"Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." --Hippocrates in 431 B.C.
The most important long-term factor affecting the health of teeth and gums is nutrition, from the womb onward. If we and our parents had spent our lives eating as our ancient ancestors did, we also would have had the healthy teeth (and by implication, gums) that anthropologists have found to be the hallmark of native societies that were untouched by “civilized” diets. And that’s without their having practiced tooth brushing or flossing. In contrast, modern, western, industrialized societies give us on average 35 times more dental caries and a correspondingly high incidence of gum disease. And that’s even after tooth brushing has become almost universal, and flossing fairly widespread.
What went wrong? Primitive human societies had learned to identify which organisms, which parts of them, and which ways of preparing them provided the most nourishment, and carefully passed that wisdom down generation by generation in the form of traditional dietary customs. Monoculture agriculture started to erode that wisdom, but it was completely swept away when the industrial revolution came to the farm. The two primary measures of industrialism were applied to our food production: the quantity of product produced per man-hour and the profit produced per year. Quantity has grown tremendously; labor requirements and costs have gone down; profits for food manufacturers (though not farmers) have soared. But as a consequence the nutrition per acre and nutrition per person (particularly those aspects of nutrition involved in cell growth and cell repair in addition to fueling the body) have suffered.
The foods that people have eaten for thousands of generations have been displaced in less than a century by imitations that are cheaper to make and more convenient to use. It’s become really hard for most people in the cities of America to eat a totally primitive diet.
The cells in the mouth area have some of the fastest turnover rates in the body. Located in a bacteria-laden environment that is close to the teeth and jawbone (and not to mention close to the sterile brain), the oral cells wear themselves out and have to re-grow at a very fast pace in order to heal quickly and to marshal the resources of the immune system to keep nearby organs free of bacteria. Often a whole new group of oral cells is replaced every three to seven days. Beneath the gums, the tooth-supporting alveolar bone also renews itself (in a process called resorption and remodeling) faster than any of the other bones in the body. Because the cells of the mouth don’t last as long, factors that affect cell growth (like nutrition or bacterial infection) tend to show up fairly quickly here.
Gum problems and tooth decay are essentially due to bacterial infection. While our primitive ancestors rarely had to worry about that problem, we need a little help in the form of oral hygiene and the use of a tooth cleanser and gum remedy, especially one that’s all natural.
The act of brushing with Good-Gums® instead of toothpaste applies it where it’s needed most, at the margin between teeth and gums, where plaque bacteria are most prevalent. Using the best nutrition currently available to us and with a little help, we too can have a life of healthy gums and teeth.