During the winter of my ninth grade year, I had basketball practice five days a week at 5:30 a.m. Yep, 5:30 a.m.
We’d shower in the locker room after practice, get dressed, put on our makeup, dry our hair, and apply the appropriate amount of Aqua Net before entering the not-so-hallowed halls of my high school.
(Okay. That’s not me. This girl must have real friends who pay attention.)
I was in the locker room with no less than ten other girls. Ten girls saw me before I walked into the hallways. So when my cousin stopped me in the hall several hours later, I was a bit shocked that she asked, “Have you been wearing your shirt inside out all day?”
It was a button-down shirt with velcro strips for removable shoulder pads.
Just think about that. (I know … I’ve already lost all credibility in your eyes and you probably lost a few IQ points.)
Y’all … I had even popped my darn collar that day.
Sometimes we just go about our daily life in blissful ignorance of something that others can see. Had I looked in the mirror and observed my clothes, I could’ve saved myself some embarrassment.
But, I wasn’t paying attention.
That was something harmless. Not everything that we fail to observe and give our attention to is harmless. Sometimes, the little things we miss along the way are signs of serious problems.
We cannot ignore our mouths. We cannot ignore the signs our teeth are giving us. If we do, we may end up with a mouth full of rotting teeth.
What are the signs of rotten teeth?
You may have rotten teeth and be completely unaware. The following are some telltale signs of rotten teeth:
Many, many people suffer from tooth sensitivity without the presence of rotten teeth, that is true. Completely healthy teeth have a protective layer on them that prevents them from being sensitive to both hot and cold.
The reason teeth sensitivity is a potential sign of having rotten teeth is because the rot eats away that protective barrier. So, it is possible that experiencing sensitivity to hot and cold beverages is due to rotten teeth that have led to sensitivity.
If only all smelly breath could be blamed on rotten teeth. We know some of you just eat a lot of garlic and live on stale coffee … and possibly have no friends who will stay in an enclosed space with you.
Bad breath is also known as halitosis. We can usually blame it on too much bacteria sitting in the mouth. Halitosis is probably the most well-known indicator of tooth rot.
A tooth that is decaying and breaking down inside the mouth gives off a nasty odor. So, if you have noticed a foul smell emanating from your very own mouth, pay attention. You may have a rotten tooth, or three sitting in your gums.
It goes without saying that blackening teeth are not a good sign. It should be a fairly obvious indicator that something is very wrong with those teeth. If your teeth are changing colors, go see your dentist.
Do not ignore this issue. Think of black rot in your teeth like Sauron’s darkness spreading from Mordor in The Lord of the Rings. It will literally go from tooth to tooth, destroying each of them if you don’t take measures to stop it.
Quite often, blackness means the damage has penetrated to the dentin and root. You may very well need to have your tooth pulled.
By the time you notice a tooth actually changing in shape and size, bacteria has been having its way in your mouth. For a tooth to be damaged so much that its actual shape has been transformed, the bacteria must’ve been feasting on the enamel for an extended length of time.
Pay attention. It isn’t vain to examine your teeth while you are flossing, brushing, and rinsing. It is simply paying attention to important health details.
Healthy permanent teeth should be sure and solid in your gums. The only time teeth should be wiggly in your mouth is when you are losing baby teeth as a child. Those little teeth are replaced by larger, permanent teeth.
As an adult, your teeth should not be loose or falling. Rot occurring in the teeth will make its way from the outside to the inside, from enamel to dentin, from dentin to pulp. By the time that rot reaches the pulp, it has caused significant damage to the structure that supports the tooth.
That tooth will eventually fall out. Not good.
Rotten Teeth Dangers
Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Holy smokes … Rotten teeth have some pretty serious dangers that will probably surprise you.
This is the one that should be pretty understandable. It should come as no surprise that rotten teeth lead to gum disease.
Once the teeth have become so rotten that the roots are affected, that nastiness will make its way into the gums. At this point, you have little chance of remedying the situation.
Decreased Food Enjoyment
When rotten teeth reach the point that they are deeply affecting your mouth, the simple act of eating is no longer enjoyable. It physically hurts to chew. Sometimes it burns.
There are certain foods that actually create a burning sensation in your mouth when the food comes in contact with the rotten teeth.
Weakened Immune System
Teeth damaged by rot may cause the immune system to fail over time. This weakens the body and reveals itself through outward symptoms like trembling hands.
Rotten teeth steal energy from our bodies. As odd as it sounds, it is very common to experience a reduction in energy when our teeth are decaying.
No, rotten teeth do not pose an immediate threat to the bloodstream. However, just ask your dentist and you will be told that you must take care of the rotten teeth before blood poisoning occurs.
The nasty rot basically seeps into the mouth over and over and we swallow it. The toxins find themselves blending into our digestive system and blood stream. It is this repeated blending that causes blood poisoning.
While blood poisoning sounds pretty awful, it’s not the only thing that can occur from having rotten tooth bacteria enter the bloodstream. Sepsis is an infection in the blood that makes easy prey of people who are suffering from a weak immune system.
Sepsis symptoms are typically a high fever and elevated heart rate. The more your heart rate increases, the more your fever rises, and respiratory issues arise. Skin becomes mottled and thinking is basically muddy as sepsis continues its progression.
