Archive for the ‘Health and Nutrition’ Category

Gum Disease and Whole-Body Health

A few months ago I wrote a post about dental health’s connection to whole-body health, and how a patient dealing with a mouth disease and another disease could be experiencing two symptoms of one root cause, or a deeper health issue that may be overlooked. I want to continue this discussion by using the example of the factoring causes that link gum disease to other illnesses.

Gum (periodontal) disease happens when bacteria build up separates tooth and gum, leading to infection, decay, and tooth loss. Several studies are being done that connect this to a list of other health problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular (heart) disease, cancer, pregnancy issues, osteoporosis, gluten intolerance, and obesity. But how are they connected? If we look at the body as one whole, functioning system, there are some root causes that could explain the relationship between two (seemingly) separate problems.

One cause to be aware of is oxygen deficiency in the body, which is often overlooked. When the system isn’t receiving the oxygen it needs, the body cannot function normally and the outcome is an increased risk of cancer, disease, infection, aches and pains, and other overall metabolic malfunctions.

Another important factor when looking at overall health is the body’s pH balance. Anything below 7 on a pH scale is acidic, and anything above 7 is alkaline. Because many people’s diets consist of inflammatory foods, it is easy for their pH balance to be below 7, causing the body’s system to be overly acidic. This inhibits and harms the metabolism and immune system, making them much more susceptible to disease and infection, from gum disease to heart issues.

These are just a few possibilities, and at the root of them is an unhealthy lifestyle that results in a body unarmed to fight disease. This is why being aware that your body is a systematic whole is so important! Take care of your teeth, take care of your body, and don’t believe that they are isolated; the health of one affects the health of the other. Here’s to healthier mouths and bodies, and a better quality of life!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

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Your Teeth Are Alive

Our teeth are living, active parts of our body. They are kept healthy primarily like the rest of our body is kept healthy: from the inside. Nutrients in our blood circulate in and out of teeth through the roots, providing crucial minerals that harden and strengthen tooth structure and prevent infection. That’s why we can’t ignore our health when considering dental treatment. Teeth are very much connected to the rest of the body. I think unconsciously we tend to treat them like they aren’t. It is secondarily (but closely so) that our teeth kept healthy from the outside by frequent cleaning and avoiding external damage from certain foods and substances.

The first point is what I want to draw your attention to. If toxins reside in your body because of ineffective cleanup, they will travel to your teeth. In a similar fashion, a malnourished body will not be able to keep teeth mineralized or cavity-free because it doesn’t have the nutrient stores to draw upon for it. Systemic inflammation and illness will reflect in a person’s mouth; however, it may be in different ways to different degrees depending on the person.

I’ve said many times before that the condition of a person’s dental health reflects his or her physical health. Thus, if your body is toxic, your teeth will be toxic or at least much more sensitive to disease. Please take care of your body, because your teeth are affected too.

In the next few posts, I’ll share some thoughts about teeth themselves becoming toxic and how that might affect the rest of the body.

Dr. Glenn Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

Dental Health is Not Isolated from Whole-Body Health

I haven’t written enough on nutrition’s role in dentistry except for one specific post and mentioning here and there how healthy teeth begin with a healthy body. Nutrition isn’t my recognized area of expertise; but working in conjunction with other natural doctors, nutritionists, and others and seeking the best for myself and my family has brought me heaps of knowledge and enhanced my dentistry.

Maybe you’ve seen a lot of content published in many natural food/health communities about curing tooth decay, tooth remineralization, and cavity reversal. This doesn’t directly address more serious problems like dental implants, occlusal correction, or serious gum recession caused by gingivitis/periodontitis. Those more advanced conditions are more exciting to me as it is. But restoring dental health through dietary means can certainly solve other things like the early stages of cavities, gum disease, plaque buildup, and weak enamel caused by overall malnourishment.

Modern dentistry, like most fields of medicine, tends to isolate the mouth and teeth from the rest of the body. Just look at the nation’s stance on insurance — you must pay for your teeth separately. The body works as a whole, however. It is a complex system of functions all working together. You cannot affect one function without affecting another somehow. Amalgam may be a cheap and easy way to fill teeth, but what about the mercury that leaks out and embeds itself in organs and tissues all over the body? Braces effectively straighten teeth, but will the patient’s bite change and cause TMJ problems later in life, not to mention the hassle of wearing retainers indefinitely? Removing natural tooth structure for a crown or undergoing a root canal may remove an obvious problem, but do you know how that actually burdens your immune system?

Just some food for thought.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

Mercury Buildup and the Body’s Response

If you’ve read my previous posts, which can be found here, you are now aware of the research that’s been done on the substance of mercury being released from amalgam fillings and how it will be absorbed into your body at the cellular level. I want to explore further how your body deals with this mercury invasion and why you might not immediately know that mercury is in your system and is affecting your body’s ability to function as it should.

The first thing to know is that your body is designed to function in amazing ways to protect you! In fact, your body will do its best to remove the mercury toxin that you’re putting into it if you have amalgam fillings. Two important antioxidants are glutathione (GSH) and alpha-lipoid acid (ALA). Both of these help to remove the mercury in your cells and detoxify your system, as well as having other purposes for your health. If you have amalgam fillings, both of these antioxidants are working inside of you daily, removing mercury from your system and protecting you. This is great news, but the problem comes when we see that the body’s ability to remove this mercury is depleted by removing it. Both GSH and ALA are produced by your body, but research has shown that more GSH is required to remove mercury than your body can create. Because of this, as these antioxidants are daily fighting to keep your system mercury free, they are depleting and their ability to remove mercury grows weaker.

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How Mercury is Able to Affect the Body

If you’ve been following along, I’ve been writing about the mercury in amalgam fillings for a few posts now, and how that mercury is released into your body. But once it’s in your body, what’s the problem?

Research has shown that the mercury vapor that’s released and consumed is able to get past the protection of fatty membrane surrounding the cells in your body because the mercury vapor itself is fat soluble, or lipophilic. What this means is that mercury is able to settle down in all of the cells of the body with no trouble. Mercury is also attracted to the amino acids that have a high sulfur component, and this means that it is able to alter the function of proteins in the body because it will easily attach itself to this group, keeping necessary minerals from being able to attach as they should. The same thing happens with the enzymes in the body. Because of this, the body creates more free radicals, which can be the cause of varying diseases if they’re not removed, and mercury deprives the body of the antioxidants that are needed to remove them.

If these terms confuse you, let me recap: mercury is able to easily enter the fatty tissues of the body on the cellular level. In proteins, it takes the place of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, iodine, magnesium, etc., which are things your body desperately needs and cannot function well without, and it does the same with enzymes. As a result, there are more free radicals in the body, and free radicals are harmful if they’re not taken care of.

If you’d like more info on the scientific research that’s been done you can read more about it here, and next up I’ll address some possible results of this mercury buildup in the body.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com