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.

February 18, 2018

Cold sores vs. Angular Cheilitis

With so much stress in our lives, cold sores on the lips (and in the mouth) are commonplace.  But sometimes a cold sore may be something else. If you've ever had cold sores that didn't respond to medication designed to treat them, it might be angular cheilitis, a completely different medical condition that looks surprisingly similar. The good news is that angular cheilitis is usually easy to treat, perhaps even easier that cold sores.


Angular cheilitis may mimic cold sores, but there are specific signs you can look for to tell them apart.
1.     Angular cheilitis usually begins as a patch of dry, irritated or cracked skin at one or both corners of the lips. It can persist for years, if left untreated.
2.     Cold sores typically begin as an itchy or painful area that turns into one or a group of small, painful blisters. Over a 7-10 day time period, they may weep, scab over, and then finally heal. They can be found anywhere on the soft tissues of the mouth, intraorally and extraorally.
3.     Angular cheilitis originates from a yeast or staph infection, vitamin deficiencies or poor fitting dentures.
4.     Cold sores are a contagious viral outbreak, usually manifesting when you are under stress or have a weakened immune system.


A cure for either one of these conditions is simple and quick once we know the cause. Nutritional support with a painless laser treatment is usually the easiest way to treat these and to prevent recurrence. Knowing which one you have can make all the difference in the outcome. Always best to see your health provider for a proper diagnosis and plan of action.

January 7, 2018

Silver Diamine Fluoride in Caries Management


There are several ways to reverse or arrest decay (see our many posts on this topic), and the application of silver diamine fluoride has come up recently as a possible solution. In our office, the inquiries on silver diamine fluoride are mostly from parents of young children, hoping to avoid having fillings placed in their toddler’s teeth.

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a colorless strongly alkaline liquid (pH 10) that is 24.4% to 28.8% (weight/volume) silver and 5.0% to 5.9% fluoride. Just as 5% sodium fluoride varnish has FDA clearance as a Class II medical device for the treatment of tooth hypersensitivity, FDA classified SDF as a fluoride and cleared its use as a Class II medical device for the same indication. SDF has been popular for many years in Europe and recently became available here in the United States.

Teeth Stained by Silver Diamine Fluoride


A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the use of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) as an alternative approach to treatment of cavities in children. The article highlighted that SDF was faster and cheaper than drilling and filling; and it mentioned the downside that when applied, SDF blackens the tooth. When applied to a carious lesion, SDF has been shown to lower caries risk of the tooth surface. This is most likely due to its fluoride content topically applied to the tooth. It will not stop decay from progressing deep within the tooth.

Here is a short list of the Pros and Cons:
Pros
• SDF has very low toxicity
• it is quick, painless, non-invasive
• it is less expensive than a filling, no drilling necessary
• it can stop tooth decay on the exterior surface of the cavity and help prevent recurrent decay making it effective in management of root caries in the elderly


Cons:
• permanently stains cavities black.
• does not restore tooth form or function, so large holes in teeth will remain and continue to trap food
• decay and bacteria will continue to exist buried within the tooth structure at the deep internal part of the cavity lesion. This means that the cavity is still active and growing at the part nearest the nerve
• requires repeat application for maximum efficacy
• cannot be used in the presence of infection or decay into the nerve
• metallic taste, funky smell
• potential to irritate gingival and mucosal surfaces

SDF is not a complete solution to caries risk. Single application has been reported to be insufficient for sustained benefit. SDF might be more accurately described as effective for caries control and management. It will not reverse decay.

It likely has additional applicability as an interim approach for managing problematic caries in individuals currently unable to tolerate more involved dental treatment.

A search of ClinicalTrials.gov for silver diamine fluoride returned 14 studies; 7 of which have been completed, 5 that are recruiting, and 2 that have not yet begun recruiting. This suggests that more scientific insight and news will likely be forthcoming about this product.

Silver Diamine Fluoride is not the panacea that many have been led to believe. Proper diet, good oral hygiene are still paramount to maintain a healthy dentition.

December 10, 2017

Magnesium for Better Health


Mineral deficiency is rampant. Due to modern farming methods that rely heavily on using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides that are absorbed into the soil, our topsoil has been heavily depleted of its mineral content. As a result, so are our fruits and vegetables.

Magnesium is the master mineral, and the repercussions of deficiency are easily observed.

