Integrative Health Blog

Magnesium, The Miracle Mineral

Posted by on Mon, Jan 12, 2015

Michelle Janbakhsh DDS

Every Cell in Our Body Needs Magnesium

In the human body,  magnesium is the eleventh element by mass and about 60-65% of the magnesium is found in the skeleton and teeth.

The remaining magnesium can be found in muscle tissue and cells and only 1% is contained in our blood. The body has high needs for magnesium. Magnesium is required for metabolic functions involving creation of energy ATP and its transport creation of proteins, nucleic acid RNA and DNA in all known living organisms.

Why We Need Magnesium

  • Every single cell in the human body demands enough magnesium to function.
  • Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, and healthy nervous and cardiovascular system as well as functional detoxification pathways depend on cellular magnesium.
  • Magnesium works in concert with calcium to regulate electrical impulses in the cell. Magnesium concentration inside a healthy cell is 10 times higher than calcium.
  • Magnesium is responsible for relaxation and is crucial to the healthy functioning of our parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Magnesium deficiency is involved in many diseases from ADD, Alzheimer's, autism, autoimmune disorders, dental decay, and depression to osteoporosis, stroke, obesity and the list keeps growing.

The Problem with Magnesium

Unfortunately it is difficult to reliably supply our bodies with sufficient magnesium even from a good balanced whole food diet. In modern agriculture the presence of widely used NPK fertilizer has an antagonist affect with magnesium in the soil. Magnesium and other nutrients are diminished or lost in produce after harvest, refrigeration, transport and storage, even if all steps were done properly. Food processing can cause excessive  loss of magnesium in foods. Examples of such processing are milling the whole grains, roasting the nuts and seeds, and cooking the leafy greens. Fluoride in drinking water binds to the magnesium and creates an insoluble mineral compound that will be deposited in the bones.

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Tags: magnesium, biological dentistry, dental health

Fluoride: Emerging Research may Conflict with Traditional Dentistry

Posted by on Wed, May 21, 2014

Bob Johnson DMD

Traditional dentistry touts the benefits of fluoride to prevent caries/ cavities in your teeth.  This has been the conventional wisdom since the 1950’s.   Continued research by the dental community and outside researchers has occurred since that time.

As a result dentists and the traditional dental community recommend giving fluoride treatments and to legislate fluoridation of public drinking water. 

In recent studies,  fluoride has increasingly been shown to be toxic and not as effective at reducing decay as once thought.  There are alternatives to fluoride to improve the health of the mouth and to prevent decay.  These include using xylitol rinses and gum, rinsing with chlorhexidine or rinsing with baking soda solution to neutralize the acids which cause decay.

Fluoride and the Thyroid

Fluoride has now been shown to bind with and pull toxic mercury and aluminum into the brain and thyroid.  This may contribute to thyroid and brain dysfunction and degeneration. The mercury and aluminum which is pulled into the brain has been shown to damage individual nerve and thyroid cells resulting in decreasing function of these organs/ gland.  

In the thyroid the most important nutrient is Iodine.    Fluoride which has migrated into the thryoid from the mouth displaces the bound iodine resulting in an increasingly dysfunctional thyroid.   Whether or not fluoride actively causes a dysfunctional thyroid and brain or is the vehicle to transport other toxic materials such as mercury or aluminum into the brain and thyroid the use of fluoride must be reassessed as a toxin and its utilization be re-analyzed.   Given that there are much healthier and possibly equally effective alternatives our suggestion is to avoid the use of fluoride from all sources.

Make an Educated Health Decision on Fluoride

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Tags: fluoride, thyroid, dental health

Understanding pH and Why Alkalinity is Important to Health

Posted by on Sat, May 03, 2014

Laurie DeRosa RDH

To understand alkalinity it is important to have an understanding of pH.

pH is an acronym for “potential of hydrogen,” a value that indicates the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid.  The measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration in a liquid determines the pH value.  Every liquid has a pH value, which falls on a scale between 0 and 14, with 7 being neutral.  A pH value less than 7 is acidic: values greater than 7 indicate alkalinity.

Your body also has a pH value. In fact, all your body fluids each have a pH value, but blood most accurately reflects the acidity or alkalinity of your body.  Ideally, your blood’s pH should be between 7.3 and 7.5.

