BIOLOGICAL, HOLISTIC, PREVENTIVE AND MINIMALLY INVASIVE DENTISTRY
By Lawrence Wilson, MD
© February 2014, The Center For Development
Learning how to care for your teeth is one of the most important aspects of health for everyone. Important hazards relating to the teeth include accidents with loss of teeth, breakage of teeth due to biting down on small rocks or other hard substances, decay of teeth, gum disease, and sadly, poor quality dentistry.
To prevent breakage and loss of teeth due to accidents, always use care when eating, eat slowly, and try to stay conscious when you eat so that you may detect a small pebble or other hard object that occasionally gets mixed into foods.
To prevent decay, excellent oral hygiene is a must. In addition, however, a nutritional balancing diet and program can help enormously. This program will eliminate all sweet foods from the diet, including fruit and most juices, and involves eliminating sugary and other junk foods that do not nourish the teeth and gums. Supplements used with nutritional balancing programs will supply nutrients that everyone needs today regardless of your age, diet or lifestyle. These include but are not limited to calcium, magnesium, quality phosphorus, manganese, zinc, copper and other minerals. All are required for healthy teeth and gums.
To prevent poor quality dentistry, always be skeptical of dental procedures and ask a lot of questions. I suggest avoiding root canal treatments, and avoid fluoride treatments and other questionable medical and dental procedures. Keeping your teeth is helpful for everyone’s health, so beware of dentists who suggest removing healthy teeth for one reason or another. For example, an abscess is not necessarily a reason to remove a tooth. A nutritional balancing program will usually end the infection and the tooth can usually be saved.
Also, look for minimally invasive dentistry. For example, more and more dentists are using dental lasers instead of drills. This is a great improvement, in many cases. It is much less painful, requires little or no anesthesia, and is safer.
WHAT IS BIOLOGICAL OR HOLISTIC DENTISTRY?
New research and new diseases are prompting some dentists to question the wisdom of traditional dental materials and dental procedures. These dentists practice what is called holistic or biological dentistry.
NOTE: Your dentist first and foremost needs to be skilled and caring. You do not need to go to a so-called holistic or biological dentist if your regular dentist understands the contents of this article. I do not like many of the holistic or biological dentists, many of whom charge too much money, are not that skilled, and may do procedures that are not needed.
For example, most cavitations will go away on their own if you follow a complete nutritional balancing program, so you need not pay thousands of dollars for cavitation surgery in most cases.
The essence of biological dentistry involves:
1. Recognizing the close connection between dental health and such areas as nutrition, body structure such as problems in the dental arch and the temporo-mandibular joint structure, the cranio-sacral fluid system of the body, the immune system and the central nervous system.
2. Care with regard to the materials used in dental fillings. Do not use mercury amalgam or nickel in any form.
3. Recognizing that most root canal procedures cause infection that is very harmful. I do not recommend root canals ever.
4. Recognizing the problem of cavitations, which are pockets of infection left over from old dental procedures.
5. recognizing that gum disease or periodontitis can be handled with natural methods, particularly nutritional balancing, and should not require surgery.
The purpose of this article is to inform you, so that you can make the best dental choices.
WHAT IS MINIMALLY INVASIVE DENTISTRY
This is even better than biological, holistic or preventive dentistry. It is the use of newer techniques such as ozone therapy and others that reduce the need for drilling and filling cavities, and other invasive procedures like root canals. It is slowly spreading. To learn about it, read Mouth Matters by Carol Vander Stroep, RDH.
This is not the subject of this article, however, as I am less familiar with minimally invasive dentistry.
THE POLITICS OF BIOLOGICAL OR HOLISTIC DENTISTRY
Just as licensed medical doctors and even chiropractors who deviate from the standard practice are often harassed by their medical boards, state dental licensing boards do the same thing to holistic and biological dentists. While they claim to be open-minded, they often censure and harass those who offer holistic dentistry.
Leaders in the movement to ban amalgams and to re-educate dentists about holistic care include Hal Huggins, DDS and others. They have been viciously attacked for trying to inform the public about the dangers of regular dentistry discussed in this article.
The future of biological dentistry depends upon your understanding and willingness to insist upon the dental treatment of your choice, and to convey this message to your legislators and others in positions of power.
Recently (2010) the Food And Drug Administration has changed their mind about mercury amalgam fillings and is no longer recommending them for children under the age of 6 and for pregnant women.
This is likely the start of the banning of all mercury amalgam fillings. In Sweden, for example, their food and drug regulators began with the same recommendation. Then, a few years later, they said no amalgams for people under 18 and for any woman who might get pregnant in the future. Then, a few years later, they finally banned all mercury amalgam fillings. This slow approach to banning amalgams is probably done more for political and legal reasons than for any health-related reasons. They would claim it gives older dentists time to go back to school and learn the newer techniques for amalgam replacement, which is standard now in dental schools. However, allowing mercury to be used in the mouth is long outdated and banning it is long overdue and a sad chapter in dental history.
THE TOOTH-NUTRITION CONNECTION
This should be obvious, but 99% of dentists never ask what you eat, how you live, if your take supplements, and so on. Biological dentists should be deeply concerned about the intimate connection between dental health and nutrition. The author is continually amazed that dentists, of all the medical specialties, are not more concerned with our diets.
Dr. Weston Price, DDS explored this subject in a classic book entitled Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. In 1900 to about 1925, Dr. Price traveled the world, exploring the connection between healthy teeth and nutrition. He found that wherever Western refined food replaced native natural foods, dental health quickly and severely declined. Dr. Price's book makes fascinating and convincing reading regarding the importance of nutrition in dental health. The book is filled with photos and x-rays of the teeth of healthy and malnourished people.
The teeth require many minerals, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, boron and perhaps others as well. These minerals are missing from refined foods. Refined sugars, white flour and white rice, for example, contain little if any of these essential trace minerals. Sugar in the diet feeds bacteria in the mouth that cause plaque and can destroy the teeth. Acidic cola drinks can damage tooth enamel. Phosphoric acid in these drinks also binds and removes calcium, magnesium and zinc from the body. This can lead to bone loss, a common problem today. Eating fruit is also damaging for the teeth in many cases due to the combination of its high sugar content, fruit acids, particularly if the fruit is not picked absolutely ripe, and perhaps the improper balance of minerals in many fruits today.
Proper nutrition can not only prevent tooth decay. It is critical for the bone structure to develop properly, for gum health, for a healthy bite, and for every aspect of dentistry.
Many articles on this website deal with nutrition, so I need not repeat the basic dietary and supplement recommendations that most people need. This section is just a reminder that the teeth, gums and other structures of the mouth are never isolated organs or tissues, but are integral parts of the entire body and often a reflection of the health of the entire body, which depends heavily upon proper diet, nutrition, and lifestyle. This should be central in biological dentistry. I have found no system of nutrition even close to the accuracy and power of nutritional balancing science, so I would encourage all dentists to take an interest in it, and perhaps offer it to their patients. I think they would be extremely satisfied with the results.
This article discusses many important areas of health related to dentistry.
DO NOT REMOVE WISDOM TEETH OR OTHER TEETH IF THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS WITH THEM
The common practice of removing wisdom teeth preventively is not a good one, from my perspective. Good teeth should be left alone unless there is an important reason for removing them.
Reasons to leave wisdom teeth alone if they are not causing severe problems in the mouth are:
1. You never know if you will need them later. For example, other molars may decay and the wisdom teeth may be needed for chewing or attaching a bridge, or some other purpose.
2. Disturbing the body’s energy flows. Any time a tooth is removed, it upsets and breaks an acupuncture meridian that flows through the area of that tooth.
3. Creating cavitations or infection pockets. Any time one has dental surgery, a common complication is the creation of cavitations or pockets of bacteria or other pathogens that are left in the jaw where the tooth was. This is an important cause of disease today. This topic is discussed in more detail later in this article.
4. Affecting the mouth structure. Although usually wisdom teeth are removed to make sure the mouth and jaw work properly, in fact by using chiropractic manipulation and other techniques, one may not really need the teeth removed. In fact, removing them alters the structure of the jaw and mouth and can be harmful in a few cases.
For all these reasons, I do not recommend removing wisdom teeth unless there is a definite reason to do so.
TOOTH DECAY AND DENTAL FILLING MATERIALS
Tooth decay is not necessary, and often easy to stop by combining a nutritional balancing program with good dental hygiene discussed later in this article. Dr. Weston Price, DDS, even found he could cause decayed teeth to fill in by themselves, which means one may not even need to have a tooth filled, provided one follows a correct healing program. I have not seen this occur yet, but I am assisting several people and am hoping it will happen.
Fluoride treatments or pills to prevent tooth decay. There is no need for fluoride treatments or other toxic approaches to prevent tooth decay. Do not allow a dentist to apply fluoride to your children’s teeth, and be careful because many times these treatments are given without parental permission or knowledge if you are not present with your young child in the dentist’s office. Fluoridation of the water is discussed in a separate section of this article.
Other types of chemical sealants for teeth are also not needed if nutrition is corrected, although this can be a lengthy and involved proposition with some children and adults. In such cases, there may be a rationale for the use of some sealants, but not fluoride.
The sad story of silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings. The standard material used to fill cavities for the past century and a half is a mixture or amalgam of mainly silver and mercury, with a small amount of copper, cadmium and other metals. To place the filling, the tooth must be hollowed out. The mixture is then placed in the tooth. The dentist squeezes out some of the mercury, causing the filling to harden. The mercury content makes the filling soft enough to place inside the tooth. Mercury also kills bacteria that might cause infection.
Amalgam fillings have a number of serious drawbacks:
1. First and foremost, mercury is a highly toxic metal. Placing it in the mouth assures that some will be leached from the filling into the body. Also, the mercury can easily vaporize during chewing and during dental procedures and go to the brain.
Mercury is highly toxic for the brain and the nervous system, and is associated with neuro-muscular diseases, autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, and many other nervous system disorders. Mercury is called the “mad hatter mineral” because it has such severe effects on the nervous system and affected those who used it in the manufacture of hats over 100 years ago. As of 2009, dentists in America alone placed about 200,000 mercury amalgam dental fillings each day. For more on this topic, read Mercury on this website.
2. The filling material provides no strength to the tooth. Hollowing out the tooth to place the filling weakens an already sick tooth even more. This enhances the possibility of cracking the tooth, which often happens, in fact.
In contrast, using a composite resin or gluing in an inlay or onlay actually strengthens the existing tooth.
3. Placing metals in the mouth, particularly several kinds of metal in the same mouth, can generate a flow of electrical current in the mouth. This can affect the brain and general health in some people. The metals react with saliva like the metals in a battery. In batteries, dissimilar metals in a conducting medium produce electricity. It is desirable in a battery, but not in your mouth, which is very close to the brain.
4. Each of our teeth is connected an acupuncture meridian. According to some leading acupuncturists, when metals are placed in a tooth, they can interfere with the flow of meridian energy through that tooth and through the entire body, as a result. The non-metallic dental materials are better in this regard, though not perfect.
5. Other metals in the amalgam such as silver, cadmium, copper and perhaps others are also toxic and have no place in a person’s mouth.
6. I read that the popular word to describe a doctor or dentist who is stupid or ignorant has to do with the practice of employing mercury amalgam fillings. Such practitioners are called quacks. This slang word may originally have come from the German word for mercury, which is quecksilber. Dentists who used mercury were called “quecks”, which became quacks in English.
Sensitivity to mercury, as to all poisons, varies among individuals. Mercury affects the immune system, the central nervous system, the thyroid gland and other body systems. The "mad hatters" of Alice in Wonderland were actual hat makers who became poisoned with mercury. To make felt hats, workers in the 1800's rubbed mercury on felt. After several years on the job they became ill, developed mental disturbances, and had to quit their job.
Research regarding the toxicity of mercury is very clear. Several nations including Sweden have banned the use of amalgam fillings entirely. Other nations permit them, but not in pregnant women. Studies prove that mercury continues to leach from amalgam fillings for years after they are placed in the mouth.
Toxic waste in your mouth. An odd aspect of modern dentistry is the very material placed in the patients' mouths, when removed, is considered a toxic waste. The dentist must store removed amalgam under water, in a special container, and cannot dispose of it in the garbage. The material must be sent to a designated toxic waste dump site. You will not find carpeting where a dentist sees patients. If mercury amalgam spills on carpeting, it is hard to clean up and could contaminate the entire office. Therefore it has been made illegal to have carpeting around the dental chair.
