Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

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


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

Goals for the New Year

Happy New Year, everybody!

No matter what your dental hygienic history is, there is always room to improve upon how you care for your teeth and overal health. If you’re setting any goals for this year, why not add a manageable habit to your daily dental care? Not that I intend to sound cliche, but since getting a fresh start is the prevailing attitude this week, I’m going to take advantage of it.

Incorporate these small habits that yield big improvements:

  • Brush at least twice a day — once in the morning and once before bed (after all food and beverages).
  • Floss at least once a day, preferably at the end of the day before you go to sleep
  • Take a few minutes to irrigate if you have an irrigator. Irrigation staves off the vast majority of disease and infection and promotes fast healing. Irrigation keeps your gums healthy, wards off canker sores, and provides relief from more painful infections like pericoronitis.
  • Cut out refined sugar, flour, and processed foods from your diet, and eat fresh foods and green things. A lack of oral cleanliness is not the only cause of oral disease; your diet, exposure to and storage of toxins, hereditary susceptibilities, and poor lifestyle habits all contribute to disease.

You might even set goals that are a little more major in that they require more time and money. The long-term investment pays off greatly, however. Why not:

  • Invest in a better toothbrush (such as a Rotadent, the best you’ll ever find)*
  • Invest in an irrigator*
  • Replace the chemicals in your bathroom cabinet — mouthwash, commercial toothpaste, commercial ointments, gum or breath fresheners, etc. — with natural options or alternatives*. Also examine the cause behind the need for these items. Have bad breath all the time? Get checked out!
  • Save up for and schedule that surgery you’ve been putting off. I’ve been doing many more implants lately, so if you need them, call us.
  • Have your amalgam dental work replaced. Mercury is poisonous and it slowly leaks into your body’s tissues for as long as it is bonded to your teeth. However, if you are pregnant or nursing, it would be best to delay the process until you’re done. If you are trying to get pregnant, get the amalgam replaced immediately and let your body detox before you continue trying to conceive. I will write more about that soon. For now, I use the safest protocols for mercury removal, and getting that replaced, in my opinion, should certainly be done as soon as possible.
  • Consult a nutritionist and find out how you can build the health of your teeth back up through proper nutrition. By the way, if your nutritionist thinks you can’t help your teeth by changing what you eat, find a different nutritionist!

So how are you going to take better care of your teeth this year?

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

*You can ask me about the hygienic and natural dental care products I supply.

Nutrition’s Role In Dentistry

There is way too much information about nutrition’s role in dentistry to cram into one little blog post. However, maybe I can introduce a little more information to you that maybe you’ve never considered before.

Dentistry is all about teeth and oral health. Patients don’t usually show up expecting to hear dietary advice other than “Stay away from sugar. It will rot your teeth.” Yes, sugar is the number one preferred cuisine for the bad bacteria dwelling in your mouth, and it will definitely cause those bacteria to excrete acidic waste that causes cavities and infections. But that, in addition to brushing and flossing every day, surely isn’t the only thing to consider when looking out for the health of your teeth.

Your teeth are bones. How do you keep the rest of your bones healthy? Your teeth have nerves and blood vessels running through them. How do you maintain healthy nerves, blood, and nutrient levels? Your gums are soft tissues serving as protection and support. How do you take care of your skin and the rest of your organs and muscle tissue?

Endless cleaning and dental visits can actually do very little to build and preserve strong, healthy teeth that last well into old age. It’s like taking care of a car. You don’t merely wash it over and over again and expect that to keep it functioning for a long time. You have to go under the hood, getting to the machinery and the mechanics “behind the scenes.” That’s where you can ensure the car will run well.

Back to your teeth: what makes the biggest difference is nutrition! A healthy, strong body will give you healthy, strong teeth. Likewise, malnourishment will give you crooked, weak, painful, and vulnerable teeth. Thus, poor tooth health is an indication that the rest of your body is not faring well, either, and no amount of diligent cleaning will ensure lifelong resilience.

So the main idea to focus on is the fact that food itself coming into direct contact with your teeth is not what you should worry about (but don’t go munching on lemons every day, now). Rather, be mindful about everything you consume because you’re now looking out for your whole body, not just your teeth.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles