|Posted on April 5, 2016 at 8:20 AM||comments (2)|
A relatively new phrase in the holistic dental community is ‘biomimetic dentistry’.
The word "biomimetic" is derived from two terms: "biology," the science of life or living matter in all its forms, and "mimic," to imitate or copy. With the advent of adhesive bonding technologies in dentistry over the past few decades, materials and techniques have been developed that allow for the minimal removal of tooth structure, followed by adhering tooth-colored material onto or within the tooth. The philosophy behind this brings new meaning to the phrase “less is more”.
Historically, when prepping a tooth for a filling, dental schools taught students “extension for retention” and “extension for prevention”. In essence, the bigger you make the cavity prep, the more likely the filling will stay in and the less likely you will get a recurrent cavity around it. This no longer holds any truth in the modern dental arena.
Nowadays, decay is removed and a restoration is bonded that both strengthens and mimics the form and color of the remaining healthy tooth. Depending upon the individual needs of a tooth, it can be repaired either with a bonding material applied directly to the tooth, or with a conservative inlay/onlay (similar to a partial crown) fabricated in a dental laboratory.
Biomimetic Dentistry: Less is more.
In these cases, crowns and prophylactic root canals can be avoided. The integrity, form, esthetics and function of the tooth, as nature intended, can be preserved. Thus, biomimetic dentistry is achieved.
Unfortunately, there are still (holistic) dentists practicing old school philosophy. An instance of this presented itself just a few days ago. A new patient came in regarding a second opinion on her dental situation.
This particular patient wanted to have her mercury filings replaced but found that she could not afford the fee presented in her treatment plan. This treatment plan presented by the holistic dentist she saw, involved crowning almost every tooth that had a mercury filling in it. She was hoping that perhaps I might have a solution that was less aggressive and more affordable.
After evaluating her teeth, we created a treatment plan that would safely replace her amalgams, mostly with conservative white fillings. Our treatment plan was considerably less expensive than the one with all the crowns and certainly more in the realm of holistic biomimetic dentistry. A win-win situation for both the dental health and financial health of the patient.
So if you are looking to preserve your natural dentition as much as possible, consider working with a dentist who is biomimetically aware. There is more to being a “holistic” dentist than labeling yourself as such.
For my personal experience on this, you might also want to read Choosing a Holistic Dentist.
|Posted on March 20, 2016 at 5:35 PM||comments (4)|
“Fluoride causes more human cancer death, and causes it faster than any other chemical.” - Dr. Dean Burk, PhD
Cleansing your body of fluoride is not the same as getting rid of heavy metals such as mercury. Fluoride is not a heavy metal. It's a halide (review your high school chemistry) in the same family as iodine, bromine and chlorine. Fluoride, bromine, chlorine all bind to the iodine receptors in the body and displace iodine. So it is not uncommon to find that fluoride toxicity is associatd with iodine deficiency.
Here are some simple ways to remove fluoride out of your body daily:
1. Take Iodine supplementation. Since fluoride and iodine have the same electron configuration in the outer shell, it is easy to see why the main iodine receptors of the body (pineal gland, thyroid, breast, ovaries, uterus, prostate) would pick up fluoride. So if you have any health challenges with these organs, you should seriously consider fluoride detoxification.
2. Add Boron to you daily intake. It naturally flushes out fluoride.
3. Eat turmeric. The researchers identified the primary polyphenol in the spice turmeric — known as curcumin – as an ideal agent worth testing as a neuroprotective substance. Previous research on curcumin indicates that it is capable of acting as an antioxidant.
4. Liver cleanse daily. The liver is a main detoxification route. It is important to keep it clear to move out all toxins, fluoride included. These liver cleansing foods may help: garlic, turmeric, lemons and limes, and avocado.
5. Sweat. Sweating is one of the best ways to remove all toxins from the body. Exercise or use of a sauna will do the trick. Make sure that you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and after. You might also want to add some gray Celtic or Himalayan salt to the water to replace minerals lost.
As fluoride is released from your cells, you may experience symptoms like headaches, agitation, and palpitations. To minimize those effects, it's important to work closely with a knowledgeable health specialist. Supportive nutrients to take should include unrefined sea salt, selenium, vitamin C, and a vitamin B complex.
For more information on this topic, read my many other helpful posts on Fluoride.
|Posted on February 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM||comments (4)|
Fluoride is found everywhere today. Not just toothpaste and mouthwashes, but in many antibiotics, medications, and even non-stick cooking pans. I think that most of us know that it is found in many bottled waters and municipal water supplies.
The fallout from this fluoridated water supply is that it is currently in just about everything we eat or drink that has been made from these waters. There is no escaping fluoride in the modern world, and as a result, there has been a plethora of diseases associated with this fluoride overdose.
Fluoridated water from the kitchen sink
Here are the top 7 fluoride related health challenges:
1. Dental fluorosis. The unsightly staining and pitting of teeth is an obvious visual marker.
2. Osteofluorosis of your bones. Usually found later in life and misdiagnosed as osteoporosis.
3. Calcification of pineal gland. Can’t sleep? Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland. If yours is calcified by fluoride, you will have decreased melatonin production. This will follow with less sleep. ( See my blog on sleeping for more help.)
4. Thyroid disease. The thyroid is one of the biggest uptakers of iodine. If you are iodine deficient (most people are), your Iodine receptors will uptake the next best thing. Since fluoride and iodine have the same electron configuration in the outer electron shell, the receptors may take the fluoride instead. This will leave your thyroid highly imbalanced and in need of attention.
5. Hormone imbalance diseases. Cystic breast, cystic ovaries, fibroids and prostatitis are at the top of this list. Malignancies associated with these organs have also been correlated with fluoride overdose/iodine deficiency.
6. Coronary Artery Disease. A recent study has just shown that fluoride has a positive correlation with increased cardiac risk.
7. Lower IQ. A recently published Harvard University study funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) has concluded that children who live in areas with high fluoridation have “significantly lower” IQ scores than those who live in low fluoride areas.
