The Dangers of Sugar

Traditional advice has been that too much sugar causes cavities, however, this simple mantra is not only misleading – it also ignores the impact sugar has on your overall body health.

Candy, cookies, cakes, and any other variety of sugary desserts, even starchy, refined carbohydrates such as chips, bread, pasta, and anything made from white flour breaks down quickly in your body to simple sugars, causing higher dental and health problems. Carbonated soft drinks are an absolute no-no because not only do they contain a high amount of sugar, they also contain phosphorous and carbonation which breaks down the enamel on your teeth.

However, sugar doesn’t just attack the tooth from the outside of your mouth – eating too much sugar attacks the composition of your teeth from the inside as well.  Dr. Weston Price was a Canadian dentist who was a pioneer in researching the relationship between nutrition, dental health, and physical health.  He studied diverse native diets of natural, unprocessed, and organic foods, with very little sugar except for the occasional bit of honey or maple syrup. He contrasted this with the modern Western diet (particularly flour, sugar, and modern processed vegetable fats). Twenty-five years of research showed that the natural diets promoted healthy oral health while the Western diet did not, and in fact the modern Western diet promoted deformed dental arches crooked teeth, more cavities, and more chronic and degenerative diseases.

The Sugar Industry has long known of the dangers of sugar, but has not been forthcoming about the actual impact it has on your health. When the doors closed at the Great Western Sugar Company in Colorado in 1976, they left 1500 pages of internal documents exposing how the sugar industry used Tobacco-style tactics to dismiss negative healthy claims against their products. Discovered by Dr. Cristin E. Kearns, assistant professor at UCSF School of Dentistry, in 2016, Kearns and her colleagues published a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine detailing the Sugar Industry’s decades-long manipulation of the nutritional research of sugar. Kearns also partnered with science journalist and author Gary Taubes to write the expose “Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies.” Kearns’ story is told in the Canadian documentary, Sugar Coated, (available on IMDb).

To learn more about how sugar affects your health, check out SugarScience.org.

Resources:

Price-Pottenger Organization

Big Sugar Buried Evidence to Hide Sugar Harms, Mercola.com, December 6, 2017

Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research; Kearns, Schmidt, Glantz, (JAMA Internal Medicine, November 1, 2016).

Sugarscience.ucsf.edu/

Sugarcoateddoc.com

The Case Against Sugar, Gary Taubes

The Body/Tooth Connection

Ongoing research is proving that oral health has an impact on your overall general health. For instance, there are studies showing that gum disease has been linked to health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, premature births, and other conditions.

Essentially, poor oral health translates to germs and toxins that, when unchecked and left to roam your system, can inflict serious damage and cause body-wide inflammation. Your mouth, as the gateway to your body, is constantly being infiltrated by these invaders – all of which can seep into your bloodstream, cells, tissues, and organs. Your mouth is not a closed system!

Not only is your mouth under assault from germs and toxins, common dental procedures like root canals can cause deadly bacteria to enter the body, multiply, and cause infection unless dentists take certain precautions. Even materials used in dental procedures such as mercury or fluoride can be toxic to your body.

Additionally, Holistic Dentistry (sometimes called Biological or Alternative Dentistry,) recognizes that each individual tooth in the mouth correlates to a specific organ or body part. Holistic dentistry integrates modern science with the meridian system utilized in Chinese Medicine, and the Qi (pronounced “tchee”). In a living organism, Qi is the energy that circulates within the body through meridians that intersect all parts of the body. For instance, in acupuncture, needles are inserted into specific points on a meridian system that also corresponds to every organ and body part.

Your teeth are key points on the meridians, both energetically and physically. If there is currently a problem with a specific tooth or if there have been problems in the past, that tooth is directly connected to another place in the body, such as the heart, the kidney, the breast, the prostate, the neck, etc.

The body has five meridians, and each tooth corresponds to one of the meridians and a separate part of the body. To further explore the Tooth Meridian chart, click here. Click on the individual teeth to learn about its relationship to the rest of your body.

Suggested resources:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission or other compensation if you click through and make a purchase.