If blood pressure is low, septic shock may be next. That is scary. Septic shock can lead to death.
Just when you thought the possible results of rotting teeth couldn’t get worse, we bring you meningitis. Meningitis is another potentially deadly condition caused by severe tooth decay.
Meningitis is a condition in which the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord become inflamed. When the bacterial infection from tooth decay is left untreated, it can enter the bloodstream and be transported to the areas surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Again, those people who have a lower immune system have a greater risk of acquiring meningitis. You can expect to be in the hospital for a long time if you have a chance of surviving.
DIY Solutions for Rotten Teeth
Now that you know just how serious rotten teeth can be, you are probably wondering what can be done before the situation escalates.
Well, let me just tell you, there are some nifty solutions to cover up your rotten teeth … You can get yourself some lovely clip-on teeth. It’s like a purdy little clip-on bowtie for your smile. I’m sure they’re fantastic.
You can even order yourself a DIY filling kit. Nope, this is not pie filling. It’s a mix-and-stick kit. You will mix up your own resin and give yourself a filling.
Pretty sure I’d get lucky and swallow some of that DIY resin.
Truth be told, there are different schools of thought on whether or not rotten teeth can be healed in the comforts of home … and even whether they can be healed at all.
There are those who will say a rotten tooth cannot be restored and healed at all; it must be filled or removed by a dentist. On the other hand, there are people who swear by various natural remedies to restore the tooth to health.
Oil pulling consists of swishing an oil such as sesame or coconut oil in your mouth first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything. You will swish the oil around for a good twenty minutes. So, read a book, write in your journal, pick out your clothes … just do not do any exercises.
Exercising while oil pulling may lead to swallowing or possibly gagging on the oil that is supposed to be drawing toxins out. Not that I have personally experienced this doing sit-ups, or anything like that. Afterall, you’d have to be pretty goofy to attempt sit ups with oil in your mouth.
While there may be no concrete, scientific proof that oil pulling reduces toxins and heals cavities, the testimonials are all over the internet.
It has been shown that oil pulling with sesame oil reduces toxins, decreases plaque buildup, decreases bacteria, and works as well as antiseptic mouthwash. Based on this, it is possible that oil pulling aids in the remineralization of the teeth.
Every single suggestion we found for healing rotten teeth at home have one thing in common: diet. A well-balanced diet that is high in vitamins and minerals, while limiting sugars and starches is a key factor in healing teeth.
Several doctors believe that the teeth can regenerate and heal just as our bones do.
The diet must have some very specific changes in order to heal the teeth.
- The presence of adequate vitamins A, D, E and K in your regular nutrition
- The presence of adequate minerals in your diet
- How readily absorbed these nutrients are in the body. Phytic acid is known to inhibit the absorption.
What does a healing diet look like?
Say goodbye to phytic acid
First, what the heck is phytic acid? (I certainly didn’t know before I researched this.) Phytic acid is also known as phytate and can be found in plant seeds. It is known for the ability to reduce the absorption of nutrients in our bodies.
So, when you’re trying to heal your body, phytic acid is a big, fat no no. Using a pressure cooker will help reduce the presence of phytic acid in foods.
Reduce your intake of starches and natural sugars
You will need to limit your fruit and starchy vegetable intake. Replace those foods with mineral-rich meats and veggies, bone broth and healthy fats.
Increase your healthy fat intake
Notice I said healthy fat intake. There are absolutely healthy fats. Olive oil, fish oil, seafood, and other healthy fats such as pastured, cultured butter are very good for healing. These foods are high in fat-soluble vitamins.
Bone broth is known throughout health nut circles for its healing properties. Healing the teeth is no exception. Bone broth is laden with minerals that are good for the body.
Vitamins and Minerals
Several different resources point to vitamin D as a great resource for oral health. When vitamin D is at its optimal level, cavities can be healed.
Vitamin C, magnesium, and gelatin also aid in the healing of rotten teeth.
Fermented cod liver oil and butter blend has also been attributed to healing cavities and is suggested by many doctors to be used in the restoration of rotten teeth.
Healing rotten teeth on your own is completely up to you. You can find countless resources on the internet telling you that it is indeed possible. Be aware that your dentist may not agree.
If you decide to try to heal your teeth naturally, then you must be all in. You cannot kind of do it. You can’t just take a multivitamin and expect your teeth to heal themselves in a week.
Healing your teeth is just like healing your body; it takes time. It takes time, effort, and consistency. You will need to change your diet and stick with it.
Nothing replaces a good oral hygiene routine. Nothing. (Except maybe dentures.) You must consistently floss your teeth, brush in tiny circles, and rinse with a quality mouth rinse.
This is not a once-a-week routine. It is a twice-daily, intentional routine to maintain good oral health and help prevent further decay.
The goal with healing your teeth is to remineralize the tooth/teeth to the point of rebuilding and repair. Remineralization is a natural process that happens inside the mouth when fluoride, phosphate, and calcium ions are deposited into the teeth.
Preparing the teeth to receive those minerals by removing bacteria, ingesting the proper nutrients, and providing enough of the necessary minerals enables the successful occurrence of the remineralization process.
In the end, you absolutely must pay attention to your oral health. If you ignore the warning signs, you could end up losing your precious pearly whites.