By Sarah A LoBisco, ND
My training in healthy cleansing and detoxification from the Institute of Functional Medicine this winter covered clinical solutions to support and protect individuals from various environmental exposures that our bodies are bombarded with every day. These outside factors negatively affect overall health and well-being in a variety of ways and it is only in addressing these contributing factors WHILE treating the cause, that lasting results can take hold. Therefore, I utilize these strategies every day in my practice, as I consider removing obstacles to obtaining optimal health vital amongst the six Naturopathic tenets. Unfortunately, we live in a world where these negative environmental stressors are numerous and growing.
According to Functional Medicine Doctor, AKA to me “Genius”, Dr. Mark Hyman:
We live in an environment steeped in chemicals that our bodies were not designed to process. For a disturbing look at the chemicals that breach the boundaries of our bodies, look no further than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals . In the latest report, scientists at the CDC found that nearly every person they tested was packing a host of nasty chemicals, including flame retardants stored in fatty tissue and Bisphenol A (2), a hormone-like substance found in plastics, excreted in urine. Even babies are contaminated. The average newborn has 287 chemicals in her umbilical cord blood, 217 of which are neurotoxic (poisonous to nerves or nerve cells) (3).
While it’s true that we live in a toxic world, it’s important to remember that there is a lot you can do to enhance your body’s natural ability to detox. The body has four main exit routes for toxins: pee, poop, perspiration and pranayama (Sanskrit for breath). I call these the quadruple “P.” Every moment of every day your body is relying on the quadruple “P” to mobilize, transform, and excrete toxins. Here is a quick primer on how to make the most of each strategy:
That being said, making sure that your body’s detoxification is supported amongst all these impacts will ensure that other components of health are maintained. In fact, cleaning up toxicity can have a positive effect on everything from heart disease, hormonal balance, diabetes, to decreasing overall inflammation. As noted, there are so many ways we are exposed to environmental pollution everyday, one place people may overlook for total toxic load is the mouth.
This issue of holistic dentistry was a hot topic post webinar. Recently, Dr. Mercola did a wonderful review on the dangers of root canals. He highlighted that root canals result in a a mouth full of dead teeth, that harbor bacteria. This translates to more than just pain, but an opportunity for disease and infection to spread as these bugs trans-locate to different organs. It’s true! These little bacteria that lay harbor in your mouth have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer!
According to Dr. Mercola:
Dr. Price was a dentist and researcher who traveled the world to study the teeth, bones, and diets of native populations living without the “benefit” of modern food. Around the year 1900, Price had been treating persistent root canal infections and became suspicious that root-canaled teeth always remained infected, in spite of treatments. Then one day, he recommended to a woman, wheelchair bound for six years, to have her root canal tooth extracted, even though it appeared to be fine.
She agreed, so he extracted her tooth and then implanted it under the skin of a rabbit. The rabbit amazingly developed the same crippling arthritis as the woman and died from the infection 10 days later. But the woman, now free of the toxic tooth, immediately recovered from her arthritis and could now walk without even the assistance of a cane.
Price discovered that it’s mechanically impossible to sterilize a root-canaled (e.g. root-filled) tooth.
He then went on to show that many chronic degenerative diseases originate from root-filled teeth—the most frequent being heart and circulatory diseases. He actually found 16 different causative bacterial agents for these conditions. But there were also strong correlations between root-filled teeth and diseases of the joints, brain and nervous system. Dr. Price went on to write two groundbreaking books in 1922 detailing his research into the link between dental pathology and chronic illness. Unfortunately, his work was deliberately buried for 70 years, until finally one endodontist named George Meinig recognized the importance of Price’s work and sought to expose the truth.
Scary, isn’t it? Just how do these little bugs in your teeth affect the whole body so negatively. Dr. Mercola continues:
Just as your body has large blood vessels that branch down into very small capillaries, each of your teeth has a maze of very tiny tubules that, if stretched out, would extend for three miles. Weston Price identified as many as 75 separate accessory canals in a single central incisor (front tooth). For a more detailed explanation, refer to an article by Hal Huggins, DDS, MS, on the Weston A. Price Foundation website.iii(These images are borrowed from the Huggins article.)
