Even with the best of modern dental care, many of us neglect our teeth. We fail to go to the dentist for regular checkups. Now if we fail at good dental hygiene, we go to the dentist and get a quick painless filling. In the past dental care was not quick or painless. I can remember going to the dentist as a small child in South Africa and having a filling with no Novocain. My father who is in his 90’s remembers going to the dentist when they use a foot powered drill. No pain killer and slow.
Now when modern dental care is not available, you may not even have the luxury of the foot-powered drill. It may be just pull the tooth or put up with the pain. The problem is that modern research has shown that the effects of rotten teeth go way beyond just a sore mouth. In the old days people died from the infections that started in their mouths. Medical science has discovered that oral infections, especially periodontitis, can have an adverse affect on the course of a number of systemic diseases such as the following.
- Cardiovascular Disease (Heart attack and Stroke)
- Bacterial Pneumonia
- Low Birth Weight/Extreme High Birth Weight
- Diabetes complications
So the best thing you can do to avoid these problems is to get good dental care while it is available, and when it is not, practice good dental hygiene. That means floss and brush your teeth at least twice a day. So stock up on tooth brushes, dental floss and toothpaste.
If you do not have any toothpaste you can mix together equal parts of baking soda and salt to make a tooth powder with which you can brush your teeth. You can improvise toothbrushes quite simply. While I have been writing this post, my wife went outside and made a couple of toothbrushes. You take a twig from a tree (she says a green one works best) sharpen one end and chew on the other to separate the fibers. The sharp end can be used to pick your teeth and the fiber end as a tooth brush. The ones my wife made work fine.
Just remember get your teeth checked, the better shape your teeth are in at the beginning of a disaster the better chance you will have of keeping them. You also may want to go to the following post Hesperian Foundation and Free Medical Books and download the book Where there is No Dentist.