Welcome to the official blog of The Brand Wellness Center. Please join us for holistic health news, inspirational insights and enlightening ideas on healing. Feel free to add your comments and share our blog with friends.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Swimming Can Be Harmful to Your Teeth

As a biological dentist, I have quite a number of health conscious patients, several of whom are avid swimmers. Swimming is a very healthy sport, but it can have its drawbacks.

Handstand in the swimming pool
Most swimming pools are chlorinated, and as most of us already know, chlorine can be toxic. We know that our skin is the biggest organ for sweating out poisons (detoxification), but it is also the biggest organ for absorbing poisons. That being said, it would be good to avoid exposing our skin to all known toxic chemicals: sunscreen, most makeup and moisturizers, and of course, chlorinated swimming pools.

Aside from the systemic absorption of chlorine through the skin into the body creating imbalances in iodine levels (see Iodine vs. Fluoride:One Secret to Better Health blog for further information), chlorine can have an effect clinically directly on the teeth.

According to this recent article from the Academy of General Dentistry, “Athlete swimmers, who often swim laps more than six hours a week, expose their teeth to large amounts of chemically treated water. Pool water contains chemical additives like antimicrobials, which give the water a higher pH than saliva, causing salivary proteins to break down quickly and form organic deposits on swimmer’s teeth. The result is swimmer’s calculus, hard, brown tartar deposits that appear predominantly on the front teeth.”

So, if you notice that you are getting stained teeth due to swimming, you may want to ask your dentist about coming in for more frequent dental cleanings.

The other issue with swimming in chlorinated pools, concerns the pH of the water. This case report tells the story of a competitive swimmer who swam in a gas-chlorinated swimming pool and experienced notable dental erosion within 27 days. It says, “Several reports indicate an increased prevalence of dental erosion among intensive swimmers due to low pH gas-chlorinated pool water.” Several cases are presented but one extreme case report is presented which describes a competitive swimmer who experienced very rapid excessive dental erosion within 27 days, due to gas-chlorinated pool water. Gas chlorination results in the formation of hydrochloric acid in the water. Inadequate buffering of this hydrochloric acid can decrease the pH level significantly, increasing the risk of erosion on contact with the dentition.

If you notice that you are losing some enamel on your teeth due to swimming, you may want to check with the swimming pool maintenance company to make sure that the swimming pool’s water pH is within the normal range. Also, it may be a good idea to do frequent oil pulling (see Oil Pulling blog) before and after swimming in a chlorinated pool to minimize the dental effects.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Can removing amalgam fillings help patients in New York live healthier?

More than 150 million Americans have at least one “silver” filling in their mouths. Yet dental amalgam contains very little silver. It is made up of about 50 percent mercury. As consumers become more aware of the health hazards associated with having one of the deadliest toxins known to mankind a few inches from the brain 24/7/365, many are considering removing amalgam fillings. I advise friends and family in New York to carefully research the dentist they choose to do the work.

Inappropriate removal of amalgam

Conventional methods of removing amalgam fillings greatly increase the mercury hazard. Little or no protection is provided to the patient as the filling is ground out with a drill. Particulate matter lands on the skin and is swallowed. The greatest threat, however, is from the drilling itself. When amalgam is heated by friction, it releases mercury vapor. Inhaled mercury vapor quickly passes through lung membranes and accumulates in the body.

Safe removal of dental amalgam

At The Brand Wellness Center, we adhere to strict IAOMT guidelines for removal of even a tiny amalgam filling.

  • The patient is given an activated charcoal tablet 15 minutes prior to filling removal.
  • The treatment room has an air filtration system.
  • An alternative air source is provided for the patient.
  • A rubber dam keeps particles from being swallowed.
  • The filling is kept cool with water and air.
  • “Chunking” the filling into several pieces reduces the need to drill.
  • A high volume evacuator removes vapor and particles.
  • Once the filling is removed, staff uses fresh rubber gloves.
  • The patient’s mouth is rinsed for a minimum of 15 seconds.
  • The work area is immediately cleaned up, and the patient’s face and neck are wiped.

That is an oversimplification of a complex process, but it gives you an ideal of the importance of removing amalgam fillings safely, for an ongoing improvement in your overall health

Mercury fillings impact the health of NY dental hygienists and assistants

According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 200,500 dental hygienist jobs in this country in 2014, with a growth outlook of 19 percent (much higher than most fields) in the next ten years. There are even more dental assistants at 318,800, with an 18 percent growth outlook. Nearly 96 percent of those dental workers are female. Many are young women, starting families. As a holistic dentist in NY, I am concerned about the potential of mercury dental fillings to cause these individuals grave health problems, including birth defects and reproductive failure.

