It starts in the mouth

Gail emailed me this interesting observation from her perspective as a dental hygienist:

I have worked as a dental hygienist for over forty years. For a long time, I have been saying that something is different with people’s oral health. When I began working as a dental hygienist back in the early seventies, we did not wear gloves and there was very little bleeding during a prophylaxis. If my patients had bleeding gums back in the seventies like they do now, I never would have put my fingers into their mouth.

Today, it is common to see five year old patients with heavy plaque and bleeding. When I listened to your talk on Red Ice Creations, something that you said caught my attention. You stated that the amylopectin-A from the modern wheat is highly digested by the enzyme amylase in the mouth into sugar much quicker than the ancient wheat.

Could this be the missing piece to the puzzle with our modern epidemic of periodontal disease? In the past year, I saw three patients who did not have plaque, calculus or bleeding. This is very unusual to see in the modern dental office. One was a seventeen year old boy, the other two were women in their forties and fifties. When I questioned all three of them, they told me that they were off of gluten products which means that they were not eating wheat. My question to you is: Has there been any dental research concerning the effects of the modern wheat on oral health? I used to blame the increase of bleeding gums on the high fructose corn syrup. I am now thinking that the modern wheat is also the culprit.

I have been telling many of my patients about your book. I find it hard to not talk about this subject when a patient mentions how they want to lose weight and cannot do it with conventional dieting.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

While there is, to my knowledge, no formal research connecting consumption of modern wheat with dental and gingival disease/decay, I am hearing this more and more often. People say, “My dentist says my teeth didn’t really need cleaning and that they looked the best they have in years.”

As Gail points out, the amylopectin A unique to wheat, different than, say, the amylopectin C from beans that is inefficiently digested (resulting in intestinal gas from bacterial digestion of the undigested amylopectin), is rapidly converted to glucose in the mouth by the salivary enzyme, amylase, even before you swallow. So a breakfast of shredded wheat cereal, mid-morning snack of low-fat pretzels, a lunch of low-fat turkey breast on two slices of whole wheat bread, and a dinner of whole wheat pasta ensures a mouth full of glucose many times a day, a situation that makes oral bacteria throw a party, as they love the glucose.

As is happening in the world of wheatlessness, more and more of the common (as well as uncommon) ailments that plague us modern humans are proving to be nothing more than . . . forms of intolerance to wheat.

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