Sink Your Teeth into This (Pt.1)
As some of you know I took a big leap in my dental care last Fall and got my wisdom teeth removed. I learned a lot from that experience and thought I would share with you my tips and wisdom on the topic of dental care and how in my personal experience relates directly to the nasal cavities and allergies.
Disclaimer: I am not a Dental Hygienist nor a Dentist, just a dental advocate. I am sharing my personal story and what supported me on MY path to better oral care and allergy support.
Wisdom tooth discomfort and chronic sinus infections.
Four or five years ago my wisdom teeth began to come in. I become wise, lol. Originally wisdom teeth were put to good use when our heads and faces were wider, using those teeth in the far back to help assist in breaking down those raw or almost raw meals, including nuts and meat. Nowadays evolution has shaped our faces and heads corresponding to our regions of ancestry. I have a narrow face and head shape, so adding 4 more molars just wasn't going to work. I knew before they even came in that I didn't need them. When they started to come in the trouble began. I did have unhealthy habits back then. I smoked, drank alcohol, ate meat, stayed up late, didn't floss after eating. No judgement if that is your current state, but I will explain why these habits are not supportive to the mouth and sinus functions.
I knew before they even came in that I didn't need them.
After visiting with my first dentist out here in the Bay I was convinced he had my best interest at heart and waiting to get my wisdom teeth removed was the best choice. Well, I waited and I waited and each season the teeth kept pushing through I was in pain and consequently I got a sinus infection. Each and every season. I already had an overactive immune system during (and not during) allergy seasons, so when my wisdom teeth grew in I prepared for not just dental pain prevention, but also allergy season prevention.
Well, I waiting and I waited and each season the teeth kept pushing trough I was in pain and consequently I got a sinus infection. Each and every season.
During this time I was in the process of quitting cigarettes, eating meat and my sleeping sporadically. Smoking cigarettes (or medicinal cannabis) are not beneficial to those who suffer from allergies as the smoke is irritating to the nasal passages and restricts your respiratory system from receiving fresh air. Eating meat or animal products is mucus forming to the body which doesn't help when your body is already producing mucus from the pollen or dental pain.
When I let my dentist know about the sinus infections he said they had NOTHING to do with wisdom teeth pain! I was astounded because the sinuses are so close to the neves of the teeth. I didn't believe him since I KNEW what I was FEELING. What I was feeling was, those wonderful wisdom teeth are impacting (no pun, but turns out I had a few that were impacted) my ability to breath.
Managing the Pain.
I began to do some research on natural remedies of allergies and this is what I found. Everything my grandparents did for me during my visits to their farm I would now have to apply those techniques.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) as a smelling agent to boiling water. Draping a cloth over your head and breathing in the hot steaming ACV mixture this helps breaks down any mucus and relieves sinus pressure.
Drinking ACV in my own "Hot Toddy" Mixture. ACV, Hot water, Lemon and optional honey.
Reducing the amount of animal products, especially dairy, to assist in the process of breaking down the mucus without the added stress on the body.
Wisdom teeth, "teething", pain. Lavender oil on a cotton ball. WARNING do not oil and drive! LOL
Eating soft foods. Limiting time with chips, popcorn and nuts.
Flossing after each meal.
Swooshing water throughout the day.
I began to notice with each little addition to my allergy and dental care I began to get relief quicker! I was in less pain in my mouth and sinus infection (which typically last up to a week) was down to 3 days with the ACV mixtures. WOW! Relief!!! Allergies occur because of not a low immune system, but due to a strong OVER working system. So reducing any foods that are mucus producing or high in grass weed family and sugars will help bring some relief this allergy season.
It was about 4 years after my initial visit with my first dentist that I began to realize my mouth was getting more crowded, I could feel the shift in my teeth, and my sinus infections were getting more frequent. So I had to continually practice dental care and sinus care until I could get the wisdom teeth removed. Even now after I have had my wisdom teeth removed I still get allergies and need to practice these self-care techniques to stay on top of the overwhelming influx of mucus this allergy season.
Here in Part 1 are some of my go to allergy relief recipes! I will go into detail in Part 2 for teeth/dental support. Enjoy!
Everything my grandparents did for me during my visits to their farm I would now have to apply those techniques.
Start your day with OIL PULLING.
Using coconut oil, put about a tablespoon in your mouth before you take a shower or as your preparing your morning coffee. Let the oil sit until it has dissolved then swoosh around your mouth for about 20 minutes. You may not start with that length of time it may only be 5 minutes. Thats ok, start small to go big. Oil pulling is from the Ayurvedic tradition which is the sister science of yoga. Oil pulling is hot right now in alternative dental care as it is supportive in pulling out any lingering toxins, plaque, and non beneficial bacteria from the mouth.
Neti is the nostril cleansing using water. This comes from ancient tradition of Hatha Yoga (Ha-Sun, Tha/TA-Moon). I use Neti pot NOT every day as it can tend to dry out the sinus' and NOT when I am already stuffed up. I have done this while really stuffed up and this causes the water to stay logged in the nasal cavities. No FUN! Also it took me about a year of practice to get the flow from one nostril to the other.
Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother) "Hot Toddies"
First thing before your breakfast and after your first glass of water make yourself a warm probiotic hot toddies for allergy relief.
Boil some water. In a mug add about 2 Tablespoons (could add more then more you use it) of ACV (w/the mother), 1/2 a lemon, and local honey if you are not vegan. Drink up to 3 hot toddies per day and notice the benefits.
**If you prefer NOT to drink the ACV you can add some in a bowl and add the hot water and inhale for sinus relief**
Diffuse or make your own room spray for allergy relief. I like this simple recipe I got from a friend and colleague Madoka Hara who works with essential oils. Learn more at her website here.
Allergy Relief with EO:
3-5 drops of Eucalyptus
3-5 drops of Lavender
3-5 drops of Lemon
3-5 drops of Peppermint
Caution: If you have animals such as cats, research which ones are safe and some safe practices to consider. Also as you can see I am using easy access EO from my local Sprouts. I would recommend if you are going to use EO on your body or internally check out Young Living or doTerra those two companies are the best in America for high grade therapeutic quality EO.
Drink your herbs
Instead of the extra work of essentials oils (and which ones are safe for cats) you can simply drink your herbs for the healing properties as well.
I recommend drinking Peppermint tea, Nettle tea, and Green tea. These teas are great for releasing any mucus from the sinus and bring health benefits to the guts. A win win for me!
Eat smaller and simpler.
As the day is winding down and your body is preparing for bedtime your body is not ready to digest a big meal especially if this meal contains meat, wheat and sugar. Side note: if you want to add a vegan meal to your weekly meal planning I would recommend dinner be vegan.
The heavier your dinner is the longer the body will take to digest the food. So give your body a break and have a nice bowl of soup instead of that enchilada. This will allow your body to digest and detox from the day before while you sleep.
Wash face and floss teeth.
I find that if I take care of these two basic things my allergies won't be SO extreme the next morning.
I hope that you can add one or two of these thing to your daily life especially as Spring is here! Just like we might show up to work or show up to yoga practice we must also show up for our allergy/health practice. Give yourself compassion as you navigate through the changes in the weather and changes in life.
In Part 2, I will discuss more about my wisdom teeth and how I quickly recovered from that procedure.
Have I missed something in the allergy realm that you practice during the allergy season? Let me know in the comments down below!