Microscopic organisms regularly move in and around these tubules, like gophers in underground tunnels.
When a dentist performs a root canal, he or she hollows out the tooth, then fills the hollow chamber with a substance (called guttapercha), which cuts off the tooth from its blood supply, so fluid can no longer circulate through the tooth. But the maze of tiny tubules remains. And bacteria, cut off from their food supply, hide out in these tunnels where they are remarkably safe from antibiotics and your own body’s immune defenses.
Under the stresses of oxygen and nutrient deprivation, these formerly friendly organisms morph into stronger, more virulent anaerobes that produce a variety of potent toxins. What were once ordinary, friendly oral bacteria mutate into highly toxic pathogens lurking in the tubules of the dead tooth, just awaiting an opportunity to spread.
No amount of sterilization has been found effective in reaching these tubules—and just about every single root-canaled tooth has been found colonized by these bacteria, especially around the apex and in the periodontal ligament. Oftentimes, the infection extends down into the jawbone where it creates cavitations—areas of necrotic tissue in the jawbone itself.
Cavitations are areas of unhealed bone, often accompanied by pockets of infected tissue and gangrene. Sometimes they form after a tooth extraction (such as a wisdom tooth extraction), but they can also follow a root canal. According to Weston Price Foundation, in the records of 5,000 surgical cavitation cleanings, only two were found healed.
And all of this occurs with few, if any, accompanying symptoms. So you may have an abscessed dead tooth and not know it. This focal infection in the immediate area of the root-canaled tooth is bad enough, but the damage doesn’t stop there.
Recently, I listened to a teleseminar with Dr. Jerry Tennet. He explained what goes on in our mouth has consequences beyond local tooth pain! In Dr. Tennet’s experience and clinical practice, in every patient with a thyroid issue or a history of cancer, extensive dental work has occurred. Makes sense to me. After all, the mouth is the first line of defense of the immune system (think immunoglobulins) and the first step in digestion (think digestive enzymes in salvia and the GALT).
How about the connection to the thyroid and mouth? The thyroid gland has various lymph nodes, structures that drain out toxins and help with circulation. These routes of immune function need to stay healthy and strong in order to keep the thyroid healthy (see the toxicity issue?). An imbalance in the mouth, therefore, can create problems in lymphatic drainage and affect thyroid function and other organs.
What to do if you have a mouth full of dentistry? Talk to your holistic practitioner about seeing a biological dentist and supporting your body from these added stressors. My patients start with thieves essential oil, chlorophyll, and a unique collodial silver product.
Now, share your thoughts below.
And..check out ways to protect yourself from fructose and EMFs on my saratoga.com blog!
Mercola, J. 97% of Terminal Cancer Patients Previously Had This Dental Procedure…February 18, 2012.http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/18/dangers-of-root-canaled-teeth.aspx?e_cid=20120218_DNL_art_1
Mary Ellen S. Chalmers, D.M.D.M etals and Dentistry: Current Use, Oral Systemic Effects and Multidisciplinary Diagnosis and Treatment. DETOX: Understanding Biotransformation and Recognizing Toxicity. Post Module Webinar. December 19, 2011
Hyman, M. How Toxins Make You Fat: 4 Steps to Get Rid of Toxic Weight. February 22, 2012. http://drhyman.com/how-toxins-make-you-fat-4-steps-to-get-rid-of-toxic-weight-8549/?utm_source=WhatCounts%20Publicaster%20Edition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=drhyman%20newsletter%20issue%20#58&utm_content=Get+the+story
Designs for Health Clinical Rounds Telesminar. February 22, 2012.Using a Biomodulator for Pain and Injuries. Featuring: Jerry Tennant, MD