Holistic Dentistry – Gluten and Dairy.
Here at Channon Lawrence Dental we take a holistic approach to your oral health. That is, we have a firm belief the practice of dentistry is most effective for our patients when working with the body as a whole as opposed to treating the mouth in isolation. Along with an in-depth analysis of patient’s oral health, we review the function of your airways, breathing patterns, sleep behaviours, nutrition and general wellbeing. We will then work closely with your other health practitioners to care for you in a holistic sense.
You might be surprised to find out that gluten and dairy can have an impact on your oral health. Please read on for further information.
GLUTEN & DAIRY: How Do They Affect Your Teeth?
WHAT IS GLUTEN?
Gluten is a mixture of two proteins present in cereal grains (particularly wheat) which is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. It is also found in barley, rye and triticale. Over the last 30 years, the hybridised breeding of wheat has increased its gluten content.
WHAT IS DAIRY?
Dairy is present in many forms in processed foods and you may read it on labels as mild solids, milk powder; skim milk powder; dried milk products; whey; whey powder; whey proteins; lactose; caseinates; milk proteins and milk fat.
WHAT FOODS CONTAIN GLUTEN AND DAIRY?
Gluten and dairy are found commonly in many of the processed foods that we consume in our day-to-day intake, and as a result we are now consuming far more gluten and dairy than our bodies are designed to handle.
WHY DO THEY CAUSE US PROBLEMS?
Sometimes we don’t see the symptoms manifest until years later and it is also hard to identify which is the cause as the reaction intensifies as our gut becomes more damaged. When the intestine is damaged and inflamed, it is then possible for undigested protein molecules (from gluten and dairy foods) to slip into the blood stream. These molecules are seen by the body’s immune system as foreign invaders, and cause a secondary immune reaction in the upper airways.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT BREATHING?
The upper airway consists of the nasal concha or turbinates, the tonsils and the adenoids. When these immunological tissues of the body become swollen and enlarged, a blocked nose and decreased nasal breathing is the result. This blockage (or in some cases total shutdown of nasal breathing) will lead to mouth breathing during the day and when asleep, which in turn can cause snoring and poor quality sleep.
‘Mouth Breathing has a negative impact on our teeth and facial development’. Leading expert Brisbane based Dr John Flutter lectures why poor oral habits such as mouth breathing or swallowing incorrectly have a negative impact on our teeth & facial development, leading to crooked teeth. Watch this video clip of Dr Flutter to understand this further.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN’S TEETH?
Breathing through the mouth at night or during the day will change the shape of the maxilla (upper jaw and palate) causing it to narrow and the front teeth to protrude. Early symptoms your child may display are: –
- waking often
- dark circles under their eyes
- funny sleeping positions
- constant runny nose
- behavioural problems
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP CORRECT TEETH AFFECTED BY THIS?
With the teeth and jaws in disharmony, treatment options designed to suit each individual case such as myofunctional therapy and orthodontics will provide the correction needed to restore the natural position of teeth. These treatment options will correct the symptoms and for optimum outcome a reduction in gluten and dairy intake in your diet is required.
WHAT ARE THE FOOD ALTERNATIVES AVAILABLE TO US?
Reading labels is an easy way to discover what is in processed foods, and eating more whole fresh foods will help to eliminate excess dairy and gluten. The alternative grains to bring into your diet are gluten-free grains such as millet, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, amaranth and rice. An easy change is to choose spelt or kamut breads, which contain low amounts of gluten with higher protein and nutrient values than white bread that has been bleached, refined and processed. Alternatives to dairy products from cows are goats’ or sheep cheese/milk, coconut milk, rice or almond milk.
Cyndi O’Meara a Sunshine Coast Nutritionist offers lots of tips, nutrition advice and recipes on her blog and website – Changing Habits, Changing Lives.
Other suggested sites to visit: