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The problem of tooth decay and strength of dental enamel, gums, and blood vessels is one of the most widespread health issues of the recent years. Scientists all over the world continue to look for the most appropriate way of treating and preventing tooth decay and cavity problems. This research is devoted to the question of how the reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma) are a better regimen to follow than fluoride to improve the oral cavity and supporting structures (teeth, gums, blood vessels, etc.).

Reishi mushroom is a quite popular herb in China and several others Eastern countries. From the ancient times, it was approved as a very effective natural cure for many diseases. “Pharmacological data suggest four primary areas of activity for reishi extracts: immune-enhancing and antitumorigenic, cardiovascular regulatory, hypoglycemic, and hepatoprotective”.

The Useful Properties of Reishi Mushrooms

Among the useful properties of this mushroom there can be distinguished the following. Reishi is able to thin the blood in order to prevent blood clots and to decrease the level of harmful cholesterol in the blood. It also contains natural hepatoprotectors. Therefore, it improves recovery and functioning of the liver. Reishi mushroom lowers the blood pressure, stimulating the heart gently and safely. It affects nervous system as soothing, relaxing, and antidepressant remedy. It possesses an analgesic effect. It removes spasms of smooth muscles of blood vessels and internal organs. It is associated with strong expectorant and antitussive effects. Reishi mushrooms also improve endocrine system’s work and increase metabolism. It enhances the body’s immune defenses. It slows down or prevents the growth and reproduction of cancer cells. It tonifies the body.

It is no secret that proper functioning of all organs in human organism is interrelated. From the first sight, it seems unreasonable to search for a connection between kidneys and teeth. However, the connection exists, indeed. In the context of oriental medicine, the reishi mushrooms’ effect is with strengthening of kidneys, the so-called functional system (which includes kidneys and atrabiliary capsules). The function of kidneys is described in the idea of them being ‘life keepers’. The kidneys control the processes of procreation and child growth and development, including mental and spiritual health. Kidneys’ health is an indicator of condition of teeth, bones, bone marrow creation, nutrition of brain and spinal cord, etc. Hence, there is a number of symptoms that can be treated through improving kidneys’ health, such as tooth decay and chronic paradontosis. Thus, through consuming reishi mushrooms people can treat not only kidneys but teeth problems as well. This is because kidney function is directly connected with teeth and cavity condition.

However, in spite of the fact that reishi mushroom is believed to be a unique cure for many diseases, and even a “mushroom of immortality”, there is not much evidence confirming its effectiveness in reversing tooth decay and treating cavity. This means that there is a necessity to pay more attention to deep laboratory research of reishi mushrooms and their effect on cavity.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is a disease, which takes place due to a number of reasons. The main reason is believed to be demineralization of tooth enamel under the influence of bacteria. Because of inappropriate oral hygiene, a soft dental plaque gradually builds up on the enamel. “Dental plaque is a soft, thin, sticky film that forms on the surface of teeth, often near the gum-line. It is made up of millions of bacteria, as well as saliva and other substances, and can cause tooth decay”. Bacteria produce organic acids by absorbing carbohydrates, which contain plaque. Acid environment expedites destruction of apatite crystals, which are part of the enamel, an external protective tooth layer. After that, microbes penetrate into the underlying layers and begin to destroy them.

The lack of fluoride makes enamel susceptible to acid influence. Thus, the process of remineralization is usually achieved by consuming fluoridated water. However, according to the latest research, “fluoride is a persistent and non-degradable poison that accumulates in human body tissue and can cause serious health problems such as DNA damage, cancer, thyroid dysfunction, Alzheimer’s disease, and hormonal imbalance” (way, t. (n.d.). In this case, reishi mushroom cannot be an equal substitution to fluoridated water, as it does not contain fluoride in its tissues. Nevertheless, it contains microelements (it is high in germanium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron), organic acids, polysaccharides, coumarins, vitamins (??, ?5, ?, and D?), and phytoncids, which are rather effective in treating serious diseases. High level of calcium and phosphorus lets reishi mushrooms be considered as a serious and safe alternative source of these minerals for tooth decay prevention. Moreover, calcium and phosphorus contained in reishi mushrooms considerably strengthen tooth enamel and treat tooth sensitivity well.

Benefits of Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 found in reishi mushrooms significantly increases accessibility of calcium in intestine. This vitamin is absorbed in a small intestine along with calcium. Scientists have revealed that, without vitamin D3, calcium absorption rate is close to zero. In addition, the use of vitamin D3 prevents an increased leakage of calcium from bones.

Thus, due to the fact that vitamin D3, which is consumed with reishi, increases the absorption of phosphorus and calcium in the small intestine, it controls and regulates the recovery of bones, their hardening, and growth. It also determines the process of bone formation, making them more dense and strong (and teeth as well). It prevents tooth decay by strengthening the tooth enamel. Vitamin D3 refills the level of calcium in the blood, and, therefore, provides a proper blood circulation in teeth’ vessels preventing gum inflammation and paradontosis.

