T Nation

Dental Health and pH question


Even though I brush my teeth regularly and at the minimum before I go to bed, I frequently have an acidic taste in my mouth after a night`s sleep.

Dentists says I have an acidic pH mouth ecology (I don`t recall the exact term).

1) Would there be any bad consequences if, after brushing, I chewed 1 or 2 calcium tablets, not swallowing them, and let the suspension stick to my teeth for the night? That way I`d have a basic pH buffer in place for the worst time. Very much like the White Strips thing, but for pH purposes.

2) Can teeth regenerate at all? Two years back, I broke a molar from top to root. The dentist salvaged it, but one year later I had it extracted because infection set in at the root level. I find it bizarre that we can break and mend bones far bigger than our teeth, yet no tooth can regenerate. Or can they?


The "TheSmileCreator" on this board is a dentist. I'm not sure who else.


I'm not a dentist, but do you floss? I notice my mouth is a much nicer place in the morning if I flossed the night before.


I do floss, indeed.

What`s the most bizarre thing is that I never went to the dentist for a 10 year period, and wound up with one cavity.

As I started going back regularly (every 6 months), dentist finds a new cavity each time. This has been going on for the last 2 years.

I am almost starting to think that these mercury fillings of the 10 year period had some kind of bacteria killing property. Shit started ever since I had them replaced with white fillings.

A bizarre paradox. The more I take care of my teeth, the worse it gets. Go figure!

I hope TSC jumps in eventually. He surely has an answer for these types of situations.


Okay, I'll have an answer, but I'm between patients right now so it'll come in a bit.

Might be a good idea if anyone else has dentally related concerns to voice them in this thread and I'll try to revisit a few times over the next couple of days and add whatever I can.

Bumpity Bump.



Darcy is lying.

He's not a Dentist hell, his name isn't even Darcy, it's Seville B'audre and he is an unemployed driller from Fort Mac.

Longing for the days of the whirring comfort that the rigs gave him he has decided to impersonate Dentists because:

A: He likes to drill.

B: He likes to stick his hands into peoples mouths (I have it on good authority that he doesn't wash his hands at ALL during the week and by the end of the week if you listen closely you can hear him mumble "I'll teach you to eat Caesar salad before your dental appointment, lick this you bastard, LICK THIS!".

C: There were no available clock towers for him to work his sadism so he took the next best thing. His favourite tools are the Scrapper, the Gouger and the Poker. Although, if you have seen how he looks longingly at the Jabber, you can tell that's his real favourite.

*Serious moment coming up next...yeah, I know it's not like me...

Congratulations need to go out to Dr.D who successfully defended his thesis three days ago and is now a bona fide MSc.

His attempts at defending his "right" to bathe in the downtown public fountains of Edmonton, Alberta were, unfortunately, not as successful.

Court appointed counselling begins next week.

*I went a whole fucking sentence, what more can you expect out of me?

Way to go Darc!

"Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill"

~ Johnny Carson


Not sure I would listen to anything this guy had to say. ;o)


Congratulations on defending the thesis. Not that the rest of us had any doubts tht you'd pull it off.

Now you can feel free to start up the proctology practice of your dreams.

At least I hope your a proctologist, but if you are then why were both of your hands on my hips during the exam?

PM me and we'll go out and have a drink or two to celebrate.

Would you happen to know where I could find someone that would hve the time to make me a custom mouthguard. Not just any mouthguard, but the coolest mouthguard ever made. Do they come in red? Its gonna end up that way no matter what.


Any spelling or gramatical errors in the above post are due in no small part to the lack of proper dental protection.


Craig, get your ass in to my new office. Call me.


Dan C;

regarding your immediate first questions:

  1. there would be little harm from chewing calcium but little benefit as well. Neutral position on that one, but you can try it. Teeth cannot absorb calcium once they are formed. And on the same note, your body cannot remove calcium from teeth. One of the oldest wive's tales is "my developing baby sucked the calcium out of my teeth when I was pregnant", which is total untruth.

  2. teeth cannot regenerate. You get two sets. Second set breaks down over time. First set exfoliates from age 6 years to 14 years, +/- 2.4 years standard deviation. Second set breaks down from normal wear and tear. The development of a "refined sugar" diet in the past several centuries has largely contributed to the development of a major increase in decay of teeth. Unfortuneatly while decay is going down in North America, it is rising in 3rd world countries (and poor socio-economic status areas of N. America or the world) where children have universal access to soda pop but don't have access to toothpaste or dental care/fluoride.

Regarding your tooth: After the initial break, it was cracked, and it just took a year or so for the damage to become evident. It was probably nonsalvageable from the start but undetectable clinically by your dentist. Radiographic (x-rays) damage in terms of cracks are often not visible with conventional gamma-radiation technology, unless the xray cuts at exactly 90 degrees to a crack, which is almost impossible.

Next, regarding amalgam (mercury) fillings. Contents: Silver, tin, copper, and of course mercury (Hg). I and most dentists respect the research saying that mercury is not good for anyone, but we also feel that there is little harm to the body from fillings, relative to the amount of exposure from fish, plankton, and seagreens (or just the environment). The removal of silver fillings and replacement with composite (plastic) is not universally endorsed for many reasons. Removal often damages the tooth more than leaving the filling there. Secondly, composite (white) fillings can have many leaky or open margins between tooth and filling, leaving an area for decay to begin and rapidly grown because it's impossible for you to clean properly with brush or floss. Also, the plastic fillings are made of about 50 chemicals, some of which have been linked to far worse medical problems than mercury exposure. Some research suggests that the white fillings actually attract bacterial growth, which again can cause cavities.