Here are  some signs of a magnesium deficiency:
• Poor sleep
• Heart palpitations or flutterings
• Muscle weakness
• Muscle cramps
• Tremors
• Nausea
• Unexplained anxiety
• High blood pressure
• Low blood pressure accompanied with a feeling of fainting
• Type II diabetes
• Respiratory issues, specifically asthma
• Dizziness
• Fatigue
• Difficulty swallowing
• Poor memory
• Confusion
• Immune system problems

Dentally, when mineral deficient, you may experience increased bruxism (grinding of teeth) or even rampant decay (demineralized enamel) or periodontal infections (weakened immune system). Minerals are vital to a strong immune system as well as building the integrity of teeth and bones.

The most immediate response (usually within one day) that I notice in patients who begin increasing magnesium, is better sleep and less anxiety. Many feel as though they have taken a sedative, as their entire body and mind are finally feeling relaxed.

There are many different formulas for magnesium supplements, so it is always best to talk with your health professional to see which would work best for you. Transdermal magnesium chloride (magnesium oil) applied topically or Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) baths are probably one of the safest ways to increase magnesium uptake with virtually no side effects.

So for relaxation, and overall better health, mineral supplementation with an emphasis on magnesium is key.

If you like this post, you may also like our many other Posts on Mineral Supplementation


November 12, 2017

Homeopathy in Dentistry

Homeopathic Remedy




Homeopathy is a natural form of medicine 
used by over 200 million people worldwide to treat both acute and chronic conditions. The name homeopathy, coined by its originator, Samuel Hahnemann in the year 1810, is derived from the Greek words for ‘similar suffering’ referring to the ‘like cures like’ principle of healing. In other words, a substance taken in small amounts will cure the same symptoms it causes if it were taken in large amounts. Homeopathic remedies are vibrational remedies, in which an exceedingly dilute amount of a particular natural substance is used to treat a particular ailment.


That being said, there are a plethora of different homeopathic remedies available over the counter, and even more being custom made for specific disorders.

In my practice, I have found that an increasing number of patients are seeking complementary and alternative therapies to conventional medicine. Homeopathy is one modality that is very helpful in this regard. It can be used successfully as an adjunct in healing dental infections, lessening dental pain, improving periodontal health, and expediting healing after surgery.

Will it cure everything? Probably not. But by integrating homeopathy with the wisdom of conventional dental care, the results can be more progressive than usually expected.

As many of you already know, I am a big believer of vibrational healing. (see The 2 Minute Tune Up post) By using different kinds of quantum energy healing techniques, I have been able to make a full recovery from chronic Lyme disease. By adjusting the energy field of a disorder, the disorder can be brought back to an energy of health.

“Energy (holistic) medicine recognizes that there is more to affecting change than going directly after the symptom. Sometimes you have to affect the field to create a shift in the particle; like listening to uplifting music to change your emotional state which will ultimately affect your physical health. This is based on Quantum physics: using indivisible units of energy called quanta to affect the field around it. And this theory basis of Quantum physics explains the precepts behind Energy Medicine,” inclusive of homeopathy. (Referenced from my post on Reiki: June 2011)

While homeopathy falls under the umbrella of alternative or complementary medicine, it is not to be confused with naturopathy or herbalism. Homeopathy is defined more narrowly than naturopathy. Homeopathy is one of the most frequently used complementary therapies worldwide.

October 19, 2017

Genetic Testing for Gum Disease and Oral Cancer



The link between genetics and degenerative diseases has become a focal point in the medical field.
DNA testing for Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, diabetes, etc. is fairly common nowadays; and the addition of new types of genetic testing is mounting.


Cross over to dentistry, and let’s see what’s available. Presently, in New York State, the dentist is now allowed to test for genetic markers in saliva for periodontal disease and oral cancer (from HPV). Both are relatively simple and painless tests. No needles, no drills, no blood. Just rinse with a saline (salt) solution and spit into a test tube. One week later, your results are in.

So why is this important? Well, if you have the genetic markers for gum disease, you really don’t want to postpone periodontal care. Losing teeth is never a good thing (can’t smile and can’t eat) and it will be expensive to replace missing teeth with implants or dentures. Best to diagnose it before it is symptomatic to prevent it from manifesting.

As for the genetic oral cancer test, it is good to know which HPV gene you have if any (there are 51 HPV types tested in the saliva analysis), so that you can be proactive in eradicating it BEFORE oral cancer strikes.

