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The ‘Healthy Mouth Protocol’

Manhasset Dentist Encourages Remineralization as Preventive Strategy

Constant snacking isn’t just bad for the waistline. It’s also bad for the teeth because it keeps the oral biofilm in an acidic state that promotes decay, says Dr. Linda Golden, owner of Golden Dental Wellness Center (GDWC), in Manhasset. She and her staff encourage their patients to adopt a “healthy mouth protocol” to shift the oral biofilm to an alkaline pH.

“This protocol starves the cariogenic bacteria, which thrive and survive in an acidic environment and ultimately cause tooth decay,” Golden says.

GDWC’s healthy mouth protocol is a preventive strategy that promotes the natural rebuilding of tooth enamel, which is largely made up of minerals like calcium and phosphate. Remineralization happens when the oral biofilm is alkaline—around 7.4 pH, Golden says. Unfortunately, most of the foods we like to snack on are high in sugar and preservatives, which create an acid (low-Ph) biofilm.

“Snacking creates a syndrome called the Stephan Curve, which is where a spike in acidity—that’s around 5.5 pH—systemically develops in the oral cavity and body, leaving the cariogenic bacteria to thrive, and demineralization becomes prevalent,” she says. 

To prevent cavities and gum disease, GDWC recommends minimizing sweets and preservative-heavy and acidic foods and using homecare strategies and products focused on promoting an alkaline oral environment. 

“It may take 45 minutes or more after eating to bounce back to an alkaline state, so we recommend an oral neutralizing agent, CariFree CTx2 Spray, which makes the curve rise more quickly, or boosts it, so that remineralization can occur,” Golden says.

Other suggested homecare products contain nano-hydroxyapatite xylitol, a sugar substitute made from white birch.

“Because xylitol isn’t metabolized by cariogenic bacteria, it doesn’t promote tooth decay like sugar does,” Golden says. “But of course if you don’t require sweetener, you can look for products eliminating this ingredient entirely.”

Long-Term Benefits

The oral biofilm becomes very dense over time, so it may take months to change an acidic environment to an alkaline one, Golden says. GDWC has a meter for testing and monitoring the biofilm, so she can reassess patient progress and make adjustments as needed.

When patients follow GDWC’s healthy mouth protocol—individually designed during a new-patient hygiene appointment, based on bacteria, diet, and pH testing—they’ll experience a variety of benefits, Golden says. The first changes they’ll see are healthier-looking gums, less bleeding during water picking and dental checkups, and remineralization of white spots and decalcification of the teeth. Over time, they’ll notice decreased tooth sensitivity, less bad breath, and shinier, “cleaner” feeling teeth, while the dentist will notice a hardening of the tooth enamel. The long-term benefit is the most important to overall health: a reduced rate of tooth decay.

How long it takes to get these results depends on a number of factors, Golden says. They include the patient’s disease history; the presence and severity of other risk factors, and whether those can be modified; the presence and severity of tooth decay; and the patient’s acceptance of and compliance with the program.

Location: 444 Community Dr., Manhasset, NY. For appointments or more information, call 516-627-8400 or visit GoldenSmile.com








 

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