If you’re like me, you probably don’t like going to the dentist much, and when you go for your dental check up, you’re relieved when you’re told you don’t need to get any work done. You probably don’t think about the treatments you’ve had in the past or whether the materials placed in your mouth are safe. As someone who has a long history of dental work, I never did until I became sick from an infected root canal six years ago and learned the hard way how toxic the field of dentistry really is.

The reason I wanted to write this blog post is to warn people who might not be aware of the dangers of going to the dentist. I also share some tips so you can avoid getting cavities so you won’t need to get your teeth drilled on.

I originally started to write about my “dental nightmare,” the year when I replaced all my dental work and went all over the country visiting several of the top holistic dentists, but the story became too long for a blog post and it wasn’t pleasant having to experience it all over again by writing about it.

Why’s it so important to take care of our teeth? One reason is that gum disease and bad bacteria in the mouth contribute to things like heart disease and other illnesses. Dr. Reinhard Voll, A German physician who studied the relationship between oral and physical health for over 40 years, estimated that 80% of human disease was related in some way to the mouth.

Our teeth aren’t just sold white things in our mouths, they are alive and have their own blood supply and need nutrients to keep them healthy. Once teeth become drilled and filled, they become weaker and you’re more likely to need more dental work down the line, which can eventually cause them to get infected or die.

1. Choose Natural Toothpastes and Mouth Washes

Like the gut and skin, the mouth has a unique microbiome which can be disrupted by the chemicals and alcohol in toothpastes and mouth washes. Some more natural options are using a probiotic toothpaste or a natural tooth powder that helps re-mineralize your teeth. Nadine Artemis, author of Holistic Dental Care, recommends making your own paste with baking soda and sea salt and using a salt water rinse instead of mouth wash as salt eliminates microbes and makes the pH of the mouth more alkaline. Certain essential oils such as peppermint and clove are good for the teeth and gums (they must be diluted first), as in this homemade toothpaste.

2. Nourish Your Teeth

Taking care of your teeth by having regular checkups and daily brushing and flossing is important, but your diet is even more important. Teeth can be remineralized through diet, which means cavities can be healed. It’s the spikes in blood sugar from consuming refined carbohydrates and sugar that cause the teeth to lose minerals and decay.

The famous dentist Dr. Weston Price was the pioneer in nutrition and dental health.  He traveled the world in the 1920s and ’30s researching the connection between nutrition and teeth. He studied native peoples who were still eating their traditional diets and had perfect teeth and jaw development; wherever traditional diets were replaced with the Western diet, dental health declined. He published the results in his classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Many of these people had never used a toothbrush but were eating locally grown natural whole foods, such as properly prepared grains and full-fat animal products. Some of them ate unpasteurized dairy, and all of them ate fermented foods.  Click here for more information on the diet recommended by Dr. Price

The Best Diet for Healthy Teeth

Fresh, whole foods (no processed foods)

Organic fruits and vegetables

Wild-caught fish and grass-fed meats, including organ meats

Pastured eggs

Grass-fed butter or ghee and raw dairy

If you consume grains (no wheat), beans, and nuts, they need to be soaked and fermented to reduce phytic acid

Supplement with fermented cod liver oil to heal cavities

According to Nagel Ramel, author of Cure Tooth Decay, it’s also possible to turn some dental infections around. His dietary recommendations are based on Dr. Price’s work, and some aren’t too appetizing (raw fish, liver, etc.), but you might be willing to try them before getting your teeth drilled on.

3. Find a Biological Dentist

Biological dentists are a small group of holistically-minded dentists who have broken away from their conventional training, some after seeing their patients recovering from illnesses after the removal of toxic dental work or after becoming sick themselves from breathing in mercury fumes from years of performing silver fillings. They sometimes also have naturopathic training.

The majority of biological dentists use methods that are less invasive and try to save teeth when possible. They do not do root canals, silver fillings or dental implants, and have safe procedures for removing them; they also use materials that are compatible to the body. The downside is they are often more expensive than conventional dentists as they are considered “out of network” by most dental insurances. However, if your dental work is making you sick, it may be worth traveling and spending the money to see a top-rated one. This article has a list of resources for locating a biological dentist.

