Ever wondered what a ‘Holistic Dentist’ really thinks about amalgam fillings, teeth grinding, mouth ulcers and water fluoridation? What about toothpaste, yay or nay? Today on the blog I sat down with Sydney based Holistic Dentist, Dr Ron Ehrlich to discuss these important topics. WARNING: His responses might just change the way you look at your teeth completely.
#1 What is Holistic Dentistry?
Traditional dentistry revolves around the treatment of the mouth. This enables a dentist to treat teeth and gums. Rather than looking at the teeth in isolation, a holistic dentist will look at the body as a whole. A holistic dentist treats not only the teeth, but also the person attached to the teeth. Remember the teeth and the gums aren’t separate from the human they reside in. We need to start looking at the bigger picture.
#2 Grind your teeth? Read this!
If you had asked me 10-15 years ago, I would have said that teeth grinding was a result of stress. However, new research has enabled us to understand that teeth grinding is a result of sleep dis-ordered breathing, a growing problem in society that can lead to a number of other health issues.
#3 Mouth Ulcers & Autoimmune Conditions
Mouth ulcers are a common problem. They are an autoimmune response, which is something that is stemming from a deeper level. My advice is to avoid all grains for a few months. Grains produce a protein called zonulin that can cause a leaky gut that results in a whole range of autoimmune conditions.
#4 The Problem with Water Fluoridation
The only benefit that comes from using fluoride is when it is applied sparingly and topically to the tooth itself. As a result, I believe the issue of water fluoridation needs to be addressed.
There is not a single biological process within the human body that requires fluoride. It is not an essential mineral, it is a medication and should be treated accordingly. I honestly believe that pumping fluoride into our water supply is a form of mass medication, all of which is occurring without our permission. Not only does fluoride displace iodine in the body (leading to iodine deficiency and resulting thyroid dysfunctions), fluoride also mimics arthritic pain and has been shown to lower IQ in children. If something has the potential to do harm, then why are we doing it?
To make matters worse, water fluoridation and the so called ‘safe levels’ do not take into consideration the size, weight or age of a person, nor does it take into consideration their ongoing consumption. We could be talking about a 40 year old, 80kg male or a 1-year-old baby? The levels of fluoride that they can tolerate are vastly different, yet they all receive the same dose through their drinking water.
#5 Toothpaste – Why You Shouldn’t Swallow!
Personally I don’t use fluoridated toothpaste. I believe there is much more merit in the technique: take your time, use the correct brushing technique and floss carefully.
I use organic toothpaste that contains the least amount of chemicals possible.
If you were to read the fine print listed on the back of a popular brand of toothpaste, it displays a warning: DO NOT SWALLOW. This is something we need to be aware of.
#6 The Problem with Amalgam Fillings
You know it’s funny, only the other day I received information from the ADA (Australian Dental Association) that listed amalgam as the restorative material of choice for Australian practitioners. Amalgam fillings contain mercury and as a practitioner we have the responsibility to dispose of all amalgam fillings as toxic waste. While it’s illegal to dispose of mercury amalgam in the garbage or down the sink, according to the ADA it’s deemed safe enough to put it in someone’s mouth. To me, that seems to defy any form of logic and common sense. Amalgams aren’t something I use and would not recommend.
#7 Can Amalgams be removed?
Amalgam fillings can be removed however it is imperative that they are removed using the right technique and materials. If your dentist cannot use this technique then it may be better not to remove the amalgam.
I would recommend the following:
- Ensure your dentist uses a rubber dam
- Ensure your dentist provides a separate air source
- Ensure they use lots of water and a high-speed suction
- All amalgams should be cut out of the tooth, rather than ground out.