By Rick Gold, Certified FDN Practitioner.
As a certified FDN (Functional Diagnostic Nutrition) practitioner, I work with clients to help them find and eliminate the root causes of their symptoms. The body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism, and all it needs from us is to give it what it needs to do its job: removal of environmental & lifestyle stressors that cause dysfunction, and proper nutrition.
If you strive to find and eliminate the root cause of your symptoms instead of masking them and flood your body with proper nutrition, you can restore balance and homeostasis to your body and allow it to do its job of keeping you healthy.
There are so many potential underlying causes of chronic illness. Sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep, increased toxic burden, lack of proper nutrition, chronic undiagnosed bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, bacterial imbalances in the gut, OTC and prescription medications are just a few underlying causes.
So where does oral health fit into all of this? To understand the connection between oral health, gut health, and overall health, we need to first understand a bit about how the body works:
Anytime the autonomic nervous system senses stress, it sends a stress signal to the brain. The brain then sends signals to the adrenal glands that the body
is under stress. The adrenal glands then produce cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone. Cortisol prepares the body to handle stress. This is called the “fight or flight response”. When the fight or flight response is activated, all bodily functions that are required for immediate survival are heightened, and all bodily functions (like digestion, reproduction, or rest and repair) are shut down.
It doesn’t matter what the stress is that you are experiencing; from emotional stress over your job or your relationships, physical injuries, hip, spine, or jaw misalignments, getting chased by a bear, or chronic bacterial infections, the scenario that I just described above will play out every time. This system works well when the stress we encounter is short-lived. But these days, stress is something that we live with 24/7/365. In this scenario of constant stress, the fight or flight response shifts from a life-saving bodily function to one that causes digestive dysfunction, infertility, hormonal imbalances, leaky gut, and malnutrition!
Chronic bacterial infections and heavy metal toxicity are major sources of persistent stress on the body that chronically invokes the fight or flight response. The oral cavity is one of the most common and most overlooked sources of chronic bacterial infection AND toxicity from heavy metals. To illustrate this, allow me to get personal with you and share part of my health journey:
Six years ago my state of health was a mess, and I began my health journey to find and eliminate the underlying causes of my stress. My health has improved dramatically since then. I had addressed my diet by eliminating gluten, dairy, and other food sensitivities. I had addressed healing my gut using antibacterial protocols, probiotic therapy, gut-healing foods and supplements. I incorporated meditation into my daily life. I worked on optimizing my quantity and quality of sleep. I even worked diligently with my wife to rid our home of chemical-laden cleaning products, cosmetics, etc.
But amazingly, while my overall health had improved dramatically, there were still a few things that confounded me. Although I was much healthier and my immune function had improved, I still had a tendency towards sinus infections when I would get sick. My blood tests continued to show a slightly depressed white blood cell count. I still had intense food sensitivities, especially to dairy. I had pretty much covered everything, right? Not so fast!
The one area of my body that I had not addressed in recent years was my oral health. I felt
that I had an issue with a root canal that I had done about 13 years ago. The only type of dentist I would ever use for myself, my family, or recommend to clients is a biological dentist. I decided to go see a biological dentist that I refer all local clients to for oral evaluations. After a thorough examination, she had determined that the root canal was indeed a problem (I had an abscess and a chronic bacterial infection from the affected tooth that reached into my sinuses) and the beginnings of periodontal disease. Talk about
a chronic stressor that invokes the fight or flight response! This chronic infection was putting major stress on my immune system,
which was showing up as an unexplained slightly lowered white blood cell count for years on my blood tests. No wonder I suffered from leaky gut, bacterial imbalances in the GI tract, food sensitivities, and malnutrition! Chronic bacterial infections in the oral cavity are also linked to autoimmune disease, heart disease, and cancer. The dentist expertly removed the root canal and during the procedure discovered that it was filled with mercury; yet another chronic stressor on my body that explains many of the symptoms I had experienced for the last 12-13 years.
So far I have touched on how bacterial infections in the oral cavity can cause gut and immune dysfunction. I haven’t even yet discussed how mercury can disrupt our health.
Mercury amalgams can and do constantly shed mercury into our oral cavity and we swallow it into our GI tract. Mercury alone in the GI tract can cause leaky gut. It is a major irritant to the gut lining. The gut lining intimately linked to mental health. Did you know that about 90% of serotonin that our body makes is made in the lining of the gut? Serotonin deficiencies are intimately linked to depression and anxiety. This is one reason depression is a major symptom of mercury toxicity. Mercury can pass through the gut lining and into the bloodstream. Mercury from dental amalgams also out-gases and is inhaled. Inhaled mercury goes straight to the brain and easily crosses the blood brain barrier. It is known to be a potent neurotoxin. Click here to read a comprehensive scientific review of mercury in all of its forms and the effect it has on human health.
Now that all the mercury has been removed, the next phase of my healing process will now focus on gentle heavy metal detoxification. Luckily, I’m equipped with the knowledge to do this. Unfortunately, so many others are not.
Oral health is a crucial aspect of any wellness program and I urge everyone to find a biological dentist in their area for a thorough evaluation to determine if chronic bacterial infections or heavy metals are part of the underlying cause of poor health. To find a biological dentist in your area, go to iaomt.org.
If you live in the South Florida area and are looking for a biological dentist, there is only one that I recommend, and I’d be happy to connect you with her. Feel free to contact me!
Thanks for reading. Now it’s your turn! Do you have dental amalgams? Can you relate to any of this? Write your comments below and let’s bring some awareness to this issue by sharing this article with our friends and family!
Certified FDN Practitioner.