The politics of mercury amalgams. This is a large subject. Basically, the American Dental Association and other Dental groups worldwide are slowly changing their tune, defending amalgams less as more research pours in demonstrating their harm. However, they are slow to change and if you are interested in your health, you must not wait for their high-sounding pronouncements.
Amalgam removal and replacement.
NOTE: I do not think a person needs to visit a biological or holistic dentist for amalgam removal. Any competent dentist can do this, provided he or she uses plenty of suction and, of course, knows how to place composite dental fillings.
Aware dentists sometimes arouse the wrath of other dentists by recommending that apparently healthy amalgam fillings should be replaced with other, less toxic materials. The materials may include gold or ceramic inlays, or composite resins or other plastic types of materials. I agree with the idea that all silver-mercury amalgams should be replaced as soon as possible with safer and stronger materials available today. The only critically important exceptions are:
1. Anyone with active cancer should wait until the cancer is in remission or gone before starting amalgam replacement. This information was given to me by a cancer expert with years of experience with cancer therapy. Patients of his have died who did not observe this caution. Apparently, the added stress on the body of the release of a small amount of mercury during the removal process was enough to tip the balance in favor of the cancer and the person died.
2. At least a month before amalgam removal, begin the diet and basic supplements recommended in the article entitled The Healing Lifestyle on this website, at minimum, before doing amalgam removal. This will help prevent infection and should ease the process greatly, in some cases.
Ideally, go on a complete nutritional balancing program to avoid problems with amalgam removal.
The American Dental Association frowns on the replacement of amalgam fillings that appear healthy. However, many people report feeling much better, often immediately, when less toxic material replaces amalgam fillings. The improvement may be due to eliminating the offending material, or eliminating subtle electrical currents generated in the mouth.
Testing for dental material compatibility. Some holistic dentists use blood or other tests to determine if a material is compatible with a person's body chemistry. This is an excellent idea if a person is sensitive or prone to severe allergies. However, I don’t know that it is needed in all cases.
Amalgam removal technique and procedures. Here are some of the most important considerations:
1. Use lots of suction. This is to prevent any mercury vapors or particles from being inhaled or swallowed during the procedure. This can be critical in some cases, and is the most important consideration. Any dentist can replace amalgams, not just a biological or holistic dentist.
Other considerations that are less critical, in my view:
2. Some biological dentists check for the electrical interference being caused by amalgam dental materials and remove those that are generating the greatest electrical currents first. This may or may not be important, and needs more research, in my view.
3. Dentists should place their patients on at least a basic healthful diet and basic nutritional supplements to help prevent malnutrition and adverse side effects due to amalgam removal and replacement. I have found that clients on a nutritional balancing program usually go through amalgam removal without any major side effects. However, friends and acquaintances who are on different nutritional programs do not often fare as well. This may be a coincidence, but I do not think so.
Dental materials. No dental material is perfect. The resin and ceramic materials do not have the germ-killing effect of mercury. They require a more thorough technique for correct placement.
On the positive side, the resins or inlays are glued in place, and actually strengthen the tooth. This helps avoid cracking. Also, if a composite resin filling wears down, the entire filling does not have to be replaced, as with amalgam. The dentist may just add another layer of resin to the filling. Resin and ceramic fillings also match the color of your teeth, producing a more aesthetic appearance. An excellent book on the dangers of mercury amalgam fillings is It's All In Your Head, by Dr. Hal Huggins, DDS.
Gold and other inlays. Gold alloys are also good dental materials, but have become very costly, so they are not used much. They must also be molded into inlays, and this is more work. Then they must be glued into place, introducing some toxins into the body. An inlay is a piece of replacement tooth that is molded to the exact shape that it needs to be by taking an impression of the cavity in the tooth, and then creating a mold, into which is poured the heated liquid alloy or a liquid plastic or resin material that then hardens into the exact shape needed. Then this is glued into place in the patient’s mouth. It is quite a bit more work than just putting some plastic resin material into the cavity, but it is needed in some cases in which the tooth has been partially destroyed by decay.