Occupational hazards of amalgam fillings

Silver-colored fillings contain about 50 percent elemental mercury, a known neurotoxin. In conventional dental offices, dental workers rarely wear protective gear or use air filtration masks. The rationale given by their employers is usually two-fold. First, since the ADA and FDA have long supported use of dental amalgam, it must not be dangerous. Second, protective gear would scare patients on the receiving end of amalgam fillings. Most dental workers aren’t fully aware of the hazards of working with amalgam, and their health suffers as a result.

How mercury infiltrates the body

Elemental mercury can be absorbed through the skin, ingested, or inhaled. Dental workers are commonly exposed to mercury vapor. They work in close proximity to a patient’s mouth, breathing the vapor each time an amalgam filling is polished, ground, or drilled.

The human body has no way to flush mercury, so it builds up over time. Mercury vapor attacks the central nervous system, and impairs lung and kidney function. Because the toxin crosses the placenta, it also accumulates in unborn babies. Fetuses are especially susceptible, as the neurological system is developing.

There way to resolve this very real health threat to thousands of NY dental workers and their future offspring. The change will occur when dentists, dental support staff, and patients demand a healthier alternative to mercury-laden amalgam fillings.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Wonderful Whey Protein

Detoxing the body from heavy metals and other everyday toxins can be a challenge. As such, it is important to find simple routines and nutrients to incorporate into your daily rituals to enhance health. (Read My Secrets to Regaining Health) Ingesting whey protein may be worth adding to your list.

Whey Protein Powder

Whey is formed as a byproduct of cheese production. It is a complete and balanced protein because it contains all the “essential” amino acids (as well as additional amino acids). It supplies the purest form of these crucial nutrients and cofactors for cellular repair and growth.

More importantly, it increases the body's level of glutathione (our master antioxidant). Glutathione level is an excellent indicator of overall health and the ability of our immune system to support detoxification and a healthy aging process. Whey has a very high content of sulfur-containing amino acids (such as cysteine) that are necessary for the biosynthesis of glutathione. And studies have shown that you can effectively raise your glutathione levels through the consumption of whey protein.

Glutathione is different from other antioxidants in that it is intracellular (produced within the cell and not transported between cells). It has the unique ability of maximizing the activity of all the other antioxidants present, including vitamins C and E, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid. It assists in removing toxins from your cells and protects you from the damaging effects of radiation, chemicals, and environmental pollutants.

Several components of whey also known as cofactors, include the immunoglobulins, lactoferrin (anti-inflammatory, improves bone density), lactoferricin (antimicrobial and anti-tumor), sphingolipids (allows for proper communication between cells), lactoperoxidase (anti-bacterial agent), and glycomacropeptides. All of these cofactors have been shown to support the body’s ability to inhibit the growth of a wide range of bacteria, fungi, yeast, and protozoa. The regular use of whey protein can help keep your body prepared to ward off everything from the common cold and beyond.

Basic health benefits include:
• Antiviral and antibacterial effects
• Strengthening immune system
• Lowering blood pressure through vascular relaxation
• Improved bone density
• Prebiotic benefits enhancing intestinal health
• Appetite suppression and weight control

If you want to supplement your diet with whey protein products, you have to be careful because not all whey protein products are created equal. Most conventional and vitamin stores sell whey protein powders which are loaded with sugar and chemicals that don’t support good health or detoxification.

If you’re going to supplement, you should only use a high quality whey protein that provides all the necessary nutritional elements for naturally boosting glutathione.

Be sure that your whey protein supplement has the following features:
1. Certified Organic Grass-Fed, hormone free, unflavored, 100% pure, non-GMO
2. Cold processed from raw milk
3. Whey protein concentrate, not protein isolates
4. Sweetened naturally or not at all

Personally, I really enjoy the flavor of whey protein as it adds a creamy texture to my green smoothies. I also notice that I am mentally more alert and physically energized after drinking it. No need for caffeine when you supplement with whey.

If you like this post you may also like: NAC: A Detoxification Revelation

Monday, August 22, 2016

The benefits of ozone dental therapy for periodontal health

Does the word “ozone” make you think of a hole in the earth’s atmosphere or the scent after a lightning strike? In reality, ozone is a vital, healthy element. It shields us from ultraviolet rays of the sun, and it has many helpful applications. Most cities use ozone to keep public water supplies safe and germ-free. Ozone sterilizes bottled water, soda, and produce. It is a component of air purification systems, and is used to clean spas and swimming pools. The same properties that make ozone useful in those situations make it ideal for treatment of gum disease.

The medical community accepts ozone

Physicians have long embraced ozone to heal wounds faster, fight infection, and treat various diseases. Ozone is proven to render bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast, and protozoa inactive. As cells damaged by those organisms are eliminated from the body, healthy cells replace them. Ozone therapy boosts the body’s metabolism of oxygen, causing an increase in red blood cell production.

