June 15, 2019

Up the Gum tree with GumTone

Essential in your bathroom cabinet

….because GumTone protects the gums that protect the teeth. Gums envelope the base of teeth,  forming a seal to prevent bacteria and infection getting to the roots.

Let’s get back to basics and look at the two main components in oral hygiene: the cleanser and the vehicle, aka toothpaste and toothbrush.

Our ancestors used their built in tool – the index finger – to clean their teeth, and this is still the method used by poor people the world over. The finger is an excellent tool because of it’s flexability in terms of reaching every part of the mouth, and also the amount of pressure needed.

The first breakthrough in Oral Hygiene came when early man discovered “toothbrush trees” and started using twigs from Natures bounty to clean their teeth. Examples are Meswak – pictured here – Neem and Willow. There are around 17 “toothbrush trees” around the world, and the main attributes are that these trees are naturally antibacterial and antiseptic. The root of the Meswak, and twigs from the other trees are used by peeling away about an inch of the Bark/Skin and chewing on the end to soften the bristles. Unbelieveably, the “natives” knew the correct way to brush teeth.

The earliest literature showing the use of these twigs is found in Chinese literature at around 1600 BC. Had anyone forseen the advent of GumTone?

Believe it or not, it took more than 3000 years before the toothbrush was invented and innovations were rampant. Brush manufacturers introduced different shapes of the brush head, rectangular, longer rectangular, oval, brushes with a tuft at one end, always claiming that the new design was the result of extensive research. Swine bristles were replaced by artificial bristles and you were offered a choice of hardness of the bristle. The designers played around with the shapes and size of the toothbrush handle.

This brings us to the present day evolved electric or battery operated toothbrush which has an alternating rotary action.

And so to the cleanser: Early Man had probably noticed the build-up of a deposit on his teeth and figured that he needed a way of scraping it off. IDEA! What if I dip my finger in wood ash and rub my finger over my teeth? It worked, and his teeth did not look and feel yucky. Charcoal powder followed as an abrasive in cleaning teeth and is still used in many countries. The first recorded use of charcoal for medicinal purposes comes from Egyptian papyri around 1500 B.C. The principal use appears to have been to adsorb the unpleasant odors from putrefying wounds and from within the intestinal tract. Toothpowders were introduced and used widely, and then came the big con in the shape of toothpaste.

Manufacturers vied with each other to see what additives would sell, and you had striped toothpaste, mint flavoured, tobacco flavoured etc. Copy writers had a field day coming up with descriptions to outdo the competition. Then we get the complete toothpaste, followed by the ultimate. Whatever next? The main ingredients are an abrasive like powdered chalk, detergent and various additives.

I firmly believe that the manual toothbrush is the main cause of oral hygiene problems in more than 50% of the population. The hard bristles and the conventional way of brushing teeth not only caused grooves in the teeth enamel but are also responsible gum pockets. Why is it taking dentists so long to advise against the use of convention toothbrushes, and to teach people the correct way to brush teeth?

Dental Floss, dental sticks, interdental brushes and tongue scrapers are other aids in oral hygiene and if you still have problems with you gums you can depend on GumTone to help you.