How Too Much Acid Affects Us

Research has shown that a slightly more alkaline body is vital for good health and is associated with higher energy levels, better digestion, a healthy weight balance, increased mental clarity, fewer aches and pains, and better overall health. However, if your body is more acidic this will allow unhealthy bacteria to survive and may cause chronic fatigue, weight gain, joint pain, immune deficiency, premature aging, and more. When acids build up in your system your body will restore its optimal pH by depleting certain minerals, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, from organs and bones. 

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Tags: pH level, integrative health, dental health

A Healthy White Smile is Not Just for a Great Senior Photo

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014

Laurie DeRosa RDH

Recently, I read an article on Dr. Mercola’s website that talked about how Pathogens in Your Mouth Can Lead to Cancer in other parts of your body.  Of course this only reinforced what I believe as a holistic hygienist and what we teach our dental patients at National Integrated Health Associates (NIHA) every day.

Healthy Mouth = Healthy Body

There is plenty of information connecting the health of the mouth to the health of the body.  What does that mean?  We have all been told to brush and floss every day to help prevent cavities,  bad breath and tooth loss.  However, good oral hygiene means more than just good home care habits for a dazzling white smile!  It may even help prevent future serious health problems. Bad bacteria, bugs or unhealthy microorganisms (call them what you want) and their toxins, if left to accumulate in your mouth- can end up getting into your bloodstream, causing inflammation and secondary infections in your body. 

Health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke have been linked to the unhealthy bacteria found in the oral cavity.  Studies have found that certain bacterium that are found in plaque have been associated with certain cancers. The bacterium cause inflammation and activates cancer growth genes.   When there is an unhealthy balance of bacteria in your mouth this can cause respiratory issues as well as problems in the gut.

In my practice when you come for your preventive dental appointment I am able to sample the bacteria in your mouth and show it to you right then and there on our microscope. These areas can then be evaluated by the dentist and monitored.  We are able to check your mouth for the types of bacteria that can cause inflammation and lead to systemic diseases. 

Tips to Reduce Mouth Bacteria

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Tags: cancer, biological dentistry, dental health, holistic dentistry

Holistic Dentistry's Top 5 Tips for Kid's Dental Health

Posted by on Mon, Feb 03, 2014

Laurie DeRosa RDH

Starting your child out with good habits and dental care will help to ensure that they have the best chance for a healthy mouth that will last a lifetime.  Baby teeth have an important role and beginning to care for your child’s teeth before they erupt should not be overlooked.  The first tooth may appear at around 6 months and as soon as it starts to erupt it is at risk for decay.  By the time your child reaches his third birthday they will have all 20 of their primary teeth. 

Tips for Children's Dental Health

Start Early!

1. To clean your child’s teeth before they fully erupt use a warm washcloth or moist 2 x 2 gauze.  After teeth erupt use a child size soft toothbrush.  It is okay to use only water when brushing. 

2. If you use toothpaste only use a pea-sized amount.  I would not  recommend using toothpaste until after age 2.  Until you feel that your child can brush  on their own it is recommended that you brush for them after breakfast and at  bedtime. 

During the preschool years your child may not want you to help.  Make an agreement with them that they can brush first and then they must allow you to take  a turn.  When you see that their teeth are touching you can begin flossing. 

Diet is Important in Preventing Tooth Decay

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Tags: dental health, holistic dentistry, children's health

Herbal Techniques for Promoting Dental Health

Posted by on Wed, Jan 15, 2014

Krista Merwede LMT

     Most of us have experienced the cleansing of a salt water rinse after a dental appointment or during times of mouth pain.  The gentle swishing of the water and the abrasiveness of the salt cleanse and promote healing.  This being said, there are many different herbs that you can add to your salt water-rinse to take it to another level and address the more individual challenge may be having.  A good time for a salt water rinse is 3 to 5 minutes, but if you have a bit more time on your hands you may want to consider the technique of oil pulling.

Oil Pulling

     Both an Ayervedic technique and traditional Western folk medicine, the technique known as oil pulling is an effective way to promote general dental health or respond to challenges in the mouth and throat.  It is also known to be a good tool for supporting asthma and diabetes mellitus.  It involves swishing oil or a herb-infused oil (about 1 Tablespoon), in the mouth for 5-10 minutes with the intention of addressing the deep mucous membranes. Just swish it all around your mouth, then spit it out.  Aim to increase the time swishing as you get used to it, up to 20 minutes. Dr. McClure offers that the shower is an ideal setting for this procedure.  Consider oil pulling with an empty stomach and follow with a salt water rinse.

