Updated: Sep 8
When Tula’s baby teeth began falling out, her two bottom adult teeth grew in badly discolored with white spots. Her back teeth were dark and discolored, and she had cavities. I was always nervous when I took her to the dentist. One time the hygienist said, “Mom, you may want to cut down on the sugar and carbs,” and she rolled her eyes at me. I tried my best to reply nicely, “She doesn’t eat any sugar or refined carbs.” The hygienist responded with, “Well then, you need to brush her teeth better.” Feeling frustrated, I said, “We brush twice a day.” She said, “Well then, keep the fluoride toothpaste on her teeth all day.” This wasn't making any sense!
I began researching why Tula had multiple cavities, and why her teeth were so discolored when her twin's teeth were perfect. And, of course, there was a gut connection to it all! Not only did Tula have poor oral flora when her teeth were developing, her gut wasn’t absorbing the nutrients needed for strong teeth and gums. We had reintroduced peanut butter, which she loved on her toast in the morning, but knowing her teeth were still in bad shape, we got rid of it for a while as the phytic acid could be a problem. https://askthedentist.com/phytic-acid-dental-health/ We used sprouted nut butters instead. After Tula's gut began recovering, the teeth that came in were white and strong!
Further research taught me about the oral microbiome and how it is related to the gut microbiome. The website https://askthedentist.com/oral-microbiome/ states that just like the gut, there is an oral microbiome in our mouths, which doesn't thrive when we annihilate all the germs in our mouths. These oral "good bugs" support our bodies, especially the heart. Body Ecology talks about the relationship between candida and cavities here.
Tula may always be sensitive to more foods and substances than most kids. Take for example, metals. Her body rejected pierced earrings and developed a skin abscess right below each earlobe. When her orthodontist installed a metal mouth palate expander she immediately started having bad headaches and inflammation and it needed to be removed. I thought about the past, when she still couldn’t tolerate many foods due to leaky gut, and yet those foods never showed up on lab reports as allergies. Even if metal didn’t rate as an allergy, her body didn’t like it. Perhaps the expander wasn’t gentle enough for her sensitive body. In place of the palate device, we found an ALF (Advanced Lightwire Functionals) expander, a much gentler product that also addressed the alignment of the bones in the skull. ALF's adjustments could be more individualized and also take the place of braces for some kids—and the appliance could be made out of a non-reactive material. We decided to try the ALF and Tula had no problems with this appliance whatsoever and today she has a beautiful smile!
© Copyright A Journey Off the Spectrum 2022