* I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

** I receive no compensation from these websites but I highly recommend and endorse them.

Are Those Pretty White Composite Fillings in Your Mouth Safe?

Some patients believe they are “safe” because they have white “composite” fillings. Mercury is the most toxic of all materials placed in patients’ mouths, but even “white” fillings can contain metals or other materials that can damage a patient’s health.  For that reason, holistic dentists will run biocompatibility tests to determine materials that work best with each patient.

Biocompatibility tests are also advisable because a patient can have an actual allergy to dental materials that may be placed in your mouth. This is different than metal toxicity – some people are allergic to some metals and can have an allergic reaction completely different than reactions caused by metal toxicity.

Most traditional dentists don’t believe in or simply don’t know about biocompatibility testing and they will not test you to see if the materials they use will cause a reaction when placed in your body. This is also true of many dentists advertising they are “mercury-free”; they may not use mercury in the fillings they place but they may also not test to find out the materials right for each individual patient. Your dentist should at least advise that you be tested for potential allergens prior to even placing a filling.

Making sure your dentist does not use mercury fillings, properly removing any mercury you have, and making sure the materials placed in your mouth are right for you is an important step in maintaining your overall good health, helping to prevent serious health issues, or helping your body to heal from any current health issues you may have.

Safely Removing Your Mercury Fillings

Co-authored by Dr. Stephen Kovar

Mercury fillings are outdated and toxic, and if you currently have mercury fillings, you should consider having them removed.

However, just asking your dentist to remove your mercury fillings or other metals can be just as dangerous to your health. There are key protocols that must be followed, and before you consider having a dentist remove your mercury fillings, there are some key questions you should ask, including:

  • Do they place a rubber dam in your mouth to keep you from swallowing mercury particles?
  • Do they provide a separate oxygen supply to keep you from breathing the vapors that are caused by the drilling?
  • Do they provide protective clothing for the patient/staff/doctor?
  • Do they provide patient protective eye wear?
  • Do they use a lower speed or high speed hand piece drill, and do they cut and chunk the filling or do they just grind it out? (Less grinding = less Mercury vapor release.)
  • Do they have a high suction, separate vapor evacuator and ion air purifier?

You should also work with with a naturopathic or homeopathic physician to prepare your body for mercury and heavy metal removal and detoxing your body from mercury and other heavy metals after your fillings are removed. Failure to do so can cause your body to get extremely sick as it attempts to detoxify on its own.

There is also a danger to dentists and assistants that arise out of the  removal of mercury amalgam fillings in the waste water and vapors released into air. These dangers exist for both for dentists who place mercury fillings, but also for dentists who remove them. For this reason, not only should there be strict protocols which should be followed in removing mercury from a patient’s mouth, but all dentists should be taking environmental precautions to protect their city’s water supply.

Most cities do not even realize the danger dentists are contributing to poisoning the air and water supply around us.  I actually conducted a “test” of my office’s wastewater by having City water officials come out and test the wastewater from my dental office before and after putting in mercury separators. Putting in the mercury separators resulted in a 98% reduction in mercury levels into the City’s waste water system.  In fact, except for certain cities that have adopted rules requiring dentists to install mercury separators on their wastewater, dental offices around the country continue to poison our nation’s water supply! For environmental reasons alone, the use of mercury fillings should be banned completely. However, when you factor in the damage mercury fillings can cause to your health, it is clear that the costs of using mercury fillings outweigh any benefits their advocates may claim they provide.

All pictures taken and provided by Dr. Stephen Kovar

Suggested resources:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission or other compensation if you click through and make a purchase.

* The Poison in Your Teeth, by Tom McGuire, DDS

* It’s All In Your Head: the Link Between Mercury Amalgams and Illness, by Dr. Hal A. Huggins

* Whole-Body Dentistry, by Mark A. Breiner, DDS

** Mercury Free Dentistry Campaign at www.toxicteeth.org

** Learn the Essential Dental Mercury Facts at www.iaomt.org

** Mercury Amalgam “Silver” Fillings Essentials at www.iabdm.org

FDA’s “About Dental Amalgam Fillings” at www.fda.gov

* I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

** I receive no compensation from these websites but I highly recommend and endorse them.

 

Dr. Stephen KovarDr. Stephen KovarDr. Stephen A. Kovar, DMD, FAGD has worked as a holistic dentist in Mesa, Arizona in the My Dentist office since 2008.

