The Bone-Beauty Connection: Teeth and the Keys to Oral Health
We have been taught to brush twice daily, floss, and visit the dentist to maintain healthy teeth and gums and prevent tooth decay, yet the staggering number of cavities, crowns, root canals, and extracted teeth confirms that something is amiss. Although there are a plethora of periodontal promises ranging from fluoride floss to minty mouthwash, there is more dental decay now than in any previous century.
Wearily, we roam the drugstore dental aisles. Searching for solutions, we attain countless tubes of paste, we maintain the ingrained hygienist and dentist appointments, and we brush with daily diligence for decades. Even so, healthy mouths evades us, and the possibility of periodontal disease percolates. Receding, bleeding gums are the norm. Unexpected cavities form, and millions of root canals are performed. The definition of insanity, doing the same thing and expecting different results, applies to our current state of dental care.
Our mouths are a microcosm mirroring the macrocosm of imbalances on our planet. Our dental dysbiosis reflects our lack of symbiosis in our relationships to our bodies, global food production, medicine, and the environment. On a microscopic level, everything that is going on in our mouth is going on in the world: enamel and topsoil erosion, systemic corrosion, crumbling bones, mold in our homes, triclosan in toothpaste, toxins dumped in haste, factory farms festering with fungi, pollutants in the sky, adverse effects of petroleum oil, glyphosates affecting our gums, guts, and soil; deforestation, fluoridation, pesticides, and antibiotics that mutate microbes, gum pockets that erode, chronic disease, mercury in our mouths and seas, environmental allergens, chaotic carcinogens, and invading pathogens. These things threaten the borders of our body and the boundaries of our planet.
Mastering the Mouth through Bacterial Balance
The mouth is the principal portal into our bodies. It interfaces, absorbs, and assimilates our world. The endocrine, immune, and digestive systems are intimately bound to the microbiome of our mouths. By understanding the human microbiome, we understand that our oral health depends on a thriving microbiome; and as human hosts to this bacterial banquet, the key to vitality in our bodies and mouths is bacterial balance.
What we now know is that many of the periodontal procedures and medicants of modern dentistry disrupt the beneficial bacteria of our gums and mutate our mouth’s microbes. Many of our oral-care practices suppress immunity. Instead, we need to reconcile with our bacterial community for healthier gums and teeth. We need to fluff our oral flora, and befriend our body’s bacteria. We need to abandon the products, practices, and antibiotics that are making our microbes mutate, mottling our teeth, and deforesting the flora of our oral ecology.
Not All Dentists Are Created Equal
On top of this microbe mutation, the profession put in charge of our oral health and tooth care is shrouded in subjective science. Dental diagnosis can vary vastly from dentist to dentist. To demonstrate this, a researcher for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, armed with a hidden camera and a dental assessment from the University of Toronto, visited twenty dentists. Her otherwise healthy mouth only needed a cleaning and a crown replacement, but if she had followed the combined recommendations of the twenty dentists, then nearly every tooth in her mouth would have been treated, including multiple unnecessary root canals, veneers, fillings, and crowns.
Another journalist, with a trusted dentist’s confirmation that he only needed one crown on a molar, traveled across the United States for fifty dental examinations. All fifty dentists examined the same mouth and the same X-rays. Their estimates ranged from $700 to $19,000, and the treatment plans ranged from crowning one tooth to having all twenty-eight crowned, from gum surgery to veneers! The actual molar that needed a crown was missed by fifteen of the fifty dentists. When asked about the journalists’ findings, the American Dental Association was not surprised by the inconsistencies, as they claim, “Dentistry is an art based on scientific knowledge.”
This journalistic research illustrates that there is money to be minted from the health of our mouths, which may be fiscally influencing some dentists. Although dentistry conjures images of the exactness of an X-ray, sterile environments, white lab coats, and advanced scientific equipment, it is not an exclusively objective vocation.
Clearly, there are fifty shades of gray affecting our pearly whites. Fifty interpretations from one X-ray! While we let that information sink in, it is easy to feel exasperated and to roll our eyes at such inconsistency; or we can see this as a crack for the light to shine in.
When it comes to caring for our teeth and our oral health, we can master the map of our mouths. With leading-edge information from compassionate, pioneering dentists, we can now understand how our bodies are designed with a dentinal fluid that acts like an invisible toothbrush, repelling cavities and synthesizing new dentin from odontoblasts. We can see that our mouths can be incubators of infection and that we need to create a microbe-topia for the multitudes of microbes in our mouths.
