How many dentists in Sacramento tell you to chew on cranberries to fight gum disease or prevent it? Cranberry juice fights tooth decay and gum disease. You’ll also find it in dental floss. Baking soda put in between your teeth at the gumline also fights tooth decay and gum disease. So does salt, baking soda and sage as a paste made with water.
Has your dentist told you about the benefits of massaging baking soda in between your teeth? Do you ever wonder whether there’s a disconnect between medicinal foods and standard, conventional medicine when it comes to keeping your teeth clean? How many foods can your dentist tell you that help prevent gum disease, besides the usual brushing, flossing, and having your teeth cleaned regularly by a dentist or dental hygienist? Have you seen any studies lately on cranberries and other health benefits of this berry so popular in November?
Look for the clues in the general disconnect in medicine, starting with your mouth. Do you need all those full-mouth X-rays so frequently? Why does your dentist insist on taking them before cleaning your teeth? Is it all about you, the patient, or your doctor or dentist having all those bills to pay?
Why is your dentist not using digital X-rays that give off up to 70 percent less radiation? Is he or she still telling you the cheaper machine of choice is because the dentist can’t see the film clearly on the digital X-ray image and has to use the older machine, giving off more radiation to the patient, in order to see a better image? Have you researched whether that answer is actually correct?
How many times when you visited your dentist and he or she found gum disease, did the dentist refer you for further evaluation to a specialist? Why isn’t there more emphasis on natural preventive medicine that has been scientifically proven to work?
Why are so many people referred for surgery when more natural and less invasive ways to close up those deep pockets of gum disease after a deep cleaning can be of help? Why is it that after gum surgery, the gum disease so often returns within two years? Gum surgery had supposedly gone out in the 1950s, but it’s back with laser cutting instruments.
As diets improve, there has to be some way for the dental industry to make sure people keep coming back. Fluoride treatments are still touted above brushing with natural toothpastes containing Xylitol and peppermint oil. Where is the disconnect in medicine?
Is there a more natural way to treat these problems? Sure, you can’t fix a cavity with food, but you can prevent one if you know what to clean your teeth with and your immune system is working better because you’ve removed inflammation from your body with foods and similar natural means.
Mercury in your mouth isn’t the only oral cardiotoxin. Now some doctors say that those acrylic glues and dental adhesives in people’s false teeth or bridges and in other tooth-repair materials that go onto your own teeth may have caused heart attacks.
Your dentist might still tell you the adhesives don’t leach out. Porcelain crowns contain cadmium. Some crowns contain nickel. Root canals contain several heavy metals.
Tooth-colored fillings contain plasticizers that leach out. So you hand your dentist some literature. Will it be read? The dentist is running up against the clock, and the waiting room is full. Only research can present more evidence, if funding is available.
Then you go to your acupuncturist to talk about oral toxins. You tell your acupuncturist that the mercury in your amalgam fillings are leaching out from the inside and rolling backwards into your bloodstream, not leaching out forwards into your mouth where you think you’re swallowing the chemical with your saliva. Your repaired tooth is sealed to moisture from the outside. It’s the backward motion of the metal from tooth to bloodstream that concerns you.
The acupuncturist tells you that all your toxic teeth are connected to the acupuncture meridians in your body. The worse news is that those meridians of acupuncture are the very same meridians that allow all those toxic metals access to every organ in your body.
Your acupuncturist might show you on a chart just which body parts are inflamed or poisoned by each of your toxic teeth so you can follow along on the acupuncture meridian chart or map. Maybe you’ll find a way to get rid of your angina by ousting an amalgam filling and clearing up the inflammation from an infected root canal.
What if you have a tooth with a cavity in it and that tooth is right in the middle of your heart meridian on the acupuncture chart? Will getting rid of your mercury-based old amalgam fillings and also filling the cavity in that other tooth clear up your angina or other heart problems? Or maybe you don’t have angina now, but you might develop it as your teeth continue on the same course for the next two decades. That’s if your doctor connects any oral cardiotoxins to the condition of your organs.