4. Don’t Get Root Canals

While awareness has been growing over the last several years about the dangers of of silver fillings, many people don’t know about the risk of root canals.  I don’t want to scare you if you already have one. Millions of people have them, and I know some who seem fine, but there is controversy over their safety.

What is a Root Canal?

Root canals are often the solution offered by dentists when a tooth has become problematic as it seems to be a way of “saving” the tooth and is a quicker, less expensive method than some of the alternatives.

The root canal procedure scoops out the inside of the tooth and kills the nerve. The tooth is then filled with guttapercha and covered with a crown. Yes, you get to keep the tooth and all looks fine, but you now have a dead tooth with no blood supply; there’s no way to keep the tooth sterile and the infection challenges the immune system.

The Research

Dr. Weston Price, who I mentioned earlier, first raised the alarm about root canals causing illness when he published his textbook on root canals in 1922 (read more here). The American Dental Association (ADA) denied this research and still does today. The association claims that root canals are safe but provides no published data to prove it.

Another dentist, Dr. George E. Meining, a founder of the Association of Root Canal Specialists, later published the book Root Canal Cover-up, where he replicated Dr. Price’s research.

Another pioneering dentist, Dr. Hal Huggins, gained notoriety when he came out against about mercury fillings after seeing people with diseases such as multiple sclerosis turn around after having their silver fillings extracted. He also researched root canals and found them to be a “zillion times” worse than mercury fillings.

 Thousands of lives are challenged daily by the placement of root canals, and when these patient’s genetic weak links break, they and their families are doomed to financial and health losses that destroy their ability to work, play, raise families and enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ….The reason is simple. Extremely toxic anaerobic bacteria have been found and identified in and around root canals.  – Dr. Hal Huggins 

It may seem unbelievable to you that this is going on and you may wonder why more dentists aren’t speaking up. Probably it’s because they are trained to believe root canals are safe and they face the loss of their licenses and livelihoods if they go against the establishment.

Whether you become ill or not from having a root canal depends of the strength of your immune system. The reason I got so sick after having one was that I was (unknowingly) immunocompromised from toxic mold and my body couldn’t handle it.

One of the dentists I visited, Dr. Scott Nunnally, sends extracted root-canaled teeth to a lab to be tested and hasn’t had one came back that isn’t toxic.

What if You’re Told You Need a Root Canal?

If possible, get more than one opinion and have the tooth thoroughly tested, because it’s likely you’ll get different answers, which happened to me. In addition to not needing the root canal that made me sick, I’ve been told twice since that I needed root canals and there was nothing wrong with my teeth.

I don’t want to imply that all dentists are crooks, but when I told  Dr. Hal Huggins in 2011 that I suspected I hadn’t needed a root canal, he agreed and said something similar to this:

How big is the problem of root canals? In 1990, the ADA set a goal (quota) of dentists performing 30 million root canals per year in the US by the year 2000. Dentistry accomplished this by 1999. Now the bar has been raised to 60 million root canals per year. – Dr. Hal Huggins

Other Options

Based on what I’ve learned, I don’t recommend you get a root canal, but the decision to have the procedure or not depends on your health, the state of the tooth, and your budget. The same with if you’re thinking about extracting a tooth that has a root canal.

If you have a tooth extracted, it needs to be done PROPERLY, which means removing the periodontal ligament along with the tooth and cleaning out the socket, otherwise toxic bacteria can remain and lead to what is called a cavitation, an area of unhealed/dead bone that can cause illness.

After extraction, your choices are a denture, bridge, or dental implant. Many biological dentists are not fans of dental implants, but zirconia is seen as a better material than titanium. See this video for the pros and cons of each option.

If you’d like to read more about how to take care of your teeth holistically, I highly recommend the book Holistic Dental Care by Nadine Artemis. She points out that more people than ever before in history go to the dentist, but the state of our teeth has gotten worse.

90% of all 60 year olds have 63% of their teeth either missing, filled or decayed, despite going to the dentist.

I hope this convinces you to take care of your teeth and to avoid unnecessary dental procedures.

xo, Kate

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