A few facts about profiteering from alternative dentistry.

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There is a lot of popular wisdom and yet more nonsense uttered by medical staff, the pharmaceutical industry, and pharmacies.

All this knowledge is mixed up into a pile of half-truths, humbug, and nonsense – here’s a small selection of it.

Brushing teeth with baking powder?

How to brush teeth correctly – first of all, electric toothbrushes with oscillating rotary head are slightly superior to conventional toothbrushes where the removal of plaque and the protection against gum inflammations are concerned. But one must not forget that the toothbrush is only a tool in your hands. It can only clean those teeth to which you “guide” it. Keep in mind, too, that every tooth has several surface areas – a fact that is easily forgotten. Therefore, brush the “difficult” areas first! Start with the inside surfaces in the lower and upper jaw. Then turn to the outside areas. Finally, brush the chewing surfaces. In the beginning, inflamed gums may bleed severely. But please continue to brush anyway. Do not use any abrasive materials such as baking powder; although it cleans the tooth, it also removes a lot of dental enamel, so there would not be much tooth left after a few years!

Withdrawal of sugar as a remedy against yeast fungus infestation?

Everybody is talking about a fungus these days: Candida, a yeast fungus! In 50-80% of healthy people, this fungus can be found in the mouth and in the remaining digestive tract. If larger amounts of this fungus are found in the stool, the colloquial term is, “candida overgrowth.” It is suspected to disturb the uptake of water, sugar, and sodium that takes place in the colon and to cause diarrhea. Healthy people live in a balance with fungi and bacteria. To get an idea of what this balance can look like and how a disturbance manifests itself, watch the video clip titled, "Initial Caries".

Homeopathy

Homeopathy

This balance can be severely disturbed by external influences such as nutrition, personal circumstances, lack of hygiene, or medication (e.g. a treatment with antibiotics).

The opinion that the consumption of simple carbohydrates (sugar) promotes the colonization of candida albicans is viewed as speculative, i.e. it has not been scientifically verified. The theory behind it is this: The fungus reaches the stomach as part of the saliva or the food. It can pass the stomach unharmed due to its resistance to acids and, therefore, is said to promote the colonization of the colon. Although this is only a theory, corresponding treatment proposals (anti-fungal diets) still circulate on the internet, in hospitals, and medical practices.

The main criticism of the scientifically unverified low-carb diet is the limitation of the consumption of fruit over a longer period of time, which leads to a shortage of all nutrients (vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, secondary plant ingredients) – substances that play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy immune system and that should not be omitted from daily nutrition.

In summary, one can say that a diet low in sugar does not have any disadvantages as long as other important foods (such as fruit) are supplied. However, there is currently no scientific proof for the effectiveness of low-carb food against “candida overgrowth!”

Artificial teeth from the test tube – what’s the truth?

Dental Prosthesis

Dental Prosthesis

The truth is that this will take many more years – if it will become reality at all. A gene with the name, “Osr2” codes for a protein that is called, “odd-skipped-related 2 Protein.“ Thanks to this gene, teeth are arranged in a row in the mouth.

This is the conclusion reached by geneticists at the University of Rochester. In the future, this research could contribute to realizing a growing back of lost teeth and to preventing the formation of birth defects such as the cleft lip/alveolus/palate. When this gene is activated in mice, their teeth grow back! Previous studies were already able to show that the same gene is also active in human beings. What is particularly exciting is the fact that the additional tooth originates in tissue, which normally does not produce any teeth! Researchers speculate that the exact knowledge of the trigger for tooth growth could one day also enable adults to grow back lost teeth. Although all mammals have only one row of teeth, there are many other vertebrates that grow more than one row of teeth!

Placebos – they work, but how?

A placebo is a sham medication that does not contain any medical agent and that therefore cannot have any pharmacological effect caused by such an agent! In the extended sense, other sham interventions are also called placebos, such as sham surgeries, for example.