You might read about testimonies of people feeling better when oral cardiotoxins were removed. A holistic dentist would have the time to discuss choices. What can you sort out as evidence? We know mercury can create heart disease by releasing free radicals that raise your lipid peroxides. We know that mercury oxidizes LDL cholesterol, which in turn starts gluing itself inside arteries.
Mercury helps platelets to stick together and form blood clots as it damages the linings of your blood vessels. So mercury now becomes the culprit because it makes your blood vessels spasm shut. But never forget all the other oral cardiotoxins. And then there’s the flu vaccines with mercury used as a preservative–a special type of mercury-like chemical called thiomerosol.
Did you ever think to associate the possibility of getting a flu shot containing thiomerosol with coming down with gum disease within a few months of the shot? The next year, when you get your flu shot, ask for one without thiomerosal, and see whether your gum disease mysteriously doesn’t come back every three months like it used to.
Research the possibility that thiomerosol affects immunity, especially in older adults. Thiomerosol has been taken out of most children’s vaccines for the past few years. There’s plenty of news articles studying the immune-suppressing ability of thiomerosol on senior citizens. Older persons usually get thiomerosol in vaccines when they line up for flu shots–unless they ask for a thiomerosol-free vaccination.
Is mercury building up in your body? First you get thiomerosal from your flu shot, unless you ask for a vaccine free of thiomerosal. You don’t want thiomerosal, a preservative, which contains mercury, in your vaccines, if you can help it.
So you go back to your dentist and tell him or her that your high mercury levels are speeding up the hardening of your arteries and increasing inflammation levels, especially in your carotid arteries. And now the mercury has reached your brain, exacerbating your memory loss, insomina, reduced coordination, depression, and joint stiffness while increasing your tremors. It’s not old age; it’s heavy metals.
What can you do for these endless symptoms? What can you eat? Then someone tells you, it’s not just the mercury, it’s also all the aluminum in your body, including several types of heavy metal deposits in your brain. Then you’re told the magnesium supplement you’re taking contains an excess amount of lead. And the lead toxicity has stopped your pain medications from working.
So now you’re overwhelmed. Maybe it’s time to change your diet. But the labs testing your supplements find that what’s on the label doesn’t agree with what’s inside the bottle.
What’s the solution? Back to natural foods, perhaps a raw vegan diet for a trial. Maybe cleaner air or a pure air filter that doesn’t give off ozone when you plug it in. You repeat the mantra: food is medicine.
Nutritionists tell you that you have too many free radicals in your blood, but raw, living vegetables and fruits can lasso those free radicals, but only if you add more powerful supplements. Then you’re told by your fitness trainer that nothing is more powerful than nature. So stick to whole foods, not pills, and use food as medicine.
There are the detox cocktails available, but your doctor may tell you to beware of the word ‘detox’ as it signifies something that your body does naturally. You could turn to whole food vitamin C and other supplements.Or just go back to eating the way people ate at the turn of the century, if you can find that type of food. Or grow your own vegetables in small spaces.
What’s the answer? Diet is major. Maybe you really can accomplish with food what no medication could do. Why? Wholesome plant-based food, living food not killed off by heat, might be able to bring about regression or switching off the bad tags on genes and switching on the good tags (epigenetics). But first you have to find out whether the mercury in your fillings is causing your symptoms.
When you go to the scientific literature, you find out everything you thought worked might be a placebo response. Then you start looking for more evidence that what you feel is real.
You need to find out to what you’re allergic and in what are you deficient. Books tell you that there’s an amino acid called glycine, that when chelated with magnesium might help to wash out of your body various toxic environmental chemicals.
Glycine is a neurotransmitter that helps to calm your brain. Then you’re told by other health-conscious practitioners that chelated manganese in tiny amounts might help your kidneys hang on to magnesium if your kidneys keep leaking magnesium. You ask why would they do that? And you’re told it’s because heavy metals in your body are damaging your kidneys.
Then you’re told you need DHA and EPA found in omega 3 fatty acids from purified fish oils to cut down the inflammation in your organs and arteries, power your brain, lower your triglycerides, and slow down the progression of age-related vision loss. But first you must eat blueberries for your brain. Only they should be frozen because fresh blueberries prevent some of the calcium in your diet from being absorbed by your cells.
