Beyond Tooth Decay

Beyond Tooth Decay

Why Good Dental Hygiene Is Important

Dental Hygiene - Tooth Decay Silver Spring & Baltimore MD | Sammy Noumbissi, DDSWith one in two Australian children reported to have tooth decay in their permanent teeth by age 12, researchers from the University of Sydney believe they have identified some nanoscale elements that govern the behavior of our teeth.

Material and structures engineers worked with dentists and bioengineers to map the exact composition and structure of tooth enamel at the atomic scale. Using a relatively new microscopy technique called atom probe tomography, their work produced the first-ever three-dimensional maps showing the positions of atoms critical in the decay process. The new knowledge on atom composition at the nano level has the potential to aid oral health hygiene and caries prevention, and has been published in the journal Science Advances. Professor Julie Cairney, Material and Structures Engineer in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, said: “The dental professionals have known that certain trace ions are important in the tough structure of tooth enamel but until now it had been impossible to map the ions in detail. “The structure of human tooth enamel is extremely intricate and while we have known that magnesium, carbonate and fluoride ions influence enamel properties scientists have never been able to capture its structure at a high enough resolution or definition.” “What we have found are the magnesium-rich regions between the hydroxyapatite nanorods that make up the enamel. “This means we have the first direct evidence of the existence of a proposed amorphous magnesium-rich calcium phosphate phase that plays an essential role in governing the behavior of teeth. ” Co-lead researcher on the study, Dr Alexandre La Fontaine from the University’s Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, said: We were also able to see nanoscale ‘clumps’ of organic material, which indicates that proteins and peptides are heterogeneously distributed within the enamel rather than present along all the nanorod interfaces, which was what was previously suggested. The mapping has the potential for new treatments designed around protecting against the dissolution of this specific amorphous phase. The new understanding of how enamel forms will also help in tooth remineralisation research.”

Sports And Energy Drinks Can Damage Tooth Enamel

Scientific studies are now revealing the full extent of damage a person can inadvertently cause to their tooth enamel by consuming highly acidic beverages. With a reported 30- 50 percent of U.S. teenagers consuming popularized energy drinks on a daily basis, it is important that parents and young adults as well as fitness enthusiasts, understand the disadvantages these drinks can pose to oral health.

A recent study cited in General Dentistry; the Academy of General Dentistry’s clinical, peer-reviewed journal has revealed that fitness-minded adults and adolescents who routinely consume sports and energy drinks have an alarming increase in irreversible damage to teeth, damage that specifically targets the tooth enamel; the thin, outer layer of the tooth that helps preserve the tooth’s structure and prevent decay. Damage caused to sensitive tooth enamel is almost always irreversible, and without the protection of enamel, teeth become highly sensitive, prone to cavities, and more prone to decay.

THE TRUE COST OF CONSUMING SPORTS DRINKS

People who pursue active lifestyles ironically may avoid colas or sugary drinks in favor of what they believe to be a ‘healthier’ alternative and so they tend to rely on sports or energy drinks to rehydrate after exercising. But, with the results of recent studies pointing to the fact that regular long-term use of such highly acidic beverages can lead to irreversible damage to dental enamel, athletic types are best advised to take precautions to protect their teeth by either choosing an alternative or adopting a habit of rinsing after consuming acidic drinks.

To determine the true acidic properties researchers examined the levels of acid in 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks. To test the effect of the acidity levels, samples of human tooth enamel were immersed in each beverage for 15 minutes, followed by immersion in artificial saliva for two hours. The test was repeated over five days, four times each day. The goal of the test was to simulate the same type of exposure teeth are subject to by someone who drinks an average of one beverage every few hours. The researchers found that damage to enamel was evident after only five days, and energy drinks in particular showed a significantly greater potential to damage teeth than sports drinks – in fact, up to twice as much damage.

