amalgam fillings—friend or foe?

I never thought twice about letting the dentist pack mercury into my teeth. Then, with that mercury “safely” packed into my cranium, I cracked ice with my teeth relentlessly for many years. Ten years ago I learned about the importance of getting the mercury OUT of my mouth, and I had my totally traditional dentist drill out my fillings and replace them with composite fillings.

He scoffed at the idea that this was needed—but in the end, wasn’t going to watch me go to another dentist to have it done. Unfortunately, he tried desperately to get a dental dam in place in my small mouth—I had read that is important and insisted on it. But when he couldn’t pull it off, I let him drill all that mercury out with no protection besides my tongue from it going down my throat!

Take a look at this highly-watched scientific proof that mercury can and does off-gas out of your teeth. You often don’t know your teeth are cracked.

Mercury, the second-most toxic substance on Earth, coming off your teeth as gas, crosses the blood-brain barrier and is well known to cause all kinds of neurological havoc, including Alzheimers. Here’s a five-minute video by Canadian researchers about the literal “brain damage” caused by mercury exposure.

This one’s easy. Don’t put metal fillings in your face. If you have them, have a biological (holistic) dentist remove them safely and replace them with composite.

The next issue, root canals, is thornier!

Will my teeth go bad on a raw diet?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: Will my teeth go bad on a raw diet? I am troubled by the Weston A. Price Foundation’s claim. –Megan

From Robyn: I have noticed observationally that those on a long-term 100% vegan diet sometimes have dental problems. I do not think that this diet is necessary. (I wonder if there are good cooked plant foods that may be helpful to our health that can prevent deficiency, which people throughout time have utilized–grains and legumes, for instance.)

Nor do I think the evidence points conclusively to human beings needing meat, far from it, in the face of the Oxford-Cornell China Study. If you feel compelled eat animal flesh, it’s still clear that it MUST be organic and it must be minimal. Not three times a day as many Americans do.

(And I have noticed that when most people say “meat,” they mean beef and pork. When I say meat, I refer to the flesh of all animals.) Most people are B12 deficient, but the idea that vegetarians are deficient overlooks the fact that most meat eaters are, too. 80%+ of people in America are B12 deficient, in fact.

I don’t eat meat and I am not B12 deficient. I haven’t had a cavity in years (although my Sonic toothbrush may share in the credit for that—those things are amazing). My dentist says my teeth are “naturally white,” and when I go in for cleanings, I’ve been told twice, “I don’t know why you even come in, because you have no plaque on your teeth.” None of this was the case before I cleaned up my diet.

While the Weston A. Price research found that people who eat meat, among indigenous peoples, had strong teeth, we cannot compare that to modern populations and draw the conclusions that we should eat the kind of animal flesh that modern people do.

What we eat, and what people living far from a processed diet did at the time of Price’s studies, are terribly different. Today’s animals used for food are caged in tiny, filthy pens, and are full of antibiotics, hormones, and terrible diets of genetically modified grains or diseased animal parts. We cannot assume that because the native people Price studied had clean animal flesh in their diets, that means we can eat lots of dirty animal flesh and achieve strong teeth (and bones).

I have more to say, but local Dr. Garon Larson, D.D.S., says it better, in response to Megan’s question:

“Can I respond to Megan’s question about teeth?

I am a local general dentist who drinks green smoothies and eats whole foods and a plant-based diet with my family.   I was on ABC4 morning news yesterday and KSL noon news segment for children’s dental health awareness month (Feb).   The news anchor asked me what parents can do to help children have healthy teeth.   My answer:   Stop feeding your children the Standard America Diet, which is processed foods from cans and boxes, processed sugars, and fast food.   Give your kids real food to eat.   Absolutely the best thing you can do for your teeth, mouth, and body.   Healthy teeth are really important when eating a whole foods diet because this is real food and you need strong healthy teeth to chew and break down the food to digest it well and absorb the nutrients (unless you want to blend everything up in your Blendtec!).

