Ep. 136: “Healthy Mouth, Healthy YOU!” with Dr. Michelle Jorgensen
I’m happy to bring to you my own “biological” dentist, Dr. Michelle Jorgensen of Total Care Dental. She has recently released a book “Healthy Mouth, Healthy You” all about her own journey into biological dentistry and what your options are in dentistry, beyond what most dentists offer. Even more importantly, she explains how your oral health is indicative of your overall health, and addressing infections and toxicity in your mouth can clear up systemic issues. Learn what your standard dentist won’t tell you, and probably doesn’t even know..
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Read about the Oral Surgery Preparations and Protocols in the Blog Post
Get Dr. Jorgensen’s Book “Healthy Mouth, Healthy You”
Get our Holistic Dentist Guide List
Get our Healthy Mouth Video Course
Find out more about the Light Walker Laser
Find a Laser Provider Near You
Connect with Dr. Jorgensen at Total Care Dental
Robyn: Hey there everyone. It’s Robyn Openshaw and Welcome back to the Vibe show. I’m bringing back a very popular guest. You may be familiar with Dr. Michelle Jorgensen from episode 53 of this show and you don’t necessarily have to go back and listen to that episode, it’s not a prerequisite for listening to this one. But she is in fact my biological dentist and that’s kind of a big deal because I know a lot about this subject. I’ve had quite a dental saga myself and I’ve blogged about it extensively.
My blog posts on biological dentistry and my path are some of our most read blog posts ever, which tells me that people are really out there searching for answers and they want to learn more. And they know that some of the practices in traditional dentistry are not necessarily what they want and they’re starting to know that there are risks associated with amalgam fillings. There major risks associated with root canals. There are risks associated with some of the imaging, some of the products that are used in traditional dentistry. And, of course the products that we all buy out there for oral care as well.
So I had Doctor Jorgensen come back on the show because she sent me a copy of her new book and we’re going to talk about why she wrote this book. It’s much shorter than the other books out there and I think that you will enjoy reading it. She just has a way of making this information accessible to the lay person. She has certifications as a nutritional counselor, a nutritional autoimmune specialist. She’s enrolled right now to become a board certified traditional naturopath. She’s been traveling to Switzerland and Costa Rica to learn more. And lately she’s even been training other dentists from around the country.
So I’m really excited to bring you back my own personal dentist, Doctor Michelle Jorgensen of “Total Care Dental” in American Fork, Utah. So welcome back to the Vibe show Doctor Michelle Jorgensen.
Dr. Jorgensen: Thank you. Thanks for having me, Robyn.
Robyn: Well, you’re the busiest person I know because you have a farm, you have four kids, you always have multiple people living in your house that you’re helping, nieces, nephews, adopted children and running a thriving dental practice. You’re not even the only dentist in there, you haven’t dentists working underneath you. And you know, we’ve gone over in episode 53, we got a little bit of your story, but for people who haven’t listened to episode 53, will you just tell us why from your own personal background as a dentist and a human, why you’re so passionate about not just delivering biological dentistry, but also studying it, being on the cutting edge of it and teaching it to other dentists?
Dr. Jorgensen: Well, really a simple answer is because it affects me. And that might sound selfish, but I think that a lot of times our own personal motivations are the things that give us the most passion. So I got sick from dentistry and I didn’t know what it was. It threatened my career. I actually had my practice for sale. I’d been in practice for 15 years at this point, but I wasn’t ready to retire. I knew I would have to do something else if I did sell the practice. And I was really at a loss for what I was going to do. And that’s when I found out that the mercury in dental fillings had made me sick.
And it’s interesting, I was just talking to someone today and telling him a little bit about my story and I said, you know, these fillings are 50% mercury. And he looked at me like everyone does and he said, what still today? I said, yes, still today.
Robyn: That was a dentist who said that to you?
Dr. Jorgensen: It wasn’t a dentist, it was a computer guy that was helping me with some things. But yeah, still nobody knows that. Still today, 50% mercury, every single dental filling that’s in your mouth or is being placed in someone’s mouth is still 50% mercury.
Robyn: Yeah. I read a story in your book about how you were going to move into your, I think it’s your current dental office and you were like, I’m not moving in there until they remove the carpets. And I think you told the dentist who had practiced in there previously and he was like, Hey, I haven’t placed a mercury filling in like 14 years. And then what’d you tell him?
Dr. Jorgensen: Yeah. And I said, well, it’s not the fillings that you’re placing. I don’t place mercury fillings either, it’s all the ones that you’re drilling out that’s getting in the carpet. Because the office that I was moving into had carpet in the operatories, in the working rooms and had been there for 15 years. Can you imagine what was in that carpet? And so I just said, I don’t feel safe working in here until that carpet is out. And he was so confused. I said it’s from all the mercury coming from the fillings you’re drilling out. And he just looked at me like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Uh, again, I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall because it’s everybody. They don’t know when it’s so elemental. It’s so foundational.