Dental ozone therapy and gum disease

Gum disease occurs when harmful bacteria overpopulate the mouth. The acids excreted by bacteria irritate gum tissues, causing inflammation and infection. Gums pull away from teeth, forming pockets that trap food debris and allow bacteria to infiltrate deeper. Eventually, you lose teeth and bone. Ozone therapy is a healthy alternative to traditional, invasive periodontal treatments.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Bleeding Gums

Do you have bleeding gums or chronic bad breath? Do you find blood on your pillow in the morning? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions you may have gum disease.

Bleeding Gums

Periodontal (gum) disease is rampant. It is estimated that 80% of the adult population over the age of 40, have it. Most people aren’t even aware that they have it since it is fairly painless with minimal symptoms. If left untreated, the obvious sequelae include painful abscesses, loose teeth, and finally tooth loss. The less obvious sequelae is chronic inflammation in the body, heart attack and strokes.

The worst part is that many dental professionals tend to overlook gum disease, since they are so focused on the actual teeth, not the supporting structures (gums and bone) holding them in your mouth. So going for routine dental checkups may not even be useful in getting a proper diagnosis.

Not all bleeding gums are indicative of periodontal disease. But it does indicate something is amiss.

Here are some other reasons for bleeding gums:
1. Poor or infrequent brushing
2. Poor or infrequent flossing (See our post Floss First)
3. Vitamin deficiency
4. Smoking
5. Stress (See our post Cures for the Grinding Holiday Stress)
6. Crooked or overlapping teeth
7. Medication side effects
8. Sharing saliva with someone who has gum disease. (See our post Gum Disease is Contagious)
9. Pregnancy or hormonal imbalance (See our post Dental Health During Pregnancy)
10. Acidic saliva pH (See our post Saliva Secrets: pH)
11. Oral flora is off balance (See our post Oral Probiotics)

If these circumstances are not recognized or corrected, bleeding gums may become a chronic condition and eventually turn into periodontal disease. There are many simple and natural ways to heal bleeding gums before it becomes full blown periodontal disease. Something as simple as increasing your Vitamin C intake may not only stop your bleeding gums but may also reduce bruising, prevent cataracts, and strengthen your entire immune system. The health of our mouth is a reflection of the health of our entire body, so it is important to listen to what our teeth and gums are telling us.

Conventional dentistry is fairly aggressive at treating the symptoms of periodontal disease, but it may never actually address the underlying cause, setting you up for a lifetime of chronic periodontal care that never cures it. If this is your situation, it may be time to see a biological dentist who may actually help you find the origin and eliminate it completely.

So if you have bleeding gums, it is best to have a qualified licensed health professional evaluate your oral cavity. And always get a second opinion before moving forward with any aggressive periodontal treatment.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dental ozone – simple, safe, and effective treatment for tooth decay

As a city dweller, when you hear the word “ozone,” air pollution probably comes to mind. Uncontrolled ozone at ground level does impact air quality levels. However, ozone is simply oxygen (O2) with an extra atom in its gas molecule (O3). It is often referred to as “excited oxygen.” Ozone is constantly trying to throw off the extra atom, an instability that gives it an oxidizing property, similar to the fizz of hydrogen peroxide. That makes ozone extremely valuable in fighting cavities.

To drill or to heal?

That is the question I am faced with every time I examine a patient and find tooth decay. Historically, a dentist’s only option was to “cut” the tooth – drill away structure damaged by decay. Today, however, I am able to heal many cavities with a gentler alternative.

Treatment involves the painless, controlled application of dental ozone gas. It is sprayed onto a tooth with early stages of decay. Ozone drives oxygen through microscopic tubules in enamel, killing bacteria. Oxidation also eliminates acid waste products from bacteria. This creates an unfavorable setting for harmful bacteria that like an acidic environment, and allows beneficial bacteria to take over. The progress of tooth decay is halted. This new, healthier environment allows minerals to flow back into the tooth, stimulating natural repair of the cavity and hardening the tooth structure. Once a tooth is remineralized, decay doesn’t usually return if you have good nutrition and oral hygiene.

Advanced tooth decay

If you have ignored a cavity and developed a sizeable hole, your tooth won’t regrow that much structure. However, sterilizing the prepared tooth with ozone before placing a filling can be beneficial. It virtually eliminates the chance of a bit of overlooked bacteria starting a new cavity under the filling.

Call 877- 959-7890 to schedule an appointment and learn more about the amazing applications of ozone in dentistry.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Oral Probiotics

When we think about probiotics, we automatically think of intestinal health. We know that intestinal health is a significant key to our healthy immune system, so it is important to maintain its integrity by eating fermented foods or regularly supplementing with probiotics.