According to a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, nationwide rates for oral HPV infections are 11.5% of men and 3.2% of women. That’s 11 million men, compared with 3.2 million women. That means that about one in nine American men is infected with the oral form of human papillomavirus (HPV).

Genetic testing for the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease, as well as the assessment for oral cancer susceptibility, allows for a personalized approach to holistic preventive health care.

Bear in mind that that nearly all oral diseases cause absolutely no pain until they are quite advanced. This includes tooth decay, periodontal disease, and oral cancer. Oral cancer occurs more frequently than most other common cancers. Due to late diagnosis, about half of the nearly 50,000 patients diagnosed every year with oral cancer in the U.S. will die of their disease. The only positive way to impact this devastating outcome is with yearly physical examination of the oral cavity, head, and neck. Saliva genetic analysis may just save your life.

Be sure to ask for you saliva genetic testing at your next visit.

August 13, 2017

Ozone Dental Therapy for Dental Cavities

As a city dweller, when you hear the word “ozone,” air pollution probably comes to mind. Yes the two (air pollution and ozone) often go together, but only because ozone is nature’s response to counteracting the air pollution. Uncontrolled ozone at ground level does impact air quality levels, usually negating air pollution toxins.

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 not just air pollution, but all types of toxins, including those found in dental cavities.


Historically, when faced with a dental cavity, a dentist’s only option was to “cut” the tooth – drill away structure damaged by decay. Today, however, we are able to heal many small cavities with a gentler alternative.

Nutrition is of primary importance as we are rebuilding tooth structure. That being said, following the Weston Price protocol is critical. What you eat is as important as what you don’t eat. (See this post for more information http://www.thebrandwellnesscenter.com/apps/blog/show/24822385-reversing-and-preventing-cavities- )

Ozone dental 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 thrive in an acidic environment, and allows beneficial bacteria to take over. The progress of tooth decay is essentially halted.

This new, healthier environment allows minerals to flow back into the tooth, stimulating natural repair of the cavity and hardening of the tooth structure. Once a tooth is remineralized, decay doesn’t usually return once you continue with good nutrition and oral hygiene.

If you have a large cavity with 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 will sterilize the internal tooth structure and assist with internal remineralization of the tooth. This will practically eliminate the possibility for any bacteria starting a new cavity under the filling.

The applications of ozone in dentistry are many, as it can be used successfully for treating resistant tooth, gum and bone infections of the jaw.

If you like this post, you may also like our other Ozone postings:
http://www.thebrandwellnesscenter.com/apps/blog/entries/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=ozone 

July 22, 2017

Integrating Naturopathy and Dentistry


Holistic medicine is growing rapidly in the United States. Conventional medicine with its use of medications (and subsequent side effects) and invasive treatments, is losing its allure to the general population. People want to be well and feel well without taking drugs.

This is not to downplay the importance of allopathic medicine, as it certainly has its place in emergency situations. But for chronic health challenges, patients are waking up to the idea that there may be solutions outside of just treating the symptoms of the illness.

Dr. Brand receives her Naturopathic Physician Certification
         

Patients want answers for their chronic health problems, as they finally realize that they are frustrated with the idea of “medication for life”. People are sick and tired of being sick and tired!

As a holistic practitioner, I understand profoundly the mouth–body connection. As a person who overcame chronic Lyme disease (and all its associated symptoms), I understand the hopelessness of being given a label of having an incurable disease.

Having experienced both sides of the conventional medical paradigm, as a doctor and a as a patient, I can honestly attest that there is more to regaining health than most of us have been led to believe.

It is my opinion that most chronic illnesses can be reversed, just as I was able to get past chronic Lyme, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, neuropathy, tremors, brain fog, leaky gut, macular degeneration and an entire host of other “dis-eases” labeled as incurable.

As I wrote in my short book My Secrets to Regaining Health:
"Shifting your health starts with you. Believe that you can be healed. Be proactive in  making it so, and you will be. It worked for me and it can for you."
Using biocompatible dental products is important for preventing additional damage to your health, but clearing your body of existing toxins that have accumulated over a lifetime, may be a bigger missing link to regaining health.

As a holistic dentist/naturopathic physician, I am are rooted in the concept that when treating teeth, I consider the entire body — diet, lifestyle, mental and emotional health. In my practice, I only use technology that minimizes exposure to harmful chemicals — for the patient, staff and doctor, as well as the environment.