But I didn’t know either. That’s the thing. I didn’t know either. I knew that there was mercury in there, but I had no idea it could make me sick. But it did. And so it really changed my trajectory of life and practice just to say, okay, what in dentistry could be making people sick and what can I do to really help improve people’s lives through dentistry, through healthcare, through everything. And obviously, you know, anyone who knows our story together, you were very instrumental in my health journey and really getting me on the path to holistic health, to better practices personally.
And now the cool part is I’m able to put all those things together. I’m able to really implement those holistic health practices, those whole body health practices into my practice and help people with more than just their teeth, with their lives, with their health, with everything. And it’s absolutely fulfilling me. And that’s I think the thing that drives me forward is every single day the patient that calls and says, my blood pressure’s down to 125 over 80. I haven’t seen this number in 20 years. You know, just those are the things that keep me reading and studying and researching and just wanting to find the very best that I can do for people.
Robyn: You know, since my last interview with you, our episode 53 on the show, two of my kids as you know, have had wisdom teeth removed and I wanted your opinion like, do we really have to do this? And you felt that in fact they did, that they were coming in, what do you call it, impacted. So it’s like they were coming in sideways and so they really did have to come out. And I just really appreciate what you did. We have a very widely read blog post, I will put it in the show notes, that we built and it was based on what you and I and the surgeon did together.
I’d love for you to tell your version of what happened there because as you know, the surgeon who was right around the corner from you, and I think that you knew him a little bit, but it’s not like you guys work together in the same office or anything. What I love about what happened there, and we’ve had lots of people read this blog post and say this was so detailed and so useful. You know, I was able to get some preparatory stuff from you. So you gave me some great advice. I’d love for you to talk about NotaSAN and the two things that you did for my kids before they went into the oral surgeon. And we won’t mention the surgeon, he was a lovely guy and we had absolutely no complications and I’m positive that he did good work, but he didn’t know anything about these more holistic or more preventative treatments that you helped me with.
And I was able to keep both of my kids off of steroids and antibiotics. They both wanted me to give them preventatively, didn’t do it, super glad, would’ve wrecked their gut. And I was able to keep one of them off of painkillers completely. And the other one, just a day or two of some painkillers. So talk a little bit about what you do to help people prep because you didn’t just give me the stuff. You also worked with the oral surgeon, which was amazing.
Dr. Jorgensen: Well, you know, we need to go a little bit further back as well to say why are there potential concerns with anything that they had recommended for you? There’s two things. So the first you already mentioned with the antibiotics and the steroids. You know, that is done so routinely. I grew up in my dad’s dental practice and I even can visualize the little room, there was a little room between the front desk and the back desk and in this little room, it was like the everything room. And they had these preprinted prescription pads and every time that they would schedule someone to get wisdom teeth removed, you’d rip off these four prescription pads. One, two, three, four, take them to my dad and have him sign them and hand them to the patient.
It didn’t matter who the patient was, it didn’t matter their health history, it didn’t matter anything. We just gave them these four prescriptions. And you know, three of them are the ones that you mentioned, a steroid, a antibiotic and a pain reliever. Those are just done routinely for every patient. It doesn’t matter who they are. And the reason is simply to prevent complications. They want to get ahead of swelling. They want to get ahead of pain and they want to get ahead of infection.
Does it mean that every wisdom teeth removal leads to pain, swelling or infection? No, it doesn’t. But that’s really the way that medicine handles any of these types of situations is if you know 5% of the people are going to have an infection after wisdom teeth, well then we’re going to give an antibiotic to 100% of the people. Does it make sense to us? No. But it really is a preventive mechanism that medicine uses. Unfortunately, as you know, those preventive mechanisms often lead to a lot of health issues down the road.
That steroid usage, that antibiotic usage, both of them are very detrimental to the gut. The pain reliever usage, I’m in Utah and Utah is one of the leading states for opiate addiction. And some of these opiate addictions start with things that are simple like wisdom teeth removal. I have not prescribed an opiate in probably six months. So can you do it without? You can. It’s all about the preparation and planning ahead for what you’re going to do instead.
So you’re not going to find these from just traditional doctors, traditional dentists or surgeons because they’re pretty much covering themselves by preventing any problems. So you are going to have to as listeners to do a little bit of research on your own. And most I find will be accepting to what you bring in and come with on your own. And if you get a prescription, you don’t have to fill it or take it, that’s always your choice. So that’s the first concern with what you had.
The second concern was that the problem with wisdom teeth, or any tooth that is removed, is there’s a ligament surrounding that tooth. And if that ligament isn’t removed at the time the tooth is removed, the body thinks that there’s still a tooth there and it doesn’t kick in its healing mechanisms until two weeks after the fact. And usually at that two week after the fact time, that area where the bone should have filled in is actually filled in with soft tissue.
Soft tissue grows quite quickly. Think about a cut. You know if you have a cut on your finger it’s going to be healed in two weeks’ time. Same thing happens in that bony area where that tooth was removed. The soft tissue grows in there so the soft tissue grows in, the bone doesn’t grow in later, and that soft tissue is just this beacon for all sorts of bugs and microbes. We biopsy these and it’s crazy what we pull out of here. HPV virus, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr virus, parasites across the board, bacteria across the board. It’s just a place, a dumping ground for things to live.