There are so many options. What facts, evidence, and studies can you believe? You read the testimonials and even long for a placebo effect. Will any one formula work for you without becoming toxic in the long run? Congratulations. You’re now a health-conscious consumer.
How do you talk to your health care professionals? Take a clearly readable brief list of questions with you, and if you want your doctor to read about a test you should be getting or any other important detail, summarize the detail on one page. Also see my other article on mouth nutrition, “Ask Nutritionists About Food-Based Gum Disease Remedies.”
The Clues to the Disconnect in Medicine
If you want to handle the disconnect in medicine, begin by looking for the clues. The first clue I found is in Dr. Sherry A.Roger’s recent book, Is Your Cardiologist Killing You? When a consumer looks at the Mayo Clinic studies, there’s a report showing that “cod liver oil is eight times more effective in preventing death than defibrillators, according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine article by TE Kottke, 31; 4:316-23, 2006.
Now ask yourself, when is the last time your physician measured the levels of Omega 3 fish oils in your body. Should people be taking cod liver oil frequently? Should they be eating fish instead? Or are the oils burned out of cooked fish? You see is that a lot of doctors don’t have time to read their own journals.
And medical ghostwriters specializing in medical, science, and nutrition writing, like myself come along and maybe are hired as independent freelancers to ghostwrite articles for medical journals, including articles about clinical trials. Think about it. Now you take a book that opens your eyes to the Harvard study showing cod liver oil puts the kabosh on certain arrhythmias. Validate the articles for yourself. It’s in the study by Leaf, A. et al, Membrane effects of the n-3 fish oil fatty acids, which prevent fatal ventricular arrhythmias, in the Journal of Membrane Biology, 206; 2:129-39, 2005.
So you see cardiologists and gynecologists are busy with patients, paperwork, and insurance, and just maybe they have time to read the articles, but how many test you to see how much fish oil you have in your body and how well it is absorbed? The same goes for magnesium or other essentials you need to run.
Unless your M.D. or D.O. also is a naturopath or into alternative, complementary, preventive, or integrative medicine, do they really test you for these oils? Or do they just spend 18 seconds writing a prescription? And if you’re postmenopausal, has your gynocologist talked to you about which fish oils have the least amount of mercury and how fish oil works on the postmenopausal individual?
Did your doctor tell you that taking the usual hormones for menopause lowers your level of DHA and EPA (fish oils) at a time when you need DHA and EPA (found in fish oils) such as cod liver oil. To read more on this topic, KD Stark published a study on how DHA and EPA altered the cardiovascular disease risk in postmenopausal women receiving and not receiving hormone replacement therapy. Go to your local university library and read the artice/study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 79;765-73, 2004. (Stark, KD, et al.)
So few people have time to read the articles in these medical journals hidden in various university libraries. Make use of your interlibrary loan with your public library. Or buy a library card for a semester at any university library and use it. That’s the whole idea of why there’s a disconnect of clues in the medical industry. Scientists don’t share enough information, and consumers may not even know what’s in those journals until the news gets rewritten in the mass media.
If you search online, you’ll find both sides of the story. There’s also articles in plain language online about fish oil such as Cod Liver Oil, Fish Oil, and Omega 3. And you’ll find warnings that there are vitamins A and D in cod liver oil which in high amounts can be toxic. But those articles may not inform you that you can buy fish oil without vitamin A and D in it.
Or you can read the level and see for yourself how much vitamin A or D is actually in a teaspoon full of cod liver oil. Compare it to your usual multi-vitamin and decide for yourself. Also check out my other Examiner articles on the politics of dairy consumption. Be objective and look at the facts, validate them, and list the pros and cons.
Your own body will tell you how to tailor your food to your metabolic, genetic, and kinesthetic type. Stay open for new findings and learn to validate what you read in the mass media about what appears in medical journals. You see, soon after an article appears in a medical journal, another article appears showing up its flaws, refuting it, or conducting additional studies. It’s just science.
