Find Out Dr. Saadia’s Mission to Prevent Tooth Decay

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Kevin Kowalki: Good day, everyone. Welcome to the latest edition on Spread the Love, Banish the Fear Show, brought to you by Dr. Saadiah Mohammed. My name is Kevin [Kowalki 00:00:12], and I have the privilege to be the host of this educational filled, inspiring show where I get to tap into the brilliance and wisdom of Dr. Saadiah Mohammed as we discuss what is the best way to create the foundation for your family to have happy and healthy children. Dr. Saadiah has been in private practice since 1998 as a board certified pediatric dentist with her practice, Palm Beach Pediatric Dentistry in Boca Raton, Florida. She has a fellowship at Yale and New Haven Hospital, while holding many certifications and memberships with countess associations and organizations. All in all, Dr. Saadiah is a renowned expert when it comes to nurturing a happy and healthy child. Dr. Saadiah, welcome to the show.

Dr. Saadiah M: Thank you so much, Kevin. It is so exciting. I'm so happy to do this with you. Again, I thank you for taking the time.

Kevin Kowalki: Absolutely. Well, we have some exciting stuff to handle today, and I would love to actually narrow the focus here and talk about a very important topic, dental caries, more commonly known to all of us as tooth decay. Listeners, stay with us throughout the entire show, because Dr. Saadiah's going to give you some really important tips at the very end, so you don't want to miss it, okay? Let's start out, Dr. Saadiah, by defining what tooth decay actually is.

Dr. Saadiah M: Kevin, dental caries, which a lot of people will not understand when I say dental caries, they think, "Oh, a cavity," and actually, dental caries is a disease process and it is an infectious disease, which is a chronic infectious disease, that the end result, if the disease is not corrected, will be a hole in the tooth. We all know that as a cavity. What it is, it's a imbalance in the biofilm, which is we all have biofilm around our teeth. It is a pH imbalance in the biofilm. What does that mean? If we have a more acidic environment in the biofilm, the demineralization, which is loss of minerals off our tooth structure, our tooth structure's made of a lot of minerals, will result in a cavity. So, very simply put, it is a pH imbalance in the biofilm in the mouth.

Kevin Kowalki: Yeah, that is, you know, it's interesting to hear you describe that, because I believe the majority of us, you know, we just fall into this rut of, you know, here's what we think. We think of cavities and that's it and we don't really go beyond that, which is important to go beyond that, because it has such a bigger, wide-reaching effect. If we truly understand it, which I understand it much better now and hopefully all of our listeners do, too, so that we can understand the impact that it can ultimately have if we're not taking care of it. What I would love for you to share now, if you don't mind, Dr. Saadiah, is, what are some of the factors that actually lead to tooth decay?

Dr. Saadiah M: I'm so happy you asked that question, because this is the crux of what every dentist tries to convey, and everyone does it in their own way. But very, very simply put, there are three major things that need to happen. Well, three major qualities that need to be present, or factors that need to be present in order for a cavity to happen. Of course, you have to have the tooth. Without a tooth you can't have a cavity. You have to have the sugar. Without the sugar you can't have a cavity. And without the unhealthy bacteria, and that is very critical, the unhealthy bacteria. What happens is, if you have an imbalance of the unhealthy bacteria and you give it sugar, which can be in the form of not just pure sugar that we eat, it can be in the form of refined carbs, in processed refined carbs, the bacteria will eat that sugar and then it will create an acid environment. Our normal pH in the mouth, which is the healthy pH, is around seven. We have a built in system to kind of regulate that balance back to seven as much as it can. Now, if we are not in flow with nature, we are effecting our body, and we are decreasing the pH. If we're stressed and we're not happy that will ... All those little factors, believe it or not, will effect the pH. What happens is every time our pH drops, the bacteria flourishes. The unhealthy bacteria will flourish, and you would get more demineralization of the tooth. It's very interesting that most people don't recognize there is an actual demineralization, remineralization that is going on constantly in our mouth, and that's just how our bodies are created. It's amazing. But when we get more demineralization versus remineralization we end up with a cavity, and that can happen with frequent ingestion of refined carbs. In our dental world we say, you know what? If you're going to eat something bad, which is bad for the teeth, like sugary or have soda pop and all of these things that we all know are bad for our teeth, even two year olds know that, do it all in one sitting and then go rinse your mouth out to get that bacteria to go away and to increase your pH back up to normal, which is seven, as quickly as possible. The longer the demineralization cycle at a low pH stays there, the more you run the risk of getting cavities.

Kevin Kowalki:  That is really fascinating, and one quick thing, Dr. Saadiah, I'd like to just go back to. When you say rinse, because I love this idea, right? Just if you're going to do it, do it all at once and then do something about it to take care of it. When you say rinse, is that with just regular water? Is that with mouthwash? What would you recommend for that?