Researchers have shown that the sensation of pain is blocked in the transition from the skin to the spinal marrow if a person does not expect any or less pain. There are many different ways how psychological factors can influence our perception of pain - for example, controlling our attention, hypnosis, or the so-called “placebo effect.” But what are the neurobiological mechanisms that ensure that the sensation of pain is reduced? Researchers have been able to show that a placebo effect is associated with decreased nerve cell activity in the spinal marrow. To date, neuroscientists have given the following explanation for the placebo effect: The belief in the effectiveness of a pain medication leads to the release of endogenous opiates in the brain – also called endorphins. This happens both in the frontal cerebral cortex, which is particularly well pronounced in human beings, as well as in evolutionarily older areas in the brainstem. The release of these endogenous opiates is associated with a decreased perception of pain and with a correspondingly lower response of nerve cells in pain-processing areas of the brain.

It was previously unclear how this opiate release and the reduction of the pain-related nerve cell activity are related. In an earlier study, it was shown that placebo effects – i.e. a reduced pain perception despite the same physical stimulation – are accompanied by an increased endorphin coupling between the frontal areas of the cerebral cortex and the brainstem. The latest technical developments now make it possible to prove – by means of high-resolution, magnetic resonance imaging of the human spinal marrow – that a placebo effect is accompanied by a decreased nerve cell activity in the spinal marrow - the first station of the central nervous system. Thus, it was possible to show that psychological factors of pain modulation are deeply rooted in the brain.

The fact that such influences can be measured in the human spinal marrow is also relevant for clinical studies for testing new medications since it allows for a closer examination of their effectiveness and their target site.

Oil pulling – is there any use to it?

Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling

The process of “oil pulling, oil swishing, or oil chomping” consists of slowly moving a tablespoon of cold-pressed sunflower oil back and forth in the mouth and pulling it through the teeth for about 10 to 20 minutes. This oil is subsequently spat out and the mouth is thoroughly rinsed out with water. According to the recommendations, the best time to perform this process is in the morning for about 8 to 14 days. Other sources have recommended olive oil, sesame oil, and various other vegetable oils.

The underlying disease model, according to which “toxins” and “waste products” accumulate in the body and which have to be removed, has been given up by medicine since the 18th century; however, it is still very widespread in alternative medicine.

The effectiveness of the therapy has not been proven; references in medical literature that could be given as a source of verification are either vague or lacking! It says in Wikipedia:

“The treatment recommendations circulating in German-speaking countries can be traced back to two publications in the magazines, “Natur & Heilen” (“Nature & Healing” - author: Günther W. Frank) and, “Natur und Medizin” (“Nature and Medicine”) from 1991. Both articles refer to a Russian doctor by the name of Fedor Karach, who is said to have presented the procedure at a supposedly “All-Ukrainian Congress of Oncologists and Bacteriologists.” In turn, Karach is said to have learned the oil pulling procedure from Siberian shamans. There is no accurate time and source information for this claim; citable publications of a doctor Karach are not available.

Help, I’m over-acidified – does the deacidification of the body make sense?

Let’s deacidify our body! – Again and again we hear advertising messages with the slogans “deacidification, deacidifying the body, detoxifying.” Even university professors (Journal Stomatologie 07-08/10) talk about an over-acidification due to periodontitis. In the article, patients are recommended to take trace elements, base powder, and antioxidants in case of periodontitis. Such reports are incorrect, dubious, and only serve to make a buck.

Is it even possible that our body can become acidic or alkaline? Yes, it can, but then we are dead. Our electrolyte balance and the pH-value associated with it are closely regulated by the kidneys and the liver. The normal value lies between pH 7.35-7.42. A derailment of the pH-value further up or down is only compatible with life for a short period of time; severe derailments immediately lead to death, because the proteins in the blood give out – i.e. they lose their three-dimensional shape – coagulate – and thus are useless for the organism. Something similar occurs in boiling chicken broth – when a brown layer forms on the surface, these are coagulated proteins. So we can reassure you: If you are able to read this article, you are surely not over-acidified!

Urine therapy – why do so many people believe in it?!

What are the facts about the urine therapy? Basically, our urine is free of micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, parasites), free of viruses, and normally does not contain many substances with immunological potential – i.e. proteins. Seen in this light, our urine is “almost” sterile – except for people with urinary tract infections. That is probably why – a hundred years ago – urine was the cleanest liquid available to farm laborers working in the fields if they needed to clean a wound. Back then (no, it’s no longer done today), it surely made sense to wash out injury wounds with urine.