So if that ligament isn’t removed when the wisdom teeth is removed and if nothing is placed in that area to encourage bone growth, then you’re going to have what’s called a bony cavitation or an area that doesn’t heal properly and is just a dumping ground for all kinds of toxins. I spend probably half my day, literally half my day anymore, every single day I’m at the office cleaning these out, cleaning out old extraction sites.
So you need to do two things. The surgeon needs to do two things, needs to clean that ligament out when the tooth is removed and it takes an extra step, so you need to ask specifically for it. The second thing that I highly recommend is placing what’s called PRF it stands for platelet rich fibrin. And it’s derived from your blood and it is full of growth factors and stem cells. So wherever it’s put, whatever should be growing there will grow. So if you put it in a place that should have bone, the bone will grow. If you put it into place that should have gums, the gum will grow.
It’s amazing. So that’s what we did for your kids. Is we actually took some blood, did a blood draw, spun that blood in a centrifuge and got this membrane or this PRF out and available and took that to the surgeon. And we instructed him to remove that ligament and then when he took the tooth out he placed that PRF in the hole, so that that healed quickly. It will eliminate dry sockets. A lot of people have talked about, you know, the nightmare of dry sockets. It will eliminate dry sockets and it really speeds up healing and minimizes the risk of infection and swelling. I do surgery every single day in my practice and I have people come back the next day after I worked on them for five hours and you’d never even know I worked on them. There’s no swelling at all.
So these things are amazing. NotaSAN is the other one, that’s the antibiotic that we use instead of a traditional antibiotic and it’s homeopathic. So if you know anything about homeopathy, what it does is it uses the frequency of an antibiotic to tell your body what it should do to heal. Because your body is the thing that needs to heal. It’s not the medicine that makes you heal. It’s your body that heals. This just gives your body the information it needs to heal. And NotaSAN, it does have to be done through a provider. There are some providers that you can find online that I think is like a $25 consultation fee because you have to be patient of record. For $25 consultation fee then you become a patient of record and then they can prescribe the NotaSAN for you. So, that’s something you can look into as well. Or talk to a doctor that is nearby that is more alternative based and they probably have access to it too.
Robyn: I think it’s really important to have a relationship with a functional medicine doctor and you know, be the assertive patient who says, I would like you to carry NotaSAN please. Because, I want to interrupt just to say, you told me that you used to prescribe antibiotics because that’s of course what you were trained to do. And that’s what standard of care dentists do. I think you said virtually every day. And now what?
Dr. Jorgensen: Oh, I haven’t prescribed antibiotics in probably three months.
Robyn: Okay. And so this is important because I think people think, well, I’m sick, I have to take an antibiotic. And we are dealing with people every single day who are telling us about years and years of downstream effects of taking a single course of antibiotics. And it’s such a major topic that I try to talk about every chance I get. Many times when I’m interviewed, I’ll go sideways and talk about this issue that there are alternatives. And so Doctor Jorgensen just mentioned this product NotaSAN and it’s perfect for the Vibe show because it’s literally quantum medicine, where it has the energetic frequency of penicillin but without the gut wrecking, downstream consequence of it.
And we probably should say this because, you know, it’s no secret Doctor Jorgensen is my dentist. I was just down there last week. It’s now a one hour drive each way, hour and a half when I went last week because it was raining really hard and there was a lot of traffic, and my children and my parents and my sister and her children and many, many, many, many Green Smoothie Girl listeners of this podcast or blog followers. I don’t think I’ve ever sat in your waiting room where there wasn’t somebody saying, hey, Green Smoothie Girl, I’m here because you told us about Doctor Jorgensen. And so people are going to like call your office and they’re going to look up Total Care Dental and want NotaSAN from you. You probably can’t do that, am I right?
Dr. Jorgensen: We can’t do that. But we can direct you to these online sources where you can get it.
Robyn: Okay. Here is a good time to mention, we’re talking today about, as I said in the introduction, we’re talking about Doctor Jorgensen’s, new book, “Healthy Mouth, Healthy You”, which I’ve been reading myself and I’m really excited about, but I should mention that we have a holistic dentist finder. We called, emailed and snail mailed in the US mail, every single biological dentist of record. There were over 800 of them in the United States. Reason we called emailed and snailed mailed them, is that some of them didn’t answer us on the first try. So we did everything in our power to track them down. If they are not represented in our holistic dentist finder, which we have for you for free and I’m going to give you a link to it, it’s because they failed to respond to at least half a dozen attempts on our part, which is a bad sign I think.
But, anyway, if you want to get that because you’re thinking I can’t go to Doctor Jorgensen, and by the way, she has a wait list and I hate to say it, but the good ones usually do. You can get it at: greensmoothiegirl.com/healthymouth. That is the course that Doctor Jorgensen and I did together. It’s all videos, kind of like the expanded version of what we’re doing here. Now if you want the free holistic dentist finder, it’s that same URL but add slash get list. So: greensmoothiegirl.com/healthymouth/getlist and you can get that in the show notes. If you were driving and you didn’t write that down and you’re like I do when I’m listening to a podcast, I’ll whip out my phone and write it down in notes what I want to follow up on later. That’ll be in show notes as well as a link to Dr. Jorgensen’s book, “Healthy Mouth, Healthy You”, which is really easy to read.