So to answer our title question, “Is fluoride making you sick?’, the answer is clear. The implications of fluoride in our daily diet are more complicated than what we were led to believe. Now is the time to rethink the dogmatic belief that fluoride is good for you and your teeth.
|Posted on January 23, 2016 at 11:00 PM||comments (3)|
Replacing your mercury fillings with a dental material that is more biocompatible and less toxic, is usually the goal of the vast majority of patients that come to see me. And I applaud each of you who actually take a proactive step to do so.
The question that usually comes up afterwards is: How do I remove the residual buildup of mercury from my body tissues?
There are many simple ways to detox, and you can actually read about many of them in my book My Secrets to Regaining Health or read through my blogs to get other helpful ideas.
However there is another simple method worth exploring. The use of NAC.
NAC (N-Acetyl –Cysteine) is a natural sulfur-containing amino acid derivative found naturally in foods. It is a powerful antioxidant. It helps the body eliminate free radicals and neutralize toxins, especially heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead.
This sulfur containing amino acid is closely related to L-Cysteine, being its acetyl derivative. L-Cysteine is important for homeostasis, being a glutathione precursor, and a natural source of sulfur for metabolism. Unfortunately, L-Cysteine is unstable, and can become degraded (inactivated) while being absorbed. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), on the other hand, is more stable than L-Cysteine and conveniently becomes converted into L-Cysteine after being absorbed. Thus NAC taken orally will raise blood and tissue L-Cysteine levels. As a dietary supplement, NAC is therefore a highly attractive alternative to L-Cysteine.
By supplementing with N-Acetyl Cysteine, you will increase cellular Glutathione levels, because cysteine is the limiting component in the production of Glutathione. As many of you may already know, taking Glutathione supplements directly won't do any good since it is a protein and will be destroyed in the stomach by the hydrochloric acid and ultimately be broken down into its amino acid components (glycine, glutamine, and cysteine).
Glutathione is known as the "Master Antioxidant." An antioxidant is a natural substance that removes harmful free radicals from our bodies. There are many antioxidants (such as Vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, etc.) but glutathione tops them all. Fortunately, we have an amazing built in system of antioxidant power that operates optimally when properly maintained. Daily supplementation with NAC will help regulate this.
An important detail to keep in mind is that glutathione is a chelator of heavy metals. The more heavy metals in your system, the more glutathione is needed to transport it out. If you have a lot of heavy metals in your body, then your glutathione levels will most likely be insufficient. Supplementation with NAC is critical to keeping this detoxification system healthy. From my personal research, it seems that concomitant high doses of Vitamin C are imperative, as it is an important cofactor in assisting in the glutathione detoxification system.
So if you haven’t already done so, I would seriously consider adding NAC (and extra Vitamin C) to your daily nutritional intake. I already have.
|Posted on December 13, 2015 at 5:55 PM||comments (3)|
I am a fairly organized person. So when my night guard went missing for a few days, I was a little concerned. Usually, it is in one of 2 places, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.
So imagine my surprise when it was finally located in Celeste’s (my dog’s) secret hiding place. It was still in one piece but nicely chewed. I couldn’t put that back in my mouth.
“My dog ate my night guard!”
I’ve heard this line from patients but I never thought it would happen to me.
It is unfortunate when you have a comfortable night guard and then it’s gone. Custom made night guards are expensive.
This is a cautionary tale.
Lesson learned. Always put your night guard in its case when not wearing it.
Normally, the case would be kept in the bathroom, near the toothbrush and such. But it might make sense to keep the case on your nightstand, so that if you do remove it from your mouth while still in bed (which is what I did), it will be safe and easily found.
Before our pets get to it.
Another Celeste Tale (tail) can be found here: BPA: A Real Life Case Study- Celeste's Story
If you like this post you may also like: Cures for the Grinding Holiday Stress
|Posted on November 15, 2015 at 5:30 PM||comments (6)|
Root canal teeth are frowned upon in the holistic community. For those in the know, endodontically treated teeth are a source of chronic low grade infection and can create a stress on the entire immune system. Statistically, it has been shown to have a correlation with autoimmune diseases and some types of cancers.
Photo credit Creative Commons: Larry Shaw
As an integrative dentist, I have had many patients come to me throughout the years looking for an alternative to root canal. Conventional dentistry says that the only other choice to root canal treatment is extraction of the tooth. And this may be true if the nerve is irreversibly infected. But for many cases, root canal can be avoided altogether.
A typical example is a tooth with a deep cavity but the nerve is still vital. With the use of lasers, ozone, topical medicaments, nutrition and homeopathy, the nerve can heal itself. I have seen this occur many times. If the nerve is infected or already non-vital, root canal can still be avoided, after the infection is brought under control. This may take longer to achieve, but is worth the effort in the long run.
The challenge is that conventional dentistry believes that a painful, abscessed or dead tooth is already a sign that a root canal is obligatory. And in many situations, this may be so. And this philosophy can work for the masses that are looking for a quick fix. But for those of us who know that the body can heal itself if given the proper environment to do so, the integrative treatment mentioned above may be the solution.
Our teeth can protect themselves from infection when we nourish our body with specific foods that keep us in balance. It requires some conscious choices of food and supplements. It may not always work, since much depends on your state of health and how committed you are to seeing this through.
When you do this, you can heal infected teeth, and you may prevent the need for root canals.
So for those of you looking to avoid root canal, rest assured, you can. Always seek out a second opinion before undergoing any invasive or surgical procedures.
If you like this post, you may also like Choosing a Holistic Dentist
|Posted on October 11, 2015 at 3:10 PM||comments (3)|
A recent study (published in PLOS ONE), has found that the amino acid L-arginine destroys the bacteria which cause cavities and gum disease.
L-arginine is a common amino acid found naturally in red meat, poultry, fish, soy and certain dairy products. It helps rid people’s teeth of destructive biofilms that cause poor oral health.
