Magnesium and Dental Health
Learn the relationship between magnesium and dental health:
It is impossible for our teeth to absorb calcium without magnesium, and tooth enamel itself, as well as the innate systems designed to preserve it, both require magnesium.
Here we take a closer look at oral and dental health and disease. This shows us how magnesium is critical to the most important areas of our dental and oral health.
- Maintaining bacterial balance
- Fighting oral inflammation
- Absorption of calcium into our teeth
- Tooth enamel pliability
Magnesium is more important to oral and dental health than calcium. However we also need magnesium for every other nerve, muscle, organ and gene in our body. This helps explain why dental disease is at all-time highs:
Humanity’s most common disease?
One of the most prevalent health conditions among all people is dental caries. Also known as cavities, this dental erosion affects 60 – 90% of children. Nearly 100% of adults now have, or have had dental caries in the past.
Magnesium deficiency is also at all-time highs, and now affects close to 100% of people. The reason why, is that our foods are too low in magnesium, because our soils are depleted, and industrialization of food further drains magnesium content.
Now let us consider the following facts:
- All forms of stress directly drain our magnesium levels because our adrenal glands are magnesium-dependent.
- Our levels of environmental stress (such as wifi) are increasing by the day.
- The function and regeneration of every single muscle, bone and organ uses magnesium. It is needed for more different processes in the human body than vitamin c, vitamin d, and calcium combined.
Now we begin to realize exactly why doctor and scientist experts at The Magnesium Health Institute and The Scientific Society for The Research on Magnesium have concluded that it is now impossible in modern society to maintain healthy magnesium levels without supplementation.
This helps us look at the relationship between widespread magnesium deficiency, its effects on whole-body health, and the simultaneous prevalence of dental caries. Magnesium’s central role in our body’s entire system, suddenly begins reveal the powerful relationship between magnesium and dental health.
But first, a quick glance at the current theory of dental health may help us better understand the difference between treating dental symptoms, and solving their root problems, and how magnesium is involved.
The truth about oral hygiene
Dental caries occur when our tooth enamel erodes from exposure to lactic acid. This lactic acid is produced as a byproduct, when the bacteria that live in our mouths, convert sugars from our diet into energy to sustain themselves.
This lactic acid destroys enamel and exposes the inner parts of our teeth, known as dentin and cementum. While this theory has some truth, let us consider some additional factors:
- The human adult body has on average 30 – 50 trillion cells. The most recent research shows that we have as many bacteria as cells, and that when properly balanced, our body lives symbiotically with these bacteria.
- Research by groups such as The Weston Price Foundation have shown that cultures whose food supplies are not affected by industrialization, have consistently better oral health – despite a lack of dental hygiene.
- The theory that we need to kill the naturally-occurring bacteria in our mouth with dental hygiene products fuels a massive oral hygiene industry which is estimated to reach $ 6 billion annually by 2017.
What is the more logical conclusion we can make about oral hygiene practices and their role in dental caries?
Symptoms vs causes
The fact that we have trillions of bacterial life forms living symbiotically with our body suggests several potentially co-existing possibilities:
- These bacteria are beneficial for us and we are not supposed to kill them.
- These bacteria are good for us in certain amounts, and when any strain of bacteria grows beyond the limits of symbiotic balance, only then do they cause problems with our health.
- The fact that we live for decades despite constantly engaging in behaviour that offsets the balance of our bacteria, suggests that one of our body’s many roles is to either keep these bacteria at bay, or mitigate the effects of their imbalances with innate processes like our immune and anti-oxidant systems.
It is more likely that an imbalance of bacteria in our body causes problems, and oral hygiene processes should never aim to eradicate our body’s bacteria, because that simply creates animbalance in the other direction. Rather, these practices should merely serve as an aid to help our body maintain the proper balance of bacteria it needs.
However, it is important to note:
Oral hygiene practices simply cannot solve the underlying problem of why our teeth deteriorate. This was clearly proven by the Weston Price Foundation’s research which discovered nearperfect dental health in peoples with little to no oral hygiene practices.
What their research uncovered was that sufficient dietary essential nutrients for the body’s vital systems, are what kept the body’s various parts healthy,two of those parts being our teeth and mouth.
Let us look at how magnesium, our body’s most essential dietary nutrient, is critical to these vital systems and thus our oral health at a foundational level.
Magnesium & oral bacteria
Perhaps one of the simplest ways that magnesium plays a role in mitigating the effects of bacteria in our mouth, is its central role in our salivary glands. The salivary glands in our mouth depend on magnesium for fuel, maintenance, and to create saliva and enzymes.
Healthy salivary glands provide a consistent flow of saliva that facilitates the removal of left over food debris which bacteria can otherwise feed on. In addition to its mechanical effects:
- Saliva also contains immunoglobulin A (slgA) which helps fight bacteria.
- Our salivary glands also produce a protein called lysozyme, which lyses many bacteria, preventing their overgrowth. (The two stages of making this protein, are also impossible without magnesium)
- The pH level of saliva is slightly basic, which helps counteract the effects of the acids that these bacteria produce.
Magnesium also plays a central role in our immune system, not only as a fuel source for our immune cells, but also as the only activator of one of our immune system’s primary driving forces: vitamin D.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone made from cholesterol, which needs to be converted from its storage form, to its inactive form, to its active form, before benefiting our immune system.These vitamin D conversions are impossible without magnesium.
The better our salivary glands and immune system are functioning, the better we are able to handle the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouth and the acids they produce.