Gosh, you talk so well to a patient. You know a lot of people start talking science and it just sails over people’s heads. So, okay, I’ve derailed you a whole bunch of times. Is there anything else you wanted to say about the oral surgery that you assisted with my kids? Because I think you also got with the surgeon and you taught him how to place ozone and maybe the PRF as well, right?
Dr. Jorgensen: Yes. That’s the one thing I didn’t mention was ozone. And ozone is so amazing. I tell any dentist who’s interested in getting more into the holistic or biologic dental realm. I tell them, okay, just start with something simple. Start with mercury removal, which any dentist is already doing. They just need to do it safely for you and for them. And then the second thing I tell them, which is really kind of an entry point into this area is ozone. Ozone is not anything that’s mysterious, it’s not anything that’s, you know, when you start talking homeopathy and those sorts of things, people start to look a little cross eyed sometimes.
When you talk about ozone, it’s pretty straightforward and simple. So the cool thing about ozone is it’s an activated molecule of oxygen that wants to bind onto something. And all of our healthy cells they have antioxidants in the membrane so nothing can be damaged by ozone that’s a healthy cell. But, microbes, they can be damaged, they don’t have antioxidants. So the cool thing about ozone is you don’t have to know what you’re fighting. It will kill a virus. It’ll kill a parasite, it’ll kill bacteria, it’ll kill fungus. It doesn’t matter what it is, it’s going to kill it. So that’s what’s so beautiful about using ozone in a surgical site, is you’ve killed everything there.
Because honestly, that broad spectrum use of antibiotics, what if it’s not at a bacteria that’s causing the infection? You know, antibiotics is just taking care of one piece, it’s not taking care of all the pieces. So that’s the beautiful thing about ozone. And ozone is so simple and it’s inexpensive. It’s very, very easy to use. So I would look, when you’re looking for a dentist, I would look for someone who uses ozone. Ozone can be used for so many things. It can be used to desensitize teeth. It can be used to kill decay underneath the tooth so you don’t have to get a cavity filled. It can be used in all kinds of surgical applications. It can be used in root canals, which is a whole different story entirely, but it can be used a lot of different ways. So look for ozone.
Robyn: Yeah. I wanted to bring up the root canal thing because you said ozone is really useful for killing bacterial and viral cells in a tooth cavity when there’s an extraction. And so that’s what we used with my kids. And the way you find that blog post is just go on the Green Smoothie Girl.com blog and search on “oral surgery” or you can search on “wisdom teeth” and you can read it. Doctor Jorgensen collaborated on that blog post and it is very detailed.
But let’s go sideways because a lot of dentists will tell people, and I know that you have something to say about this, that you have a root canal on a dead tooth and you use some ozone. And some biological dentists do root canals and some don’t. And you can tell us what your stand is on that. Because there are really, really extreme biological dentists in Utah who are like, root canals are terrible, nobody should ever get them. I refuse to do them. And then there are others that are like, well, it’s kind of a buffet here at my practice and you can have a root canal and I’m going to tell you what the risks are and then you get to choose or we will do an extraction and an implant if there’s enough jaw bone for that to work. But I think you feel differently than ozone kills everything when it comes to root canals. You want to talk about that?
Dr. Jorgensen: Yeah. The reason I do is because ozone is transitory, meaning it has an effect, but the effect doesn’t last. That’s the problem. So let’s back up. So we need to know what is the problem with the root canal to begin with. You know why is that an issue? And I even like to backup further because I say, well, why do we do root canals? Why do dentists do root canals? And the simple point is we want to save teeth as much as you do. We don’t want to take out teeth either. Replacing a tooth is not always an easy prospect. Sometimes it’s not even possible to replace a tooth. So it’s in everyone’s best interests. You know, we are all hoping to save teeth. That’s what we all are hoping to do. All the dentists, all the patients, everybody, are at the same goal here.
So dentists really figured out, okay, if we remove the nerve portion of the tooth, which is the center portion of the tooth, then we can fill that nerve portion with the filling material. It’s a different filling material then we use in the top, it’s kind of rubber like, orange in color. It’s called Gutta-percha. And so we disinfect the inside of the tooth using bleach, still is, it’s been that way for forever, still is used today. When I used to do root canals, I would tell people it’s going to smell like a swimming pool. And basically it’s because of the chlorine that I was using to disinfect that tooth. Then the tooth is filled in and then some things placed over the top to seal it. So the concept is great. In theory that sounds fabulous. We get to save teeth, everybody’s happy.