Foods with L-Arginine
Creative Commons: Jason Rogers
Dental biofilms cause the formation of dental cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease. According to the NIH, 92% of adults (age 20 to 64) of the American population have dental cavities; and according to the ADA, nearly 50% have moderate or severe periodontal disease.
L-arginine is currently being included in certain toothpaste formulations as it is thought to protect against dentine hypersensitivity. The study shows that the same concentrations of L-arginine potentially can control dental plaque formation, and may be beneficial in protecting against gum disease.
Presently, most methods for dental plaque control involve the use of antimicrobial agents, such as pyrophosphate or triclosan (See Toothpaste: Poison or Panacea blog), which are toxic chemicals aimed at killing plaque bacteria. These antimicrobial chemicals have been the subject of debate about overuse in recent years.
Researchers say the mechanism for how L-arginine causes the disintegration of the biofilms needs further study. These initial findings show that arginine can change how cells stick together, and can trigger bacteria within biofilms to alter how they behave so that they no longer stick to surfaces.
Further clinical trials and studies are planned, but the authors say these early results are promising and indicate that L-arginine could take the place of current plaque-controlling substances.
Moving forward with this, it is worth looking into taking L-arginine as a nutritional supplement, and perhaps adding a bit to you homemade toothpaste.
|Posted on September 6, 2015 at 11:20 PM||comments (2)|
Candida (yeast) infections are on the rise; mostly due to side effects from medications, poor diet and alcohol use.
It is one of those sneaky diseases that develops over the years, presenting with symptoms that are vast and non-specific. I would have to say that over 80% of my patients have some degree of this fungal infection, many of who believe it is something else going on in their body.
Candida Overgrowth (Thrush)
Photo credit Creative Commons: MariaJosse2
Small amounts of the Candida fungus are usually present in the mouth, digestive tract, and skin of most healthy people. It is normally kept in check by other (good) bacteria and microorganisms in the body. However, illness, stress, medications and poor diet can disturb this delicate balance, causing the fungus Candida to grow out of control and create a vast array of diverse symptoms.
Here is a basic list of Candida overgrowth symptoms:
1. Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
2. Feeling exhausted, or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
3. Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea
4. Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, IBS
5. Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, brain fog,
6. Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives and rashes
7. Irritability, mood swings, anxiety or depression
8. Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching
9. Seasonal allergies or itchy ears
10. Strong cravings for sugar and refined carbohydrates
And a basic list of simple nutrients to take daily to do away with it:
1. Probiotics and FOS (fructo oligosaccharides) daily
2. Capryllic acid or coconut oil
3. Pau d’arco (capsule or tea)
4. Oil of oregano
5. Grapefruit seed extract
6. Black walnut oil
It may take several months before you feel a shift back to health from the Candida overgrowth. Persistence is key. During this time period, you must avoid all carbohydrates and sugars, as this will continue to feed the fungus.
An important factor to also consider is that Candida thrives in the presence of mercury. As long as you have mercury silver fillings in your teeth, it may be extra difficult to get completely past the Candida infection.
So if you have mercury amalgam fillings, you might seriously think about getting them replaced sooner, not later.
If you like this post, you may also like: Baking Soda and Oral Health
|Posted on July 5, 2015 at 3:05 PM||comments (53)|
As a dentist, I have seen many patients with significant jaw bone loss. This is not a good thing as it is a marker for loose teeth and eventual tooth loss. Sometimes it may be associated with the usual symptoms of periodontal disease and you should read our previous post Floss First! for further clarity. But other times, the periodontal health looks fairly normal with minimal pocketing and no bleeding.
Bone Loss around Teeth
Upon seeing this bone loss, my primary question to the patient is “Have you had a bone density test?” And if they have had one, they already know that they have a bone density challenge (osteoporosis or osteopenia). If they haven’t had one yet and they do go, it is not surprising to find that they are usually low on the bone density scale.
As many of you are already aware, your mouth health is a reflection of your body health, and many dentists can infer quite a bit by a comprehensive oral evaluation. (See Meridian Dentistry and Saliva Secrets: pH )
For those of you trying to reverse bone loss naturally, here is a base recipe of nutrients that may help. There are other specific factors depending on which bones are actually involved (jaw, legs, arms or spine) but those can be addressed individually if you ask at your appointment.
These are the suggested nutrients necessary to rebuild human bone:
• Strontium. (at least a 1000 mg). It should be taken on an empty stomach, away from other minerals and away from food
• Vitamin D3. (3000 – 5000 IU). Best to take with fatty food, or it will not be absorbed. You might also consider having your blood levels tested. It’s a simple blood test. Ideally your blood levels should be over 60.
• Minerals. Best way to get mineral supplementation is by taking a daily dose of gray Celtic salt. You can buy it at many health food stores. A good daily dose would be ½ teaspoon of the salt followed with 2 glasses of quality water. You can do a1/4 teaspoon twice a day if it is easier. The 2 glasses of water each time is still necessary. You can also put this salt on food. There are 84 minerals in gray Celtic salt. (see The Miracle of Minerals) It will not raise your blood pressure since the sodium content is very low. If you take it away from food, it will be absorbed more efficiently. DO NOT TAKE AT THE SAME TIME AS THE STRONTIUM. They will compete with each other and the strontium will not be absorbed.
• Magnesium. Taking additional supplementation of Magnesium will activate Vitamin D (from the sun).
• Vitamin K2. Found in grass fed meat, free range chickens and eggs, and almost all REAL fermented foods. (Not the make-believe yogurt found in most supermarkets).
• Collagen supplements. You can buy this in powdered form, add to smoothies , or buy in capsule form. You can get collagen naturally by making a bone soup. (See The Benefits of Bone Soup)
• Weight bearing exercise. You can stand on one leg for 3 minutes and then do the other leg for 3 minutes. This is the equivalent of an hour’s walk in terms of stimulating bone growth. You can also do weight lifting daily with 2-5 lb. weights.
• Make sure your cholesterol is at least 180. If it is too low, you will not make enough Vitamin D.
