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HEALTH CONCERN? BioHealth Health Concerns

Your Mouth, Teeth, and Health

Contributing Author: Rubin, Josh O.T.

Josh RubinJoshua Rubin graduated from American International College with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy. After working with the geriatric population for many years, he decided to take his career to the next level. By incorporating corrective exercise, nutrition and lifestyle coaching with his rehabilitation background, he began working with individuals of all ages within the personal training industry. This is where he found his love for holistic coaching, and as a result of developing San Diego’s EastWest Healing & Performance in 2002, he is one of Southern California’s top Personal Trainer, Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, and Rehabilitation Specialist.

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The mouth is the conduit through which food and water enter the body. Your survival depends heavily on its healthy function and any deviation from healthy function contributes to the Chronic Stress Response. Take digestion for example. It begins with the mechanical action of chewing. Chewing mixes food with saliva and amylase, an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates. Salivary secretions need to be well mixed with food particles for optimal digestion.

And since your mouth is open to the external environment, it is the portal through which many substances are introduced. It’s easy to understand how the mouth plays a vital role in the integrity of your mucosal immunity. Because the mouth is the biggest and most vulnerable opening to the external world, its mucous membranes produce massive amounts of secretions. Anything that interferes with these mucosal secretions may allow hostile invaders to penetrate the mucosal barrier.

Teeth are the only body part that crosses directly from the outer world to the body’s inner environment and the oral mucosal barrier surrounds each tooth. This mucosal barrier keeps whatever the outside portion of the tooth is exposed to from entering the body. However, if the mucosal barrier is impaired, teeth become susceptible to allowing external elements to invade through the oral cavity.

Tissues in the mouth, such as teeth and gums, also need to survive and protect themselves from damage and breakdown. Salivary secretions contain minerals and help rebuild and remineralize teeth. Teeth get demineralized from exposure to food acids as well as digestive enzymes. It’s no surprise to learn that the same things that break down foods can also break down teeth.

It’s important to have teeth in proper alignment so the force of biting and chewing can be distributed down the length of the root. The force is further distributed into the jaw bone where each tooth is anchored. It’s crucial that these chewing forces be distributed to avoid damage to teeth and bone. If you have a poor diet early in life, your mouth doesn’t form properly. As a result, your teeth won’t be anchored in the bone very well and the ability to distribute biting and chewing forces along the length of the root is lost.

Another problem is clenching teeth during sleep, which creates excessive biting force. It has been estimated that bite pressures during teeth clenching can exceed the normal pressure of chewing by 10 to 20 times. Clenching teeth during sleep is an extremely serious problem because of the stress it puts on the teeth, gums, and jaw bones, which potentially causes these tissues to break down.

Dental Carelessness

While education prepares dentists to understand mechanical phenomena related to teeth very well, it doesn’t address the basic functional and structural aspects of the mouth that are important to the survival of the whole body. Health problems occur because traditional dental methods don’t solve problems with teeth; they add to them.

Dentists drill into teeth to wedge in fillings that take away the internal support and strength of the tooth. Teeth are cleaned using scraping and cutting instruments that break open the mucosal barrier. Every time you get your teeth cleaned in the mainstream manner, your body can be infected with everything that your teeth are exposed to at that time.

In addition, dentists place metals and other materials that can carry electrical charges in the mouth. These materials produce electromagnetic energy that greatly interferes with the body’s own electromagnetic fields. The body’s electrical communication system is disrupted by the electromagnetic fields generated by the dental materials. Two different metals in close proximity to each other cause the flow of electrical current between the dissimilar metals. 

For many patients, getting dental care produces mental and emotional stress. This mental and emotional stress causes stress hormone levels to increase over the short term, which adversely affects the immune system, specifically inhibiting the secretion of protective immunoglobulins within the mucosal barrier. When this happens, the physical trauma and inflammation caused by the dental procedure has an even more profound effect because the mental and emotional stress is also causing a reduction of blood flow and circulation to tissue. All these factors, if not resolved, can become chronic stresses.

Any time you experience trauma, inflammation occurs. For example, if you cut your finger and it becomes infected, this causes inflammation that your body recognizes as potentially harmful. Inflammatory and immune proteins migrate through the capillary walls into the injured area to fight the infection. These proteins are big molecules that plug up the micro circulation in the blood vessels in the affected area to wall it off so it doesn’t harm the rest of the body.

Other proteins required to rebuild and repair the affected area are also mobilized. The affected area swells. That’s okay in soft tissue that can swell up like a balloon, but in hard tissue, like teeth and bone, the same inflammation can occur. Unfortunately, these hard tissues can’t swell. This produces an extremely strong fluid pressure within bones and teeth, causing a restriction in blood supply or an ischemic effect. The result, over time, can produce cellular death in these tissues due to the resulting poor circulation, the fact that oxygen is choked off, and the reduction in vital nutrients.

Dentists are taught to drill fast and get the dental work done quickly. Unfortunately, tissues are harmed greatly by this technique. Another common dental practice is to grind a tooth down to prepare for a crown when a filling is not the best option. Doing this means grinding away the outer surface of the tooth, even though the damage and filling are on the inner part of the tooth, because the crown needs to be cemented in place. The cement used is so weak that if there isn’t a large surface area ground down, the crown will fall off.

The cement that holds the crown to the tooth bonds like two pieces of glass with water between them. The level of adhesion is poor at best. Biting and chewing can rock the crown and some of the cement could break loose. This causes cracks between the crown and remaining tooth structure. While these cracks aren’t severe enough to cause the crown to fall off, bacteria can get into them and cause corrosion and oxidation of the metal crown. This sets the environment for decay to form underneath the crown.

Grinding a tooth down for a crown causes trauma and related inflammation, plus the sliding and cracking cement can cause future problems. I believe it’s important not to grind away teeth aggressively, either for a filling or a crown. In my practice, we use lasers that don’t traumatize the nerve of the tooth. They merely sterilize and vaporize just the decayed portion and then inject a small amount of a material that is compatible with the tooth.

The materials that dentists put in their patients’ mouths go far beyond just mercury. Mercury is the most commonly known harmful dental material; others include nickel, beryllium, lead, cadmium, aromatic hydrocarbons, and many other materials that may cause harm to patients.

Studies have shown that mercury is released from the fillings in patients’ mouths. The World Health Organization has shown that between 3 and 17 micrograms of mercury vapor can be released from a person’s amalgam fillings each day from chewing. When released from the fillings, mercury has been shown to build up in the body, contributing to the Chronic Stress Response.

You don’t need to have your teeth filled with these barbaric materials. Options are available. Seek the expertise of a competent dentist with experience in alternatives.

For dental care to not cause harm, what needs to be done?

When conducting an assessment, the status of the mouth—past and present—needs to be evaluated. Negative burdens and loads currently being placed on the body should be assessed. What are the structural problems with regard to the teeth? What is the status of critical body systems, including hormones, immune, digestive, and detoxification? Because they influence the potential for good outcomes from dentistry, they must be taken into consideration when mechanisms of intervention are discussed.

Indeed, the whole body’s health must be taken into consideration. Because dentists don’t treat the whole body, they need to work with an integrative practitioner who does.