The problem is, is that tooth anatomy doesn’t exactly work that way. There is one main nerve that goes down the center of the tooth, but that’s not the whole story. There’s these little side tubules that go off and literally in one tooth there’s a mile of the side tubules inside one molar. So the side tubules branch off of that main nerve. And no matter how much Clorox you put inside of that tooth, how well it’s disinfected, there’s no way to clean every single one of those little side canals. So bacteria harbor in there as does dead tissue that you can’t get every little bit of dead nerve tissue out of those canals either. And the gutta-percha material we fill with, as good as it is and as well as seals, it doesn’t seal completely. Microbes are pretty little. So they’re able to get around that sealed filling material. They are able to find that dead tissue and they flourish.
So what I find, and I had no idea about this before, the CT Scan is really the crucial piece I believe with any kind of holistic or biologic dental practices is the dental specific CT Scan, which is called a Cone Beam CT Scan. It absolutely is imperative to have that. I couldn’t practice without it. And as soon as I started taking that on every new patient, I was blown away at what I was finding. The two dimensional X-rays that we’ve been taking for years, and I’ve been looking at for 25 years, have extreme limitations on what we’re really able to see. Now, I’ll take a two dimensional X-ray of a tooth and I’ll take a 3D scan of the tooth. And it’s like, it’s a different tooth entirely. So we we’re missing so much.
Now that I’m taking 3D Scans, what I’m able to see is that a large majority of these root canals have residual infection, either residual meaning it never was gone in the first place, or recurrent, meaning it came back after treatment. They have infection at the end of the root, infecting the bone and infecting the entire area. Every time you chew, it in essence squishes that infection down throughout the bloodstream, and into the whole entire system. So, I rarely anymore find a root canal that I go, you know what, this one looks okay. And it usually is in someone that’s pretty healthy. Their immune system is able to handle it. It’s able to keep that bacteria at bay and everything’s okay.
And someone that’s sick that has some kind of chronic illness or chronic disease or long standing health condition that they’re dealing with, I rarely find a root canal that hasn’t been infected. And I really believe it’s just because that immune system, I tell people all the time, it’s like a scale. You stick enough things on one side and the whole scale is going to tip and your health is really going to be compromised. So by removing that root canal tooth, we’re going to tip the scale the other direction and hopefully revitalize that health and turn things around.
So you asked, do I do root canals? I do not do root canals anymore. I decided I had to draw a line in the sand. I feel so strongly about root canals and I see so many fail that I can’t myself do them. Do I still tell people that that is an option if a tooth is dying? Absolutely. Actually legally I’m obligated to tell you that. So Robyn, if you were to come to me tomorrow and you had a tooth that was dying or it had already abscessed. I would tell you, you have two choices for this tooth. You can have a root canal on the tooth if you choose to have one, I have a great Endodontist that I refer to that I will let them do for that for you. Or we can remove the tooth and replace it with a Zirconia implant. And again, I only place Zirconia implants anymore. I don’t place Titanium. That’s a whole other story. But, those are the two choices I would give you today. And I’m actually legally obligated to do that as a dentist.
So I don’t do them anymore. I do believe that there are times and places for them. So when my son was 11 years old, he got hit in the mouth with a baseball and broke out his three front teeth. This story is in my book, it’s the only gory picture in the book is my son’s picture with all of his teeth kind of broke it up. And he was too young to do implants. So one of the teeth was saveable at that point. And I did do a root canal on that one tooth. But I just talked to him, he’s now almost 20. I talked to him, he’s living in Peru and he told me, mom, I have an abscess above that root canal tooth. So he’s almost 20, he was 11 when it happened, so it’s lasted about nine years. That’s probably a fairly good lifespan in someone who is young and healthy like that, that I probably can get about nine years out of it. He has two more months before he’s moving home and I’ll see him again and that tooth is coming out immediately and I’ll be placing implants. He’s old enough now. He’s done growing so we can do that.
But there are times and places for implants in a situation like his in someone who’s young and someone who’s healthy. And someone who wants to preserve a tooth for a little while that doesn’t have any other chronic health issues, chronic health concerns or someone who simply is not mentally ready to lose a tooth. And you know, there are some situations that are like that. And in those sorts of situations, I do recommend a root canal.
Now there are advances in root canals that are coming and I’m just praying that one day we’re going to be able to do something that will be successful long term. There’s new technology being done with lasers, that work to get into all those little tiny canals. There’s new technology with filling materials that use wave technology to put the filling material down and seal it better. There’s lots of up and coming technology. Is it there yet? I don’t know.
I just sent a patient to California to have this laser root canal done because she desperately wanted to keep her tooth. It was a front tooth and she’s a young woman so I sent her there to have it done because I feel like she has the best chance for long term success if it’s done that way. The laser, if anyone wants to look it up, it’s called a Light Walker Laser. And the technique is called sweeps. So like you’re sweeping your floor, it’s called sweeps. So if you want to look for someone in your area, you can look that up through The Light Walker Laser to see if someone is doing that.
The filling material is called Sonendo. Endo is endodontics, that’s the profession that does root canals. So again, you can look up a provider that may be providing that kind of filling material for root canals. So those are some advances. I always tell people this is just a really hard decision. It’s a really hard decision that I never want people to have to make to lose a tooth or not, or to choose a root canal, which probably isn’t a great choice either. So that’s my belief and that’s where I stand right now on root canals.