Dr. Saadiah M: You know what? Even just water. I'm so glad you brought that back into my attention, because one of the simplest things to do is increase the salivary flow, because saliva is normally there in all of our mouths, and one of the main, biggest purposes it serves is to normally cleanse away the bacteria and keep that flowing so our remineralization keeps happening. Saliva is a very, very important factor in protecting our teeth from cavities or caries.

Kevin Kowalki:  I love it, and I have to tell you, I hope everybody listening right now just walks away with that one tip in and of itself, because it's really fascinating. Then, it gives people an opportunity to at least feel somewhat okay with doing some things, having some treats and knowing how to do the best job that we can for our own health, especially if we're in a situation where we can't go brush our teeth right away or whatever the case is. I mean, that's a brilliant tip, Dr. Saadiah, and I have to tell you, I don't know that I've heard many people talk about that on a regular basis. So, thanks for always sharing all these good ideas for us to take advantage of.

Dr. Saadiah M : Yes. Sometimes it's the very simple, very basic things that we tend to forget. Drinking lots of water, just healthy water, not all this funny water, this vitamin water that's all sugared up or anything like that. It's got to be pH neutral water.

Kevin Kowalki: I love it.

Dr. Saadiah M:   The quality of the water is very important. Just drinking good quality water, or eating foods rich in water. If you just think like that, you will automatically know, oh, and you will feel it. Think when you eat something which is thick and not really got a lot of water content, like you're eating a sandwich. It sticks around your teeth. You drink water and somehow it just magically just disappears.

Kevin Kowalki:   That's great. That's a writer downer for everybody. I love it. See, I get all fired up for these, too, Dr. Saadiah. I mean, man, the information that you pass on to everybody, and such simple things that we can do right away, I just love it. Okay, so, before I get a little bit off track here, I do believe it's always important for us to reinforce some of the things that you talk about on a regular basis, but let's reinforce the connection between oral health and overall [wareness 00:09:36]. If you would, please share some of your thought about this with our audience. You know, I believe we simply cannot talk about this connection enough.

Dr. Saadiah M:  You know, the connection, again, is so important. I was just reading up on that and refreshing my memory. Did you know that the most common bacteria that causes cavities, which is called streptococcus mutans, is actually the same bacteria that goes and is found on heart valves and in arteries? So, you are looking at a bacteria which is causing cavities and it's potentially causing heart disease. That is just incredible.

Kevin Kowalki:  That is incredible. I believe that people are becoming more and more educated about the connection of our bodies, to the degree that our bodies are connected. Again, thank you for being one of those individuals who's super passionate about it, who's advocating that education, and you're simply getting people healthier, and people you may never see in your entire life. So, I just want to take a moment and reinforce that to you and thank you for sharing all of this, because I believe that more and more is going to come out with regards to all of this oral health and the rest of the health and the connection that comes with it. That is just truly fascinating. Is there any other connections that you would want to share where people could be, you know, start to get a little bit more interested in in making connecting the dots there?

Dr. Saadiah M:  Yes. So, let me go back to describing what I did initially, you know, the pH. Anything which is going to cause our pH to drop, it could be stress, it could be medication, it could be just our thoughts, any of that is going to effect our mouth and increase our risk factors for getting cavities. Anything which causes us to have a drier mouth ... Because, remember, saliva's so important washing way and remineralizing ... If we don't have the saliva and we have the dry mouth, we are, again, increasing our risk for getting cavities. A lot of children have asthma and they have to take medication for it, and a lot of those asthma medications tend to dry the mouth out. Same thing with allergies, one of the most common things. Those tend to dry the mouth out, and guess what? All of those children end up getting more cavities because they're at much higher risk. You have less saliva, you are going to get more cavities. Generally, children and adults, when our mouth is drier, we want to go and eat something or drink something. That's a natural, innate response that our body tells us. My mouth is dry, I want to either eat something so I can stimulate more saliva production, or I want to drink something. A lot of us these days are not choosing water as our preferred thirst quencher, and we are frequently snacking on a lot of processed, sugary things, which is effecting our mouth, it is effecting our body, it's effecting our emotional responses to things. Again, it ties right back. The more you live in anxiety and fear, the drier your mouth is going to be, the more cavities you're going to have. If you start thinking of it like a 10,000 foot view, as they say, you look at the body as a very harmonious thing. It's a cycle. If you've got one thing out of balance, it's going to reflect in everything else. If your mouth is full of cavities, or you're at high risk for getting cavities for your medical conditions or the medications you're taking, guess what? The rest of your body is going to be effected. People who say, "Oh, it's just a tooth." Oh no. It's just the tip of the iceberg.

Kevin Kowalki:  Right. Exactly. I believe the number one lesson coming out of this is go appreciate water. Incorporate it more into your life. Stay hydrated, keep the fluids going, specifically in your mouth, and that can make a huge difference. Dr Saadiah, awesome. Again, something that is very simple, that we can be very conscious of. This is the moment where I've really been waiting for the information you're going to share, so here's the last and final question for today's show of you, and I'm excited for you to give the answer, and that is; what can all of us do to help prevent tooth decay in our children specifically?