You want accurate information. But in every scientific journal, someone soon finds omissions. The final decision on what you put into your mouth should be made by you along with healthcare professionals you consult who have seen you and have done necessary tests. Nutrition as a science is always looking at how people can make as much energy as it is needed for quality of life.
Treating Gum Disease with Food Products and Juices
Ask nutritionists and some dental hygienists how to treat gum disease with food products and without surgery, and they’ll mention anti-microbial home-made toothpaste and mouthwash made from foods and products you have in the pantry.
During the 1940s, the Dr. Paul Keyes Technique emphasized that the best defense against periodontal disease is “a good home oral hygiene program that included routine cleaning with baking soda, salt, and peroxide.” I interviewed Dr. Keyes several years ago, when he was 94 years old, and he still had the same advice as leading researcher at the NIH and pioneer of nonsurgical periodontal (gum) disease treatment.
Are more convenient, simpler and older methods to get rid of gum disease better? Keyes earned his DDS, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (1941) and served his fellowship in Orthodontics at Harvard University School of Dental Medicine (1948). He then served as US Public Health Service Commissioned Officer (highest rank: Dental Director), National Institute of Dental Research, National Institutes of Health (NIH) (1954-1981).
The point is, baking soda and salt and a WaterPik keeps gum disease away if you clean your teeth daily this way instead of just brushing and flossing. If only brushing and flossing worked, you wouldn’t have the majority of people over age 50 ending up with gum disease from using most of the common commercial toothpastes.
You need something more anti-bacterial than the usual toothpaste to clean your gums with that’s gentle enough not to cause oral cancer. And sometimes an ingredient as simple as baking soda and salt, minerals you keep in your kitchen and put in food, work against anaerobic bacteria. Something as simple as drinking cranberry juice or using water to clean out the spaces between your teeth.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with gum disease and have had a cleaning of those deep pockets, check out the non-surgical, Dr. Paul Keyes method. The Keyes method consists of seven steps to treat gum disease at home with natural products. Check out the “Keyes 7 Step System to Periodontal Health,” as described by the International Dental Health Foundation. See the list of dentists and books at the International Dental Health Foundation.
Also see the testimonials. As a strong supporter of anti-infective therapies for the prevention and treatment of dentobacterial infections, Dr. Keyes is perhaps best known for his early advocacy of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide as an “antibacterial adjuvant” for oral hygiene.
Read about non-surgical approaches to gum disesase eradication and the Keyes writings. There’s also a video DVD, “Non-Surgical Antimicrobial Periodontal Therapy”
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease instead of running right away to the periodontist to have your gums cut with a laser every two years (when the gum disease returns) first try a more natural method for getting rid of gum disease. That’s after you’ve had your teeth cleaned by your dentist.
Buy a squeeze-bottle. It’s a little plastic bottle you fill with antiseptic mouthwash, salt water, baking soda and water, clove oil and water, or any other anti-bacterial solution and take it with you when you travel or go to work.
After eating, squirt the squeeze bottle in between your teeth close to the gumline. It will send anti-bacterial liquid where your teeth meet your gums, at least in the area where the gum disease is located. You can get a squeeze bottle or brush from the Dental Health Institute online.
You also can order mouthwash and a specially-made liquid CO-Q10 remedy for gum disease. Also, you can buy DioxiRinse mouthwash or DioxiBrite toothpaste (that penetrates into your gum pockets to decimate the bacterial population).
Try the special liquid form of CO-Q 10 from the Dental Health Institute. Put the CO-Q 10 liquid that comes in little tubes on the applicator and just before you go to bed, gently apply the CO-Q10 solution to your gums. This really has healed my own gums quickly. I also use it if there’s a small scratch inside my mouth.
Sometimes simple food-based solutions are more logical. You give your gums what nutrients they need to fight bacteria. You help your immune system. Some people are genetically prone to get gum disease, but gum disease still affects about 80 percent of the aging population. You have to keep treatments up, and have your teeth cleaned every few months or the gum disease will return. Here are 17 steps to get you started with a nutritional solution as a first line of defense.