• Contrary to popular dogma, taking Calcium supplements alone will not create more bone. It must be taken with Vitamin K2 to actually be absorbed into the bone.
• Use of a mini trampoline (rebounder) has also shown to be beneficial in stimulating bone growth. (See Jump Your Way to Health!)
• Drugs used for osteoporosis (for example, Fosamax) do not create new bone. They simply prevent death of old bone. The bone that is there is dry, brittle and styrofoam-like. It is prone to fracture as much as having osteoporosis. It just looks good on the bone density test.
As you restore the integrity of your skeletal bones, you may find that the bone supporting your teeth may also improve. There are other factors involved with the dental bone but these are the basics. You should see a difference in bone density within a year.
Interested in learning more?
Consider an appointment with Dr. Brand.
Contact us at 212 947-0073
If you like this post you may also like: Gum Disease is Contagious
|Posted on June 4, 2015 at 12:30 AM||comments (6)|
Recently at a dental meeting, I met many colleagues who promote their practice as mercury-free. As such, they believe that they are also mercury-safe since they no longer place amalgams within their practice. Although this sounds good in theory, the reality is significantly different. These mercury-free dentists have no safety protocol in place, and as a result, are exposing their patients, their employees and themselves to a heavy load of mercury aerosol each time old amalgam fillings are drilled out.
When looking for a dentist to replace your silver mercury fillings, it is important to look for a dental office that is mercury-safe, not mercury-free.
Statistically speaking, as of 2008, over 50% of practicing dentists no longer use silver (mercury) amalgam fillings, and as a marketing tool, many may be promoting their practice as mercury-free. A mercury–free dentist is one who no longer places silver mercury fillings. A mercury-safe dentist is one who follows a safety protocol to protect everyone in the office, including you!
Even though patients may get a non-mercury filling at a mercury- free dentist’s office, this does not mean that the patient and the office personnel are being protected in a mercury-safe manner.
So be sure to ask the right questions when looking for a holistic dentist to replace your amalgams. Additionally, do not assume that all holistic dentists are mercury-safe or for that matter, even holistic. I found this out by personal experience. You can read about it here.
Lesson learned: Always ask questions before choosing a health practitioner.
|Posted on April 29, 2015 at 6:25 PM||comments (4)|
Tooth regeneration seems to be a big topic in the holistic dental community. As the work of Dr. Weston Price gets more popular, people are looking outside conventional dentistry for natural ways to restore their teeth.
Eggshell supplementation may very well be part of the solution.
Eggshell powder is a natural source of calcium and 27 other minerals. Experimental and clinical studies have shown eggshells to have a positive effect on tooth and bone metabolism.
One positive study was observed on bone density in postmenopausal osteoporosis female rats. Clinical studies with postmenopausal women and women with senile osteoporosis showed that eggshell powder reduced pain, increased bone density, and also stopped bone loss.
In vitro, eggshell powder stimulates cartilage growth through chondrocyte differentiation. The bioavailability of calcium from this source, as tested in piglets, was similar or better than that of food grade purified calcium carbonate. Theses clinical and experimental studies show that eggshell powder has positive effects on bone and cartilage and that it is suitable in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
So what about regenerating teeth?
The composition of eggshells resembles our teeth. And it can provide the necessary amount of minerals to do the job. But is it enough to reverse decay? Probably not as there are other variables that come into play here: diet, pH, genetics and many co-factors not yet explored.
But if you want to try and remineralize chipped teeth or rebuild bone supporting your teeth (or reverse osteoporosis), this might be worth a try. I would strongly advise taking a Vitamin K2 and Vitamin C supplement with this, as both nutrients are needed to bring the calcium into the bone and away from the blood vessels. Also check that your Vitamin D levels are adequate. If not, supplementation of D3 would be advisable.
1 -2 cartons of organic pastured chicken eggs
1 stock pot
1 coffee grinder
1 small Mason/glass jar with secure and clean lid
1. Start collecting eggshells and store in the refrigerator. When you have enough shells, rinse them well in water, removing any liquidy whites that might be remaining. You should keep the membrane intact with the shell as these have extra nutrients. (Glucosamine and hyaluronic acid in the membrane will improve joint health)
2. Boil the eggshells for about 10 minutes to kill all pathogens.
3. Drain shells.
4. Spread the shells on a pyrex or stainless steel baking sheet and let dry overnight.
5. After air drying, place in a low temperature oven (200 degree F) for about 10 to 15 minutes to dry out completely. Let cool to room temperature.
6. Put a few shells at a time into a coffee grinder and pulverize until they are powder form.
7. Store the powder in a tightly sealed glass jar (I use old vitamin bottles) in the refrigerator or in the cupboard away from heat.
One eggshell is equal to about 1 teaspoon of powder, which contains 800 – 1000 mg of calcium. Daily dose is ½ to 1 teaspoon a day.
Eggshell powder will not dissolve in liquids, so you might mix it into a smoothie or even oatmeal. It really doesn’t have a taste but it can feel sandy in the mouth. I tend to have it with water. As a side note, consider sprinkling a bit on your pet’s food. It will be beneficial for them as well. It is even helpful to plant health.
The calcium from eggshells is extremely bioabsorbable. Milk and dairy have long been promoted as high calcium foods, but the calcium in them isn't bioavailable. This means that our bodies can't utilize it easily. Also, pasteurized milk products are acidic. They contribute to the overall acidic condition of the body, which causes the blood to rob more calcium from the bones.
Eggshell powder may be the best calcium-mineral choice for improving our health.
If you like this post, you may also like: Zeolite -A Daily Detox
|Posted on March 29, 2015 at 10:35 PM||comments (6)|
Due to my many publications on alternative health, I was recently contacted by a health magazine for my ideas of unusual ways for adults to get a better night's sleep. And since many of the patients I see are dealing with this problem as well, I thought it would be worth sharing here.
Here are the most common ways to get better sleep. Most of us know these already.