But now we can look at the other end of the digestive system- the mouth. Most of us are already aware that the health of the mouth is a reflection of our bodily health. This has already been shown through conventional medicine with simple correlations of periodontal (gum) disease with coronary disease. Holistically, the meridian system (via Acupuncture) has shown that every tooth is correlated with a corresponding body part. (see Meridian Chart here)

With this in mind, maintaining a healthy flora in the oral cavity may be an important shield in preventing cavities, gum disease, bad breath and localized infections like the common cold or sore throat. The bigger picture is that it may save your life by preventing disease in distant outlying bodily organs.
Friendly bacteria (probiotics) boost our immune system and hinder pathogens from binding to your body's tissues. Probiotics can also lessen the growth of pathogens by producing agents that make it harder for them to live and thrive. According to one dental study, probiotics also have properties that reduce inflammation, a benefit that curtails the harmful effects of pathogens. In addition, they can stimulate bone formation, which helps repair the bone that deteriorates from advanced forms of gum disease.

Improving the flora of the mouth is critical for improving overall health. The question is which probiotics to take.

Streptococcus salivarius helps maintain normal oral pH, breaks apart biofilms that harbors germs, reduce inflammation by lowering inflammatory cytokines
Streptococcus oralis and Streptococcus uberis have reported to inhibit the growth of pathogens both in the laboratory and animal models. They are indicators of healthy periodontium. When these bacteria are absent from sites in the periodontal tissues, those sites become more prone to periodontal disease.
Streptococcus rattus adheres to teeth and gets below the gum line to crowd out undesirable bacteria that can cause cavities.

A combination of these probiotics will create a continuous low dose release of hydrogen peroxide that kills off harmful microorganisms and naturally whitens teeth.

For those of us who are looking for easy ways to improve our health, intake of daily probiotics for the mouth and gut is a simple routine to include for creating optimal well-being.

If you like this post, you may also like: Meridian Dentistry

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Fluoride with Lead: A Toxic Combination

According to a recent report published by the Fluoride Action Network, fluoridation chemicals added to public water supplies can leach lead from water pipes and increase lead levels in children’s blood. The report, produced in light of the current lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan, explains that fluorosilicic acid (the chemical that fluoridates the drinking water) intensifies the corrosion from lead pipes and fixtures.

Fluorosilicic acid is a caustic fluoride byproduct of the commercial fertilizer industry and is added to public water supplies, including Flint’s, in a failed effort to prevent tooth decay. (See our many posts on Fluoride at The Brand Wellness Center website that explain this.) Even though lead water pipes were banned in 1986, these pipes are still in use throughout the nation’s water supply infrastructure.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Keeping tooth decay at bay: A holistic approach to preventing and treating cavities

One of the most rewarding aspects of dental practice is helping patients avoid oral problems. I know that even a simple cavity can cause physical discomfort, emotional stress related to appearance, and wellness of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – I take the wellbeing of each patient seriously. I believe in preventing and treating tooth decay with a holistic approach.
concern over treatment cost and taking time off of work. As a healer concerned with the

How tooth decay occurs

Your teeth are covered with a thin coating of enamel, which protects the underlying porous dentin structure. Enamel is incredibly strong, but it is not impermeable. Your mouth is home to hundreds of strains of bacteria. Many are beneficial; they help to break foods down for digestion. However, like any living organism, as bacteria eat, they excrete. In this case the excretion is quite acidic. It combines with acids from sugars in sweet foods and carbohydrates, sticking to teeth in a gooey film of plaque. These acids infiltrate microscopic tubules in tooth enamel and begin to dissolve its mineral compound. The result is tiny lesions that, without care, eventually become holes in your teeth – dental caries, tooth decay, or cavities.

Skeptics ask, “Why consider amalgam removal?”

Dental amalgam has been used in the United States to fill cavities since before the Civil War. In those early days, the material was inexpensive. Even today, some dentists prefer amalgam because fillings can be completed quickly. Prep work doesn’t require a lot of finesse – the dentist simply drills out a substantial portion of tooth structure and presses the malleable material into place. Plus, amalgam lasts a long time. However, these “silver” fillings actually contain only a tiny bit of silver. This combination of metals includes about 50 percent mercury. Many health-conscious patients are choosing to have amalgam fillings removed because of the implications of having one of the most toxic elements known to mankind situated a few inches from the brain. Yet doubters continue to ask, “Why consider amalgam removal?” Let’s take a look at some of their common contentions, from a holistic perspective.

Skeptic claim #1 – “Mercury is harmless in an alloy.”

An alloy is a combination of metallic elements. Dental amalgam is an alloy of copper, tin, and silver, with mercury as a binding agent. Mercury does not become inert in this mixture. Friction (chewing, biting, and grinding) allows mercury vapor to escape from amalgam and be absorbed into the lungs, digestive tract, and soft tissues of the mouth.