Gum disease is caused by anaerobic bacteria. When oxygen meets anaerobic bacteria, the bacteria are destroyed. Anaerobic bacteria can’t live in an environment with oxygen. Buy yourself a WaterPik and a tongue scraper and use it daily after brushing your teeth.
When you go home from the dentist, after the cleaning, disinfect your gums. On your way home from the dentist, buy a WaterPik and a tongue scraper. You should also use an electric toothbrush, such as a Sonicare, or the equivalent. Or get a Sensitive Dental Care Brush (that senses resistance during brushing and adapts itself automatically, retracting the bristles when necessary to brush gently). The following steps will be of help in getting rid of the bacteria causing your gum disease.
1. Floss your teeth.
2. Rinse your mouth. Set aside two cups, a jar, some Q tips or round toothpicks, and a teaspoon.
3. Make your own toothpaste. Here’s how to do it. Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with a tablespoon of salt. Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground sage in one cup and set aside in a jar.
4. Pour a teaspoon of water into a cup and add a tablespoon of the dry ingredients.
5. Pour 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 3% solution into another cup.
5. Dip your toothbrush into the peroxide.
6. Now dip your moistened toothbrush into the cup with the teaspoon of water mixed with the dry ingredients.
7. Brush your teeth with the salt, baking soda, sage, water, and peroxide solution.
8. Rinse out your mouth with water.
9. Get out your WaterPik. Fill the WaterPik with equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water.
10. Use the WaterPik to move around your gum area.
11. Buy a Butler GUM® Stimulator . On the tip of the Butler GUM® Stimulator is a rubber point. You can buy it online.
12. Gently move the rubber pointed tip along your gums, around each tooth at the gumline. Work your way inside where your tongue meets your teeth and outside where your teeth meet the roof of your mouth. This helps to remove some bacteria and to prevent new tartar from forming.
13. Scrape your tongue with the tongue scraper. Be gentle, and scrape about five times.
14. Take 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda on a rounded toothpick or a cotton tipped toothpick (or Q-Tip) and move the baking soda in between each tooth at the gumline.
15. Wait 60 seconds and rinse your mouth.
16. Use a mouthwash such as Vita-Myr, or a mouthwash also containing clove oil, myrrh, folic acid, and zinc. Or make your own mouthwash without using alcohol with a few drops of clove oil and water. After using a mouthwash, wait 10 minutes before you drink water.
Never swallow the mouthwash. In Sacramento, I buy Vita-Myr mouthwash at Elliot’s Health Foods. It has worked well for me for many years. In the KSTE Cary Nosler radio show archives online, (The Wide World of Health) you also can listen to last year’s talk on Vita-Myr and download it as a podcast. Nosler featured Robert Takhtalian, the innovator of natural dental products and of this moutwash, Vita Myr, containing anti-bacterial myrrh, clove oil, zinc, and folic acid.
17. Put liquid CO-Q10 on a Q-tip and gently rub the liquid CO-Q10 on the gums above the teeth that have gum disease. Don’t drink any water after you do this step. This should be the last step before you go to bed.
What helps prevent gum disease from coming back?
You may need to take a silica supplement. Also make sure you have enough balance multiple ionic minerals. Take the nutritional supplement, CO-Q10 if your health permits.
Eighty percent of the bacteria that causes gum disease may be found on your tongue. As you age, you lose silica. When your immune system goes down, you’re vulnerable to gum disease.
Keep your mouth alkaline. Some fruit juices are helpful such as cranberry juice. Eat a grapefruit. You can also brush with Xylitol. Also try mixing two or three drops of clove oil into a cup of water and rinse your mouth after brushing. Helpful oils include tea tree oil and neem oil. In India, neem oil is used around the gums as an anti-bacterial remedy.
Never use tea tree oil directly full strength on your mouth or skin. Dilute with water. Eating grapefruit could help fight gum disease. But to start, first have the dentist give you a cleaning (or a deep cleaning) as needed. Look for a nutritional solution after your cleaning before you try the alternatives.
Does your dentist treat your gum disease with dietary fatty acid supplements yet? Have you ever wondered why consuming polyunsaturated fatty acids may lower your incidence of gum disease?