He attended Montana State University at Bozeman, Montana studying Biomedical Sciences. He then pursued his dental education at Oregon Health Sciences University, School of Dentistry where he graduated with Honors in 1995. Following dental school, Dr. Kovar completed a General Practice / Hospital Residency at the West Los Angeles / UCLA Veterans Administration Medical Center. Upon completing his residency, Dr. Kovar moved back to Portland, Oregon where, for 10 years, he established his dental practice and also was an Assistant Professor of Restorative Dentistry at Oregon Health and Sciences University, School of Dentistry.

In July, 2004, Dr. Kovar achieved the honor of receiving a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry – an honor that less than 5% of all dentist’s in North America has achieved.

Good Oral Health is the “Gateway” to Overall Good Health

If your mouth is healthy, there is a high probability your overall health is good, too. On the other hand, if you have poor dental health, it may be an indication of other health problems, such as the following:

  • Bad breath and bleeding gums can be an indication of diabetes;
  • Dental x-rays may show the first stages of bone loss, arthritis, and/or osteoporosis;
  • Open lesions or other signs of oral and dental infections can be an indication of heart disease or HIV.

Research shows that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations such as swollen gums, dry mouth, swollen gums or other gum problems. These diseases include some of the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Leukemia
  • Oral cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease

However, the reverse is true as well; hidden issues in your mouth can cause health problems in the rest of your body as well.  Dental problems can contribute to overall health issues in many ways:

  • Infections in the gums and/or jawbone: toxins can leak out from these infections and may affect your immune system, leading to disease.
  • The relationship between specific teeth and illness: when a tooth becomes infected or diseased, the organ on the same acupuncture meridian can also become unhealthy.
  • Root canals can be a source of disease. Root canals are dead organs left in your mouth.  Toxins can seep out of the root canal teeth and can cause systemic diseases of the heart, kidney, uterus, and the nervous and endocrine systems.
  • Toxicity of dental materials used: dental materials can release mercury, tin, copper, silver, nickel and zinc into the body, which can then migrate from the tooth into the bones, connective tissues and nerves. From there, they can travel to the central nervous system, where they can permanently disrupt the body’s normal functions.
  • Galvanic charges from the metals in your mouth: saliva in the mouth acts as a conduit in which dissimilar metals can create electric charges within your mouth.
  • Bio-compatibility to dental materials: in the same way some people have adverse reactions to drugs or allergies to foods or other substances, some people react negatively to specific dental materials which can lead to severe allergic reactions and can contribute to a multitude of chronic health problems.
  • TMJ and other alignment problems: TMJ dysfunction may cause misalignment of your teeth, jaws and muscles in your face which can affect your neck, spine, hips and other joints in your body. Similarly, your tongue can simply lie in the wrong position causing a multitude of health issues.  These dysfunctions can be caused by trauma to the body, such as a sports injury or car accident, or they can be caused by dental restorations that do not adequately support a person’s bite.

Traditional dentistry has often taken the approach that the teeth are separate from a person’s overall health, and in fact, people often procrastinate going to the dentist because they feel other health issues may be more pressing. The truth is that your dentist should be a part of your overall health care team. Good dental health and overall health go hand in hand.  Some key prevention measures include:

  • Give your body the proper nutrition it needs to stay healthy and actively protect against oral and overall health problems;
  • Just say no to putting toxins in your body, including sugar, tobacco smoke, fluoride, and mercury and other toxic materials;
  • Maintain proper dental and oral care by brushing, flossing, and caring for your teeth and gums, including regular visits to your dentist.

I encourage you to inform yourself and start looking at dental care as part of an overall health program. I want you to be actively involved in the care you receive and you should demand proper care and treatment. In subsequent posts, I will explain key dental treatments, including the use of non-toxic restorative materials, looking for and removing sources of dental toxins and hidden dental infections, and preventative measures you can take as part of your overall health care routine.