Robyn: Okay. And we will look up those providers who do that. I believe you told me before our interview today because I wanted an update on that. You had talked about it when I interviewed you in episode 53 and I said, what have you learned since then? And you seem to be still kind of watching and waiting, but you said it’s not going to necessarily bring to life a dead tooth. It’s if there’s a little bit of life back in it, it’s going to what, stimulate nerves and regenerate?
Dr. Jorgensen: Correct. They use that same PRF that I talked about for the oral surgery and they put it in that nerve canal area to hopefully re-vascularize and re-intervate the tooth. So if a tooth has been long dead, if it’s already had a root canal in the past, it’s not going to work for that. But if a tooth is dying or on its way to needing a root canal, then it’s perfect for that. These providers are doing all kinds of root canals across the board with the laser and they are having better success with it than the old type of root canal. So if you are that person that says, I just am not ready to have this tooth taken out. I really want to try a root canal. That’s what I would look up is find someone who’s doing it with the Light Walker Laser.
Robyn: Okay. We will look up what we can find online and that will be in the show notes too, just to give you a leg up everyone. So let’s talk about your book. The title is: “Healthy Mouth, Healthy, YOU!” and I know what that’s about and maybe you can fill us in. The health of your mouth and your dentistry has everything to do with your systemic health. But tell us why you called it that. What research made you want people to know that your healthy mouth is related to your overall health?
Dr. Jorgensen: You know, there’s an interesting doctor named Dr. Thomas Levy. He’s a cardiologist, he’s an MD cardiologist, is actually a JD, which I always think it’s interesting when someone tacks that legal name on the end of theirs as well because he’s not going to say things that are going to put him in legal jeopardy. Does that make sense?
Robyn: Yeah. People need to know. So basically he’s a cardiologist and he’s an attorney.
Dr. Jorgensen: Correct. Both. So he’s going to be careful about the way he says things. I appreciate that because there have been dentists who have lost their license. There was a dentist named Hal Huggins, he was really a pioneer in all the mercury removal controversy and he lost his license because he was telling people that their health could be improved through removing the mercury fillings. I don’t think he ever really regained his license. He ended up opening a clinic and having other doctors work for him. But I don’t believe he ever regained that license. So the fact that this is a cardiologist and a lawyer, tells me that he’s saying things that he can prove through science without a shadow of a doubt to be able to say them.
So there’s actually a quote that he says that I think is absolutely amazing. He talks about how the vast majority of the adult population in the world has at least one significant tooth infection. And that “these teeth cause the vast majority of heart attacks and cases of breast cancer”. That’s a direct quote from him. So all you have to do is read a little bit of this research. Another doctor saying that there’s hundreds of thousands of people today and some of them may be the ones that are listening to this, that suffer from a broad range of preventable illness. You know, even things like headaches and fatigue that you think, oh, it’s just because I’m getting older. It’s just because of, you know, what I ate yesterday, whatever it might be. But more often than not, there’s an underlying issue found in the mouth, that triggers a lot of these illnesses. And I’m seeing it now on a daily basis.
So when I say, healthy mouth, healthy you, it goes two ways. First of all, if you have a healthy mouth, it’s going to help you be better. It’s going to help you have better health. But the other way around too, if you don’t have good health, it may very well be from an unhealthy mouth. The connection is so close knit, you cannot do one without another. You know, and I thought it was interesting, Robyn, you were telling me that you were reading the intro to the book and you were saying to yourself, wow, this is really, yeah, I had that same problem too, without realizing that it was your story you were reading in the book.
Robyn: Yeah, I wrote that a long time ago and I hadn’t turned the page to see my photo. And I guess I wrote your intro and I spaced that, maybe it was my mercury fillings from years ago, but yeah, I was like, wow, whoever wrote this, I feel like I’m like, I should be friends with this person, we have the same experience.
Dr. Jorgensen: And it was you. Yeah. There’s a German physician, Reinhard Voll, which you may have heard of him, he’s actually the one that discovered all the energy meridians. So when you’re talking about Vibe, he’s the one that mapped them all, that actually used all of the mapping devices and mapped all of the Meridian locations, the acupressure, and acupuncture pressure points. Anyway, he has a quote that, basically he estimated nearly 80% of all illnesses related entirely or partially to problems in the mouth. Nearly 80%. So this is something that I feel as dentists, we’ve short changed our patients and ourselves. We’ve really not given what we do enough credence in the health care picture.
You know, we’ve really considered ourselves as mouth mechanics, tooth mechanics. That’s what we do. And I think the public at large has seen us as that as well. And we’re so much more than that. We oftentimes can identify problems that are going on elsewhere by looking in your mouth. The starting point of your gut is your mouth. So if you have gut issues, your mouth’s going to show it. You can’t see inside your stomach, but you can see inside your mouth. So the dentist really to me, has the responsibility to identify disease as well. To identify disease and to help heal disease if possible, to help bodies heal. We can’t heal but bodies can heal, so to help bodies be able to heal from disease. So I think that there’s a huge responsibility that dentists hold in being able to really help people with their overall health.