From this test and others of a similar type we can now conclude that enamel damage associated with all beverages ranging from greatest (1) to least (6) damage to dental enamel are as follows:

  1.  lemonade
  2. energy drinks
  3. sports drinks
  4. fitness water
  5. iced tea
  6. cola

Most cola-based drinks contain more than one type of acid, generally phosphoric and citric acids, both of which contribute to enamel damage. Sports beverages contain a range of other additives and organic acids that further exacerbate dental erosion. Organic acids also erode dental enamel as they break down calcium, which is needed to strengthen teeth and prevent gum disease.

HOW TO MINIMIZE THE DAMAGE

The best way to avoid damaging your dental enamel is to exercise caution when using sports drinks and similar beverages on a routine basis. Alternating sports drinks with water or low-fat milk after a workout can help to preserve tooth enamel and ultimately protect teeth from decay, but the best alternative is to minimize the intake of sports and energy drinks altogether. If you must drink acidic beverages it is advisable to chew sugar-free gum or rinse the mouth with water following consumption of the drinks as a way to increase saliva flow, which naturally helps to normalize acidity levels in the mouth. To avoid spreading acid onto the tooth surfaces thereby increasing the erosive action, it is a good idea to wait at least an hour before brushing after consuming sports and energy drinks.

New Movie Bringing Attention Mercury Amalgams

A new movie available for download and viewing online called ‘Mercury Undercover’ is exposing the abhorrent practices going on at the national level that prevent mainstream Americans from learning the truth about poison contamination from dental amalgam. Mercury Undercover illustrates all the evidence about mercury contamination, and features interviews by doctors, renowned scientists, environmental experts and survivors of mercury poisoning.

The disturbing issues brought to light in this film are geared to alarm viewers just enough to cause them to pause before buying and consuming fish products and to take into consideration the potential ramifications of their next dental procedure.

A few points brought up by this movie include:

  • The Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, suggested thirteen years ago that dental amalgams could account for up to 75 percent of a person’s daily mercury exposure. There is approximately 1,000 mg of mercury in the typical silver amalgam filling, nearly one million times more mercury than is present in contaminated sea food.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that between 3-17 micrograms of mercury are released daily into the body by stimulating the filling through chewing, brushing and grinding, compared to only 2-5 micrograms from fish and all other environmental sources combined. An editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine also stated that dental amalgams were “possibly the chief source of exposure [to mercury] of a large segment of the U.S. population”. As shocking as it is, Americans and Europeans actually have more mercury in their mouths than exists in all manmade products combined – estimated at more than 1,000 tons. More than 180 million Americans of all ages host a total of 1.46 billion restored teeth, and the vast majority of those restorations are silver amalgams containing mercury. This measures out to about 75 percent of adults being exposed daily through silver amalgam fillings.
  • The 2nd largest mercury polluters in the U.S. are dental practices. As a result of their continued use of mercury amalgam fillings, another 29.7 tons of mercury is discharged into the air, water and soil each year from installation and removal of amalgams. Mercury coming from dental offices is reported to be the largest source of mercury found in wastewater today. According to an article authored by Michael Bender (co-founder of the Mercury Policy Project), at least 40 percent of mercury streaming into public water treatment plants starts out in the dental office. And wastewater treatment plants are not set up to remove mercury, so it ends up in waterways and oceans where it contaminates marine life before cycling back into the food chain and ending up on your dinner plate. Ultimately, when you consider the costs associated with environmental cleanup dental amalgams are actually the most costly type of dental fillings on the market – in terms of environmental damage and harm to living organisms, including humans.

And a point of our own:

  • Amalgams found in cadavers also post a risk to the environment. Emissions from the combustion of mercury fillings during the cremation process act as a major contaminator of air, waterways, soil, wildlife and food.

No less than 7-9 metric tons of mercury seeps into the atmosphere annually during the cremation process. As a result, it is expected that by the year 2020 the cremation of human remains will be the largest single cause of mercury pollution. And, it all started in the dental office.

MERCURY AMALGAMS ARE NOT AS CHEAP AS DENTISTS WOULD LIKE YOU TO THINK

Amalgam fillings contain more mercury than any other product sold in America. And they are highly profitable to a dentist, which explains why it is so difficult to get them to use healthier composite products. Dentists can install amalgam fillings much faster than many composite fillings, and once installed they keep the patient coming back for repairs (due to the damaging effects of metal fillings on the structure of the tooth).