Inlays are often today made of ceramic and/or composite resin materials. These can work well and while they are glued into place, the glue and the inlay helps strengthen what is left of the tooth, which is helpful.
OTHER TOXIC DENTAL MATERIALS TO AVOID
Avoid nickel. Biological and holistic dentists also scrupulously avoid the use of nickel in dental wires, bridges, dental appliances, crowns, braces and other dental uses. Nickel is a highly toxic metal that is used due to its strength qualities, but that should never be used in the mouth. It can cause depression, suicidal thoughts and perhaps cancer as well. Unfortunately, it is still used by some dentists to fit braces, in a few less expensive crowns, and in other applications.
Better materials include titanium, and particularly zirconimum. Metals are not the best, however, if they can be avoided. More recently, ceramic and resins, which are plastics, basically, are being used more and these tend to be less toxic.
Metal orthodontic braces. Avoid these, as we find these often contain too much nickel. Today this is a serious problem for teens and others who need or want braces.
PROBLEMS WITH ROOT CANAL-FILLED TEETH
Dr. Weston Price and a number of other living dentists are very concerned with an outdated dental practice of destroying the nerve in a tooth to stop pain. This is done by drilling completely through the center of the tooth. This, in itself is horrible. Then they fill in the entire nerve canal with amalgam, usually, or some other material and then they cap the tooth to make it look good.
The rationale for root canals is that if a tooth is dying or not healthy, it is better to leave it in place and try to save it, rather than just pull it out. While this is fine, it just does not work out well in most cases.
The problem is these “dead” or dying root-canal filled teeth are extremely prone to infection. The infection is often not detected on x-rays, and goes unnoticed. However, chronic infection anywhere in the body releases highly toxic substances that are terribly damaging to health. This is particularly true of dental infections. The infection places added stress on the body that can contribute to illness of every kind. Several cancer experts have noted that most cancer patients improved when all infected and root-canal filled teeth were removed, even if they appeared healthy.
Solutions for root canal problems. Here are some ideas for those facing root canal surgery:
1. Immediately begin a complete nutritional balancing program. You may be able to revive the tooth quickly in this manner, often within a few weeks or less.
2. Less important, but sometimes extremely helpful, is to immediately begin to use a reddish ‘heat lamp’ on the tooth. Shine the light as close as you can to the jaw or even open your mouth and shine it on the tooth itself. Do this for a minute or two, at least, holding the light as close as possible without burning yourself, and repeat this treatment 2 to 5 times daily. Don’t allow the tooth to become inflamed and painful, but allow the light to stimulates the circulation in a powerful way. Infrared rays are quite healing as well.
If you have already had a root canal filled tooth procedure. This is a more difficult situation to confront. Some biological dentists may use applied kinesiology or an electro-acupuncture machine, or perhaps some other methods to detect very low-grade, chronic or subtle dental infection in the mouth.
If there is absolutely no infection, the root canal can remain in the mouth. Usually, however, there is some infection if the tooth is deprived of its nerve. Dead or dying teeth make excellent hosts for bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms of which dentists are just learning about. Antibiotic therapy is often ineffective against these conditions because circulation is poor in these teeth. Antibiotics are also much too toxic to use, in my view, and don’t work well against some pathogens.
On can try a course of colloidal silver. However, if the infection persists, I suggest extraction of the tooth is best for overall health. This is unfortunate, but having a dental infection is not good, ever.
Surprisingly, nutritional balancing science, combined with shining a single reddish heat lamp on the jaw near the affected tooth, has proven very helpful to heal abscessed teeth. I suggest avoiding antibiotics, as they are quite toxic.
The procedure I suggest is as follows:
1. Follow a complete nutritional balancing program to improve your overall vitality, immune response and energy level.
2. Use of a single reddish heat lamp. Use the lamp on the jaw near the tooth for 10 minutes at a time, about 5 or 6 times daily. This is important and very helpful.
3. You may use colloidal silver as a natural antibiotic. Take a tablespoon or a brand that is less than 50 parts per million silver twice or three times daily, and tilt your head so that the silver product moves over the affected tooth. Do this for at least a week or two.
