The 7 Myths Of Modern Dentistry

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Do you ever wonder why your dentist asks you to come in every six months for a check up and then insists you sit through an X-RAY?

Do you ever wonder why fluoride is in your drinking water and toothpaste, yet it is considered toxic by the FDA and if you consume too much you are advised to call Poison Control?

For all those who think that dental procedures are just a normal part of life and everyone gets cavities, THINK AGAIN.

This is what the ADA doesn’t want you to know

Your teeth do not need to be poked, prodded, and drilled

You can clean and restore your own teeth without any special dentists, chemicals, or procedures!

We have been told a lot of flat out myths over the years when it comes to our teeth.  The strides the government has taken to shield this from our view is appalling.  Many dentists have realized the error in their ways, and now, follow a much more natural path.  However, the majority of dentists are still promoting these fallacies.

Myth #1: Fluoride is Essential to Healthy Teeth

“Fluoridation is the greatest case of scientific fraud of this century” (Robert Carlton, Ph.D., former U.S. EPA scientist on “Marketplace” Canadian Broadcast Company Nov 24, 1992)

In the late 1940’s, the Department of Public Health recognized a study which showed that people drinking from local water sources possessing more natural fluoride had healthier teeth and less cavities than those people which drank from local water sources containing less natural fluoride. With the results of that study in hand, the Department of Public Health raced to find a man-made chemical fluoride to aid cities around the United States as they added fluoride to their public water systems.

It is very important that we realize that the fluoride added to our water supplies is not the natural mineral fluoride. The man-made chemical fluoride compound added to our drinking water is actually a toxic waste product from phosphate fertilizer plants. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola:

Fluoride is a cumulative poison. Approximately 98 percent of the fluoride you ingest in water is absorbed into your blood through your gastrointestinal tract. From there, it enters your body’s cellular tissues. On average, about 50 percent of the fluoride you ingest each day gets excreted through your kidneys.

Whether this happens or not is highly dependent on the presence of calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C, and selenium in your bloodstream, to which the fluoride will bind so that it no longer is seeking calcium-rich tissues that make up so much of your body. The remainder accumulates in your teeth and bones, pineal gland, and other tissues, including your blood vessels.” (www.Mercola.com)

In January 2011, the EPA relented under growing concern about the dangers of fluoride from the public and lowered the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in public drinking water.  In 2006 the National Academy of Sciences recognized the detrimental effects of fluorosis, poisoning from an overabundance of fluoride in the body. (FoxNews.com)  In its mildest form it appears as white spotting on teeth.  In its worst state it causes pitting and discoloration of teeth leading to other major dental problems.  As of 2010, thirty-two percent of children suffered from dental fluorosis. (HuffingtonPost.comFluorideAlert.org explains that excessive fluoride exposure has also been linked to a range of other chronic ailments including arthritis, bone fragility, glucose intolerance, gastrointestinal distress, thyroid disease, and possibly cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

A 2012 Harvard study showed disturbing evidence that fluoridation greatly affects the brain, lowering I.Q. levels of children living in those regions with highly fluoridated water.  Studies are also beginning to link fluoride’s effects on the brain to Alzheimer’s. (FoxNews.com)

To read more on studies proving the toxic properties of man-made fluoride and its destruction of public health read Dr. David Kennedy DDS’s detailed analysis, Scientific Facts on the Biological Effects of Fluorides.

So why, you might ask, was this toxic chemical ever allowed to be put into our drinking water?  Well there are more than a few people asking that question.

The Hard To Swallow Truth

 

Fluoride can be filtered by distillation, reverse osmosis, or by my personal favorite a Berkey Water Filter.

You can pay big bucks for Fluoride Free Toothpaste or just make some yourself at home for pennies.  I use this Homemade Remineralizing Toothpaste Recipe from Keeper of the Home.  If you prefer not to buy all of the individual ingredients but still want to make it at home, you can purchase a toothpaste kit from The Bulk Herb Store:

Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

Myth #2: A Root Canal Is A Safe Procedure

All of my life I had heard about the pain involved in having a root canal procedure done, but I did not actually know what a root canal was.  Our teeth are not just “pearly whites” sitting there ready to chomp our food, although they do this with great ability.   Our teeth are made of the hardest substances in our bodies.  The outer layer of our teeth is the enamel which encases the dentin.  In the middle of each tooth is what is called the pulp chamber.  The pulp chamber contains blood vessels and nerves in its soft structure.  The root of each tooth connects to the jawbone and these are held in place by your periodontal ligament.  (WebMD.com)

Dr. Joseph Mercola explains that dentists are taught in dental school that “each tooth has one to four major canals.  However, there are accessory canals that are never mentioned. … Just as your body has large blood vessels that branch down into very small capillaries, each of your teeth has a maze of very tiny tubules that, if stretched out, would extend for three miles. Weston Price identified as many as 75 separate accessory canals in a single central incisor (front tooth).”

