dental health

A dentist who is carrying on the work of Dr. Price into the 21st century

I took a road trip with a friend recently when she confessed to me a secret fear. It’s very common but it’s not a fear of spiders or heights or flying. It’s a fear of dental visits. She has had way too much work done over the years and it has been painful both physically and financially. I understand where she’s coming from. I have seen many dentists over the years—the over-eager tooth-cleaner, the judge of flossing, the laid-back “you’re-doing-everything-right” friendly guy next door, the you-need-the-most-expensive-treatment-ever fellow.

Thankfully, my current dentist is none of the above (and, naturally, he is my favorite). He stands out because he emulates one of my heroes: Dr. Weston A. Price. Dr. Price was a dentist and researcher in the 1930s. He traveled the world to observe and document the effect of diet on oral health, and overall health and vitality. He noticed a link between what people ate and the structure of the face. His observations are recorded in his book “Nutrition and physical degeneration.” The photographs in the book are fascinating and convincing proof of his conclusions—that what we eat indeed has an impact on our overall health and dental health.

In the healthiest peoples, Dr. Price observed, there was plenty of room in the mouth for all 32 teeth. And said teeth were intact and free of caries. The face was broad, as was the jaw structure and nasal passages. There was facial radiance and physical vitality and fertility. Optimism and good humor abounded. What did such people eat? The specific diet varied—from fish, seal oil and whale blubber in Alaska to goat meat, blood, and raw milk in Kenya. What they had in common was that they all ate the traditional diet of their ancestors.

When the diet changed, and became “modernized” (with refined flour, sugars, and the like being consumed in place of traditional foods), the health of the people and their progeny became compromised. The most obvious changes occurred in the jaw and facial structure. The face became narrow, with crowded/misaligned teeth. There was gum disease and caries. Overall vitality and fertility were diminished; posture, eyesight, and hearing were less keen.

boys-in-water
boys-in-water

After his travels, Dr. Price took what he learned and applied it back home in the states. He saw health and behavioral improvements when he began advocating dietary shifts and a return to nourishing, natural food. The dentist I see today is Dr. Felix Liao—a biological, holistic dentist and the President of the Biological Dentists Association. He is convinced that Dr. Price was on the right track. For this reason, he is carrying forward the work of Dr. Price into the twenty-first century. He sees the link between solid nutrition and dental health. As such, he addresses and treats the whole patient, not just the mouth. He has seen numerous patients over the years who have benefited from his “whole body” approach.

I reached out to him initially because of a cosmetic concern—my teeth had shifted over the years and needed straightening. I expected him to propose braces or invisalign. Instead, he assessed my posture and overall health. He asked about aches and pains, my sleep patterns, and more. He documented what was going on with the whole of me. The treatment has included broadening my palate to make space for my teeth, reversing the narrowness of my jaw and airway.

Patients come to Dr. Liao’s office with all kinds of concerns—teeth grinding or clenching, back pain, shoulder issues, sleep apnea, snoring, dental problems. He can address many of them, not by simply filling cavities or giving them a mouth guard or a CPAP machine, but by addressing the root problem caused by poor nutrition.

Listen to my interview with Dr. Liao on Wise Traditions podcast #25 “Open wide.” You may discover that the root cause of some of your own health concerns has more to do with your mouth (and what goes into it) than you initially thought. You will also gain insight on what the work of Dr. Price looks like in the 21st century.

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Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music, tunein, and at westonaprice.org.

How to identify mercury toxicity and detox safely

Do you have brain fog? Are you so forgetful that you’re afraid you’re accidentally going to set your house on fire? Have you been diagnosed with a degenerative disease such as MS or Alzheimers? Do you have anxiety, depression, or panic attacks? What about fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, gastritis, attention deficit disorder, or obsessive compulsive disorder? These are just a few of a long list of symptoms that plague many of us today. And all of the above are symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning. Dr. Andy Cutler is convinced that many doctors are overlooking the most obvious answer as to why so many of us are so sick: mercury.

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img_0418

Andy has a PhD in Chemistry from Princeton and a BS in Physics from the University of California. When he struggled with symptoms that no doctor could explain, he dug deep to find the source of his issues. He never expected to find that the problem stemmed from the amalgam fillings in his own mouth!

If you are skeptical, welcome to the club. Dr. Cutler welcomes skeptics. He himself has a healthy dose of it, which is why he doesn’t buy the American Dental Association’s reassurances that “Dental amalgam is…a mixture of metals such as silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.” His own experience and those of countless others has led him to conclude otherwise.

Andy’s health crisis led him to became a pioneer of a form of chelation/detoxing for metal toxicity that is unique in its approach, science-based, pragmatic, safe and successful. He went from a confused, sick state to living a full, normal life today. Of course, he is not the only one who has improved using his protocol. Thousands have regained their lives and health, regardless of how they came to be exposed to mercury (the "trace" mercury in vaccinations has also poisoned many). Listen to our discussion on Wise Traditions episode #48 “Detox mercury safely” to hear more about Cutler's story and his unique approach to the subject.

