What is Total Body Dentistry

Definition: The practice of dentistry that takes into account the effect of dental treatment and materials on the overall health of the individual.

The teeth are part of your body, and one cannot be as healthy as they are capable of being with an unhealthy mouth.

Dr. Reinhold Voll, my German professor, routinely stated that 90% of all chronic disease has an orientation in the mouth.

Possible Disturbance Fields In The Mouth

1. Bio-Incompatible Dental Materials
In 1826, a revolutionary new dental restorative material called ‘amalgam’ was introduced to the United States. The amalgam filling was developed in England and France and contained silver, tin, copper, zinc and mercury in various percentages…with mercury being the highest percentage at over 50%. The amalgam fillings were not openly embraced by organized dentistry in America, and in 1840, members of the American Society of Dental Surgeons were required to sign pledges not to use mercury fillings. In fact, several New York city dentists were suspended from this organization in 1848 for malpractice for using silver / mercury fillings. In 1859, a new organization was formed as a result of the internal strife over the use of mercury in dentistry – the American Dental Association, and their filling material of choice, as it still is today, is the mercury (approx.50%), silver (approx.30%) amalgam filling. In spite of numerous published scientific studies over the years demonstrating the ill effects of mercury fillings in the mouth, plus knowing that the FDA has never approved the amalgam mixture as a safe dental device, mercury / silver / amalgam fillings are still the primary dental restoration used by dentists in the U.S. (approx.100 million mercury fillings are placed yearly ).

So ignoring science, and just using common sense, here are some basic concerns:

  • Mercury before it is placed into the mouth is a hazardous toxin in the environment.
  • The scrap amalgam which is removed from the mouth cannot be thrown away in the trash, or the dentist is subject to a $10,000 fine by the Environmental Protection Agency ! Instead, the scrap is considered a toxic waste and must be removed by a hazardous waste company.
  • Therefore, why are we placing this substance in the patient’s mouth? Is the safest place to store mercury in the patient’s mouth?

However, there are many other issues in dentistry regarding the biocompatibility of the dental materials placed in the mouth. The main issue being that there is no biocompatibility testing required to bring a dental material to the marketplace. Besides, the mercury filling issue, there are also issues regarding: the constituents of the resins in composites (white, tooth colored fillings); the use of non precious / nickel metal crowns and root canal posts; stainless steel ( nickel ) appliances; denture resin materials; and the composition of implants, etc. The immune system has to “deal with” any foreign / non-self substance placed in the body. The quest then is to pick substances which are the least immune challenging, and also, to minimize the number of immune challenges (ex…when replaced, having all of your filling materials, bonding agents, crown materials, and cements, etc., be of the same substance / brand. ). It would be ideal if you and your dentist would have your own personal “dental menu” of dental materials to use, when dentistry is required. For information on biocompatibility testing, check the references listed at the end of this article.

2. Tooth Decay
In order for dental decay to happen, three things are necessary: 1) germs, 2) germ food, and 3) teeth. The key to preventing the decay process is not to allow these three items to be present at the same time. The mouth has the highest bacterial count in your body, and even though you might be a fanatic flosser, there will still be germs. Mechanical removal of germs is not the entire answer to decay, and loosing the teeth is what we are trying to avoid. Therefore, the real the issue, the one where you can have the highest degree of control, is your nutrition. Germs do have a preference of meals….refined sugars (sucrose), and since germs can’t order out, they eat what we give them to eat. So it would seem pretty simple to just not eat refined sugars, right? Well, it is estimated that the average American eats 150 lbs. of refined sugar per year, and since I probably eat about 10lbs. of sugar a year, someone is eating my extra 140 lbs. of sugar!

It’s still not this simple. More than 1/6 of the calories in an average American diet derives from sucrose, however only about 20% of the 150 lbs of sugar consumed per person is purchased in it’s straight form for home use…..for coffee, baking, cereal, etc. The other 80% is hidden in foods,soft drinks, etc…..even disguised as other brand names. However, the germs that decay your teeth couldn’t care less about what it is called!