Hope that answers some questions. If you're getting repeated decay in the same tooth, find a new dentist for a second opinion.

If I missed anything, please continue this thread.

best wishes


IM, good reason number 1 to trust TSC: He got Cass to push him around in a shopping cart. Nice work there.

And congratulations on the thesis Darcy.


Dan C,
I'm not a dentist, but I play one on the Jeffersons. You are having acid reflux. Ease off on the chocolate easter bunnies. Tell yourself, "The bunny is my friend. We no eat bunny."
Dr. D,
You had better thank your lucky stars that I wasn't there to refute your thesis. I would have had a field day with your, "Milk and Cookies cure the common cold" thesis.


First off, it was my lucky day that Cass happened by. I had been starting my new "Eat nothing, and do lots of Cardio" regimen. I lasted 18 minutes and collapsed. Cass collected me, fed me some Low Carb Grow (vanilla, Yum! Makes the best pudding), and nursed me back to health. Since then, I've learned my lesson.

US=GG, don't worry, I had plenty to defend. My thesis showed that a random sample of patients with braces in Alberta get better treatment than the absolute best outcomes in the United States. And that was using a developed American grading system. So the lesson is that if you want great, straight teeth, come here and get them fixed.
(Unless you're Cupcakes' kids, who no doubt will be toothless and have 5 arms due to having married his mom).


SmileCreator, thanks for offering your advice in this thread. I had a filling in a molar fall out, I won't say how many years ago. That molar is starting to bother me. Should I have it refilled with the amalgam fillings then, rather than composite?


Good question Mr. Anderson (Sp?).

I can't answer that because I don't have an xray or can't visually see the size. The larger the hole, the weaker any filling would be. However, if you left it too long and bacteria invaded down further, then you might need a temporary filling done just to wait it out and see how it does. Hopefully it won't turn into a root canal (done if the nerve tissue in the tooth is irreversibly damaged). If you get me more info, or want to pm me a scanned xray image, I can be more helpful. Otherwise good luck.

More questions please!

ps. To stimulate some discussion, I'd like to just say for the record that many people who are into health, and muscle building/physique improvement often ask me about bleadhing. If anyone wishes, I'll write up a short discussion and post it. Same goes for any topic from wisdom teeth to braces.

The tooth hurts. Get it?
InciDENTALLY, (get it?)



the short answer is that a filling smaller than 5 mm will generally tolerate a white filling well. Sorry about being vague. If I could only see you through this screen!

Anyway, my back hurts from trying a new exercise so I'm going to cut this off and go work out some other body part.



Thanks Darcy and congratulations!

Got 2 more cavities detected. It sucks. No flawless checkups sucks a lot. At least the gum line didnt deteriorate. Ill start using Rotadent just to put the odds on my side.

For the Hg fillings, while the guys who engineered surely did their best, I always had doubts about friction, pressure, vapor/sublimation, traces, heat and cold, cracking, etc. Theres no known alloy that could take repeated beatings of various types without losing some part in the process. Hg wouldnt that freaky if it could be eliminated (not bioaccumulated), though.

A Hg free dentist once told me a good question:

If mercury fillings are so safe, why are they treated with special caution BEFORE being used, AFTER being removed (disposed kinda like hazardous waste materials, if not worse), but absolutely safe the time being IN your mouth?

Makes no sense. To ask the question is to answer it. If people using the compound once in a while have to take special precautions, what the hell does the guy having them 24/7 in the mouth do ??? It`s not like the mouth has magical and unique chemical properties... The mouth is far from a peaceful, calm, stable environment. Sure, white fillings are far less tough, but I prefer paying an extra filling now and then than having the Hg specter in my mind.

Obviously, every one`s mileage may differ on this one.


I guess then Dan, that I can agree with whatever material choice you make as long as you're fully informed. Did the Hg-free dentist inform you that the white fillings contain chemicals that are known carcinogens? Did he offer you the best alternative which is a gold filling or crown? Did he offer you the next best, which is pure porcelain? I'm sure he did, because it's in our code of ethics.

I'm all for people choosing their own health treatments as long as they are truly part of the informed consent process. Again, there's no reason why you should be getting new cavities. You're obviously educated and articulate, so you have to be in my guess, over let's say, 20. The amount of people at that age getting a new cavity every 6 months would likely be almost nil. However, I'm guessing that you should stop gargling with Maple Syrup each night for starters. Yes, it freshens the breath, but you're only paying for those bastards in Hull to keep their pools heated year-round...


Darcy. LOL. Good finisher.

Worst part is that I am mostly low-carb year long. While not being an endomorph, I guess I am more of the mesomorph frame. Or you could call it the hybrid endo+ecto at 6 feet. Anyway, the battle against carbs is a daily thing.

FYI, even though my dad has a sugar shack, I dont even like maple syrup (or excess carbs). It makes a fun day to go collect the waterold style`, though -- lots of walking and upper-body activity.

Dentist also mentionned I have porous teeth and therefore very brittle. Just bizarre that I am big boned too. I guess all the calcium went into the bones. ;0)

Next time Ill call you if I happen to be around your part of Canada. Guaranteed. Well, if you happen to have a waiting list that isnt in the 2-year-long category. ;0)


Gold fillings would be cool (healthwise) indeed, but with my recent cavity track-record, I would be afraid of having a 70s-disco (all that gold +chrome...) look in my mouth after a couple of visits.

Porcelain...expensive stuff. I don`t think the insurance dental plan covers it. Gold either, by the same logic.

Unless price grids change with each province. Here in Quebec, they`ve got a fixed tariff grid. But I have no idea if it is competitive with the rest of the country. FYI, my checkup + cleaning (1 hour) cost me 87$ CAN yesterday.