Issue #29, May 2010
In This Issue:
Smile Power - FAQ on the Biological Dental Perspective - Privileging Drugs, Bashing Herbs
JoAnne's Motivational Minute: Smile Power
By JoAnne Boettcher-Verigin
It's been there so long, I don't always notice it: the plaque in our office that says, "I saw a man who didn't have a smile. So I gave him one of mine." But last month when were taking down everything from the walls to have some painting and other remodeling done, I took a long look at it and smiled to remember when we got it — when Gary and I were at a dental convention in San Francisco, not long after we'd started our practice. I had seen the plaque in an exhibitor's booth and really wanted to buy it. The trouble was, we didn't have money to spend on extras. We had dental chairs, handpieces and other office equipment to buy. But on the last day, I stopped and talked with the reps as they were packing up. They were also selling their remaining goods at deep discount so they would have less to ship back.
They had less to ship, and I had more to carry, happy to add some decoration to our office that expressed our outlook a bit.
Dentistry and smiles, of course, go together. After all, who do people look to for help in getting and keeping a great smile? And what's so great about a smile? A lot!
If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it. — Andy Rooney
In his fascinating essay "Why Do We Smile?" Rabbi Boruch Leff writes that "smiling is at the root of who we are as human beings. In fact, it's the very first thing parents take pride in when they monitor their infant's development. A baby, long before it even begins to communicate verbally and physically, feels the message of a smile instinctively and almost always responds in kind."
In Jewish lore, teeth are linked to wisdom: 32 paths of wisdom correspond to the 32 teeth. "The number 32," writes Rabbi Leff, "has the numerical value…of the Hebrew word lev, which means heart. This means that our 32 teeth represent what is in our heart."
But there's more than just a mystical relation. There's a very real physical and energetic connection between the teeth and all the organs of the body. Even conventional dentists understand the relation of oral and systemic health, noting the link between periodontal (gum) and heart disease, as well as diabetes, arthritis and other conditions. Research also has shown a link between missing teeth and memory decline.
Simply put, a healthy smile supports a healthy body, and vice versa.
Every tooth in a man's head is more valuable than a diamond. — Miguel de Cervantes
Many of us underestimate the importance and power of a smile — that practically effortless facial expression that can mean so many things: pleasure, friendliness, greetings, delight, compassion….It's also part of a universal body language, no extra interpretation needed. It has no monetary value, yet it is priceless. A smile, in its simplicity and beauty, can be a very significant aspect in many areas of our lives.
Even more important is that when you smile, you feel good. And when you get a smile from someone else, you feel good, too!
Smile— sunshine is good for your teeth. — Anonymous
Read more about the mental and physical health benefits of smiling here.
And if you want to smile, be sure to click each letter in the word "smile" in that last quote.
Dr. Verigin's Comment: A Biological Dentist's Perspective of Living Systems
Part 2: FAQ on the Biological Dental Perspective
By Gary M. Verigin, DDS, CTN
In Neural Focal Dentistry, Dr. Ernesto Adler quotes dialogue from a German TV show:
Interviewer: Is it possible to draw conclusions about the rest of the organism from the examination of the teeth?
Dental Professor: NO!
Interviewer: Is it possible that teeth in a pathological condition may cause or sustain illness and disorders in the organism?
Dental Professor: NO!
But as Adler's text shows, those resounding nos speak loudly of the speaker's ignorance or resistance (or both) to dental realities. In 339 pages, Adler brilliantly relates his clinical observations on the connections between dental foci, interference fields and nearly every other branch of medicine. He presents hundreds of well-documented cases, showing amazing cures of severe illnesses once interference fields of the head were removed. (What are foci? See the previous series "Understanding Dental Foci and the Disease Process": Part 1, Part 2.)
I now want to share how we combine Adler's paradigm with Reckeweg's, which we explored last time. The more keenly our clients know these concepts, the more effectively we can work together to map out the most logical route of beneficial dental therapy. And perhaps the easiest way to see how this all comes together is through answers to some common questions about our work with biological clients.
FAQs on the Biological Dental Perspective
What happens when someone contacts you because their health care provider recommended they see a biological dentist?