It’s still not that simple. Decay is also a systemic disease, as just as a tooth can effect the associated organ….the organ’s health can also effect the tooth. In addition, the ph of the body has major effects effects on the calcium / phosporous ratios and proper calcium metabolism. The end result is still the same….deterioration of the mouth and another systemic interference field for the associated energy meridian pathways. For information on nutrition and dental disease, check the references listed at the end of this article.

3. Periodontal / Gum disease
This pathologic condition is characterized by symptoms ranging from swelling and bleeding of the gum tissue, receding gums, bone loss, and loose teeth. This disease process is present in approximately 85% of the population. While periodontal disease is thought of as an older person’s affliction, as many as one-half of high school students have some form of gingivitis ( gum inflammation….a prelude to periodontitis ). Any degenerative condition in the mouth is a potential energetic disruption of the associated energy meridian.

4. Electrogalvanism
Oral galvanism is a condition created when two different metals are placed in saliva. An electric current called a galvanic current is generated by the transport of metal ions from the dissimilar metal fillings into the saliva, which serves as the electrolyte. This same electrical generation process is what produces electricity in your car battery. Many people have a constant metallic taste, which is not viewed as a serious problem, but only as “an irrelevant phenomenon”.However, clinically, high current and elecromagnetic fields in the mouth can have a negative impact on the energy meridians flowing through the mouth, and be a factor in the lack of energetic nourishment of distant areas of the body.

Electrical currents in the mouth and their potential health effects were first reported in the scientific literature more than100 years ago. In addition, numerous articles have appeared more than 75 years ago in both the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Dental Association about the systemic effects of these galvanic currents in the mouth. In fact, even my dental textbook (in 1968) on dental materials advised not to place mercury and gold so they are touching. In spite of these previous directives, a very highpercentage (at least 80 ) of all gold crowns I remove have a mercury filling underneath ! However, the subject of electrogalvanism is not just about about mercury. It’s about a subject that architects, pipe fitters, metal workers, welders,etc…..but not dentists, are very familiar with… dissimilar metals.

We do not know nearly enough about these electical fields and their effects on our biologic systems, as little research is being done in this area. Future research may demonstrate that such elecrical activity in the mouth may be the most damaging side effects of having metals in your mouth, as other areas of concern about the electrical current in the mouth my be demonstrated by EEG (brain) and EKG (heart) measurements.

Various galvanic measurement meters are available for your dentist to measure oral electrical activity in the mouth. For information on electogalvanic testing, and various protocals for mercury filling removal according to the sequential removal theory, Check the references listed at the end of this article.

5. Traumatic Occlusion / Bite Problems
If a tooth touches it’s opposing tooth minutely quicker than the adjacent teeth, that tooth will receive more pressure than it’s neighbors. This increased pressure everytime we close our mouths ( every 30 seconds or so when we swallow ) is what creates a traumatic situation for that tooth. Such repeated unbalanced pressure can result in tooth sensitivity, death of the tooth, muscle spasms, periodontal disease, or TMJ ( jaw joint ) pain. Beyond these primary concerns, is the energetic concern of the tooth being an energetic focus on it’s associated acupuncture meridian, and the distant effects on it’s energy meridian partners. Check the references listed at the end of this article.

6. Residual Jaw Infections / Cavitations
When a tooth has been extracted, and the bone has not healed properly, these areas serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and their toxins. The reasons for this incomplete healing of the bone are many: chronically infected bone; poor circulation; poor nutrition; clotting disorders / “dry socket”; use of steroids; to poor surgical technique. Check the references listed at the end of this article.

7. Dead or Root Canal Teeth
It is estimated that approximately 9 million root canals are performed yearly. This fact, plus knowing that there are many more dead teeth in people’s mouths than are identified for root canals or extraction, underscores the concern of “cadavers in the mouth,” the term which Dr. Voll used to refer to root canal / dead teeth. The question about retaining dead teeth in the mouth extends back into the 1800s. Ask your dentist about options and/or refer to the “links page” for dental organizations which can direct you to a provider in your area for further education.

In Summary
Any reversing of the above conditions can re-establish acupuncture meridian flow to and better health for the target organs and structures. Therefore, for one’s highest systemic health, it is vitally important to maintain the health of the mouth. Dr. Voll’s tooth and organ relationship chart is shown below.