When a root canal is performed the pulp within the tooth is removed and in its place a foreign substance is inserted to fill the chamber.  Oral bacteria remains in this area and becomes toxic.  When your immune system is strong these toxins may not harm you, but when your immune system fails to keep them in check these toxins can easily enter your bloodstream or into surrounding tissues.  This is when a simple root canal can cause major complications.

The idea behind a root canal is to keep infection from occurring and abscesses from forming, but what a patient is not told is that many times the risk of the root canal procedure is much higher (as well as to save a damaged tooth instead of removing it in favor of a false tooth).  Root canals have been linked in studies performed by Dr. Weston A. Price to heart disease, kidney disease, arthritis, joint, and rheumatic diseases, neurological diseases, and autoimmune diseases.

According to a five-year study performed by Dr. Robert Jones on three hundred breast cancer cases, there is an extremely high correlation between root canals and breast cancer.  His findings showed that ninety-three percent of women who had breast cancer had also had root canals performed on them.  Dr. Josef Issels claims that in forty years of practice, ninety-seven percent of his terminal cancer patients had also had root canals. (Mercola.com)

Dr. Joseph Mercola, explains in a recent article, that when the mercury from amalgam fillings is paired with the toxic bacteria hiding in the root canal the results can be disastrous.  He describes how this pairing of toxins with mercury can actually alter a person’s DNA and cause a whole host of new diseases and birth defects not only affecting the patient, but also his family tree.

The safety of the root canal has been hotly debated among dentists for over one hundred years.  Those that claim the safety of the root canal procedure have no legitimate studies or research to back their claims.  To protect yourself from possible disease down the road, it is as simple as having a tooth pulled.  Not only might this save your life, its a heck of a lot cheaper too!

Myth #3: It Is Better To Remove The Wisdom Teeth When A Patient Is Young

There are so many youth and young adults having their wisdom teeth removed now at the suggestion of their dentist, even though they show no sign of discomfort or problems.  Why is this allowed?  Ten to twelve percent of people will develop appendicitis or cholecystitis.  You will not hear any doctor prescribe that a patient prophylactically remove his appendix or gallbladders on the off chance that he might need to one day based on these statistics.  However, studies show that the exact same percentage, only ten to twelve percent, of people will develop impacted wisdom teeth that need to one day be removed, yet dentitsts are claiming that eighty-five percent of wisdom teeth need to be extracted?  (Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH, The National Center For Biotechnology).

Uninformed dentists have been telling these myths to their patients for years:

  1. Third Molars Have A High Incidence of Pathology
  2. Early Removal Of Third Molars Is Less Traumatic
  3. Pressure of Erupting Third Molars Causes Crowding of Anterior Teeth
  4. The Risk of Pathology in Impacted Third Molars Increases With Age
  5. There is Little Risk of Harm in the Removal of Third Molars

These statements are not true and actually studies show the opposite.  Dentists also do not make it a habit to tell their patients the extent of risk present in having this surgery performed, especially when there is no health related reason to having it performed in the first place.

According to Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH, complications of wisdom teeth extraction include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Trismus
  • Hemorrhage
  • Alveolar osteitis (dry socket)
  • Periodontal damage
  • Soft-tissue infection
  • Injury to temporomandibular joint
  • Malaise
  • Temporary paresthesia (numbness of the lips, tongue, and cheek)
  • Permanent paresthesia
  • Fracture of adjacent teeth
  • Fracture of the mandible
  • Fracture of the maxilla
  • Sinus exposure or infection
  • Anesthetic complications

Many of these complications are not as RARE as your dentist would like you to believe.  Is it more important to have your wisdom teeth removed early on the small chance that you might need to later in life even if the percentages are much higher that you will fall prey to one or more of these complications?  For me, that is not a very difficult question.

To read more information concerning this growing issue please read Jay W. Friedman’s, DDS, MPH article, “The Prophylactic Extraction of Third Molars: A Public Health Hazard.”