Basic list for better sleep:
1. Keep the bedroom as dark as possible. That means removing nightlights and digital readouts from TVs, clock radios, computers, etc.
2. Do not exercise within 3 hours of bedtime. This will over stimulate your metabolism causing restlessness throughout the night. A few light stretches for muscle tightness is a good way to relax.
3. Avoid caffeine late in the day and do not eat heavy protein or carbohydrates within 3 hours of bedtime. Same reason as #2.
4. Keep a pen and paper handy to write down any mental worries. Creating an action plan on paper will allow your mind to relax from worries and anxiety.
If you are doing all of the above and still having trouble sleeping, try this list:
1. Epsom salt bath. The high level of magnesium will relax muscles, reduce inflammation and improve blood flow.
2. A mineral drink- ¼ tsp of gray Celtic sea salt with 2 glasses of water before bedtime will supply 84 minerals to assist overall relaxation. Read The Miracle of Minerals
3. Herbal tea. Although we may be familiar with chamomile before bedtime, the Ayurvedic herbs Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Ashwaghanda make excellent relaxing teas that are also adaptogenic (balance stress hormones). Valerian root tea is another possibility.
4. Listen to the sounds of nature. Easy enough. Just find them on YouTube. It can be anything from the sounds of the forest, or a waterfall or birds chirping. Whale sounds, in particular can be very relaxing.
5. Listen to the sounds of Solfeggio. Also on YouTube. Solfeggio frequencies or music will rebalance your chakras and provide instant relaxation. And if you are a patient, you have already experienced this with your free 2 Minute tune-up at your dental visits. (We also offer full one hour sessions for deep relaxation.)
6. Count your blessings. While conventional thinking promotes counting sheep, counting blessings will put you in a state of blissful gratitude. It will allow you to release the worries of the day.
7. Turn off the computer screen at least 2 hours before bedtime. The bright light of the computer screen may alter the body’s natural production of melatonin that is critical to the normal sleep cycle. Use a blue light filter if you must use the computer before bedtime. There is also a free app you can get on line that will automatically adjust your computer screen light for you. See https://justgetflux.com
8. Sleep on natural fabric linens. 100% bamboo or cotton sheets are much more calming and grounding to the body than synthetic fabrics.
9. Ground yourself while sleeping. Use an Earthing pad while sleeping. This will keep you fully grounded to the natural Earth frequency. Not only is it relaxing but healing as well.
10. Put EMF protectors on all electrical appliances your bedroom. This will prevent the unsettling effects of electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) during sleep.
11. Remove WiFi from the home. Hard wire your computers to the internet so that you are not exposed to disruptive EMF’s 24/7.
When all else fails, the underlying cause may be hormone imbalance or adrenal fatigue. Best to see your medical doctor for evaluation.
If you liked this post, you may also like: The Miracle of Minerals
|Posted on March 1, 2015 at 9:30 PM||comments (4)|
Aluminum toxicity is rampant.
Considering that many neurological diseases are on the rise, this is not a surprising statement. Aluminum is not a heavy metal like mercury or lead, but its effects can be just as devastating.
Aluminum can accumulate in the brain, causing seizures and reduced mental functions (Alzheimer’s for example). It is easily absorbed through the digestive tract, lungs and skin, and from there, is dispersed to all major organs and body parts.
These are the major sources of Aluminum Toxicity and good ways to avoid them:
1. Aluminum pots and pans. Use stainless steel, ceramic or titanium. Read Cooking with Fluoride?
2. Baking powder. Look for aluminum–free brands in the health food store. Or use baking soda.
3. Bleached white flour. Use whole grain flour. Avoid conventional cake mixes.
4. Conventional table salt. Use Himalayan or Celtic sea salt. Read The Miracle of Minerals
5. Antacids. Use digestive enzymes and aloe.
6. Antiperspirants and most deodorants. Make your own. See recipe below.
7. Buffered aspirin. There are other less toxic options for pain relief.
8. Aluminum cans for many drinks and foods.. Buy bottled.
9. Aluminum containers from Take-out restaurants. Transfer food immediately to non-toxic containers upon arriving home.
10. Aluminum foil. Use wax or parchment paper to wrap/heat foods.
11. Processed cheese, especially those used on cheeseburgers at fast food restaurants. Stay out of fast food restaurants for other reasons besides the cheese.
12. Shampoos, especially those for anti-dandruff. Use baking soda-water rinse followed by apple cider vinegar-water rinse.
13. Some toothpastes. Look for holistic options in the health food store. Read the ingredient list before buying. Read Toothpaste: Poison or Panacea
As an avid seeker of non-toxic substitutes for everyday products, here is one solution that I have used for years to replace toxic antiperspirants.
Nontoxic Homemade Deodorant
• 6 Tablespoons coconut oil
• 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) baking soda
• 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) arrowroot
• Essential oil (optional)
1. Mix baking soda and arrowroot together in a medium sized bowl.
2. Mash in coconut oil with a fork until well mixed.
3. Add essential oil if desired. Use something mellow like a flower essence, rose or lavender.
4. Store in small glass jar for easy use.
Considering that this recipe takes less than 5 minutes to complete, there is no reason to be using the highly overpriced, chemical laden version that the store sells. The most difficult part of the recipe is finding a glass jar to store it in!
As I have written in my book, My Secrets to Regaining Health, solutions are everywhere. They just don’t always come easily presented by the usual standard media. We may need to do a little personal research to find them. And with all the information on the internet, there are no excuses.
If you like this post you may also like: Zeolite –A Daily Detox
|Posted on January 31, 2015 at 9:00 PM||comments (2)|
It has been 70 years since the United States first started adding fluoride to the municipal water supplies. Many legal battles to remove this toxin from our drinking water are in progress, but still this noxious chemical endures as a staple in our daily diet.
Most developed nations in the world have rejected fluoridation, including 97% of western Europe. The United States, which fluoridates more than 70% of its water supplies, is an exception to this rule. According to the British Fluoridation Society, there are more people drinking artificially fluoridated water in the United States than all other countries combined. That last bit of information can really make you think.