In a nutshell, the key to his particular mercury detox protocol is taking chelators according to their half-life in the body. Thus, DMPS (Dimercapto-propane sulfonate) must be taken every 6-8 hours, DMSA (Dimercaptosuccinic acid) every 4 hours, and ALA (Alpha-lipoic acid) every 3 hours. This must be done throughout the day and night: 3 days on, 4 days off.  (ALA is actually the most important chelator as it is the only one that removes mercury from the brain.) Along with the chelators, Andy recommends what he calls “the essential 4:” Vitamin C, Vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. These must be taken to support the body as well as to counteract the oxidative damage that mercury causes as it is mobilized and removed. Most everyone will need adrenal and liver support as well. And other supporting supplements are taken depending on individual symptoms.

Please note that it is NEVER recommended to chelate if you still have amalgam "silver" fillings in your mouth. This is not safe. If you suspect you are mercury toxic, please take the test Andy recommends in this podcast episode or visit his website: noamalgam.com for more guidance. Dr. Cutler also offers consultations via phone to many people and he has Facebook and Yahoo groups where mutual support can be found.

If you're still unsure about how to approach detoxing, dig deep as Andy did. Do your own research and make sure to look beyond those who have the hype or slick websites promising cures. Look for real results and proven track records. My hope is that you recover your health completely, as you safely detox!

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and  is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.

How to get radical with your health (and where to begin)

med body
med body

Have you seen photographs of dentists in the olden days pulling teeth? They approached their patients with tools that looked like they belonged in a car mechanic’s toolbox rather than in a dental office. As if that weren’t frightening enough, if you were the patient, you were likely to have many teeth extracted in your lifetime. Pulling teeth was a common practice to deal with infections and other health ailments, back in the 1800s.

And why? Were the dentists and doctors simply misguided? No, according to Dr. Louisa Williams, the author of “Radical Medicine.” Quite the contrary, in fact. While extraction is certainly not the answer to all of our health woes, dentists and doctors of the past had a solid understanding of the link between oral health and overall health. Benjamin Rush, for example, the doctor to George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, had studied the relationship between chronic silent infections in the body (often in the head/mouth) and mental, physical, and emotional issues. He was very well aware of the dangers of dental focal infections.

Dentists and doctors of that time were focused on the teeth because they were trying to get at the root cause of illness in the person. They understood that if someone was suffering with a problem with their knee, for example, that the issue could stem from a silent infection in the mouth. Happily, Dr. Williams is not suggesting that we need to go back to the time of numerous teeth extractions, but, rather, that there are lessons to be learned from that earlier approach to combatting infections and fighting serious health conditions. We need to rediscover the tie between our oral health and our overall health.

We have a tendency in modern medicine to adopt a reductionist approach. Hip pain? Treat the hip? Malaise? Address the stomach. Dr. Williams suggests taking a more holistic wholistic approach to wellness, which begins with examining your oral health. Hear her ideas in the interview entitled “Radical medicine” (episode #39 of the Wise Traditions podcast).

Highlights include:

  • the definition of radical medicine: how it’s about getting to the root or cause of the health condition
  • what diagnosis is and what it should be (not just be about addressing a symptom but to determine why the body is susceptible to a particular sickness)
  • how current-day holistic medicine may still not getting to the root cause of an illness
  • how dentists and doctors approached health in the 1800s
  • the understanding today of the relationship between dental and physical and mental and emotional health
  • how the development of antibiotics and root canals in the twentieth centure were game-changers in terms of our medical approach to health
  • the studies Dr. Weston A. Price conducted on the effects of an infected teeth
  • the work of Dr. Edward Rose, related to the bacteria in damaged teeth
  • how to approach root canals (when it is okay to keep teeth and when we should not)
  • the dangers of simply extracting an infected tooth
  • how xrays of the root of teeth can reveal focal infection damage
  • the red flags to watch for with your current dentist
  • the issue of mercury fillings
  • troubles that can arise from root canals, dental galvanism, porcelain crowns
  • how treating the symptoms can provide temporary relief but which can lead to greater problems down the line
  • how “opportunistic infections” (like Lyme) can arise from undetected dental issues
  • how allopathic medicine (like antibiotics or pharmaceutical drugs) can actually truncate the body’s healing process

As a member and chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and a fan of wise traditions (both the concept and the podcast), I believe we have much to learn from those who have walked this earth before us. My conversation with Dr. Williams served to remind me of the value of the health practices of yesteryear and the need to continue learning from (and applying them) for "wholistic" health today.

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and the host of the Wise Traditions podcast (found on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and at westonaprice.org). She is also the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation. Get to know Hilda and her approach to health by visiting her website chispainc.com.