The average “amalgam” filling is typically a mixture of silver, copper, tin and zinc with an equal amount of mercury (up to 50 percent mercury). Fillings naturally deteriorate over time, leaching the various metal components into the body in the process and they react to substances such as acid in the mouth, causing the filling to deteriorate even more rapidly. The deteriorating vapor then enters the body and is subsequently inhaled into the lungs where it is absorbed into the blood stream. Likewise, as we eat, mercury is incorporated into food, is then swallowed and digested and absorbed into the bloodstream where it is distributed to more vulnerable tissues and organs. Mercury vapors readily pass through cell membranes, across the blood-brain barrier and into the central nervous system, where it causes psychological, neurological, and immunological problems. Children and fetuses, whose brains are still developing, are most at risk, but virtually anyone exposed to mercury in this way is at risk.

Aspiring dentists continue to be taught that the mercury in amalgams is “bound” with the other metals and therefore doesn’t leak, which is why 50 percent of them continue to believe mercury amalgam use is safe. However, by the fact that mercury vapor can be measured at all as it seeps away from the tip of the root is absolute proof that amalgam fillings can and do leach mercury poisons into the body.

STRIVING FOR CHANGE

The Mercury Undercover website suggests specific goals and objectives that need to be addressed to stop silver mercury amalgam use in America:

  • Disclose mercury and end the “silver deception”; stop the ADA/dental board gag rule Inform consumers and dentists of the massive environmental harm caused by amalgam Make dentists (preferably those who perpetuate the use of mercury laced amalgams) pay for the massive harm to the environment; this would make the amalgam cost-prohibitive
  • Ban amalgam for children and pregnant women Introduce ART (Atraumatic restorative treatment), a safe, low-cost dental filling material that requires only hand instruments to install, and can even be done by a dental hygienist
  • End amalgam primacy in insurance plans

All of these points are excellent suggestions and honorable objectives. If you would like to help, The Consumers for Dental Choice has launched a worldwide Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry which outlines specific actions you can take on local, state, and national levels. Just visit their website to get started. They also suggest:

  1. If you are not already seeing a mercury-free dentist, ask your dentist to switch to mercury-free dentistry.
  2. If you work for a company that covers dental fillings, ask if they will cover composites or ART or other alternatives to amalgam.
  3. If you know your Mayor or a member of your City or Town Council, consider asking if they will do what some California cities are doing: pass a resolution calling for an end to amalgam and a request that dentists in your town stop using amalgam.
  4. And, write the Director of FDA’s Center for Devices, Jeff Shuren, jeff.shuren@fda.hhs.gov Ask Dr Shuren why FDA continues to ignore the scientists and covers up the mercury from American parents and consumers. Ask when FDA is going to get in step with the world on mercury.

 

Dr. Jeff Shuren, Director

Center for Devices, U.S. Food & Drug Admin.

10903 New Hampshire Ave.

WO66-5431, Room 5442

Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002

Telephone 301-796-5900

Your Toothbrush: A Ticking Time Bomb?

Brushing our teeth is an exercise in self-care that most of us do at least twice a day but there is also something we seldom consider; the health of that toothbrush. It might shock you to realize that literally millions of microorganisms (bacteria) live on the bristles of your personal toothbrush. That comes down to millions of microscopic bugs that can potentially cause flu, colds and other illnesses.

Recent studies have confirmed that oral health is connected with overall healthfulness. For example, there is a strong correlation between heart disease, diabetes, premature delivery in pregnant women, and strokes; and gum disease. Researchers discovered there are upwards of 10 million bacteria live on the typical toothbrush and we know that tooth decay is also caused by the type of bacteria that can survive on toothbrushes.