This article from the NY Times is also quite interesting, “Wisdom of Having That Tooth Removed.”

 

Image By FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Myth #4: Having Metal In Your Mouth Is Not Dangerous (Fillings)

The safety of silver fillings have been debated for years.  Amalgam fillings, silver fillings, are are the easiest and cheapest for dentists to use.  These fillings are primarily in question for their mercury content, about 1,000 mg.  Amalgam fillings contain more mercury than any other product in America.

Dr. Joseph Mercola explains in his article, “Dangers of Mercury Contamination,” that mercury is the most toxic of all the heavy metals.  Mercury poisoning can affect the body’s neurological, immunological, and endocrinological processes.  Mercury hinders the body’s ability to detoxify itself which leads to further illness.  Research links neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to mercury exposure.

Dentists are taught that because the mercury is bound with other metals, mercury does not leak into the patient’s body.  However, studies show that mercury vapor can be measured from the tip of an amalgam filled tooth.  The fact that this vapor can be measured, means that mercury is leaking into the body.  Dr. Joseph Mercola continues to explain the dangers of mercury contamination:

Once released from an amalgam-filled tooth, mercury in the form of nonreactive mercury vapor goes from your mouth to your lungs, then to your brain via your bloodstream. A common enzyme in your body called catalase converts (oxidizes) mercury vapor into the “Hg2plus” form, which is VERY toxic, and traps it inside your cells. Once here, it is very difficult for your body to remove it.

Experts say the mercury from amalgam is highly absorbed and gets into all parts of your body, including your brain and bone marrow. Every time you chew, mercury vapor is being liberated from those fillings and absorbed, potentially causing your health to decline over time.” (Mercola.com)

Many composite fillings, the second most used by dentists, are not much better than their amalgam counterparts.  According to Douglas L. Cook, DDS, SC, most composite fillings contain the additives aluminum oxide, iron oxide, and fluoride.   Metal oxides are very dangerous to a person’s health.  If you are in need of a filling, ask about composite fillings that do not contain these dangerous metal oxides.

There is much valid research to prove the danger of amalgam fillings.  Silver fillings should never be given to anyone, much less children and women of child-bearing age.  The FDA has been unwilling to seriously consider the evidence presented to them when their own scientific panel says:

Chronic exposure to mercury, even in minute amounts, is known to be toxic and poses significant risks to human health. Current scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that dental amalgam unnecessarily exposes dental patients to substantial amounts of mercury vapor, particulates and other forms and is therefore not a suitable material for dental restoration.”

Furthermore, “It is incompatible with current valid scientific evidence to continue to endorse or otherwise condone the use of a permanently implanted material in teeth that continuously emits a very potent enzyme inhibitor and metabolic toxin. Moreover, mercury’s damaging influence on the developing brain makes dental amalgam an entirely inappropriate material for use in children and women of childbearing age.” (The Center For Natural Dentistry)

If you are concerned about your dental health and desire to read more on the dangers of metal in your mouth, and/or how to go about having it removed and replaced in a healthy way read Dr. Joseph Mercola’s Article here.

To read more on the glaring evidence that the FDA is ignoring concerning amalgam fillings and their mercury content read this article by The Center For Natural Dentistry: “Dangers of Dental Mercury

Myth #5: Dental X-RAYS Must Be Taken Yearly To Maintain Proper Dental Health.

Many dentists require their patients to have an X-RAY performed every six months to one year.  They claim it is to maintain optimal dental health.  Usually insurance covers this, and the dentist gets paid.

However, if you question the necessity of having an X-RAY at a particular appointment or if you dare say the “R” word and question the level of radiation you are receiving, the dental hygienist or dentist will be quick to respond with the same pat answer, “you receive less radiation from a dental X-RAY than if you were outside enjoying the sun.”   Funny how they all give the same response, isn’t it?

Well, next time your dentist tells you this, give him a little lesson in science, the electromagnetic spectrum to be exact.  John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D. reports:

The mistaken assumption is that the ultraviolet light from the sun is comparable to the penetrating photons of x-rays and gamma rays. … Ultraviolet radiation does not penetrate past the skin, it does not cause cancer of internal organs such as the tongue, lungs, breast, pancreas, colon, etc. Ultraviolet light can cause cancers of the skin (and probably some cancers of the eye). X-rays can cause cancer not only of the skin, but also of any internal organ exposed by the x-ray beam.” (By John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D., and Egan O’Connor.
The X-Rays and Health Project)

We are exposed to more radiation today than ever before in human history.  Airplanes, cell phones, x-rays, even our food contributes to our radiation levels.  Radiation is cumulative over the body’s lifetime.  Children are very vulnerable to damage by radiation exposure, says the Chicago Tribune, considering a child is still growing.  Radiation can hinder the proper development of cells.