Beside vitamins and minerals, Chinese scientists found other useful substances in reishi mushrooms. Among those are lucidenic acid and ganodermanontriol, which are very powerful antioxidants, organic substances that counteract the damaging effects of free radical on body tissues. Antioxidants help regulate oxygen use. From this excellent study, we can glimpse how reishi fortifies the body and helps the system stay in balance (Halpern, 2007).

Thus, it is important to outline that antioxidants are significant for tooth health in particular, because a proper oxygen circulation allows keeping teeth, gums, and blood vessels in healthy condition for a long time.

The Positive Influence of Mushrooms on Teeth, Gums, and Blood Vessels

Heredity and a type of nutrition are also significant factors for tooth decay and cavity problems. The composition and properties of saliva are directly proportional to the level of caries. It was experimentally revealed that people who have the bigger risk of having tooth decay have a more viscous saliva, and the ratio of mineral salts in it is changed. In addition, insufficient consumption of protein, minerals, fluoride, and various microelements promotes the development of caries. Eating large amounts of confectionary with high level of carbohydrates provides an easy way for bacteria to destroy one’s teeth.

In order to investigate the positive influence of mushrooms on teeth, gums, and blood vessels, Japanese scientists have made a test on shiitake mushrooms. “They exposed the Streptococcus mutansand Streptococcus sobrinus bacteria to shiitake mushrooms’powder. These bacteria are the primary components of dental plaque. Researchers observed a decrease in plaque formation”. Then they took laboratory rats and infected them with one kind of bacteria. After that, one group of rats obtained food containing shiitake extract. Another group consumed the traditional food without any additives. The researchers compared rats and discovered significantly fewer cavities in the “shiitake” group. What’s more, the shiitake component of the rats’ diet amounted to only 0.25%, which indicates that shiitake may be a very potent protection against tooth decay, even in small amounts. Later, with a similar test, scientists revealed that reishi mushrooms possess stronger properties able to fight multiplication of bacteria, which create dental plaque. It is then transformed into dental calculus. Thus, substances, which are extracted from reishi mushrooms, are quite strong in preventing dental calculus as one of the reasons of tooth decay.

Scientists from Texas Health Science Center have confirmed that extracts of reishi mushrooms possess a strong anti-inflammatory property. Moreover, there are no negative side effects on the organism while treating tissue inflammation. Nevertheless, “reishi mushrooms should not be consumed daily in the long-term, as they may cause dizziness, dry mouth, nasal bleedings, and gastrointestinal upset, and may potentially produce addictive effects if combined with anticoagulant medications”.

Studies have shown that reishi extract regulates blood pressure and glucose level in the blood. Referring to the fact that bacteria usually cause gum inflammation, reishi extracts treat this symptom successfully. In-time treatment of gum inflammation prevents the appearance of paradontosis, gum bleeding, and purulence.

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The famous polysaccharides called beta-glucans possess strong antibiotic features. That means that reishi can be successfully applied in tooth decay or cavity problems treatment instead of expensive antibiotics, which also tend to cause body harm. These cells are needed to fight bacteria, microbes, viruses, and fungi. In addition, the researches have confirmed that the immune system supported by beta-glucans of high-quality began the extended process of phagocytosis (digestion of pathogenic organisms) and increased apoptosis (death) of tumor cells. Thus, it should be pointed out that beta-glucans are a strong remedy, which allows addressing the main cause of caries, while fluoride helps to only refill its level in the tooth enamel in order to strengthen teeth and slow down the process of cavity development.

It is no secret that proper functioning of all organs in human organism dpends on the proper function of each separate organ. From the first sight, it seems unreasonable to search for connection between kidneys and teeth. Nevertheless, the connection exists. In the context of oriental medicine, the reishi mushrooms have a positive effect on kidney health, the so-called functional system (which includes kidneys and atrabiliary capsules). Simply said, kidneys’ function is to support life. Kidneys control the processes of procreation and child growth and development, including mental and spiritual health. Kidneys’ health is an indicator of condition of teeth, bones, bone marrow creation, nutrition of brain and spinal cord, etc. Hence, there is a number of symptoms that can be addressed through the treatment of kidneys, such as tooth decay and chronic paradontosis. Thus, consuming reishi mushrooms people can treat not only kidneys, but teeth problems as well. This is because kidney function is interrelated with teeth and cavity condition.

Numeral clinical studies led to creation of a toothpaste with reishi mushrooms extractions. This toothpaste prevents gum bleeding, protects gums and teeth from infections, prevents the formation of pus in teeth, the formation of tooth calculus, strengthens tooth enamel and gums, and addresses tooth sensitivity.

To sum it up, it is important to say that reishi mushroom cannot replace fluoride in teeth itself, as it does not contain this mineral. However, fluoridation is not the only way to maintain teeth healthy and resistant to caries. Reishi mushrooms contain calcium and phosphorus needed for teeth’s health. They also contain vitamin D3, which increases absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which are poorly absorbed on their own. Antioxidants and beta-glucans from the mushrooms provide additional protection for teeth, gums, and blood vessels. Other substances influence the dental plaque by destroying harmful bacteria and decreasing the rate of their formation. Thus, it becomes obvious that reishi mushrooms are a better alternative to fluoride, as it does not have any side effects and resolve more tooth and gum problems than fluoride alone.