With this method, many , though not all abscesses, will resolve by themselves. Often they will start to drain into the mouth. They may form a bubble or boil on the gum near the tooth. This is fine and no cause for concern. The abscess may drain into the mouth for weeks or months if the abscess was severe, and this does not seem to be a problem either. Do not fill the tooth if this is occurring. Just let it drain until it stops and then the tooth can be filled, if needed.
Cavitations are pockets of debris and infection left behind after tooth extractions, or from other dental procedures. They become foci of infection, similar to infected root canals. Bacteria or bacterial toxins move from the cavitation area into the blood stream, where they can easily cause damage to many organs and tissues.
While many conventional dentists don’t consider cavitations a problem, they may be an important cause of ill health. Anyone who has had dental extractions or procedures and is not feeling well afterwards may have cavitations. Here are some options if you think this is affecting you:
1. Consider visiting a biological dentist who understands cavitations and knows how to find them, to assess if cavitations remain and deal with them. However, the problem with cavitation surgery is that it is messy and bloody. Also, the dentist occasionally damages the trigeminal nerve or another facial nerve, and this can be a disaster.
2. A perhaps slower, but in other ways much better and less costly option is to embark on a complete nutritional balancing program. However, be sure to use a near infrared lamp sauna every day – and no other type of sauna. Use it perhaps twice daily, for 30-40 minutes each session.
My experience is that the nutritional balancing program will slowly bring up old dental infections and cavitations, and heal them in almost all cases. It may take a few years, but if you are patient this is the best, as this therapy will bring up infections all over the body and heal them as well. There are many other benefits of nutritional balancing and sauna therapy as well.
While x-rays are never ideal, dental x-rays are among the least harmful, and they can be helpful to assess certain situations. Therefore, I would not insist on no x-rays, especially if you need some dental work done.
If you are following a complete nutritional balancing program, however, in my experience you do not need regular dental x-rays every two years, as many dentists recommend. This is an individual matter that also depends on how well you eat and your oral hygiene habits. However, I know that a nutritional balancing program of the type recommended on this website will end most tooth decay, so there will be little need for x-rays.
GUM DISEASE OR PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Another area of interest to some biological dentists is the natural, non-surgical treatment of gum disease, or periodontitis. Gum disease is extremely common, and a cause of loss of teeth, and other disfigurements. Surgery, namely scraping the gums, a very crude procedure at best, should rarely if ever be required for this condition. Instead, here are two very good alternatives to try first.
1. Nutritional balancing. In my experience, gum disease usually responds easily and quickly to a nutritional balancing program, along with good basic dental hygiene. This would tell us that the cause in these cases has to do with a faulty nutritional balance in the body that permits infection in the mouth to occur. Toxic metals such as excess copper, for example, low zinc, high cadmium and others are also often involved. These are easily resolved with a properly designed nutritional balancing program.
2. The blotting technique. Another alternative that can be combined with a nutritional balancing program is called the blotting technique pioneered by Dr. Joseph Phillips, DDS. It is simple, and inexpensive. It consists of buying a special toothbrush that is designed to absorb toxins into its bristles. This is used in a special way to essentially “blot” or suck toxins out of the gums, instead of using a toothbrush the usual ways, which often pushes the toxins into the gums.
According to reports I received, the method often works superbly. To buy the special blotting brushes and information about how to use them click on the link below for the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation: http://www.ppnf.org/catalog/index.php?cPath=39&osCsid=fefda213b2b51761fa13fbe7b6c29490.
BASIC ORAL HYGIENE
The best toothpaste. I suggest either:
1. Use bar soap. Just rub a wet tooth brush on the soap and brush.
2. A mixture of 35% hydrogen peroxide mixed 50-50 with water, and you can add a little baking soda if you wish. Keep this next to your toothbrush and dip the brush in it once or twice each time you brush your teeth. If the solution seems to strong, just add a little more water. It does not taste great, and it will irritate the gums in some people.
Most regular toothpastes should be avoided, as they often contain fluoride and sodium laurel sulfate, both of which are toxic for the gums and teeth.
