Dental Health in SHTF

Dental Health in SHTF

( – In a world where people spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to create the illusion of gleaming white teeth, it’s nothing short of mind-blowing to realize just how little attention they really pay to their dental health. This is especially true in survival scenarios. The worst part is that dental health is one of the most important parts of staying healthy – and even more so when a visit to a doctor is nothing more than a fond memory. Let’s go that extra mile and find some easy ways to deal with this important issue when the nearest dentist is locked down in his own bunker.

Truth About General Health vs Dental Health

Most people don’t realize just how important dental health is to their general health. The truth is, it isn’t easy to find a worse place in the body to get an infection. Why? Because it’s trapped in one of the dirtiest places on your body – your mouth.

Other infections, such as skin wounds, can be covered and protected from the elements. But our teeth are stuck in our mouths, where bacteria just keep thriving in a nice warm environment that has to be left exposed to the world. It’s the perfect place for sepsis and other fun serious health issues to develop. The worst part is that this trapped infection is pushed through your bloodstream the entire time it exists. Still want to skip flossing? Fine, but remember this: It only takes one serious tooth infection to lead to a fatal case of sepsis.

Cleaning Teeth in the Wild

If the SHTF you may as well be trapped in the wild as far as your teeth are concerned, even if you’re in your own living room. You’re bound to run out of toothpaste and mouthwash sooner or later, so you need alternate ways to keep your teeth clean. And don’t go scraping them, either. That enamel is there to protect your teeth, and untrained hands can easily damage it.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Most of us have heard this expression, but how about the version that replaces “doctor” with dentist? Both are true, because of the vitamins found in apples, their fibrous nature, and the fact that keeping your teeth and gums healthy goes a long way toward keeping the rest of your body healthy. So, if you find yourself without your toothbrush or toothpaste, an apple is a great way to keep your teeth clean. In fact, in a pinch, almost any fibrous fruit will do. Just keep in mind that the acid in apples can be hard on your teeth, so try eating it with something like cheese or crackers that can neutralize that acid.

Fighting Gum Disease

The best way to fight any disease is to take preventative measures, but limited options for diet and hygiene can make that difficult. What if we told you that you could fight off yard pests and gingivitis with the same plant? Calendula, otherwise known as pot marigold, has been proven to not only help fight off gingivitis, but plaque as well.

If you do have to have a dental procedure done, this seemingly magical plant is also known to help reduce inflammation and assist with healing. As an added bonus, planting these flowers around your patio or campsite will help cut down on mosquitoes and other pests. Put it alongside your mint for even more pest prevention, and enjoy that minty fresh feeling with your cup of Calendula tea.

Preventing Dry Socket

The only thing worse than having to get a tooth removed is the dry socket that can follow. In this case, understanding what the medical issue is may be the best way to prevent it.

When you have a tooth pulled and nerves exposed, what naturally follows is blood flow. But the body is an amazing thing and has its own preventative maintenance plan. The blood may flow, but eventually, and sometimes with the help of some sort of packing, it will clot. This clotting effect not only prevents you from bleeding out, but also provides a sort of plug for the wound, to protect what’s underneath.

Ever wonder why the dentist tells you not to smoke or drink through a straw after you have a tooth pulled? They aren’t just trying to boss you around. The suction that comes with either of these activities could pull that blood clot right out. Remember what we said about the nerves being exposed? Also keep in mind that the skin is our first layer of protection from the elements. Without it, our nerves would feel every breeze or stimulus that exists around us – and not in a good way.

Once that clot is out and the nerve exposed you’ll be able to say that you’ve experienced dry socket, a condition that is sometimes more painful than the toothache that started this whole mess.

Treatments for dry socket are the same as treatments for many dental issues. Flush the area with warm salt water and apply one of the many plants and other natural resources that contain analgesic, anti-bacterial and/or anti-inflammatory properties. Clove oil is particularly helpful for any type of dental pain, but it can also irritate the skin and gum tissue. Honey, black tea, tea tree oil and chamomile are just some of the options you can rely on.

Dental health is far more important than most people give it credit for, most especially when modern medicinal options are no longer available. Whether it happens today, or when there are no medical facilities to speak of, follow the path of preventative maintenance and cleaning, even after a dental issue seems to have been resolved. Keeping the area free from bacteria is just the start. You also need to keep yourself calm, so any medicines don’t have to try and work against your fight or flight response as well as any potential contaminants. If you do have an open mouth wound try to pack or cover it with helpful herbs, both to use the properties of the herbs and to protect it against contaminants in the environment.

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