Headaches, arthritis, sleep apnea, and even heart disease can be prevented, treated, or alleviated by addressing issues with the mouth. But you won’t learn this crucial info in most dental offices. Here, I reveal the connection between the health of your mouth and overall wellness.
By Mark Breiner, DDS
If you’re looking for better health, you may have to look no further than your mouth. That’s right, your mouth has a huge impact on your overall health. Whenever something goes wrong with your teeth or your oral health, it can affect other parts of the body—sometimes profoundly. Likewise, imbalances elsewhere in the body sometimes manifest as problems with the teeth and mouth. Therefore, caring for your oral health is about much more than a pretty smile—at least it should be.
Most people don’t understand that problems with your teeth—from impacted wisdom teeth to bite problems—can greatly affect your total health. In fact, very few mainstream dentists or even holistic dentists know this information. Only whole-body dentists even think this way. We look at your teeth through a different filter, and our expertise can help you maximize your overall wellness—not just the health of your mouth.
My team and I use leading-edge technology alongside integrative strategies to give patients beautiful smiles and healthy mouths. Keep reading for ten insights that most people don’t know about their teeth and how they relate to your overall health and wellness.
1. Heart disease, stroke, and other deadly diseases can begin in the mouth. Sometimes periodontal disease is more than just bone loss. It is well documented that patients with periodontal disease have a higher risk of heart problems, stroke, premature birth, and more. This is why it is so important to look at a sample of your plaque under a microscope to determine if you have good or bad bugs present. Your gums may look healthy, but a bad slide indicates another type of hidden infection. Today, periodontal disease is often treated by using dental lasers to generate new bone. Other natural therapies, such as supplementation, oil pulling, homeopathics, irrigation, and in-office ozone therapy, are also helpful.
2. Tooth pain can be caused by a problem elsewhere in the body (and vice versa). Tooth pain is often caused by energetic interferences in the body. Here’s what that means: Every tooth and its surrounding structures are located on an acupuncture meridian and relate to specific organs, vertebrae, and muscle groups. An unhealthy or root-canaled tooth can interfere with the energy flow along the meridian and can affect those associated organs and tissues. However, it is a two-way street, and sometimes tooth pain is being caused by an organ problem.
Here’s an example. Esther was experiencing pain on the side of her head and her right eye tooth became sensitive. When I examined her, I determined that her tooth was fine. However, there was a problem with the associated gallbladder meridian—the same meridian associated with the portion of her head that was hurting. I treated her with a homeopathic remedy to address the problem on that meridian, and subsequently, both the tooth pain and the head pain went away.
3. Root canals are often performed unnecessarily. As previously mentioned, tooth pain can be caused by an energetic interference along the body’s meridian pathways. It’s important to understand this relationship because sometimes root canals are performed unnecessarily. When a root canal is performed and there is still pain, another root canal may be performed. Ultimately, there is no pain relief, because, in fact, the underlying problem was not the tooth, but the associated organ. Addressing the root cause of pain is crucial in avoiding unnecessary and ineffective procedures.
4. A “dead” tooth can equal danger. Root-canaled teeth are dead teeth, and they give off potent toxins. If your immune system cannot quarantine the toxins, research shows that they go out into your system and can cause many diseases, including heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and much more. In fact, one study showed the DNA of pathogens typical for root canals and for periodontal infection were present in the blood clots of patients with acute myocardial infarction!
Energetically, a root-canaled tooth can be checked to see if it is impacting one’s health. If it is, there are some things that can be tried to mitigate the situation, such as strengthening the associated organ, injecting ozone around the tooth, and building up the immune system. If it cannot be mitigated, removal of the tooth is best for one’s health.
5. You may suffer from hidden dental infections. There are two main kinds of hidden dental infections that can wreak havoc on your health: teeth that are dead and tooth extraction sites in which areas of the bone never healed—also known as cavitation. Teeth that are dead and asymptomatic can go undetected without a thorough screening. However, they can be even more toxic than root-canaled teeth! Treatment is either a root canal or extraction of the dead tooth. And in cavitations, the segments of dead bone are very toxic and can cause a whole host of symptoms similar to the symptoms root canals may cause. The usual treatment is surgical debridement of the area; however, with injections of ozone gas and use of homeopathics, surgery can usually be avoided.