The thyroid is one of the biggest concerns during a dental X-RAY for both an adult and a child.  During a dental X-RAY a lead cover is placed over the major organs of the body, but the thyroid is left open for exposure.  Unless you specifically ask for a thyroid guard, more than likely this lead shield will not be offered to protect you from the harmful radiation.

Radiation has been linked to thyroid cancer and brain tumors even small babies in those women who were administered a dental x-ray during their pregnancy.

My advice, skip the x-ray if it is just a regular dental check-up.  When you do need one, make sure you are covered with a lead vest, and do not forget to ask for that thyroid guard.

Image By FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Myth #6: Routine Dental Examinations Are Necessary.

I believe that there are many good reasons to have dentists around.  In much the same way that I am glad that there are doctors when I truly need them, I am glad that there are dentists when I truly need them.  However, this modern day notion that every person young and old ought to visit the doctor or dentist at least once a year (and in many cases much more often) to be issued a clean bill of health is ludicrous.

I do not need to take my child into the pediatrician yearly just to answer a few questions on my car seat strapping procedure; nor does the doctor need to hear my child speak, or see my child walk to tell me if he or she is healthy.  Unless my child is showing signs of illness or signs of problems with her teeth, I do not see a need to take him or her to the office on a strict schedule.

I understand the argument, that it is for maintenance.  A check-up is for catching things before they become an issue.  Whereas I am not against having my child’s teeth looked at, at some point, to make sure that everything is in good and proper order, I am concerned that the drill-happy dentist might get a little carried away.

I have seen it happen on more than one occasion.  A dentist saw my husband for the first time in three years.  She cleaned his teeth and took his X-RAYS and told him to come back in a week because they needed to drill and seal what looked like it might turn into a cavity one day.  It wasn’t until months later that he could finally chew on that side of his mouth; and all for the “mystical cavity” that never was, but might have been.

Dr. Fredrick Douglas Burton, M.D., explains that much disease comes from dental work performed in the mouth.  Dentists are not properly trained, and not given new information concerning issues with outdated practices or dangerous methods. In Dr. Burton’s twenty years of practice, he has found that the source of many illnesses comes from diseased teeth, metal filled teeth, implanted teeth, root canals, metal braces and cavitations (cavities in the bone and gum).

What dentists meant to fix, actually caused life long health complications.

Myth #7: Without Modern Dental Care We Would All Be Toothless.

I cannot count how many times I have had conversations where someone would argue that without fluoride in our drinking water we would all have cavities and our teeth would be falling out.

I have had friends with young elementary age children tell me that they are already planning on having their children’s wisdom teeth removed early because they do not want it to be worse for them later.

I have read stories of those who have battled courageously with cancer for years, all to find out that it began with a mercury laden filling placed in their mouth once upon a time.

What is the truth?  By no means, are dentists an evil group looking to poison us all.  I might claim that about the FDA, but that is another post entirely (just kidding – sort of).  You might ask, if dentists are not bad, but dental work might be, where do I go from here?

I will give you the exact same answer, I would give to someone asking about general healthcare.  BE INFORMED!  Take the responsibility on yourself to research medications, procedures, etc.  Just because a man or woman has “alphabet soup” behind their name does not mean they know everything.  You are your best advocate, because it is your body and your future health.

Practical Dental Care

Brushing and flossing daily is the most simple and logical step that you can take to proactively care for your teeth.  Remember use fluoride-free toothpaste!  Secondly, eating a healthy, whole foods, nutrient rich diet can impact your dental health more than you know.  Sure we hear that sugar will give you cavities, but did you know that you can actually reverse tooth decay without ever going to see a dentist?

Dr. Weston A. Price did much research in this area.  He documented for many years as he traveled, the plight of indigenous people groups as they came into contact with modern industry and commerce.  Time after time, these once healthy people with healthy teeth would see declining health and tooth decay as over-processed and sugary foods made their way into each person’s diet.