Studies have proven that cold and flu viruses and even the viruses that cause fever blisters (Herpes Simplex I) can survive on toothbrushes for several days – infecting and re-infecting the unsuspecting owner of that toothbrush. Here are just a few viruses that thrive on toothbrushes and some of the problems they can cause:

  • E. Coli: bloody diarrhea and severe abdominal pain and tenderness with no fever
  • Influenza Virus: fever, cough, headache and fatigue, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Staphylococci Bacteria: abscesses, boils, and skin infections
  • Herpes Simplex I: can affect the mouth, face and skin and can be present in the body without symptoms, generally causes recurring and painful blisters (cold sores or fever blisters)
  • Candida Albicans: mild nasal congestion, blisters in the mouth, sore throat or abdominal pain, and/or fatigue, dizziness and mood swings
  • Coliform Bacteria: usually present along other disease-causing bacteria and organisms

Some researchers also discovered bio-film thriving on toothbrushes, which is living colonies of breeding bacteria, with estimated numbers as high as 100 million microorganisms existing on individual brushes.

PROTECTING YOUR TOOTHBRUSH

Surprisingly, it isn’t the bacteria from your mouth that contributes to the worst bacterial problems on a toothbrush, it’s the fact that most people store their toothbrush unprotected in the open, on
the bathroom counter top. By far, flushing the toilet is the worst culprit for germs found on most toothbrushes. Every time you flush the toilet invisible jets of water propels germs into the air, where they can land on toothbrushes.

Family toothbrushes stored side-by-side only compound the risk of sharing germs and viruses. Bacteria, molds, and fungi love moist environments provided by most bathrooms and they also love dark enclosed spaces, so storing toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet may not be as ideal as you might think.

While most dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every couple of months, most American’s aren’t likely to change their toothbrushes more than twice a year. Here are some steps you can take to keep your toothbrush germ free:

Storage: Store toothbrushes away from the toilet in a cool, dry place.

Rinse well: Wash off your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water every time you use it.

Dry it after use: Dry your toothbrush thoroughly between brushings and avoid using toothbrush covers, which can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria.

Store it upright. Store your toothbrush upright in a holder, rather than lying it down.

Keep it to yourself: Never share a toothbrush and avoid storing it side-by-side in the same container with other people’s brushes.

Ultraviolet Light: Studies indicate that ultraviolet light can be effective in killing germs on toothbrushes and are able to kill many of the bacteria, yeasts, and viruses. A study conducted at New York University Medical Center on countertop ultraviolet toothbrush sanitizers found that this device eliminated up to 99.9 percent of bacteria tested on toothbrushes.

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse: Cheaper than an ultraviolet device and a measure perhaps just as effective could be the practice of rinsing your toothbrush after each use with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is antibacterial, antifungal, kills mold and mildew and when used properly, it is non-toxic for humans, plants, household animals.

Best practice: keep it clean and keep on brushing

Now that you know how to keep your toothbrush truly clean and germ free as a way to protect yourself and your family from harmful bacteria, it is also important to choose a brush that will do the work of keeping your teeth clean without harming the delicate surface of the tooth or gums. Choose a brush with soft or medium bristles, as they are gentler on the gums and may actually clean better because they’re more flexible. Brush twice a day, at least two minutes each time and rinse your mouth after sugary or starchy snacks. Replace your toothbrush frequently. These practices combined with visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings will help to ensure that you have a lifelong healthy smile.

Root Canals Can Lead To Serious Disease Including Cancer

MORE THAN 40,000 ROOT CANALS ARE PERFORMED EVERY DAY IN THE UNITED STATES AFFECTING MORE THAN 25 MILLION PEOPLE ANNUALLY.

What most people haven’t yet come to realize is that root canal procedures can lead to serious life threatening or chronic health issues including cancer and heart disease.

Chronic Disease Linked to Root Canals

Dr. Weston Price, a well-known dentist and researcher noted for extensive research conducted in the early part of the 20th Century, was able to demonstrate that a high percentage of chronic degenerative diseases can and do originate from root canal therapy. The most frequent are heart and circulatory diseases. The next most common diseases were those of the joints, arthritis and rheumatism followed by diseases of the brain and nervous system.