We are all so much more than our bodies. Holistic medicine is an integrative field that involves the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual fields of health. As a dentist and as a naturopathic physician, I can intelligently and rightfully integrate all these modalities into my dental practice.

Colostrum: Superfood for Babies and Adults

Colostrum is what is often referred to as "pre-milk", or the fluid produced by the mother's mammary glands during the first 72 hours following the birth of her child. Colostrum provides vital immune and growth factors that ensure the health and vitality of the newborn. In fact, all mammals produce colostrum after giving birth to their young; and receiving colostrum is so important that most baby animals would become ill and die prematurely without it. Colostrum contains almost no lactose, so those that are lactose intolerant should have no problems with a high quality colostrum.


Nearly all infectious, degenerative and autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart disease, are preceded or accompanied by impaired functioning of the immune system. This impairment can occur years or decades before the actual disease is diagnosed. Studies show that colostrum contains powerful immune factors (immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, cytokines and interferon) that work to help restore a properly functioning immune system.

• It also contains PRPs (proline-rich-polypeptides), which have been shown to be powerful immune system modulators.
• PRPs work by stimulating the thymus gland (producer of T cells) that provides protection against antigens.
• PRPs calm down an overactive immune system, thereby assisting in shutting down autoimmune diseases.

Colostrum also contains numerous growth factors (hormones) which promote healing and create an anti-aging response. These benefits include:
• Regenerate and accelerate normal growth of aged or injured muscle, bone, cartilage, skin collagen and nerve tissue.
• Muscle mass, which normally decreases with age, can be preserved or increased.
• Repair DNA and RNA.
• Bone mass and density is increased
• Heal burns, surgical incisions, cuts, abrasions, and mouth sores with topical application.
• Help regulate blood glucose levels and "brain chemicals", providing alertness and better concentration.
• Help regulate the brain's "feel-good" chemicals to brighten mood.

As for oral health:
• Control infection and pain associated with gingivitis, sensitive teeth and dental work.
• Conclusive study showing colostrum is effective in the treatment of Sjogrens (dry mouth) syndrome.

Colostrum is a whole, complete natural substance which doesn't need to be overly processed in order to be effective. There have been no contraindications, side effects, or allergies reported during the thousands of years of human consumption. Additionally, we know that colostrum's ability to increase the surface area of the small intestine can potentially make some medications, vitamins, and minerals more absorbable. This may necessitate that your doctor reduce your medication dosage. This also means that you’ll also get more nutrition from the foods you eat.

For those baby boomers born in the era of bottle feeding (not breast fed on mother’s milk), and hoping to improve chronic health issues, supplementing with colostrum may be the missing link for attaining better health.

May 12, 2017

A Healthy Mouth May Extend Your Life Span



Most of us involved with holistic health are already aware that the health of your mouth is a reflection of the health of your body.

Here is another study substantiating this.

According to the BMJ (British Medical Journal), a recent study in Sweden was conducted that proved there is a significant link between excessive dental plaque and premature cancer death. Higher levels of bacteria correlated with increased risks of dying up to 13 years earlier than normally expected.

Dental Plaque

Almost 1400 people were followed for a period of 24 years. Of the 58 people who passed away, 35.6% of them were women and 64.4% were men. The difference between genders was statistically significant, implying that men need to keep a cleaner oral cavity to stay well.

Based on the findings of this study, the high bacterial load on tooth surfaces and in gingival pockets over a prolonged period of time may indeed play a significant role in getting cancer. The control of the oral biofilm (plaque, tartar) is necessary to reduce the burden of the bad bacteria that may lead to getting cancer.

As was concluded in the study, poor oral hygiene, as reflected in the amount of dental plaque, was associated with increased cancer mortality. As a good preventative, we should all floss, brush, and eat right on a daily basis. And as importantly, visit your dentist regularly for evaluations and proper dental cleanings.