Teeth form when we are very young, almost all permanent teeth have completed development of crown and most of the root by the age of 6-8 years old.   Good nutrition (from whole foods) is so important for our young children.   After tooth development, we are mainly talking about maintaining the teeth, which is removing food and debris which gets left on our teeth (biofilm).   Standard American Diet is very hard on teeth as full of refined carbohydrates and refined sugars, which the normal flora (normal bacteria) in our mouths use as fuel and metabolize these substances, giving off acid as a byproduct.   The acid demineralizes the teeth and begins the decay process.   Chewing whole foods which are fibrous stimulates the gum tissues, has a natural lavaging effect on them, and promotes healthy gums.

There is absolutely no need for animal products for healthy teeth or gums.   I received a certificate from E Cornell University last year in Plant-Based Diet and I can confidently say that and I am confident in the way my family eats…that’s the way my kids eat and they have great teeth!

Hope this helps put your mind at ease!

Dr. Garon Larsen”

Hello from 13,000 feet up in the Andes

Hola y buenas dias de las montanas hermosas del Andes Peruvianas! Prospero Nuevo Ano!

I am here in the rarefied air of the Sacred Valley of Peru near Cusco and will write more when I ´m home. But there ´s a rare opportunity to get on the only PC here in the hotel because I ´ve opted out of going for Chinese food with the group. We ´ve had virtually no down time to write, but when I ´m home I ´ll tell you the most interesting parts of this incredible adventure.

Today we visited a tiny village called Huilloch at 13,000 feet in the Andes, a place untouched by tourism that my friend Van knows. They are as fascinated by us as we are by them. They dress in native, homemade clothes, colorful wool skirts and unique inverted hats. The Peruvian government brought them rudimentary electricity 3 years ago, taking them from the 17th century to the 19th, and then, in an explicable move the village elders are unhappy with, threw them into the 21st century by bringing them the Internet in a central location in the village.

The female head of the village women ´s arts association (they make crafts and clothing by hand to sell) invited us into her home. Isabel, her daughter Virginia, and her baby Jefferson live with Virginia ´s husband and his mother, and two others, in a mud hut, one of the nicest in the village, that is half the size of my master bathroom. These are the poorest people I have ever met.

Twenty guinea pigs live under the small bed that sleeps two (the others sleep elsewhere, and there ´s a small fire in the corner somewhat vented to the outside). They speak Quetchwan rather than Spanish and only Van speaks rudimentary Quetchwan. He told them in los Estados Unidos, we name guinea pigs and never eat them. They thought that was hilarious.

The children are healthy and strong with strong white teeth, unlike the children in town (and at the Sunflower Orphanage we are here serving) who all have snotty noses, blackened teeth, and stunted growth. That ´s because the children of Huilloch are far from civilization and processed food, and the water they drink is mineralized stream water. I met and photographed a 120 year old woman wearing ancient Incan gold rings she found in her childhood that, if sold (she has no idea), would probably support the village for a year! She is one of three in the village! She chews on coca leaves all day (the plant that cocained is derived from) and is without teeth, but she is lucid and funny and walks on her own with a stick.

We played soccer against the women and girls of the village in a muddy field full of puddles. Even with their wool skirts and flipflops that flew off when they ´d kick the ball, they absolutely schooled us in their native sport. Emma and I both nearly scored once, but the score, in the end, was downright embarrassing.

I just received my laundry from a very poor local woman who took 1 1/2 days to do it by hand (for $3! don ´t worry, I paid her more), and none of it is folded, so I am off to complete that task. I will tell you more when I return next week about the phenomenal, heart breaking, life changing experience my daughter and I and some GSG readers have had here. And I will post photos, including one of the 120 year old village elder.

I hope that all your dreams come true in 2010! Much love,

Robyn

and let me add a dentist to my suggestions for you

While I’m blogging about a great M.D. whose frontline isn’t drugs, surgery, and technology interventions . . .

If you’re on the Wasatch Front, check out Dr. Garon Larsen. He is a dentist and attended a GreenSmoothieGirl class. He is highly interested in helping his patients with their nutrition, and he offers my books (and will be a 12 Steps dealer when we launch that, soon) in his practice. Even more wonderful, he is sending a lot of toothbrushes to Peru with us for the orphans, next month when we go on our humanitarian mission! Thank you Dr. Larsen!