Dr. Saadiah M:  I know that a lot of my listeners are probably tuning out at this point, thinking, "Oh, she's a dentist. She's going to tell us to brush and floss and not eat sweets," so I'm going to change it up a little bit. I'm actually not going to tell you that, because you've already heard that from a bazillion of the dentists and all the other people. I'm going to tell you something different. I'm going to tell you about, already we've already talked about water hydration, so I'm not going to talk about that, but I'm going to tell you how to breathe properly, because so many of us are so caught up in our life these days that we forget to take our slow, diaphragmatic breath. Slowly in, hold it, and let it out. If you do that, ten breaths like that, about four times a day, that is going to change your mental attitude and your chemistry, and I invite all of you to try it just for ten days. That breath is so important. Not only does breath serve to just infuse us with oxygen, it is a way our body is made to release toxins. When we are not breathing nice and deep, we are not letting go of toxins, and guess what? It's increasing out pH. I'm sorry, it's dropping our pH. I get so excited, I'm like ... You know, it's a simple little thing and I go all flabbergasted. So, dropping our pH. Every time our pH drops, guess what? We are back into the unhealthy bacteria zone. Ah, another thing about breath, a lot of people don't think about this. The nose is what's made for breathing, and a lot of us these days are not thinking and are breathing through our mouth. I see that with children all day long, and you know what? We need to teach all our children to close their mouth and breathe through the nose. Take slow, deep breaths through the nose. That's going to make a difference. The more you breathe through your mouth, the drier you make your mouth. The drier you make your mouth, the stickier the plaque is, the more you get cavities. So, water, breath, and something very, very, very simple, but, again, it's the simple things that we forget, enjoy life. Experience life. Live in joy. All of those things automatically open you up, relax you, and your body chemistry goes into more of a healthy side. Eat healthy foods, don't eat the processed foods. The processed foods are more acidic. Eat healthy foods. These days, everyone's living a fast-paced life, they look for ease instead of what's really good for us. Let's eat an apple instead of opening a packet of Kind Bar. Nothing against Kind Bars, they're good, but, you know, that's processed. Eating an apple. The action of chewing it, enjoy the experience of eating that apple. Let's smell that apple. Let's imagine that crunch. All of those sensations our bodies are craving because we're drinking a lot of our foods instead of eating them, then we crave more things. It's the basic, three-dimensional experiences that if we just stop, enjoy, and infuse our body with that, that's going to change our body chemistry to a more neutral body chemistry, and then our bodies are very, very good about balancing ourself out.

Kevin Kowalki: Well, once again, fascinating information and so ... It can be so different than what we hear over and over again, and that is why we get so much good feedback and so many wonderful comments of people thanking you for sharing this type of information. I'm just going to share a very quick personal testimony to this whole concept of breathing and breathing correctly. For a very long period of time, seven years of my life, I had gastro stomach issues and went the traditional route, medicines, the whole deal. Nothing ever fixed me, everything just masked all the problems. Well, here's what I ended up finding out, is actually the food that I was consuming was ultimately having a negative effect on my body. So it started out in my own mouth, too, and that led to sinus problems where I literally couldn't breathe through my nose and I had to breathe through my mouth all the time. I remember the day I went to the dentist and the dentist said, "Oh, you must be a mouth breather." I'm like, "How do you know that?" Long story short, they gave me the same education that you did, with regards to how breathing through your mouth and not through your nose has an impact, causes decay, those kind of things, and that's when I really started my own personal journey of a more wholistic way to live life and to be healthy. I will say, and you know my story, Dr. Saadiah, is that through those changes I am a happier, healthier man because of it. This breathing technique that you described, I will tell people it works. Not only for all of the things that you just described, but also as a stress reliever, too. I have less stress than I've ever had in my entire life, and it's because I've really paid attention to myself and how all of this is connected within my body to make me feel good. I just wanted to share that real quick with the listening audience as proof, literally proof, that this actually works and is true wisdom from you. So, Dr. Saadiah, thank you for sharing such great information today.

Dr. Saadiah M: It is truly my pleasure, and, again, I thank you for sharing your personal story, because it just, it just resonates.

Kevin Kowalki: Yeah, well thank you. And, well thank you for everybody who has been listening in on the latest edition of Spread Love, Banish Fear. You know, Dr. Saadiah, I just can't thank you enough. For anybody who would love to spend some time with Dr. Saadiah and help get some of these situations that you may have resolved, whether it's for yourself or for your children or for your entire family, please, please, please reach out. Dr. Saadiah and her team would love to help you, and if you do want to call directly, you can reach them at 561-477-3535. Again, 561-477-3535. Thank you, again, for everybody listening in on today's show, and we look forward to having you guys on the next one. So, until then, make it a great day.