April 19, 2017

Healing Your Adrenals



As a follow-up to our last post, there are some simple remedies to improve your adrenal health:

  • ·        Limit all caffeine (soda, coffee, tea, chocolate). Or just limit it to the early morning
  • ·        Limit all sugar foods or foods that quickly break down to sugar (most simple carbohydrates)
  • ·        Increase Vit C intake
  • ·        Increase mineral intake (grey Celtic salt is a good choice as it has 84 minerals)
  • ·        Increase magnesium intake- Epsom salt baths or magnesium oil
  • ·        Get off the computer/cell phone before 10 PM
  • ·        Do your best to get in bed by 10 PM. The circadian rhythm of the body allows for optimum physical healing between the hours of 10 PM and 2 AM
  • ·        Install the free f:lux software  so that your computer/cell phone does not emit the blue light in the evening. (The blue light from these electronics stimulates brain activity and keeps you awake)
  • ·        Do not eat within 3 hours of bedtime
  • ·        Add healthy fats – Coconut oil, ghee, olives, organic olive oil, and clarified butter all greatly support adrenal health.
  • ·        Eliminate stress -try meditation, yoga, breathing techniques
  • ·        Eliminate toxic metals from your environment (cookware, dental fillings, water supply, etc.)
  • ·        Add adaptogenic herbs – Ashwagandha, panax ginseng, and astragalus are good choices
  • ·       Add medicinal mushrooms – These include Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, etc. They all have stress-relieving properties and boost overall levels of health.  I use them as teas.
By integrating as many of these natural adrenal healing practices, you should start feeling more rested, healthy, and energetic over time. Adrenal fatigue can be healed; you just need to see what works best for you. Making better daily choices in foods and lifestyle is key. 

As always, it is best to work with an adrenal educated health practitioner to get the best results.

 If you like this post, you may also like: Adrenal Fatigue and Mercury Fillings

March 19, 2017

Adrenal Fatigue and Mercury Fillings

Adrenal fatigue is rampant. With our highly stressed lives, poor diet and environmental toxins. adrenal gland imbalance will occur and can be a major undiagnosed underlying factor in many chronic illnesses.

Testing for adrenal fatigue is easy (saliva test) but rarely done my most physicians unless specifically requested. Even more unsettling is that most physicians have no clear cut remedy to treat this illness, as the causes of the adrenal fatigue can be multifactorial. It is not simply a nutritional problem but also a result of our daily poor habitual choices in a highly stressed lifestyle.


The adrenal glands are 2 of the most powerful endocrine glands in the body. They are also 2 of the most ignored. The adrenals sit on top of the kidneys and produce hormones that are vital to life.

The adrenals produce a variety of hormones. They modulate the body's stress response, and are involved in numerous other biological functions including blood pressure control, digestive functions, anti-inflammatory responses, thyroid function and sleep patterns.

These are the major adrenal hormones:
• Cortisol -helps regulate metabolism and helps your body respond to stress
• Aldosterone -helps control blood pressure
• Adrenaline -helps your body respond to stress
• DHEA –precursor to estrogen and testosterone
 
The most accurate way to assess adrenal function is through a saliva cortisol evaluation. There are other ways to assess adrenal function, including blood tests and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. These methods will not give you exact cortisol and DHEA values. Blood tests can measure the adrenal hormones but saliva hormones are considered far more accurate.

The symptoms of adrenal fatigue are said to include:
• Exhaustion, especially in the morning
• Insomnia, trouble getting to sleep
• Craving salt and sugar
• Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
• Reliance on stimulants such as caffeine to get through the day
• Dizziness or lightheadedness upon standing
• Loss of body hair
• Skin discoloration, particularly on the palms of your hands, knees, elbows and knuckles
• Lack of menstrual periods
• Thyroid imbalance
• Depression
• Anxiety

And I must say that this list could easily describe 80% of the new patients that come for consultations. Most come for mercury amalgam removal. Mercury toxicity from their silver fillings may be a partial cause for their health problems, but adrenal fatigue may also be an issue. Which came first can be tough to say.

The causes of adrenal fatigue are due to:
• Chronic emotional stress, worry
• Poor diet (junk food, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, too much chocolate)
• Not enough sleep, staying up too late
• Pollutants in the air and food
• Heavy metals toxicity (mercury fillings, aluminum from pots and foil)
• Reoccurring trauma (PTSD)
• EMFs from cell phones, computers, wifi, cell towers

In terms of dental health and adrenal fatigue, it has been shown in many research papers that mercury has a high affinity for all endocrine glands (adrenal and thyroid inclusive). So replacing your mercury amalgam fillings may be part of the solution in reversing adrenal fatigue.

If you like this post you may also like:  Our many posts on Mercury Toxicity  or Aluminum Toxicity