He is a distance runner, and his professional interests don’t stop at dentistry: he also helps people use natural ways to address sleep apnea and snoring.

He doesn’t use amalgam fillings any more (I wish all the U.S. dentists would abandon them because of their mercury content–please always choose white/porcelain fillings).

Dr. Larsen is in Alpine, Utah, and his web site is

www.drglarsen.com

What my dentist says about whole foods . . . and one really cool testimonial

I went to the dentist for a cleaning yesterday. My friend Craig is my dentist, and before he looked at my (perfect, cavity-free) x-rays, we chatted about life for a while. He is jealous that I can work from home with the freedom to do things with my kids. He said this to me:

“I would love to take a year off like you are doing at the university. And if I did, I’d start a business like what you’re doing with your books and GreenSmoothieGirl. Because people should know something important about their dental health. That is, it doesn’t matter how many carbs you eat. You can eat fruit all day long. It would not affect your teeth at all. What rots your teeth is REFINED carbohydrates. If people would stop eating sugar, they wouldn’t get cavities. But eat the whole grains, fruits, complex carbs–they’re great.”

So mull that over, as I have been. Someone in the dentistry community should be out front telling people that! And today I got this very eye-opening testimonial in an email. Remember my materials on oxalates in Chapter 1 of 12 Steps? This is interesting:

“I have medulary sponge kidney disease that causes me to make kidney stones. My urologist sees me every 6 months to keep an eye on things. I started drinking green smoothies about 5 weeks ago, having 2 a day most days. I lost 6 pounds in 3 weeks, and haven’t gained it back. About 10 days ago I had an ultrasound of my kidneys and 5 days ago I had the usual blood work done. I recently noticed my face (I’m always complimented on my youthful appearance) glowing–and my husband obviously thought so because he reached out to stroke my cheek with the back of his hand. I asked if I had food on my face and he said, “No.” And then he stroked my cheek again.

Back to today’s check-up with my urologist. He was very pleased, saying, “You always have many kidney stones in both kidneys–usually the left has more than the right, but they both have multiple stones. Your scan shows NO stones in the left, and a stone the size of a pin point in the right kidney.” He had to rock the wand forward and back to find it! He said, “You’ve lost weight. You look great! Whatever you’re doing, keep it up! I don’t need to see you for a year.”

Here’s the kicker: in the past he asked me to stay away from “high oxalate” foods such as kale and spinach since my kidney stones are calcium-oxalate stones. But, what greens have I put in my green smoothies? Kale, spinach and beet tops. And I’m better than I’ve been in YEARS AND YEARS, in terms of kidney health.

Go green smoothies!”

–Cindy

FDA finally admits fillings containing mercury may be harmful

In my local paper June 11, local dentist Michelle Jorgenson, who quit using amalgam fillings 10 years ago, is “vindicated.”   That’s because, due to the settlement of a class action lawsuit, the FDA’s site now says,

“Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have nerotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses.”

Of course, the FDA and the ADA (American Dental Association) are some of the most lawyered-up organization on the planet, so you think they’re going to admit their practices for the past 150 years have caused mercury poisoning in people?   Hardly.   As Dr. Jorgenson points out (very courageous of her, I think!), that would invite loads of lawsuits against dentists and the ADA itself.   Nope, this is the ADA’s stance:

Amalgam is “a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used in the teeth of more than 100 million Americans.”

Speaking of dentistry politics, after a 150-year fight over mercury in our teeth, how long do you think it will take to win the war against the poison fluoride in our water supply?   And by the way, the mercury war is far from won.   The article ends saying that little change will take place in dental offices since the ADA refuses to admit the material is dangerous.   My own dentist gave me the party line recently, but then removed my amalgam fillings a few years ago.   Find a competent dentist who will use dental dams, if you choose to have your metal fillings removed, because you don’t want a single speck of that stuff swallowed or inhaled.