This year I went to a functional dentist. For years, like most people, I went to a conventional dentist who was phenomenal at a variety of levels. But after studying functional medicine, I came to the realization that I didn’t like people removing stuff from my body. After all, nature gave us all these gifts for a reason; why are we removing them and in response to something like pain? So I started to question whether there was a solution beyond removing parts or all of my teeth whenever something was wrong inside my mouth, which is where traditional dentistry was taking me. It seemed every year, there was yet something else taken out of my mouth. Would I reach a point soon where every white thing in my mouth would be artificial?
I sought out the best functional dentist I could find here. I got some recommendations and immediately made an appointment.
I told her that I wanted to look into *every* intervention that she knew *before* she removed a tooth, or even filled a filling. So far, it’s been an interesting ride into the world of functional dentistry.
My first encounter with functional dentistry was in the area of nutritional interventions. I had a previous experience with nutritional interventions involving giving up sugar and all sugary drinks from soda to juices. This had the effect of increasing the ratings of my gum “poke test” by at least 2-3 numbers! I cannot understate the effects of our crappy Standard American Diet (SAD), with its soft drinks, candy, sweet desserts, and added sugar in nearly all processed foods, not only on our bodies but on our mouth and teeth.
Then I read Ramius Nagel’s Cure Tooth Decay, which gives many possible interventions. My first test was when I developed an intense sensitivity to cold in an upper left side molar. I took cod liver oil (Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil) and vitamin K2 (Jarrows MK-7), and also a natural bone based supplement (Traditional Foods Whole Bone Calcium). By the end of the first week, the sensitivtity dropped by approximately 75%! It took another 2 weeks to completely make the sensitivity go away. It was this experience that showed me that remineralization of teeth was possible, and that nutritional interventions can work.
Then came my work with my new functional dentist. Addressing the issues in my mouth, we did a number of things.
We did an Oral DNA test, which revealed bacteria that were linked to other diseases in the body. So I started using Tooth and Gums Tonic, a gentle antibacterial, natural mouth rinse. I started taking an oral probiotic called ENT-Biotic, along with some Biocidin capsules and Dentalcidin LS liposomal formula. Biocidin formulas apparently remove biofilms and plaque for healthier teeth and gums. I am already putting my GI tract microbiome back in order so this is good that we are fully addressing the system from mouth to digestive tract.
We did some advanced cleaning of the teeth, which was a focused cleaning of the teeth to scrape off plaque down under the gum line. To support maintaining this cleaning, I started using a better floss called Cocofloss, and finally started using a Waterpik. For years I avoided Waterpiks because they were so large and took up so much space on the counter. However, they recently came out with a cool, smaller, transportable version that they now sell called the Waterpik Sidekick. I will tell you that I am amazed at the cleaning power of a Waterpik! It blasts all these food particles out of my teeth and mouth that were still stuck there, either in the crevices of my teeth or in my gums where gargling wouldn’t take them out. Only a strong stream of water could blast all these particles out and leaving my mouth completely food debris free for sleeping.
To support remineralization, there is a toothpaste called MI Paste. It is made from highly bioavailable calcium and all you do is rub it on your teeth and leave it there overnight. You can also brush with it as well.
This last week I went in for a checkup and progress has been excellent. Next on deck is to do some teeth alignment and a procedure to pull gum tissue back over teeth, to address receding gum lines on many of my teeth. In traditional dentistry, they would have put small fillings to cover up the exposed areas from receding gums. But apparently, there is a procedure that can actually address this without the need for fillings.
Have I fully removed the need for fillings? I was hoping so, but it looks like I will still need one or two. I guess once you get to 50+ years old growing up in the 20th and 21st centuries, your mouth has reached a point of inevitability that not everything can be addressed fully with functional dentistry and natural treatments. I also have some root canals and old crowns that will unfortunately create potential problems later. At least one of them looks to be silver and it is possible there is a danger in mercury poisoning at some point.
Still I am optimistic that we will put my mouth back to a way healthier place than ever before. All in all, this is pretty cutting edge stuff and not much is written about it. I hope it does become more mainstream, along with functional medicine.