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Tags: herbals, holistic health, integrative health, dental health, massage

How Dentistry Affects Your Overall Health

Posted by on Thu, Oct 24, 2013

Robert Johnson D.M.D., a leading biological dentist in the Washington, D.C. area, will be interviewed on the “Essentials of Healthy Living” radio program this Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013 from 10 - 11 a.m.

Dr. Johnson is trained in biological dentistry with additional study in nutrition, naturopathy and integrative medicine. 

 His topic, How Dentistry Affects Your Overall Health, is a subject which Dr. Bob Johnson enthusiastically discusses at National Integrated Health Associates (NIHA) as he educates dental patients on the connnection between oral health and overall health.

The “Essentials of Healthy Living” radio program is broadcast Sundays, 10-11 am on 1500 AM, Federal News Radio (WFED), and is sponsored by Village Green Apothecary.

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Tags: biological dentistry, integrative health, dental health, holistic dentistry

Fluoride - What's the Big Deal?

Posted by on Wed, Jul 17, 2013

Mark McClure DDS

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Tags: fluoride, dental health

Headaches and Sleep Apnea

Posted by on Wed, Jun 19, 2013

Lowell Weiner DDS

Do you ever wake up with a headache, or get one by the end of the day?

Are they associated with neck pain or do you have a separate neck pain?

Headaches, Neckaches and Sleep Apnea

A new study from the University of Kansas Medical Center has shown that these symptoms are strongly associate with sleep apnea.  This is a new association. Non supine sleep provoked by sleep disordered breathing (as with sleep apnea) may play a previously unrecognized role in headache and cervical radiculopathy, or neck problems of the upper spine.

This information comes on top of the body's continued accomodation of postural changes that occur daily- everything that surrounds the throat- all muscles, etc. have to work to keep the throat and airway open. We know that jaw position pays a critical role in Jaw joint or TMJ problems, as it acts like a lever to the cervical spine and thus impacts the throat. This can decrease the space in the throat which can lead to decreased oxygen to the whole body and trigger headaches and sleep apnea. These headaches can occur in the early morning when getting up or throughout the day, and may be treated  by well-meaning physicians with drugs- but this does not address the cause of the problem because physicians are not trained in the biomechanics of the jaw. Many times a dentist's treatment of a jaw problem by way of the teeth can improve or contribute to the dysfunction of the jaw, which then acts like dominoes, affecting other areas to create a headache, neck ache or sleep problem. To further compound the problem, every time we swallow, which is over 2000 times a day, the effect is magnified.

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Tags: sleep disorders, dental health, TMJ, headaches

7 Ways to Improve Your Dental Care

Posted by on Wed, May 29, 2013

Michelle Janbakhsh DDS

Oral Disease Affects Most Everyone

Dental diseases are the most prevalent chronic infectious diseases in the world, affecting up to 90% of school children and the vast majority of adults.

The oral cavity is a biologic soup and our teeth are a part of this dynamic environment. This environment constantly goes under a cycle reaction of de-mineralization & re-mineralization. Each acidic food or drink makes the oral PH acidic and the teeth structure will de-mineralize. Also pathogenic bacteria on the surface of the enamel continually reduces the PH resulting in de-mineralization localized chemical dissolution of the dental structure.  These metabolic events take place in the biofilm, also called dental plaque, that covers the affected area. Additionally, it is important to know that bacteria found in dental decay is transmissible through saliva.

Healthy Saliva Maintains Healthy Teeth and Gums

Healthy saliva can buffer the acids from the plaque and acidic condition when stimulated. The stimulated saliva PH increases to 7.8 that help in "de-mineralization – re-mineralization" cycle.  As the PH recovers, the de-mineralized structure can re-mineralize using the dissolved minerals. However, when there is an imbalance in the system, the re-mineralization process will not occur and the dissolution of the tooth structure will take place.

Patients with dry mouth (such as in Sjogren’s  syndrome, cancer radiation therapy, or a side effect of medication) are especially more susceptible in developing cavities/ oral disease.

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Tags: biological dentistry, dental health, plaque, biofilm