So, after 7 decades of fluoridation, what are the statistics?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “as a result [of water fluoridation], dental caries declined precipitously during the second half of the 20th century.” And they have all the statistics to back this up.
Percentage Fluoridated Water vs. Number of Decayed, Missing, Filled Teeth
SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control (1999)
What the CDC failed to mention is that tooth decay rates have “precipitously declined” in all western countries, regardless of whether the country ever fluoridated its water or not. And since most (70%) western countries do not fluoridate their water, and yet their tooth decay rates have declined at the same rate as the U.S. and other fluoridated countries, then the fluoridation variable cannot be the determining cause.
This fact can also be quickly demonstrated by examining the World Health Organization’s (WHO) data on tooth decay trends in each country. The following graph compare the tooth decay trends in western countries with, and without, water fluoridation.
As you can see, the number of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) has continually declined in the last 40 years regardless of water fluoridation.
As I have written before in my previous posting on The Flaws of Fluoride, studies have shown there is no benefit from ingesting fluoride. Topically, on the teeth, fluoride can help harden the enamel preventing decay. But so can other techniques that are more biocompatible to the body. (See Oil Pulling post.)
Fluoride is not an essential nutrient. This means that no human disease – including tooth decay – will result from a “deficiency” of fluoride. But the harmful effects of over fluoridating, are many, as previously pointed out in The Flaws of Fluoride.
Moving forward, one has to continue to take extra precautions in removing this useless poison from our drinking water. I know I will.
If you like this post, you may also like: The Flaws of Fluoride
|Posted on December 31, 2014 at 9:30 PM||comments (3)|
I like to consider myself adventurous when it comes to finding unusual and exciting health-promoting foods to eat. So when the holidays aprroached and my son asked what I would like as a gift, my usual answer would have been chocolate, preferably raw and dark. But being that he works in the Chinatown area, I asked if he would surprise me with one of those unusual looking fruits that the supermarkets sell down there.
I basically have no idea what they are named and even less of an idea what they taste like. But I figured if it’s fruit, it couldn’t be so bad.
Well this is what he brought me: a durian, also named the King of Fruits.
Photo credit Creative Commons: Hafiz Issadeen
It is about the size of a large cantaloupe and has these very pointy sharp spikes on it. Sort of like an armadillo without legs. (Best to wear a glove when handling, as the pokey spikes can be quite painful when touched.) My son said it came with a warning of smelling horrible when opened and the taste could be questionable.
Not one to shy away from a food challenge, I went online and did my research. Durian is native to Malaysia and Indonesia and remains a divisive figure in the world of food. It is actually banned on Singapore subways solely for its smell. It’s the kind of food that you either hate or you love. No in-betweens.
Health wise, it is highly full of minerals, antioxidants and fat. Lots and lots of fat. Actually, it can make the avocado seem like a low-fat food by comparison.
After watching a few videos on durian, I put a slice through the outside rind and pulled the fruit into sections. Smell? Not bad, maybe a little like dirty socks. Taste? Would you believe creamy sautéed onions in a butter-cream cheese spread? If I had a bagel handy, I would have smeared it on and made a meal.
I gave a small taste to other family members, and the general consensus was that it was pretty tasty. No one objected to the smell or flavor. Actually, we all thought it was so good, that we are already planning to buy another one soon.
Benefits of Durian:
high in energy, minerals and vitamins. 100 g (1/4 pound) fresh fruit carry 147 calories
the fruit is made of soft, easily digestible flesh composed of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly
contains a relatively high amount of fats among the fruits but is free from saturated fats and cholesterol
rich in dietary fiber; it helps bind and eliminate cancer-causing chemicals from the gut
is a good source of antioxidant Vitamin C (helps develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals)
is an excellent source of B-complex vitamins; a rare feature among fruits
it contains a good amount of minerals like manganese, copper, iron and magnesium
is a very rich source of potassium, an important electrolyte inside cells and body fluids that help control heart rate and blood pressure
it contains high levels of the essential amino acid, tryptophan; plays a vital role in sleep induction and controlling epileptic events
As you can see, the durian is a highly nutritious fruit which, when eaten in moderation, will provide the body with many minerals, vitamins and good fats. Eating two to three seeds of durian at one sitting is sufficient, but because durians can become so addictive, people tend to eat more than they should. I know I have.
So if you are looking to add a little adventure to your already healthy diet, durian may be worth investigating. It definitely is now one of my go-to fun foods. Give it a try and see if you like it as well.
If you like this post, you may also like The Benefits of Raw Chocolate
|Posted on November 29, 2014 at 9:00 PM||comments (2)|
When cleaning out the refrigerator to make room for the upcoming holiday meal, I came across a most unexpected surprise. This one came in the form of a science experiment.
A container of ice cream was discovered in the freezer. It had been left by the house sitter about a month ago.
Not wanting to make a big leaky mess in the garbage can, I attempted to wash the contents down the kitchen drain by running hot water over the contents. Simple enough one would think, but apparently not. After a minute or so of doing this, it was obvious that the ice cream would not melt.
So I took a blob of what was left in the container, put some on a plate and waited to see how this would play out.
Here is my original photo after the hot water run:
There is some liquid in the dish, most likely due to the hot water that it had just been under. The straight line on top of the blob is from the inside corner of the container. The round dents on the surface are from my finger poking at the blob. The ice cream sat on the kitchen counter for most of the day as I went about my business preparing foods for the holiday meal. Although it was a fairly cold day outside, the temperature in my kitchen was running about 78 degrees, due to the radiators blaring and the oven being on most of the day. (We were all lightly sweating).
Another picture was taken about 6 hours later.
Notice that the straight line imprint and finger dents are still there. Real ice cream would have been a puddle by now. It also makes me wonder how this so called ice cream will be digested, if at all. Also notice the color change.
Just as a side thought, this was not the Walmart brand ice cream that made the news this past summer. This was another name brand.