Should you sip a little fish oil to lower your incidence of gum disease?
A new study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, indicates that link between sipping a small amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids and perhaps a lowered incidence of gum disease. See the October 26, 2010 news release reporting the study, “Consuming polyunsaturated fatty acids may lower the incidence of gum disease,” Elsevier Health Sciences. Also see, “Pilot study of dietary fatty acid supplementation in the treatment of adult periodontitis.”
Foods that contain significant amounts of polyunsaturated fats include fatty fish like salmon, peanut butter, margarine, and nuts. The only problem with margarine is that sometimes the polyunsaturated fats in margarine are partially hydrogenated causing those trans fats which may harden your arteries. You’d have to find out what ‘spreads’ contain trans fats at levels under the usual 500 mg level that require reporting on food labels. So you have to watch what oils you’re taking and make sure they’re helpful and not rancid.
In an article in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health found that dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) like fish oil, known to have anti-inflammatory properties, shows promise for the effective treatment and prevention of periodontitis.
Researchers found that n-3 fatty acid intake, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are inversely associated with periodontitis in the US population. To date, the treatment of periodontitis has primarily involved mechanical cleaning and local antibiotic application, according to the news release.
In the past, people have been told by various sources that polyunsaturated fatty acids help to encourage tumor growth and that people should turn back the clock and start eating saturated fats again, such as coconut oil (unrefined, virgin). But here’s a new study that says polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help prevent gum disease. So should you be using oils containing linolenic acid (LNA)?
Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative survey with a complex multistage, stratified probability sample, investigators found that dietary intake of the PUFAs DHA and (EPA) were associated with a decreased prevalence of periodontitis, although linolenic acid (LNA) did not show this association.
The study involved over 9,000 adults who participated in NHANES between 1999 and 2004 who had received dental examinations. Dietary DHA, EPA and LNA intake were estimated from 24-hour food recall interviews and data regarding supplementary use of PUFAs were captured as well. The NHANES study also collected extensive demographic, ethnic, educational and socioeconomic data, allowing the researchers to take other factors into consideration that might obscure the results, according to the October 26, 2010 news release.
The prevalence of periodontitis in the study sample was 8.2%. There was an approximately 20% reduction in periodontitis prevalence in those subjects who consumed the highest amount of dietary DHA, according to the study. The reduction correlated with EPA was smaller, while the correlation to LNA was not statistically significant.
In an accompanying commentary, Elizabeth Krall Kaye, PhD, Professor, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, notes that three interesting results emerged from this study, according to the news release. One was that significantly reduced odds of periodontal disease were observed at relatively modest intakes of DHA and EPA.
Another result of note was the suggestion of a threshold dose; that is, there seemed to be no further reduction in odds or periodontal disease conferred by intakes at the highest levels, the news release noted, according to the study. Third, the results were no different when dietary plus supplemental intakes were examined.
These findings are encouraging in that they suggest it may be possible to attain clinically meaningful benefits for periodontal disease at modest levels of n-3 fatty acid intakes from foods.You can check out the article, “n-3 Fatty Acids and Periodontitis in US Adults” by Asghar Z. Naqvi, MPH, MNS; Catherine Buettner, MD, MPH; Russell S. Phillips, MD; Roger B. Davis, ScD; and Kenneth J. Mukamal, MD, MPH, MA. Also see the commentary: “n-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Periodontal Disease” by Elizabeth Krall Kaye, PhD. Both appear in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 110, Issue 11 (November 2010) published by Elsevier.
For more info: browse any of my 91 paperback books, including: How to Open a Neighborhood Walking Tour Business of Any City, Write and Publish Guides, or Video Record Walking the World, How Nutrigenomics Fights Childhood Type 2 Diabetes & Weight Issues (2009) or Predictive Medicine for Rookies (2005), How to Safely Tailor Your Foods, Medicines, & Cosmetics to Your Genes (2003), How to Interpret Family History & Ancestry DNA Test Results for Beginners (2004), or How to Open DNA-driven Genealogy Reporting & Interpreting Businesses. (2007).