Flossing your teeth. Floss the teeth at least once every day, including and preferably at night before bed so that food particles do not remain in between the teeth all night long. There is some debate over the best method to floss the teeth. The options are:
1. Regular dental floss.
2. Small plastic flossers sold in drug stores called Plaquers and others that consist of a plastic handle with a small piece of dental floss fixed to the plastic handle. These are easier to use and avoid wasting a lot of dental floss. I think they are faster than old fashioned dental floss as well.
3. An electric Waterpik or Hydrofloss machine. This is a more expensive device that shoots a tiny pulsed stream of very high pressure water between the teeth, something like a pressure washer used to wash car engines. The claim is that they work better than standard dental floss, but I am not sure whether it can remove tightly stuck particles of food as well as standard dental floss.
One advantage of the water flossers is that one can place a little colloidal silver, hydrogen peroxide or other substance in the machine and pressure wash with a medicated solution. Another advantage is it will penetrate in areas where a brush and floss will not. This is helpful if you have infection below the gum line, for example, or are wearing braces and trying to keep the mouth cleaner.
Brushing your teeth. This should be done at least once daily, and preferably after each meal. It can be done quickly, as the main goal is to remove tartar and plaque before they build up. Brushing the teeth is mainly a way to upset the bacterial colonies so they do not organize themselves into deep and hard plaque deposits.
Brushing can also be used to whiten the teeth by using a hydrogen peroxide solution to brush with. Be careful about other tooth whitening solutions, as they can damage the tooth enamel if one is not careful.
Brush after flossing the teeth to clean out any debris that has been loosened by the dental floss. The best brush has firm bristles, but not so firm that they irritate your gums. Electric toothbrushes in which the head spins in a few directions are probably better than old-style mechanical brushes, although the latter will work fine, as well, if one uses them properly.
Brush across the teeth quickly, and then mainly brush in an up and down motion to loosen and remove plaque and tartar. If you have gum disease, brushing can sweep bacteria under the gums and this is not good. Be sure to use a hydrogen peroxide or soap solution in these cases to kill the germs. Or consider a water flosser or blotting the teeth, rather than brushing in the regular way.
Mouthwashes and other common oral hygiene products. Avoid common mouthwashes such as Listerine that contains alcohol and other chemicals that irritate the gums. These are not needed to have a clean mouth. I prefer rinsing with a little diluted 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide if you want a really clean mouth. Dilute it about 50% with water. It is available on the internet at sites such as www.h202for health.com and others. Hydrogen peroxide, even the standard 3% solution sold in the drug store, kills most germs and is not too irritating to the gums.
Tooth whitening products. Please be careful with these. Most contain either hydrogen peroxide or a bleaching solution that is somewhat toxic. Do not use any of these products more than about once or twice a year, as they can damage the tooth enamel slightly.
Fluoride solutions and mouthwashes. Fluorides are all highly toxic for the body. I would avoid any and all products containing fluorides including tooth pastes, mouthwashes and others.
TEMPORO-MANDIBULAR JOINT PROBLEMS
Less critical for biological dentists is to make sure that a person’s dental arch and bite are proper. If they are not, the teeth tend to wear improperly, chewing is impaired, and one often suffers from headaches, a tense jaw, and other maladies.
A personal story. A proper bite also seems to require a variety of nutrients, along with eating hard foods that encourage chewing. The author wore braces until age 20. Then he discovered that thoroughly chewing natural foods realigned his jaw and made braces unnecessary.
In fact, a proper bite depends on much more than this, and the entire bone structure of the body must be aligned and balanced properly or one will have problems with the dental arch, causing it to become narrow. Also, the bite will not be correct and the teeth, of course, will tend to decay.
TMJ science. Another area biological dentists may address are problems caused by misalignment of the temporo-mandibular joint or TMJ. This joint is located just below the ears. The jaw pivots at this joint when it opens and closes. Misalignment or stress on this joint is common. It may be due to an imperfect bite, missing teeth, dental appliances, accidents or other reasons.
The condition can cause fatigue, headaches, neck aches, facial ticks, disturbed sleep and other symptoms. Those with TMJ problems often hear or feel a slight clicking sound or sensation when opening or closing their mouth. By correcting the alignment of the joint, many symptoms may diminish.