6. Amalgam fillings are poison in your mouth. So-called “silver” fillings are about 50 percent mercury. Mercury, in any form, is toxic. The mercury escapes these fillings as a vapor and reaches all of your cells. Anything that stimulates the fillings, such as brushing or chewing or removal of the fillings, substantially increases the amount of mercury vapor. Concerned about the toxic effect of mercury fillings, the European Parliament recently voted to ban the use of amalgam fillings in children under age 15, in pregnant women, and in nursing mothers.
There is no safe level of mercury in the body. Yes, it is a small amount that vaporizes, but it is cumulative. The more fillings you have, the more mercury you have in your brain. Mercury also crosses the placental barrier and goes straight to the fetus, and accumulates in the mother’s milk. The perils of mercury go on and on. However, safe removal of mercury fillings requires knowledge in what to do before, during, and after their replacement.
7. Metals in the mouth cause electrical interference. When dissimilar metals are placed in a saltwater solution like saliva, an electric current is generated. Mercury fillings and other metals in the mouth sometimes generate enough current to interfere with your meridians. Your brain, which is only a few inches away from your mouth, can likewise be affected. Brain neurons fire at about 70 millivolts and I have seen metals in the mouth generate over 900 millivolts! It’s no wonder that patients with these high voltages couldn’t think clearly! The solution, of course, is to not use metals in the mouth. Today, we are fortunate that this can be avoided in most instances.
8. Many children suffer from an undiagnosed sleep-disordered breathing problem. Nine out of ten children suffer from symptoms associated with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). Improper jaw development can result in a restricted airway, causing SDB. This is often the result of prolonged bottle-feeding, pacifier use, thumb-sucking, a tongue-tie, or heredity. SDB is often the underlying cause of ADD, fatigue, bedwetting, behavioral problems, speech impediment, poor school performance, and more.
9. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) can lead to a host of problems. The temporomandibular joint is the joint in front of your ear. When jaw relationship problems are not corrected in childhood, as an adult this usually leads to TMD and continued airway problems. Associated symptoms are headaches, migraines, dizziness, neck and backaches, and sleep apnea, among other things. Sleep-disordered breathing problems in adults are related to higher incidents of hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and more. When TMD is treated properly, the jaws are placed in their proper position and relationship and are allowed to obtain their full expanse. This results in the physiologic harmony of the entire jaw, skull, and musculature, which has a profound impact on one’s health.
10. You should call a “foul” on fluoride. Fluoride is a toxic poison that is found in many kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes and is used by many dentists today. It is even placed in drinking water, as a drug to reduce tooth decay. This is especially problematic because everyone receives the same amount of this poison per ounce—from a 10-pound formula-fed infant to a 200-pound adult! This drug is not without side effects. Fluorosis (white spots) on the teeth, lowering of IQ, increased cancer rates, increased ligament damage, and more can result from fluoride use.
Fluoride in drinking water has not been proven to decrease tooth decay. Ultimately, tooth decay is a systemic disease. Proper nutrition, supplementation, and homeopathic treatments are a better solution than medicating our drinking water. And when selecting toothpastes and mouthwashes, consider choosing fluoride-free versions to reduce your exposure.
If you have unexplained symptoms that won’t go away no matter what you do, the answer could be in your mouth. Understanding the vital relationship between the teeth and the rest of the body allows us to provide deeper levels of diagnosis and care to improve your life. Anyone who wants to feel as good as you possibly can should consider an integrative approach to your oral health; it could improve your wellness in astounding ways.
About the Author: Mark A. Breiner, DDS, is the author of Whole-Body Dentistry®: A Complete Guide to Understanding the Impact of Dentistry on Total Health. He is a pioneer and recognized authority in the field of biological and holistic dentistry.
Dr. Breiner is a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, a past president and fellow of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and a diplomate of the College of Dentistry, American Association of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Breiner practices dentistry in Fairfield, Connecticut.
For more information, please visit www.wholebodymed.com.