In one of his studies, Dr. Price transferred diseases harbored by humans into rabbits, by implanting fragments of teeth from root-canals. He found that root canal fragments transplanted from a person, who had suffered a heart attack, when implanted into a rabbit, would cause a heart attack in the rabbit within only a few short weeks. The heart attack study was conducted with 100% effectiveness while other diseases were more than 80% transferable by following this same method.

Through Dr. Price’s research we now know that nearly every chronic degenerative disease has been linked with root canals, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Arthritis, joint, and rheumatic diseases
  • Neurological diseases such as ALS
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Various types of cancers
  • Musculoskeletal diseases
  • Irritable bowel diseases such as Crohn’s Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression

People with healthy immune systems can generally ward off most bacteria that stray away from the infected tooth. But as the immune system weakens, over time or due to an accident or illness or other trauma, a person’s body may not be able to keep the infection from advancing. A weakened immune system will then allow bacteria to grow unchecked and migrate out into surrounding tissues and into the blood stream, where they are then transported various sensitive locations of the body such as an organ or gland or tissue.

The Breast Cancer Connection

More recently, Dr. Robert Jones, a researcher, discovered an extremely high correlation between root canals and breast cancer. His five-year study of 300 breast cancer cases indicated that 93 percent of women with breast cancer had root canals and seven percent had other dental issues. Interestingly enough, in most cases tumors manifest on the same side of the body as the root canal(s) or other dental restoration. Dr. Jones deems that toxins from the bacteria in an infected tooth or jawbone inhibit the body’s natural ability to suppress tumor development.

The Demon Bacteria

Since there is no foolproof way to clean out the narrow tubules of a dead tooth, it will eventually become an incubator for highly toxic anaerobic bacteria. It has been found that literally billions of bacteria live in and around root canals, where they generate some of the most toxic organic substances, 1,000 times more toxic than botulism toxin. As the bacteria mutate over time into more and more virulent forms, they eventually migrate from the root of the tooth into the bone where they cause infections, called cavitations. Inside these bone cavities the bacteria begin to produce the more highly toxic poisons – including mercaptans, thioethers and others.

Dr. Jones relates the presence of toxins in the cells to the onset of cancer. His study indicates that the toxins thwart the production of key proteins and, without these proteins; there is nothing to stop cells or clusters of cells from becoming cancerous. Studies conducted at North Carolina Institute of Technology (NCIT) using toxins from 900 extracted root canal teeth and over 4000 biopsies of infected bone, have demonstrated extreme inhibition of the production of these important proteins. Their studies have led researchers to believe some cases of cancer are the result of chronic exposure to these toxins.

Although the American Dental Association and the American Association of Endodontists reject the research indicating that the bacteria found in and around root canals can cause disease, we know that they base this misguided assumption on the idea that the bacteria in diseased teeth are the SAME as normal bacteria in your mouth—and nothing could be farther from the facts.

Bacteria Linked to Disease

Bacteria can be identified using DNA analysis, whether they’re dead or alive, by looking at their DNA signatures. The Toxic Element Research Foundation (TERF) used DNA analysis to examine root canal teeth, and they found bacterial contamination in 100% of the samples tested. They were able to identify more than 40 different species of anaerobic bacteria in each sample. In cavitations, 67 different bacteria were identified among the 85 samples tested, with 19 to 53 types of bacteria each individual sample. The bacteria found by similar tests conducted by independent laboratories reveal the following types:

  • Acinetobacter baumanii – linked to Pneumonia and Periodontal disease
  • Gemella morbillorum – linked to invasive endocarditis, Meningitis & Arthritis
  • Klebsiella – linked to pneumonia Lung infections, infections of the Urinary Tract, biliary tract & Osteomyelitis & Meningitis
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis – Protein metabolism, Biofilms, leads to Bone destruction and Premature labor
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa – linked to Central Nervous System disorders, Endocarditis, Brain abscesses & increase in liver enzymes, Prosthetic heart valve invasion
  • Streptococcus mitis – found in Strep Throat, Scarlet fever and linked to heart failure –

