We tend to make our decisions based on what we're told by our healthcare providers is best for our families. So, what do we do when science starts proving what we've been told for more than 50 years may be wrong?
Studies are showing that fluoride might not be good for our teeth; in fact, it's probably the opposite. In order for fluoride to bond to teeth, it must remove calcium and that process is called fluorosis. Fluorosis is defined as an abnormal condition caused by excessive intake of fluorides and is characterized in children by discoloration and pitting of the teeth. In adults, fluorosis is characterized by pathological bone changes.
In January of 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended lowering the acceptable level of fluoride to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water. This "remarkable turnabout" is a result of streaking or spotting on the teeth of 2 out of every 5 adolescents, which the government is calling only a "cosmetic problem." Additionally, according to a recent Center for Disease Control report, nearly 23% of children ages 12 to 15 had fluorosis between 1986-1987 and that number rose to 41% in a study covering 1999 to 2004.
Finally, according to a 1998 U.S. patent by the pharmaceutical company Sepracor, fluoride activates the very oral "G proteins" that have been determined to lead to chronic gingivitis, periodontal disease and ultimately tooth loss. Considering this latest information on fluoride, maybe it's time to take a closer look at some other products we put in our mouths.
Originally created to be a powerful surgical antiseptic by Dr. Joseph Lister in 1879, mouthwash was given to dentists for their patient's oral care in 1895, but it never was a true success until the 1920's when its advertisers created a new medical condition, "Chronic Halitosis," for which it was the only known cure. In just seven years, Listerine's revenues rose from $115,000 to more than $8 million.
The basic ingredients found in Listerine include:
The basic ingredients found in Scope are similar but start with an alcohol content of 15WT%. Crest doesn't have an ingredients list; they only list what they are required to - Cetylpyridinum Chloride 0.7%.
In addition to their specific ingredients, most mouthwashes contain water, food coloring and artificial flavors, and as with all toothpastes, all mouthwash bottles contain a warning to seek assistance or contact a point control center immediately if accidentally ingested.
While the American Dental Association and the U.S. National Cancer Institute do not believe that the
"...wellness families are beginning to look for alternatives... that are compatible with their own body's chemistry"
alcohol content in some mouthwashes contribute to oral cancers, the Australian Dental Journal reported in December 2008 that "there is now sufficient evidence to accept the proposition that developing oral cancer is increased or contributed to by the use of alcohol-containing mouthwashes."
Andrew Penman, chief executive of The Cancer Council New South Wales "called for further research in the matter," and research supported by Stanford University suggests that the alcohol in antiseptic mouthwashes might increase the risk of oral cancer as frequent rinsing can weaken the lining of the gums and oral cavity.
One of the most commonly used tooth fillings, amalgam has been in use for 150 years. Containing 50% mercury, 30% silver and differing amounts of tin, zinc and copper, amalgam is made by blending almost equal parts of elemental liquid mercury with an alloy powder of different metals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentions on their website, "Amalgam can release small amounts of mercury vapor over time. Patients can absorb these vapors by inhaling or ingesting them." The CDC also says, "Possible symptoms of mercury poisoning include irritability, memory loss, tremors, poor physical coordination, insomnia, kidney failure, and anorexia."
They also claim reports that suggest mercury from amalgam causes the above-mentioned symptoms, conditions and other diseases like Alzheimer's or multiple sclerosis, are not backed up by current scientific evidence. However, if we consider that amalgam must be treated as a toxic-biochemical once removed by the patient, then it probably shouldn't be in the patient.
In a report published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environment Health entitled, "Amalgam Studies: Disregarding basic principles of mercury toxicity," Mutter, et al. stated that most amalgam studies are basing their findings on blood and urine toxicity levels. Since mercury rapidly moves to tissue, testing blood and urine is not going to accurately reflect mercury toxicity levels meaning that the "current scientific evidence" on which the CDC is basing their findings is misleading.
Other filling types, or composites, also contain chemicals that should be checked for compatibility with a patient prior to being used. Such as: formaldehyde, phenol, polyurethane and acrylates.
As research has begun to expound on the potential dangers in amalgam fillings and other routine dental practices, wellness families are beginning to look for
alternatives: non-fluoride toothpastes, organic mouthwashes and fillings that are compatible with their own body's chemistry.
There are dentists who recognize that a filling material that is over 150-years-old just might be outdated and are offering their patients more holistic, wellness options.
To find a wellness dentist in your community you can visit the following:
www.mercuryfreedentists.com and enter your zip code
Huggins Applied Healing at www.hugginsappliedhealing.com or by calling 1-866-948-4638.
If you find that there isn't a wellness dentist in your community, it's worth it to travel a few miles or even a few hours to find a dentist that will offer you more options; since you only see a dentist twice a year or so. If you do travel, consider scheduling your family's six-month visits during the summer and then the winter school break.
This could even be tied into a family day outing or overnight trip. Perhaps the nearby city that is home to your holistic dentist also has a great museum, zoo or aquarium. Although it is a distance and carries an expense, it can be turned into a special day for the entire family.