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My Personal Journey of Healing

Julia Chang, MSc

10. Bad breath (halitosis), gum disease, gum surgery, plaque and sensitive teeth

Bacteria play an important role in many dental problems such as bad breath (halitosis), gum disease, plaque and possibly sensitive teeth.  Bad breath is generally known to be caused by volatile sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan and dimethyl sulfide.  These compounds are produced by bacterial and cellular degradation.  Plaque also starts out with a sticky film of live bacteria.  If it is not removed at this stage, it starts growing on the sugar and minerals and hardens to become calculus which may lead to gum irritation, gingivitis and eventually to periodontal disease.

Bad breath

In Chinese medicine, halitosis is believed to be caused by excess “heat” in the liver and stomach.  Since the liver is one of the important organs for the immune system, I believe the “heated” liver probably lowers the immune system and leads to bacterial overgrowth.  With my congested liver (which can easily cause “heated” liver), halitosis and painful bleeding gums were my regular problems.  People who have their gallbladders removed by surgery or who have gallbladders loaded with gallstones are more prone to liver “heat” because of bile congestion in the liver. Women who have bad breath problem often experience an increase in bad breath shortly before and during menstruation.  This is another indication that the liver plays an important role in halitosis.  The liver is the organ that eliminates estrogens.  Shortly before menstruation, estrogens are at their highest levels in the menstrual cycle.  The liver has to work harder to eliminate the extra hormones.  As a result, any weakness in the liver would be intensified.

I restored my oral health by improving my liver health, by using a special anti-bacterial mouthwash that I made myself using Chinese herbs, and of course by daily brushing and flossing, in addition to liver and gallbladder cleansing.  The bitter and sour tastes in the mouth that often accompany halitosis is known to be a sign of imbalance in the liver and stomach in Chinese medicine.  After using the mouthwash for less than a month, my bleeding gum problem disappeared.  I also found that this mouthwash helps prevent plaque formation, because the bacterial deposits cannot form.

In one case, a 69 year old woman had to have her plaque cleaned twice a year for several years.  She started using our mouthwash for her sensitive teeth, right after her February cleaning, and when she went for her August cleaning, her dental hygienist was very surprised to see that she had hardly any plaque.  In my own personal experience, the need for plaque cleaning is greatly reduced following regular mouthwash use.  However, once plaque does form, it must be removed manually.

An effective antibacterial mouthwash does control the bad breath because it eliminates the bacteria temporarily.  However, the liver “heat” may have to be addressed for lasting effect.  In Chinese medicine, the herb Chinese Gentian (the main ingredient in one of our herbal products, “Chinese Bitters”) is known to be effective in “cooling” the liver and removing the “heat”.  Our experience did show that the combination of our herbal mouthwash to eliminate bacteria and “Chinese Bitters” to purge the liver “heat” works well for many bad breath sufferers.

A 45-year old woman who had bad breath for years took Chinese Bitters and our herbal mouthwash.  After 2 weeks, her bad breath improved significantly.  When she did liver and gallbladder flushes a few months later, a fair amount of stones was flushed out.  Her bad breath eventually disappeared.

For some people, liver and gallbladder flush after taking Chinese Bitters may be necessary to purge the liver “heat” because apple juice fasting is very effective in cleansing out stagnant bile in the liver.  Gallbladder cleansing helps to decongest the liver because bile can be stored in the gallbladder again.

Gum disease, gum surgery, gingivitis or gum inflammation

Gum disease is another condition from bacterial overgrowth. Other than poor oral hygiene, chronic gum disease may be an indication of poor general health or weak immune system which allows bacteria to thrive.

“Heat” in the liver and stomach also aggravates the problem according to Chinese medicine.  This probably explains why pregnant women are more susceptible to painful inflamed gums because they are more prone to “heated” liver due to the over-working liver. Eating too much spicy foods may also cause liver “heat”.

Other than pregnancy, birth control pills, smoking, alcohol, many medications and impaired immunity such as diabetes and AIDS are all known risk factors for gum disease because they all cause congested and “heated” liver.

From extensive user experience, the anti-bacterial mouthwash mentioned above has been found to be excellent for gum disease or gum inflammation.  Many users were pleased to find that their gum surgery was not necessary any more after using only a few bottles our herbal mouthwash.  However, treating “liver heat” may sometimes be necessary.