Some dentists, not necessarily biological dentists, specialize in helping to correct the TMJ problems with various exercises, appliances, dental adjustments to the teeth, etc. This can help some people who have this disorder. Improving overall health also helps reduce tension in the jaw, as can chiropractic, osteopathic manipulation, massage and other natural healing modalities. These should always be used first before one grinds down teeth and uses more invasive and more costly methods.
This is a total abomination that has been abandoned everywhere in the world except in the USA and parts of Great Britain and perhaps Australia. Recent studies show that tooth decay has declined in both fluoridated and unfluoridated areas. Unfluoridated areas showed the same decline as fluoridated areas. Most nations do not permit fluoridation of their water because it simply does not work, it is costly, and it is very dangerous for general health.
Sodium fluoride is a potent enzyme poison. The toxic dose is very close to the safe dose used in municipal water supplies. Problems with artificial fluoridation at "safe levels" include allergic reactions, fluorosis (fluoride poisoning), increased hip fractures, osteoporosis, increased birth defects, more cases of cancer, learning disorders and lowered IQ scores in children, among other problems.
Fluoride also competes with iodine and is responsible for many thyroid ailments as well. Adding fluoride to water tends to cause more leaching of lead and aluminum into the water from pipes and other water infrastructure. Fluorides are also toxic to wildlife, plants and domesticated livestock.
While the US federal government supports fluoridation, the Environmental Protection Agency's union of professional employees, Local 2050, opposes fluoridation. They even attempted to sue the EPA for covering up and omitting data in their fluoridation studies. Fluoride is a by-produce of the aluminum and fertilizer industries, and is considered a toxic waste. Companies are delighted to dispose of their fluoride in our water supplies. References at the end of this article and a separate article on Fluoridation provide much more information about this so-called preventive dentistry measure that should be stopped at once.
Proper care of your teeth is one of the most important aspects of health. Biological or holistic dentistry has much to offer, and much to teach about the relationship of dental health to overall health. Some day, the insights will spread to all of dentistry, I hope, and to our public health officials as well.
In the meantime, it is up to consumers to demand the dentistry we desire. If you are concerned about your access to biological dentistry, write your state representatives and State Dental Board to let them know that dentists must not be censured just because they offer patients biological or holistic dentistry.
Finding a biological dentist. Sadly, there are very few dentists who understand and practice the concepts discussed in this article, although the number is growing somewhat. Even if a dentist claims to be a biological, preventive or holistic dentist, this is no guarantee that he or she is a fine dentist who uses the best materials and the best techniques. Therefore, finding a good dentist is often challenging.
Possible sources of referrals for a biological dentist are the Holistic Dental Association (www.holisticdental.org, and the IABDM (International Association of Biological and Dental Medicine.) at http://www.iabdm.org/cms. However, one must know that membership in these organizations is not guarantee of quality or good service. Often the best thing to do is just to ask around for a very high quality regular dentist who will listen to your requests on how you want your mouth treated. You may show them a copy of this article, perhaps.
Dentistry a very toxic profession. One must also know that dentistry is one of the most toxic medical professions. Dentists are often exposed to mercury, nickel, laughing gas, anesthetics, and other toxic metals and chemicals in the course of their work. Most dentists, in my personal experience, are not well for this reason. They could all use a nutritional balancing program to detoxify their own bodies, and those of their staff, as well.
1. Caldwell, G. and Zanfagna, P, MD, Fluoridation and Truth Decay, Top-Ecol Press, Reseda, CA, 1974.
2. Foundation for Toxic-Free Dentistry, PO Box 608010, Orlando, FL 32860. (offers an excellent newsletter).
3. Hileman, B., "Fluoridation of Water", Chemical and Engineering News, August 1, 1988.
4. International Oral Health Society, P.O. Box 1968, Eau Claire, WI. (I do not know if this group still exists. They provided information and materials for the blotting technique for gum disease)
5. "Interview with Carl H. Jelstrup, DC", The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Feb/Mar 1998, #175/176, pp. 64-76.
6. Huggins, H., DDS, It's All In Your Head.
7. Price, W., DDS, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, La Mesa, CA, 1945, 1979.
8. Stockton, S., “Jawbone Cavitations: Infarction,
Infection and Systemic Disease”, Townsend
Letter for Doctors & Patients, April 2000, p. 102-105.