To be labeled as ‘ice cream’ food, the ice cream product must contain a minimum of 10% milk fat and that’s all. No allowance is made for the percentage of artificial chemicals (colorings, flavorings, stabilizers, emulsifiers, etc.).
When I read through the ingredients, it was not surprising to find a list of chemical additives that enhance the product’s texture and overall shelf life.
Real ice cream has just a few ingredients: milk, sugar, cream and vanilla. And we all know that the real stuff will melt if left on the counter for a bit of time.
As for me, I really enjoy making my own homemade ice cream, packed with nutrition. If you have a high speed blender (like a Vitamix or Ninja machine), try this recipe for basics:
Dr. Brand’s Healthy Ice Cream Recipe
1 whole apple
1 tsp of cinnamon
¼ cup of cashews
¼ cup coconut oil
½ to 1 tray of ice cubes
Real maple syrup (Grade B preferred) usually about ¼ cup or to taste
Put this in your blender and process until smooth. It should resemble a soft serve type of ice cream. You may need to play with the measurements to get the consistency you like. You can add other healthy ingredients as you like, like raw cacao (for a chocolate flavor) or mushrooms or hemp seeds for additional nutrition. It tastes really amazing with a little peanut butter mixed in at the end.
Lesson learned here is to buy quality food to have quality health. If you eat a box of chemicals, don’t expect to get any nourishment from it. Even if the label says it’s real food.
If you liked this post, you may also like: Benefits of Raw Chocolate
|Posted on October 25, 2014 at 7:55 PM||comments (12)|
After looking in so many mouths for so many decades, there is one thing that I have found in common with the majority of my patients. Mineral deficiency. This includes even the very health conscious patients. I can usually assess this deficiency by tongue reading, and after asking a few basic questions, my suspicions are confirmed.
Mineral deficiency is rampant in our culture and it is many times diagnosed as something else. A perfect example of this is irregular heartbeat. Yes, it is very possible that there may be an underlying cardiac pathology for this, but time and again, I have seen many patients correct this “disease” by simply increasing their mineral intake. Another common symptom of mineral deficiency is hand tremor. Again, sometimes easily corrected by increasing mineral intake.
In my experience, I have found 5 main reasons that most people are deficient
- Poor diet with highly processed foods (and low mineral content)
- Healthy diet but fruits/vegetables grown on mineral depleted soil
- High stress
- Poor absorption due to intestinal issues
- Undiagnosed underlying thyroid or adrenal issue
And the most common indicators for mineral deficiency, in my experience, are:
- Anxiety/panic attacks
- Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
- Heartbeat fluttering
- Muscle cramps/spasms/twitches
- Cognitive impairment
Of course the list can be longer, but these are the symptoms that seem to be universal with most patients. I am sure many of you reading this are wondering how a dentist can possibly be aware of this issue while most medical doctors are oblivious. Number 1 is I have experienced this myself (overcoming chronic Lyme Disease and all its implications) and number 2, I see a lot of very chronically ill patients looking for solutions to their “incurable” and sometimes “imaginary” disease that conventional medicine has given up on.
So here is a quick solution worth trying to see if mineral supplementation will work for you.
Mix one half teaspoon of quality salt –Himalayan or gray Celtic sea salt in water and drink this with an additional 2 glasses of water.
You should drink enough water until you feel the urge to urinate.
See how you feel in 15 minutes. If something shifts, then you know mineral absorption is an issue and you need to keep this remedy up for a good while into the future.
As a side note, for those worried about raising their blood pressure from this salt solution, this is a non-issue. Himalayan and Celtic sea salt are both low in sodium and contain a rich spectrum of 84 minerals with trace elements. Conventional table salt has only two minerals. Himalayan and Celtic sea salt are the pillars of good health. Use them daily.
If you like this post, you may also like: Himalayan Salt
|Posted on September 22, 2014 at 12:10 AM||comments (4)|
Oral rinses have been around for centuries. They have been as simple as salt in water or as convoluted as mixed herbs in a vinegar base. But it was during the 19th century that alcohol was added to mouthrinse to fight germs and bacteria. Listerine was probably the forerunner in that category, but bear in mind that before it became a mouthrinse, it was originally used as an antiseptic for surgical procedures and to clean floors.
Photo credit Creative Commons: Heather Flowers
Fast forward to the present, and we find that mouthwashes haven’t changed much in the past 100 plus years. Listerine is still popular with its 27% alcohol content. That is pretty significant when you realize that alcoholic drinks range from a low of 3% (beer, wine) to about 40% (whiskey, rum). It is not unusual to hear stories of people who actually have gotten drunk by drinking alcoholic mouthwash. (It is definitely a poor man’s way to have an alcoholic drink for less money.)
As a holistic person, the major problem with using alcoholic mouthrinses is the concern with increased oral cancer rates, due to the contact with the soft tissues of the mouth. There have been studies showing that people who use alcoholic mouthwash daily, have the same oral cancer rates as those who imbibe alcohol daily.
The question then is why you would put this carcinogenic substance in a mouthwash. Sure it may kill a few extra germs, but does the benefit outweigh the risk? I think not. There are better choices.
The basic thing to keep in mind when using these rinses is: is it poison?
Just like we have already expressed in My Secrets to Regaining Health, if something goes in your mouth, chances are pretty good that you will end up swallowing it. This applies to mouthwash as well as toothpaste.
So what are our choices? Well there are many options for natural mouthrinses. Health stores have a big selection to choose from. But even that may be confusing. The bottom line is to use anything that is nature based, mostly with herbs and plants.
For now, I’m sticking to oil pulling with coconut oil. Just add a few drops of mint oil or oil of oregano, and you should be good to go. It not only acts as an effective mouthwash, but also can detox your body through the mouth meridians, and supply you with essential fatty acids sublingually. No mouthwash from any store will do that.
If you like this post, you may also like: The Flaws of Fluoride
|Posted on August 10, 2014 at 5:30 PM||comments (4)|
Just as the eyes are viewed as the window to the soul, the mouth is viewed as the window to the body.