And this is just a sample of the more common types of bacteria. The following bacteria found in root canals of the TERF study are also known to affect the heart, nerves, kidneys, brain, and sinus cavities. They include:

  • Rhpumatir fpvpr
  • Capnocytophagaochraceavi
  • Fusobacteriumnucleatumvii
  • Leptotrichiabuccalis
  • Porphyromonasgingivalis ix

Bottom Line: Root Canals Create Toxic Bacteria

Up to 400 percent more bacteria are found in the surrounding tissues of the root canal tooth than in the tooth itself, indicating that the dead tooth works as an incubator for bacteria that feed on the periodontal ligament where they mutate, grow in number and eventually invade the bone surrounding the root canal.

If you have been told you need a root canal your best option is to get a second opinion. In some cases your holistic dental practitioner will be able to find an alternative to root canal treatment or extraction. If that is not possible, we can work with you to make sure that the root canal treatment is done in such a way as to minimize toxicity of the tooth for a longer period of time. However, surgical extraction using biological method is still the most complete way to rid the body of this problem.

References:

Root Canals Dangerous

http://nmtpractitioner.com/doc/article/2008/RootCanal.html

 

97% of Terminal Cancer Patients Previously Had This Dental Procedure… http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/18/dangers-of-root-canaled-teeth.aspx?e_cid=20120218_DNL_art_1

 

The Dental Connection to Chronic Illness

http://www.naturalhealinghouse.com/articles_dental-connection.php

Professional Oral Health Care Helps Prevent Heart Attacks & Strokes

There is good news for folks who remain loyal to the recommended annual visit to the dental hygienist; A recent study from Taiwan suggests that people who routinely get their teeth cleaned (undergo professional tooth scaling) have as much as 24 percent lower risk of heart attacks and 13 percent lower risk of stroke, than those who never actually visit the hygienist. Researchers have also concluded from a similar Swedish study that harmful oral flora is an excellent predictor of heart attack and stroke.

The effects of oral health on overall healthfulness have been the subject of scientific studies for quite some time, and this new research provides added proof that patients who receive regular dental care and follow recommended oral hygiene regimens can successfully reduce their risk of both heart attack and stroke.

The study from Taiwan followed 100,000 participants over a 7-year period, most of whom submitted to professional teeth cleaning at least twice or more in two years; and at least once or less in two years. About half of the adults underwent full or partial tooth scaling while the other half matched with gender and health conditions from the test group but had no tooth scaling.

Although researchers did not adjust for potential heart attack and stroke risk factors prior to the study none of the participants reported a history of heart attack or stroke.

Emily (Zu-Yin) Chen, M.D., cardiology fellow at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan concluded from the study that protection from heart disease and stroke was more pronounced in participants who received tooth scaling at least once a year. In other words, clinical oral health care—tooth scaling—reduces bacterial growth that can lead to serious cardiovascular conditions.

In a separate study coming from Sweden, researchers discovered that the value of markers for gum disease predict heart attack, congestive heart failure and stroke in different ways and in slightly different degrees. Anders Holmlund, D.D.S., Ph.D. Centre for Research and Development of the County Council of Gävleborg, Sweden, and senior consultant; Specialized Dentistry, studied 7,999 participants with periodontal disease and found people with:

  • Fewer than 21 teeth had a 69 percent increased risk of heart attack compared to those with the most teeth.
  • A higher number of deepened periodontal pockets (infection of the gum around the base of the tooth) had a 53 percent increased risk of heart attack compared to those with the fewest pockets.
  • The least amount of teeth had a 2.5 increased risk of congestive heart failure compared to those with the most teeth.
  • The highest incidence of gum bleeding had a 2.1 increased risk of stroke compared to those with the lowest incidence.

These studies highlight the importance of educating patients about oral health to stress the potential impact periodontal disease can have on overall healthfulness. Unfortunately many adults develop some type of periodontal disease due to a lack of daily brushing and flossing, and all too infrequent visits to the dental hygienist.  Routine teeth cleaning will help avoid periodontal disease, and ultimately can help to prevent heart attack and stokes.