First, I think that their practitioner is someone who thinks outside the box! Many conventional physicians seem to think teeth are like fingernails — appendages that look nice, help us eat and may be chewed on when nervous. The globally thinking practitioner understands better. The teeth are living organs, and along with the surrounding structures, they can affect a person's health.
So while most dentists know that diseased periodontal tissues are linked to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, not all realize that the teeth can cause problems. They don't accept that mercury amalgam fillings, root canal teeth, cavitations and implants pose any health risks. They don't think biocompatibility testing is needed or useful. They seem to believe that whatever materials a manufacturer sells must be safe and will cause no problems so long as they're properly crafted into properly fitted restorations.
How do toxins fit into the picture?
If you follow the daily news, you're well aware of just how unhealthy our country is. If you've seen films like Food, Inc., you know how genetically modified foods and industrial farming practices are global efficiencies that trade profits for health. If you've read books like Selling Sickness, you know how corporate medicine is driven by markets, not health or human need. And how unhealthy is it making us? Consider these findings from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices:
According to the information gathered from data submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during the first quarter of 2008, there were 20,745 reported serious injuries associated with drug therapy, up 34% from the previous quarter, and up 38% from last year's average. Even more eye-opening than the number of serious injuries is the number of reported deaths — 4,824 people were reported killed from pharmaceutical drugs in the first quarter of 2008, a 2.6 fold increase from the previous quarter. This figure represents the highest number of patient deaths ever reported in a single quarter as a result of drug therapy. It also accounts for more deaths than those due to homicide during the same period.
Meanwhile, our environment is increasingly contaminated. The subglacial volcano that erupted in Iceland last month coughed up a dust cloud that crept across the industrial powerhouses of Europe, casting a pall over an interwoven world. The microscopic particles were reported to be as hard as a knife blade. Not long after, the BP spill began gushing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from its source deep below the sea. Whole ecosystems are threatened. If and when fishing ever resumes there, you can be sure the catch will be tainted for a long time after. (You can read here about some of the already emerging health effects of the toxins involved.)
These kinds of polluting substances are what Reckeweg called homotoxins:
[In] our war with these homotoxins and that which is damaged by poisons, toxins, chemotherapeutics and others, the organism tries to repair itself. These reactions of self repair we call illness. These reactions are expressions of proper healing. In Phases 1-3, the humoral phase the detoxication and excretion of homotoxins occurs. In Phases 4-6, the cellular phase is where the organism has lingering diseases; the organism is damaged more or less by homotoxins and attempts to regulate these damages.
So one of the first things we do when a person asks us to look for dental obstacles is to get their complete health history. For one, it can help us identify potential sources of homotoxins, whether their origin is explicitly dental or external. But it can also cue us to the possibility of dental foci. Lingering, chronic diseases, degenerative diseases, recurrent illnesses, allergic reactions and unclear ailments such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia often suggest that foci may be a factor.
How do you determine whether dental conditions are a factor?
Obviously, a detailed oral exam is required. We chart the existing teeth, fillings and restorations, as well as the condition of the gums. I also look for any soft tissue conditions that could indicate trauma or potential cancer lesions.
Next, we evaluate the client's occlusion, dental orthopedic alignment, vertical dimension and TM joint function, and palpate the muscles of the dental cranial complex, including the neck and shoulders. If multiple metals or a lot of metal restorations are present, oral battery testing is in order. This test measures the electrical current they emit, which at significant levels can contribute to a host of medical problems. We may also conduct pulp vitality testing, which measures the response of each tooth's nerves to electrical stimulation. It's important to note, though, that this doesn't determine pulpal health. A tooth can be "vital" yet still have a chronically inflamed pulp that may be a focus.
A full mouth set of x-rays is also taken, but they give us just a two-dimensional understanding of the teeth. They may show potential foci, but foci can't be diagnosed from them.
How can you diagnose foci?
Palpation (systematic touching) of the submandibular (below the jaw) lymph nodes is the first step. If any are sensitive or enlarged, we know that the lymphatic defense barrier is under siege. Antibodies are being formed to counter homotoxins in the jaws' terrain.