As a dentist with several decades of clinical experience behind me, I can say this is absolutely true. As to which comes first, dental health or bodily health, it may be difficult to say. But regardless, it is always best to take care of both for super health.
If your mouth is a mess with gum disease, cavities, demineralized teeth or erosion, chances are pretty good that that will be reflected in your general health with inflammation, chronic aches and pains, as well as demineralized bones (osteoporosis).
Based on this understanding, the effect of root canals on our health, is worth exploring. Root canals are usually done when a tooth is so badly infected (usually from cavities or trauma) that the only option is to “save” the tooth with a root canal or extract the tooth in its entirety. I would surmise that millions of these are done annually, and for the majority, there are no obvious health or dental problems afterward.
There are many advantages to having a root canal, but the bottom line is that these teeth become a focal point for a residual biotoxic film that remains with the tooth and its associated meridians. For many people this is not a problem, since our body is used to dealing with billions of harmful bacteria running through our bodies daily. The challenge is for those who have a compromised immune system or an overload of toxins that is already too much for them to handle.
Teeth are similar to other organ systems in your body in that they require a blood supply, lymphatic drainage and nervous innervation. Root canaled teeth are “dead” teeth, and these “dead” teeth typically become a source of chronic bacterial toxicity in your body.
For example, if your liver, gall bladder or kidney (or any other organ) in your body becomes severely infected with necrosis, it is usually removed so that the infection will not spread and kill you. But if teeth have this issue, they are commonly root canaled and left intact in your body.
When dentists perform a root canal, the nerve and blood supply are removed from the main tooth canals; however the challenge occurs with the limited access to the microscopic side canals, which have dead nerves, blood vessels and bacteria, that are left behind in those spaces.
Anaerobic bacteria, which do not require oxygen to survive, thrive in these side canals and excrete toxicity from digesting necrotic tissue that leads to chronic infection. Blood supply and lymphatics that surround those dead teeth drain this toxicity and allow it to spread through the bloodstream and other parts of your body. This toxicity can invade many organ systems and can contribute to a host of illnesses such as arthritis, reflux, autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, irritable bowel diseases, and depression. Cancer is also on the list with statistics showing that 97% of breast cancer patients have at least one root canal in their mouth. (Personally, I think this correlation may be faulty, as there are also a high percent of people with root canal who do not develop cancer. Having cancer may be related to other factors as well).
Treatment with antibiotics may help with the overt infection but will not lower the bacterial load for the long term.
It appears that the longer root canal treated teeth stay in your body, the more your immune system becomes compromised, creating insidious long term health challenges that may be difficult to cure as long as the source of infection remains intact.
So the question is: What are my options?
- If any dentist says you need a root canal, ALWAYS get a second opinion. I have seen many patients who were told they needed root canal, but we were able to completely avoid it by careful excavation, laser implementation and pulp capping.
- Seriously look into the Weston Price diet to see if can help you turn this around.
- If you already have a root canal, and severe chronic health issues, you need to sit down with a knowledgeable practitioner to see if tooth extraction makes sense for you.
- If you do get the root canal tooth extracted, make sure you are working with an informed dentist who understands the proper way to remove these teeth so that you do not have a lingering cavitation that will keep the infection alive in the remaining jawbone.
Extraction of root canaled teeth has worked miracles for many of my patients with serious chronic health issues. And for others it has not done much. There are many facets to being chronically ill and removing root canaled teeth may only be one part of the solution. Continuously detoxing (read our many other blogs to understand this) and continuously rebuilding the immune system, are critical to regaining health. This is not something to be done sporadically, but needs to be doing on a daily basis (similar to taking vitamins daily), if we are to stay healthy and vital in this toxic world.
If you liked this blog, you may also like Dr. Brand’s book: My Secrets to Regaining Health
|Posted on July 6, 2014 at 6:45 PM||comments (3)|
As a holistic dentist, it is not uncommon to meet with many patients seeking an alternative opinion on their dental problems. Root canals and metal fillings are at the top of the list, but it is quickly followed by gum (periodontal) disease.
Personally, I have met many patients that weren’t even aware that they had a gum problem since no dental professional pointed it out to them. Many were lead to believe that their occasional bleeding gums and bad taste in their mouth, was perfectly fine and nothing to be concerned about. Some were even told that it was normal for this to occur. I think not!
So your gums bleed? There are 4 main reasons for this:
1. Poor oral hygiene
2. Nutritional deficiencies
3. Genetic predisposition (your parents had gum disease)
4. All of the above
Of course there could also be some unusual bacterial/viral/fungal infection going on in your mouth not related to anything on the list, but if you take care of #1 and #2, there is a good chance that this infection would never have occurred. Even Trench mouth (severe form of gingivitis associated with painful, infected, bleeding gums and ulcerations) was associated with #1 and #2, but with extreme stress on top of it.
Brushing alone will not cure gum disease. You can use all the oregano oil and tea tree oil you want, but the gum condition will persist. (The holistic minded readers know what I mean.) And this explains why many of the non-flossing health conscious people that see me, have blatant and rampant gum disease.
So this brings me to flossing. Considering that at least 80% of the adult population has periodontal disease (most is asymptomatic but still harmful) and less than 40% of the adult population floss, it is easy to see why there is a rampant gum problem in today’s culture.
The best way to prevent gum disease is to floss first and then brush. This means to floss every tooth in your mouth and not just the front ones that are easy to reach. (If you are having difficulty with this, ask your health professional at your next visit to review it with you.) And then brush second. You need to get the food out between your teeth before you brush. This way you are brushing your actual teeth and not the blobs of food sitting on them. (Most people do the brushing first which makes absolutely no sense.)
I know many of you reading this are not happy to hear how significant flossing is. But knowing that the health of your mouth is directly related to the health of your entire body, it is time to take heed and do whatever you can to be healthy.
In this disease pervasive society, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Honor your health and do all you can to maintain it. I know I will.
If you like this post, you may also like: Gum Disease is Contagious