This is the triple threat to having a healthy mouth: the harmful procedures, the lack of understanding about the tooth-nurturing dentinal fluid, and the periodontal scorched-earth policy on bacteria. This trifecta is the perfect periodontal storm that fosters endodontic entropy, dental problems and decay, and a system that settles for Band-Aid solutions of bleaching, gum grafts, veneers, and fillings.
Common Dental Procedures: What You Need to Know
Now let’s look at some common dental procedures and weigh the pros and cons.
Silver-colored dental amalgams have been used to fill cavities for more than 150 years. They are made from a combination of silver, copper, tin, and mercury.
These fillings are more economical and durable than other filling materials. The American Dental Association recommends silver fillings for children who squirm in the dentist’s chair because they are easier to place than composite fillings.
Silver Fillings: Cons
+ Dentists must drill away healthy tooth bone to prepare the tooth for silver fillings.
+ These eighteenth-century dental solutions are 50% mercury, one of the most toxic substances on the planet; yet even though this toxicity is scientific fact, mercury is implanted in multitudes of mouths in the form of fillings. Mercury is also a cumulative toxin that passes through the blood-brain and placental barriers. It tenaciously binds to tissue, altering DNA, nerves, cell membranes, and mitochondrial function. Mercury toxicity is linked to dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and other degenerative disorders. Mercury is also linked to periodontal disease, receding unhealthy gums, and skin hyperpigmentation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims that the highest body burden of chronic mercury toxicity comes from silver fillings. In addition, when mercury fillings are removed, even though there is not a metallurgic change to the mercury, the EPA considers it toxic waste, and fillings must be handled with a strict no-touch protocol to protect dentists and the environment from mercury poisoning. The FDA states, “A person with four fillings has enough mercury to make a 20-acre lake unfit for fishing.” Yet, somehow, it is still okay for our mouths and tongues to touch it daily, and it is still common in tooth care and not universally banned in dentistry.
+ Both old and new mercury fillings release vapors twenty-four hours a day, with a 500% increase when chewing, teeth grinding, and drinking hot fluids. According to the Journal of Dental Research, gum chewing increases mercury-vapor release considerably!
Other Filling Options
Costly porcelain fillings are not 100% pure porcelain; they contain carcinogenic nickel and aluminum too. Most white composite fillings contain bisphenol A (BPA), formaldehyde, and aluminum. The best current filling choices for healthy teeth are zirconium-oxide fillings, ceramic resins, and non-drilling techniques.
Because all filling materials are foreign to the immune system, it is a best practice for dentists to do a biocompatibility blood-serum test. Ideally, preventing cavities and learning how to keep teeth healthy naturally is optimal! (We’ll go into that soon.)
This third set of molars generally develops in the late teens and early twenties. These teeth are considered best to be removed as prophylactic prevention to avoid impacted teeth, and partially erupted wisdom teeth may be hard to clean or may affect neighboring teeth.
Wisdom-Teeth Removal: Cons
+ A report published in the American Journal of Public Health deemed that 6.7 million out of 10 million preventive wisdom-tooth extractions are unnecessary.
+ The British National Health Service has stated that the practice of prophylactic removal of pathology-free impacted wisdom teeth should be discontinued. There is insufficient evidence that impacted wisdom teeth cause dental problems, and the expense and risks of the surgery are not justified.
+ We may need the wisdom of these teeth later in life for chewing surfaces; additionally, extraction alters the structure of the neck, jaw, and mouth.
+ But that’s not all. Multiple pathological bacteria are often found in the jaw on wisdom-tooth extraction sites. This is because it is standard protocol to leave the periodontal ligament in after extraction. Simply put, this causes a sluggish area in the bone marrow where virulent bacteria gather and eat away at the jawbone.
+ These jaw cavitations are a hidden consequence of wisdom-teeth extractions, as most of the time there are no visible symptoms. When a jaw cavitation shows up on an X-ray, the bone has already eroded by 50%. These areas in the jaw are medically referred to as osteonecrotic lesions. Dr. Hal Huggins’s research institute revealed that these jaw-cavitation sites are sanctuaries for serious pathogens that can lead to an array of autoimmune diseases.
Biological dentists, who learn how to keep teeth healthy naturally, can check for cavitations by making a small incision in the gum of the extraction site and examining for mushy pockets in the jawbone. If there is decay, a simple procedure can clear it up: the site is opened, the decay is scraped off the bone, bacteria are thoroughly removed, blood flow to the area is reestablished, and the site is treated with ozone. If you do need a tooth extracted, including a wisdom tooth, be sure to work with a dentist who will also be sure to remove the periodontal ligament as part of the protocol.