A 53-year old man had to have many of his teeth pulled after years of neglect.  After the first 2 teeth had been pulled out, the underlying gums became very swollen and painful.  He did not like to take any antibiotic or painkiller.  After using our herbal mouthwash several times a day for 2 days, the pain stopped.  He then reduced usage to once a day just before bedtime.  One week later, he went back to the dentist to have 2 more teeth extracted.  The dentist was amazed at how quickly his gums healed, and told him that he had never seen gums heal so fast.  He had 6 more teeth extracted over the next 3 weeks, also without problems.

Our Chinese Herbal Mouthwash has proven to be exceptionally effective in reducing pain following tooth extraction or gum surgery.  Many users found that by using this mouthwash, they do not need painkiller or antibiotics.

Sensitive teeth

The observation that sensitive teeth often start after dental treatment makes me suspect that bacteria may play some role in it because bacteria somehow may be introduced during the dental treatment.  A Finnish Dental Society paper stated that hypersensitivity may sometimes persist despite effective blocking of the tubules and that this may indicate that some other mechanisms may operate in the nerve activation instead of, or in addition to the hydrodynamic one.  Inflammation may sensitize the nerve endings to such an extent that smaller fluid shifts would be sufficient for nerve activation.  The paper suggested that bacterial invasion of dentin may be one of the causes of hypersensitivity and sensitive teeth may also develop as a result of inflammation induced sensitization of the nerves in the pulp-dentin border in teeth with open tubules (Narhi, M., et al., Proceedings of the Finnish Dental Society, 88 Suppl 1: 15-22, 1992).  In an article entitled “Mechanisms of Dentin Sensitivity” in the monograph Tooth Hypersensitivity (The Dental Clinics of North America, Volume 34, No. 3, July 1990), Dr. David H. Pashley stated:

“No discussion of the mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance of dentin sensitivity would be complete without a discussion of the relative role of bacteria and their products on dentin sensitivity ... The open dentinal tubules associated with sensitivity invite penetration of bacteria”.

I had a sensitive tooth (sensitive to cold and heat) for 6 years and was told by my dentist to live with it.  In 1994, the sensitive tooth became very painful.  I used the anti-bacterial Chinese herbal mouthwash mentioned above.  A week later, my toothache went away. Unexpectedly, my tooth sensitivity also disappeared.  I went to my dentist and told him I believe my sensitive teeth appeared to be bacteria related.  He dismissed my idea and insisted that sensitive teeth are caused by exposed nerves and has nothing at all to do with bacteria.  It seems to me that the exposed nerves may be due to inflammation caused by bacteria.  When I had my mercury fillings removed from 5 teeth in 1998, those teeth became very sensitive.  It took me more than a month to get over the sensitivity with daily use of the herbal mouthwash.

The chief ingredient of this mouthwash, Inula (Saussurea), is anti-bacterial and also helps energy flow (and thus reduces inflammation) according to traditional Chinese medicine.  Herbs generally have different anti-bacterial actions than chemicals.  Antibiotics or chemicals kill bacteria including normal “friendly” bacteria.  Herbs simply create an environment unfavourable for bacterial survival.  Since the normal bacteria require different environment than pathogenic bacteria, they are not affected by herbs.

A 72-year old woman had two sensitive teeth for more than 10 years and was told by her dentist that the only thing he could do for her was to remove them and re-do her denture.  After using our anti-bacterial mouthwash preparation for about a month, her tooth sensitivity disappeared.  Other people who had teeth sensitive to cold and heat also had similar favourable experience with the mouthwash.  However, sensitivity to acid (e.g. from eating citrus fruits) may involve different mechanisms.

A 43-year old man had a sensitive tooth that bothered him for years.  He found only temporary relief with Sensodyne, which he used daily for four years.  If he stopped using it even for a few days, his pain would return.  When he tried our mouthwash, he was very pleased to find out that his sensitivity completely disappeared after only using half of the bottle! Three years later, his problems have still not returned even though he never had to buy another bottle after the first one.

This mouthwash also helps many skin problems.  It has been found from experience that acnes, rashes, boil, minor cuts and insect bites may be effectively alleviated by applying the mouthwash externally to the affected skin area two to three times daily.  It seems that the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the mouthwash also work on skin problems.

Our mouthwash contains no saccharin, sweetener or colouring. Unlike other mouthwashes available from drug stores, it does not taste good but it works!


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Disclaimer: The information found on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting with a qualified medical practitioner. Prime Health Products will not be held liable for the use or misuse of herbal remedies.

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