Through blood tests, Dentist Melvin Page pinpointed the cause of tooth decay in modern people. When our blood chemistry is out of balance, primarily from the consumption of processed foods (especially sugars), the ratio of calcium and phosphorus in our blood deviates from normal. When this happens, minerals are pulled from the bones causing tooth and other bone loss. So, sugar causes tooth decay because it depletes nutrients from the body, not because bacteria eat it and produce acid. In order to restore the ratio of calcium and phosphorus in our blood, and to enable minerals to bond unto our teeth, it is usually not sufficient just to avoid eating too much sweet or processed foods. One must also eat health building foods, containing potent amounts of minerals and vitamins to create a chain reaction that will build glassy hard tooth structure in place of decayed tooth structure.” (Natural News)

A study performed by Doctors Edward and May Mellanby, showed that diets where oatmeal was ingested regularly hindered healing and actually encouraged new cavities to form, presumably due to its ability to prevent mineral absorption.  The same study showed that simply adding Vitamin D rich foods to the diet improved tooth health.  The most impressive findings were of those diets which were completely grain-free, eating Vitamin D rich foods.  This group had no new cavities forming and the cavities which previously existed had healed.

Diet has a huge impact on dental health.  By cutting the sugars and increasing vitamin dense whole foods to our diet we can not only limit the cavities, but we can heal them too!  Who needs drills and mercury?  Go eat a spinach salad, and sprinkle a little Kelp on top to help with all that radiation poisoning!

Image By FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Steps To Natural Dental Health

  • Eat a healthy, whole foods, nutrient rich diet.
  • Brush and floss daily
  • Filter the fluoride out of your water and use fluoride-free toothpaste.
  • Do not have a root canal procedure.  Have the tooth pulled if absolutely necessary.
  • Do not get amalgam fillings.  Ask for a composite filling without metal oxides added.
  • Have x-rays taken sparingly and always use a lead cover-up and thyroid guard.
  • Choose a Biological Dentist if at all possible for check-ups and necessary procedures.

There are many things in the modern world of healthcare that we would greatly benefit from being more informed.  When it comes to our dental health we need to understand how our small decisions might affect the big picture of our long term health.  Asking questions and pursuing answers should be priority.  Taking control of your dental health might be new a concept for some, but when it might be as easy as a change of the diet or flip of the faucet, trust me, its worth it!

If you need a book that can help you eat a healthier, whole foods diet, try Real Food Basics!  For only $6.95 you’ll get 30 recipes that your entire family will eat, including pizza, fries, cheese sauce, sausage gravy, coffee cake, and more.  Healthy-style!  This book also contains the “what and why” of the real food lifestyle.

**This post has been entered in Frugal Days and Sustainable Ways.**

How Has Modern Dental Care Affected You, Good Or Bad?  How Does This Information Affect Your Future Relationship With Your Dentist?

Comments

  1. Missy says

    Do you know if dental sealants in children can be removed. I had some placed on my daughter’s new molars but I was not aware of the bad side effects of BPA. She is only 5 so I would really like to get them taken off if possible. If they will wear off with time then maybe I should wait, but I do not want her to have poison in her mouth.

  2. Sandra says

    I’m so glad you wrote this article and that I’m not crazy! I always try to say no to the x-rays that they require by saying that I think I’m expecting. They want to have my 5 year old son take xrays for a simple cleaning. I said, “he is 5, why would he need dental x-rays”? They responded saying it’s necessary for prevention and good dental hygiene. I am outraged. So I have not taken him to the dentist. We have all switched to non-fluoride toothpaste as well. I also brush with charchoal periodically to re-mineralize, brighten and help reduce bacteria. My teeth have never looked and felt better. Do you think it’s a mistake to not take my son to the dentist? What are your thoughts on that?

  3. Lauren says

    This is a great article. I do have a question. My husband has very sensitive teeth and has had several root canals, covers, etc. He has weak enamel (discolored, not from staining) and it even hurts him to eat things like nuts and seeds. He uses sensodyne and mouthwash. How should he go about from here? I use baking soda, oil pulling, and flossing but he doesn’t really like the baking soda and says he doesn’t have time for oil pulling.

  4. Jake says

    I just skipped out on a dentist appointment today. I’ve been going every six months for most of my life. And every time, it’s “oh looks like you need a filling”. Screw this. My mom and I get in screaming matches about why I think the dentist is pointless, and how the FDA wants to poison us. She won’t listen to reason and even when I show her facts and studies, she cops out by saying “I’m too old to care”. She’s only 57. That’s not old. I don’t want to lose my family because of their indoctrination to the system. I don’t know what to do.

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