Magnesium & oral inflammation
Even with perfectly functioning salivary glands and a strong immune system, there will always remain some level of bacteria in our mouth, and as such, their survival will always yield some levels of inflammation from the acids they produce.
Luckily the human body has very powerful anti-inflammatory systems that are designed to fight inflammation in all parts of the body.
While magnesium itself is known to be a natural anti inflammatory agent, as well as an alkalizing agent (which combats the acidity and inflammation from oral bacteria), it also plays a critical role in our body’s primary anti-inflammatory and detoxification system:
The methylation cycle, which is needed to produce our most abundant anti-oxidant: glutathione.
Glutathione is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory action, and there exists a massive industry of glutathione supplements, however the unfortunate truth is that these supplements are often 100% useless, because the glutathione molecule is too large to enter our system.
This is why the human body has an innate system in every one of our cells, designed to make this powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Magnesium and b vitamins are especially critical to glutathione production, which helps reduce the damaging inflammation in our oral cavity.
Magnesium & dental calcium
In addition to our body’s innate way of preventing bacterial inflammation from damaging our gums and teeth, magnesium also plays a critical role of regulating calcium in our mouth.
Calcium is not capable of entering our bones and teeth on its own. Several hormones regulate calcium entering and leaving our bones:
- Vitamin D (allows calcium to enter our bones and stay out of soft tissues like our gums –beneficial)
- Calcitonin (same as above – beneficial)
- Parathyroid hormone (forces our bones and teeth to release calcium, and our soft tissues to absorb it – very damaging to our teeth and gums)
Here we see just how critical magnesium is to our oral health:
Magnesium activates and up-regulates the function of Vitamin D and Calcitonin, and it down-regulates the function of the damaging Parathyroid hormone. In fact, magnesium also plays an antagonistic role to calcium inside the cells of our gums, to remove excess calcium and prevent their calcification.
Without sufficient magnesium, our teeth are unable to absorb their much needed calcium, and instead our soft gums absorb this hardening calcium, which is a known cause of inflammation in soft tissues like our gums.
Magnesium in tooth enamel
In addition to allowing our teeth to absorb calcium, magnesium is actually a critical structural component of our tooth enamel.
Human enamel is the hardest substance in our body, and is extremely resilient. The make-up and structure of enamel is rather interesting. To paint a simple picture of how tooth enamel is structured:
Imagine a picnic basket that was flattened out in the shape of a tooth. We can see the threads/rods that make up the basket, as they weave over and under each other in a cross-fashion.
Now imagine that in addition to the structural integrity that this cross-weaving provides, there is an additional adhesive substance that fills all the little holes and crevices in between these threads.
These two physical aspects of our tooth enamel dramatically increase its resilience. The material that coats and fills these rods provides an additional level of protection and resilience, and magnesium ions (Mg++) are one of the primary constituents of this material.
In fact studies have confirmed a clear link between a lack of magnesium ions in this amorphous solution, and an increase in dental erosion.
When we look at how magnesium is central to our dental and oral health, it makes it doubly important that scientists and doctor experts have agreed that it is now impossible in our modern world to maintain healthy magnesium levels without supplementation.
Why Our Magnesium Levels Are Now Dropping:
Figure 1 is a general representation of the trends of the three primary factors that affect the magnesium levels in our body everyday. The fourth line represents our ability to make our own magnesium, which will always stay at zero.
- Total environmental stress that drains our magnesium
- Magnesium in our soil and healthy foods
- Our intestine’s ability to absorb magnesium from food and pills
Our adrenals (stress glands) are magnesium-dependent. Stress depletes magnesium, and inflames our intestine, hindering absorption of dietary magnesium. (Even a healthy gut only absorbs 30-40% of a food’s magnesium.)
This means our dental and oral health are competing for their magnesium not only with our other vital functions, but also with increasing amounts of environmental stress and poor intestinal Mg absorption.
Solutions & Summary:
Safe and smart magnesium supplementation
When it comes to the effectiveness of magnesium supplements, what is important is their ability to give us the magnesium ion (the charged magnesium atom on its own). The magnesium ion is most available to humans from magnesium chloride supplements. You can also learn about the most and least effective magnesium supplements here.
In terms of absorption, many magnesium pills and powders exert laxative effects on the intestines and have absorption as low as only 4%. Liquid magnesium chloride supplements have magnesium ions that can enter our system before hitting the intestine.
Concerning the quality, safety and purity of magnesium supplements, liquid natural magnesium-chloride supplements are effective yet sourced from polluted waters and sold in plastic bottles containing chemicals linked with cancer, birth defects, infertility, and hormonal imbalances.
It is important to use a natural magnesium chloride supplement that is not sourced from open, polluted water, and one that is not in a plastic container. Click here to see the supplement we recommend, which surpasses all the above criteria.
Magnesium is one of, if not the most important nutrient for good oral and dental health. Without magnesium:
- Our salivary glands are unable to remove excess food debris and provide a more basic environment to mitigate the effects of bacterial acid production.
- Our immune system lacks the activation of one of its primary forces: Vitamin D.
- Our body cannot make glutathione, our most important anti-inflammatory agent which combats the inflammation of our teeth and gums.
- Our teeth lose their ability to absorb calcium, and it instead enters our gums where it calcifies and inflames them.
- Our tooth enamel lacks a primary constituent of its binding amorphous solution: the magnesium ion.
Simply put, any way we look at it, magnesium is fundamental to dental health, and regardless of whatever measures we take to keep our teeth healthy, it is simply an impossible task to achieve, if we are deficient in magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency concerns:
For Beginners: The 4 Mg Facts
Other Critical Facts: