information, please visit www.TrovatoNutrition.com.