Robyn: Yeah. And I’m really glad you wrote this book because you mentioned Dr. Levy and I have his gigantic book and I know you do too. And you probably actually read the whole thing. I only read some of it. I was a Levy dropout, but your book is nice and slim and you know, I’ve teased you before about not overestimating the interest of your patients in knowing everything that you know, which you’re really good at giving people the bite sized version. Is that why you decided to write a book? Do you feel like people don’t really want to necessarily read Levy’s 400 page manual?
Dr. Jorgensen: Well, not do they not necessarily want to read it, they won’t. That’s just the facts. I’m always amazed at how few people even read books at all anymore. So we’re starting a lot of online courses actually. We’re turning the book into know more of a user friendly video version. I don’t like to watch videos. I’m a reader, so I don’t understand that. But there’s so many people who won’t ever even read a book.
But yeah, the book’s very manageable. People have said, you know, I’ve read it in a night or two nights and there’s so much information. I’ve actually been shocked at the response to this book. People have been very favorable and have said, I want to buy five more. I want one for all my family members. And so it’s really written with the consumer in mind. That’s who this book is written for. Because you need to know, it’s your mouth, it’s your health. You need to know how dentistry may impact it, and you need to know how to guide your dental provider or how to find a dental provider that can provide these things for you.
I really believe in today’s, you know, doctor Google world, that there’s a lot of information out there, but it’s not all correct. In fact, I believe a lot of it isn’t correct. And so what I really tried to do was pull very current research. There’s actually 14 solid pages of just listings of all of the research that’s in this book. And the research articles, most of them have been done in the last five years. So this is very up to date, very current research that you can trust. This isn’t just something that you’ve googled that you think, uh, who really wrote that and is this really backed by anything. This is backed by science. It’s backed by experience and these are the things you need to know to really take hold of your health, dental health and overall health and make a difference for yourselves and for your family.
Robyn: I should mention that Doctor Jorgensen was very much a collaborator on the holistic dentist finder that we created nationwide. It was actually a really big project for us. It took us hundreds of man hours to contact all these dentists because here’s the thing, the holistic dentist finder is not just a list of the dentists. There are paid directories where they have to pay to be in the directory because it’s some dental site that it’s a marketing tool. Basically our list is nobody paid to be in it. And our only objective was to tell you, and this is where Doctor Jorgensen came in. I was like what are the things that someone should ask their holistic dentist?
Cause just cause somebody hangs out a shingle that they are a biological dentist, they’re not all equal. And I’d love for you to comment on that. But just so you know, like go get the holistic dentist finder at greensmoothiegirl.com/healthymouth/getlist because we also took all of the things that Doctor Jorgensen told me are things you should ask a biological dentist because then you can tell how invested they are in biological dentistry. Because do you have the same concern I do, Doctor Jorgensen that there are some biological dentists out there who aren’t really invested in it?
Dr. Jorgensen: Well the problem is, is it’s not even a real thing. You and I have discussed this before. There is no definition of biologic dentist. It’s not like it’s a sub specialty of dentistry. You know when you go to your doctor and you go to say an ENT, well they’ve been through specific training, they’ve been board licensed, they have a very specific set of things that they do and that they’ve been trained on. There’s no such thing for biologic dentistry. This is really a term that someone made up that sounded good. Same with holistic dentistry. Like there’s no set guideline as to what that means.
So just because someone calls themselves that doesn’t mean anything really. It probably means they have bent towards more natural treatments. But that could vary anywhere from just we take out mercury fillings to completely, we don’t believe you ever should have a root canal in your life or ever an implant. Which like you said, there are people that clearly swing to that side. There’s a whole gamut, you know, from one end to the other that all call themselves the same thing. So there really is no definition. There’s no board certification, there’s no licensure, there’s no organization that’s watching this to see and make sure we’re calling ourselves, there’s none of that.
So it really is self-policed and it really is dependent on you to go and ask these questions. And if they can’t answer the questions, I think that’s a pretty good answer for you. And really in my office, everyone should be able to answer the questions. So you know, if you’re talking to the front office person that answers the phone and they can’t answer the questions or don’t know what you’re talking about, probably a pretty good sign that they don’t do those things in their office because everybody in the office should be conversant if those are things that are done on a daily basis.
Robyn: Right. And I would just like to say this is something she’s not going to say, but I will say, that somebody who just is mercury free or mercury safe is not good enough. That’s not what we’re looking for. I’m not saying they’re not a good dentist, I’m saying that’s not what I think of when I think of biological dentistry. This industry is to incipient. I mean, 800 dentist is not that many. And these are most likely the dentists who got sick or they learned about how toxic mercury is and they learned about that pretty much every root canal tooth is actually deeply infected and potentially causing cancer and autoimmune disease. There’s things that she can’t say, but I can cause no one can come and take my dentistry license away from me. So yeah, I can be a little bit bolder in the way that I talk about it.
And of course you can take that as my opinion and you can, with that and a quarter you can buy yourself a phone call, if you can find a phone booth. So, I’m really excited that you’ve got this book done. I know you’ve been planning to do it for a few years and I think it’s really important work. It’s sort of the, let’s get really immersed in what the issues are around dentistry. Here’s how to take care of your mouth at home.