Another set of points to be evaluated are those advocated by Dr. Adler in Neural Therapy Dentistry. These "Adler points" are located in front of the paravertebral (upper back) muscles on the transverse processes toward the top of the spine (C2-3). If they're sensitive to pressure, foci are likely present. If the sensitivity is over C2, the focus is in the upper arch; if C3, the lower. Sinus points are located at the lower edge of the occipital bone (on the lower back of the skull). Tonsillar points are located on the upper edge of the trapezius muscle. People who have had their tonsils removed — or who have thyroid disorders — often experience pressure to the fourth cervical vertebra, which indicates pathological changes in the deep lymphatic glands.
If these tests are positive, we then turn to electrodermal acupuncture evaluation (EAV). This technology lets us locate foci and determine their type, intensity and distant effect. Bar none, it's the most meaningful test for foci available. As with any diagnostic tool, of course, EAV is subject to an element of uncertainty. Thoroughness and precision in collecting the health history and conducting the various exams, then comparing results across the data, are the best means of minimizing uncertainty.
If toxins are the problem, what kinds escape a root canal tooth or cavitation jaw lesion and disrupt the biological terrain?
In Cancer: A Second Opinion, German physician Joseph Issels noted that 98% of the cancer patients he'd treated had at least two root canal teeth when he first examined them. Swedish neurologist Patrick Störtebecker reported that over 90% of his brain surgery cases reflected the presence of dental foci. Suffice it to say, potent toxins are at work here.
One of the main toxins emitted is mercaptan — the same stuff that natural gas companies add to their odorless product so that if there's a gas leak, people can smell it. It's so powerful that if you had two Olympic-sized pools and someone put just three drops of mercaptan in one of them, your nose would be able to tell the difference (Discover Magazine, May 2010). Root canal teeth and cavitations ooze this stuff — along with equally smelly thioethers — into a person's system 24/7, 365 days a year, from the dead microbes they house.
So what does a person do with this knowledge, and how should they proceed with treatment?
First, it's important to realize that even if foci are present, they may not necessarily be the root or sole source of illness. Other factors may be involved, including toxins from pesticide residues in foods, food additives and pharmaceutical drugs. Often in the case of long-standing, chronic illnesses, an interference field can prove to be but a co-factor — albeit one that plays a huge role in the development of the multi-causal illnesses charted on Reckeweg's Table of Homotoxicosis.
|Table of Homotoxicosis - Click here to download a PDF of the table.
This is another reason why getting the big picture is so important.
Over the years, I've seen all kinds of clients come in. One totes two shopping bags full of supplements they're taking. Another lists 84 different pharmaceutical drugs and 60 over-the-counter drugs they've used in the past decade. Yet both and others like them still walk around profoundly fatigued, in pain and experiencing all manner of symptoms. They think that if they just have their amalgams replaced, root canal teeth removed or cavitations cleaned out, they'll be on the road to physical recovery.
After 45 years of practicing dentistry, I can tell you, this never happens.
The homotoxins they harbor in their biological terrain — the common sounding board for the accumulation of everything they've been exposed to in their lives — are numerous. This is why Reckeweg developed his paradigm. He needed to have a roadmap of which organ systems or tissues layers were involved with which symptoms or illnesses, and how those symptoms or illnesses progressed.
Those with a profound toxic load should never proceed with dental surgery without first triggering regressive vicaration — movement from right to left on Reckeweg's chart above — via Antihomotoxic Therapy and dietary changes. Once the illness, symptoms or EAV data shift from the cellular phases to the humoral, surgery becomes an option. The idea is to enhance the client's physiological functions before doing anything that might sap their strength or otherwise cause a setback. You prepare the body to heal.
While it is impossible to see the moon during an eclipse, the beautiful moon is still there. It is not possible to see everything at once. Interference fields are sometimes imperceptible to our sense of sight and smell, but in spite of everything, they do exist as far as their effects are concerned! It is just that they are sometimes very difficult to find. Because of this, it is not easy to come up with the appropriate treatment for the illness corresponding to the hidden interference field.
