At a conference we attended recently in San Diego, put on by the Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity, we attended a presentation/course focused on gum disease in the Middle East that has application here in the United States.  Due to poor home care, often because of  lack  of toothpaste and toothbrushes (from both financial and availability reasons), there is an abundance of a bacteria (A.A.) that can cause young people to lose teeth prematurely, especially in the upper front area. This, in turn, leads to poor self esteem.  The dental community’s response is to educate young women to use salt on their fingers that they can rub on the gums and emerging teeth of their infants and small children. This can help prevent the harmful effects of the bacteria. (Interestingly, sea salt and Kosher salt seem to be most effective!).

When we advise our  Cleveland patients to use a baking soda type of toothpaste (i.e. Arm and Hammer’s peroxide and baking soda tubes), we are suggesting that it, too, is effective in fighting the bacteria that cause gum disease.