It’s my pain point in my own saga. You know, I couldn’t go back and do undo all the damage from 30 years of eating tons of crap and I still pay the price for it in my mouth. And Doctor Jorgensen makes my mouth look pretty, but you know, my gums bleed and it’s like my only health issue. Don’t know what’s going on there. And she says, is our gums bleeding normal? Well, if you wash your hands, do they bleed? If they did, that would be abnormal. And it’s the same thing. So it’s an ongoing thing that we’re figuring out.
However, the good and the blessing in it all is that I’ve learned so much from especially Doctor Jorgensen, but a bunch of biological dentists from around the country. And I love getting their take on things and I feel like biological dentistry is a thing, but it’s that the leaders, the pioneers, the people who are pushing the envelope, the people who are asking the questions, the people who are seeking something better for their patients are the ones out there organizing. And you’re training dentists now, right? People are flying in to learn from you, aren’t they?
Dr. Jorgensen: Yeah, we’re just starting this actually, it’s called The Total Care Academy because my mission, my overall mission is to help more people. Three words, it’s simple, help more people. Well, like you said, we already have a waiting list at our clinic. I’ve hired other dentists. I’m training them on site, but again, I’m limited in what I can do in that reach. So yes, we are training other dentists from all over. We’re opening a new site, our first satellite location will be in Portland, Oregon. What I think we do differently, if I can give just a little bit of what should you look for, but why am I teaching what we do differently than others. What I think we do differently is, we take the science, we take the research, we take everything that’s up to date and the best for you possible. And then we make it make sense. We make it feel right. We make it a really pleasant place to come to, to have done.
You know, people talk about how they love coming to our office. They love the feel of it. They love the team members, there’s just a different feeling. And oftentimes that part doesn’t go along with the biologic part and you think you have to have one or the other. We’ll, I don’t believe you do. I think you can have both. I think you can have this be a place that you actually look forward to visiting and a place that runs seamlessly and gives you the information you need when you want it. And also provides, cutting edge state of the art dentistry that’s going to help you regain your health. So that’s what we’re trying to teach is how to provide the dentistry, but also how to provide it in a way that the patients really feel good about it and look forward to it and tell their friends about.
And so you know, it’s kind of an interesting thing, dentistry is a little bit of a good old boys club and I’ve never been part of the club. I’ve never been invited to be a part of that club. And so I have always been a little apprehensive to teach dentists. And I know that sounds weird cause I teach almost every single day of my life, but I’m a little apprehensive to teach dentists just because I’ve never been a part of the club. And I’ve been doing this a long time. I’m a bit of a pioneer as a woman in this field. So I have brought some other male dentists in to teach some of the dentists.
But I am very encouraged to see how many dentists, male and female alike, it doesn’t matter what you are anymore, that are interested in this and are really wanting to learn and do better for their patients. And most of the time health care providers do want to, you know, they do want to do their best. They just don’t know how. So that’s what we’re hoping to provide is that how, so that they can provide this kind of care for their patients and we can help more people.
Robyn: I love it. I was a little bit scared to say to the oral surgeon because you know, surgeons have a tendency to have the ego that goes along with their income and status in the community. I was a little scared to tell him, I actually want you to do something a little different and I want you to learn from my biological dentist. And he was humble and interested in learning and you told me he wanted to learn this. He was open to it. And I think that whether people are, whatever you want to call them, holistic leaning or not, the marketplace is dictating ongoing the march forward of all things holistic and all things less toxic, because of consumer demand, because consumers are holding dentists and periodontists to higher standards. Not everybody, most people have no idea that taking a preventative antibiotic and steroid before oral surgery is going to hurt their immune system and is going to set them back in their health potentially years, but lots of people do a growing number do.
And those are the kinds of patients that I meet in your waiting room. And you have a real cut above clientele just like at Green Smoothie Girl, we have a cut above, a really educated audience. I’m so glad that you’re there. I’m so glad that you’re doing more than just staying in your corner and that you’re training other doctors. I want to thank you for the amazing ways that you’ve blessed my own personal life and helped me with. I have a lot of dental trauma from my experience for the few years before I came to you. And so I’m very grateful.
The book is “Healthy Mouth, Healthy You” you can get on Amazon. It’s by Michelle Coles Jorgensen. And the subtitle is “holistic dental guide transforming your whole body health starts in your mouth”. Her practice is Total Care Dental in American Fork, Utah. It’s worth the wait if you can wait a few months to get in with her and then once you get in with her then the scheduling is not super hard to get in. It’s like probably any practice. Anything else you want to say to our audience before we go? I know you’re so very busy, so grateful for your time. Anywhere else they can find you or any other action steps they should take?
Dr. Jorgensen: On our website. You can find that at www.totalcaredental.com and your dentist finder can help. And I’m happy to coordinate with other dentists as well. I’ve done this frequently, coordinated with other dentists to help guide care so that you can receive care where you are if necessary.
Robyn: Well, thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate you so much, Doctor Jorgensen.
Dr. Jorgensen: Thank you.