But although it's not easy, the benefits of finding and appropriately treating dental foci are immense, and if foci are suspected, the sooner the better. Individuals need to be carefully evaluated before functional illness becomes an inorganic syndrome and they are plagued with chronic, lingering diseases which may be irreversible.
In the next issue, we'll look more closely at the value of treatment for removing interference fields or foci and how to prepare the terrain for oral surgery, as then look at a case history.
Many people put more time into the maintenance of their cars than into their own body! Buy yourself organic vegetables and eat them. Invest in yourself….You can ask yourself, "What have I consumed today that will build high integrity blood, bone, brain and body tissue? What have I done today that will add another day to my life?" — Annie Padden & David Jubb
From Our Blog:
Privileging Drugs, Bashing Herbs
Not long ago, we ran across a couple of hmmm-inducing headlines on news stories involving herbal medications. The first covered research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on problems that can arise from mixing "heart drugs" and some herbal supplements. According to WebMD's report,
[Researcher Arshad ] Jahangir says the danger is especially great in elderly heart patients, who are often also taking drugs for other chronic conditions and who may already have an increased risk for bleeding.
Bleeding was one of the most frequently cited interaction risks identified by the Mayo researchers, along with reducing or increasing the potency of the prescribed medications.
Some specific examples they cited included:
- St. John's wort, which is typically used to treat depression, anxiety, and sleep problems, has been shown in some studies to decrease the effectiveness of the arrhythmia drug digoxin, as well as blood-pressure-lowering medications and cholesterol-regulating statins.
- The herbal remedies alfalfa, dong quai, bilberry, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, and ginkgo biloba were all identified by the researchers as increasing bleeding risk when combined with the widely prescribed anti-clotting drug Coumadin (warfarin). Ginseng and green tea were identified as decreasing Coumadin's effects.
- The banned herbal product ephedra (ma-huang) has been linked to stroke, heart attack, seizures, and death from cardiac arrhythmia in otherwise healthy adults who used the product to boost energy or lose weight.
The headline on this story?
Herbal Remedies May Be Risky with Heart Drugs
Why not "Heart Drugs May Be Risky with Herbal Remedies"?
Well, for one, in a culture where drugs are the norm, natural medicine is seen as something extra — at best, not harmful and maybe having some placebo effect; at worst, something that gives people false hope and keeps them from seeking "real" treatment. Of course, this view is only tenable when you ignore the evidence — clinical and scientific — supporting various so-called "alternative" treatments and accept the illusion that all corporate, Western school medicine has been thoroughly, rigorously and scientifically tested. (Even some defenders of Western medicine acknowledge the illusion.)
Until corporate medicine accepts proven holistic treatments as medicine, it will always insist that when bad interactions occur, the problem is with the herbs, not the drugs.
This attitude comes across even more forcefully in the headline of the second news item:
Herbal Medicines Can Be Lethal, Pathologist Warns
This article reported on a paper published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, in which Professor Roger Byard discusses cases of herbal medicine toxicity, such as when the medicine is contaminated with heavy metals or taken at too high a dose or taken with drugs or other medicines that cause a bad reaction. But despite what the headline says, in exactly none of these cases are herbal medicines in and of themselves the problem. Contamination is a problem of manufacture, which is why it's important to choose high quality supplements when you do take them. Dosage is an issue with any substance: too much of anything - even water - is toxic and potentially lethal. The risk of bad interactions can be largely avoided by consulting with a qualified health professional before taking any medicine or nutritional supplement, and keeping your health care providers informed of your regimen, including any changes to it.
The scary headline effectively buries those points, even as it reinforces the bias against natural medicine, as does the other headline. Consequently, skeptics may feel their views justified while those who could benefit from the important information contained in such articles — those who take herbs or use other holistic health practices — may ignore it, writing the whole piece off as yet another hatchet job against time-tested remedies.
That strikes us as a lose-lose situation.
For more articles like this one, as well as health news, tips and video, visit our blog, Know Thy Health.
Food, medicine, beauty, and love. When we talk about them in English, they seem so different from each other. But looking at them from another perspective, they are not so different. Good food is a part of good health. Good health leads to good looks. Love surrounds it all. When we feed or heal, we share love. When we love and are loved, we are beautiful. — Alma Snell