We had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Gerry Curatola for a recent Health Ignited podcast where he shared insight on a range of topics around the mouth-body connection, which is also the focus of his new book, The Mouth-Body Connection – The 28-Day Program to Create a Healthy Mouth, Reduce Inflammation and Prevent Disease Throughout the Body.
Dr. Gerry Curatola is a renowned biologic restorative dentist with more than 35 years of clinical practice experience. He is the creator of one of our favourite natural personal care products, Revitin toothpaste, and is best known for his innovations and influence on cosmetic dentistry, his approach to whole body wellness, and his frequent contributions to popular shows including The Martha Stewart Show, The Dr. Oz Show, Fox News, and AOL Health.
We’ve learned a lot from Dr. Curatola and have implemented many of his teachings around oral health and the mouth-body connection in our own practice.
THE PROBLEM WITH MERCURY FILLINGS
Historically, there has been a disconnection between dentistry and whole body health care in North America. Amalgam fillings, which are largely composed of mercury (around 52%), have been used for over 150 years in millions of patients. The American Dental Association (ADA) and the FDA claim amalgam fillings do not cause health problems; however, they’ve been said to be at the root of a variety of health issues for many people. And while this type of filling is still very common in contemporary dentistry, many countries, including Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, have banned or restricted the use of amalgam fillings, due to their toxic effect.
The longer you’ve had an amalgam filling, the greater the potential for adverse health effects. Every time you chew, a bit of mercury is released. Additionally, teeth grinding, clenching, and consuming hot liquids will cause off-gassing of mercury, contributing to the toxic effect in your body.
Some of the known problems caused by mercury exposure include (1):
- Inflammation of the gums
- Neurological disorders
- Kidney problems
- Respiratory issues
- Endocrine disruptions
- Memory loss
- Autoimmune disorders
Fortunately, there are safer alternatives to amalgam fillings, including: BPA-free composite resin, porcelain (aka: ceramic), and fluoride-free glass ionomer fillings.
Dr. Curatola shared with us the importance of safe amalgam removal – known as SMART: Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique – as this process has the potential to release more mercury, but unfortunately, not all dentists are following this practice. This is why it’s important to find a biological dentist with a whole body approach to your care.
DETOXIFICATION TO SUPPORT AMALGAM REMOVAL
A strategic and progressive detox process, along with ongoing support of cell health and function, is an important part of ensuring a successful amalgam removal process.
Our naturopathic doctors would be happy to create a safe amalgam removal protocol for you leading up to that process and afterward, to support your detoxification pathways and expedite the healing process. If you’re considering having amalgam fillings removed, please reach out to schedule a consultation with one of our naturopaths.
THE EFFECTS OF INFLAMMATION IN THE MOUTH CAN BE FAR-REACHING
When harmful bacteria builds up on the teeth and leads to infection, the immune system responds by attacking the problem area, causing the gums to become inflamed. When left untreated, this inflammation can lead to gum disease, known as periodontitis.
Periodontitis and Diabetes
There is a significant connection between periodontitis and diabetes; inflammation in the mouth appears to weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar, impairing the utilization of insulin. High blood sugar creates an ideal environment for infection to grow, which is why this two-way relationship between periodontitis and diabetes can be so difficult to manage.
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
A link between gum disease and heart disease has also been observed in a significant number of patients: Up to 91% of patients with heart disease have periodontitis, compared to 66% of people with no heart disease (2). While this relationship is not fully understood, there is a theory that inflammation of the mouth causes inflammation in the blood vessels, which can increase the risk of heart attack.
Pregnancy and Oral Health
An inflamed environment is not supportive to growth and healthy fetal development, and it is said that hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase a woman’s risk of periodontitis (3). Additionally, Dr. Gerry Curatola emphasizes that pregnant women should not be drinking fluoridated water or using fluoridated toothpaste.
“Inflammation is the smouldering fire in the body that people need to be aware of.”
– Dr. Gerry Curatola
THE DANGERS OF FLUORIDE
Fluoride occurs naturally in air, soil, plants, rocks, fresh water, sea water and many foods; however, elevated levels of fluoride (primarily as a result of fluoridated water) can be detrimental to your health. As Dr. Curatola explained in the podcast, “Overly fluoridated water lowers IQ in children, calcifies the pineal gland, can lead to hypothyroidism, and can cause kidney disease and cancer. While there is naturally occurring fluoride, the type that goes into our water supply is hydrofluorosilicic acid, which is a toxic waste product.”
Other health risks associated with excessive fluoride exposure (5):
- Bone disease
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Acne and other skin conditions
- Cardiovascular problems
- Reproductive issues
THE IMPORTANCE OF A HEALTHY ORAL MICROBIOME
There is a common misconception that all bacteria is problematic, but this simply isn’t so: a balanced bacterial environment is critical for healthy functioning, not only in the mouth, but also in the body.
You can support your oral microbiome with proper oral care and a natural, prebiotic toothpaste like Revitin, boosting the good bacteria in your mouth while ensuring the bad bacteria don’t create problems for you. Revitin (created by Dr. Gerry Curatola!) naturally whitens teeth and freshens breath while reducing plaque (46%), gum bleeding (72.5%), and gingival inflammation (42%) over the leading standard toothpaste brands (4). You can order it here!
Make sure to tune into this illuminating podcast on the mouth-body connection, where Dr. Gerry Curatola shares a wealth of valuable information not discussed in this blog, including airway health and the relationship to sleep apnea, cavitation and implantitis, the differences between traditional 2D x-rays and 3D cone beam x-rays, and the most important antioxidants for supporting gum health.
“Make peace with your microbes – they’re keeping you alive!”
– Dr. Gerry Curatola
An illuminating talk with renowned biological dentist and author, Dr. Gerry Curatola
1) https://www.rejuvdentist.com/biological-dentistry/toxic-dental-materials/ – Blog post, What are Toxic Dental Materials? February 14, 2021
2), 3) https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oral-health-the-mouth-body-connection – Oral Health: the Mouth-Body Connection, by Joanne Baker
5) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154164#risks – Why do we have fluoride in our water? (Last medically reviewed on February 21, 2018)