But urine contains a lot of harmful substances; they do not necessarily have to be heavy metals. Even normal salt, which is contained in urine, is a harmful substance in this case, which the body painstakingly eliminates thanks to the kidneys. That is how the body maintains it equilibrium (homeostasis). The question why urine, which the body painstakingly eliminates, is said to have positive health aspects, cannot be answered logically, but, as described above, with historical aspects. Based on the practice of “urinating on wounds,” people also developed the practice of drinking the urine. There are different theories regarding this; apart from the theory as to how this occultism developed, drinking urine is simply harmful, that’s all.

Either way, please believe us for once: If you suffer a wound, apply, for example, “Betaisodona.” And if you feel sick, instead of drinking urine, have a glass of cool, clean water.

Can my body become slagged, should I purify my colon – is that possible?

No! Our intestinal mucosa renews itself every 3-5 days; the small intestine a bit slower than the large intestine. How should I imagine that? Very simple, the uppermost layer of the intestinal mucosa consists of many small cells that are stacked one above the other. The new cells are formed in the basal layer and migrate from the bottom to the top – the new cells pushing the older cells ahead of themselves, so to speak. The richer our diet is in fiber, the more cells are “rubbed off” – like a type of peeling. Now it is clear why so-called “detoxification treatments” – during which nothing but fruit/vegetable juices are drunk – are counterproductive, because the “peeling effect” of the fibers is lost. Oftentimes, diverticula are mentioned as, “slagging.” Diverticula are protrusions of the colon, but they also do not lead to slagging. What are diverticula? Just as our skin ages, so do our organs; the network of muscles surrounding the intestinal mucosa develops holes, through which the intestinal mucosa may protrude – this is called a pseudo-diverticulum.

If the entire intestinal wall protrudes, i.e. the mucosa and the muscle layer, it is called, “real diverticula.” Faeces rarely accumulate in the diverticula of the large intestine, because they are too small for that. If it does occur though, the entire process usually becomes inflamed – you’re then suffering from a large intestine inflammation with severe pain, but no slagging. The business with faeces, the colon, and purification is very successful; the words alone and the issues associated with them all shout, “slagging.” And if we listen to this kind of talk long enough, then we believe in it – we are slagged!

Except that our body does not function that way – no slag, no back-up of harmful substances – hence no cleaning of the intestine is necessary!

Many people mistake an increased attention (vigilance) in a state of hunger as “cleanliness” and the fatigue after a meal (postprandial fatigue) as “slagging.” But these are two very normal and old vegetative mechanisms of our body – no food > more attention > better hunting. Food > fatigue > rest > more energy for digestion/conversion. Maybe the best “purification therapy” in industrial countries would be not to eat less, but have a more balanced diet instead, which would also be beneficial for our teeth!

Orthomolecular medicine – a beacon of hope or the cash cow of the nutritional supplement industry?

Orthomolecular Treatment

Orthomolecular Treatment

Once again, a new hype on the sector of the “holistic, alternative, or orthomolecular” medicine! The term, “orthomolecular medicine” was first coined by Linus Pauling, an American chemist (1901-1994). The orthomolecular medicine is a method in alternative medicine, which assumes that the population suffers from a chronic undersupply of vitamins and minerals and that diseases may be prevented/healed when the same are supplied.

At the time when Pauling was most active, during the post-war period (about 1930), this theory may have been accurate (World War I - 1914-1918), but hospitals offer a different picture these days. Diseases such as night blindness (vitamin A deficiency), rickets (vitamin D deficiency), myopathies (vitamin E deficiency), beri-beri (vitamin B1 deficiency), pellagra (niacin deficiency), scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) are only known to European doctors from textbooks. The beds of our hospitals are full of people suffering from the so-called, “affluenza” (it’s really called that). Among which are diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus II, arteriosclerosis, excess weight, lipometabolic disorders, and coronary heart disease.

We’re stuffing ourselves to death, but nevertheless, we believe that we are suffering from a lack of nutrition. Why? Could it be, because nutritional supplements are a cash cow? One success factor of orthomolecular medicine may be found in the enormous revenue generated by the industry that supports this kind of treatment. According to a study by FORSA (the “Society for Social Research and Statistical Analysis”), every third person in Germany takes nutritional supplements, generating an annual turnover estimated to be more than 1 billion EUR just for vitamin and mineral preparations. By now, pharmaceutical companies have jumped on the bandwagon as well. As in many other methods of alternative medicine, there is also a lack of scientific studies here, which would confirm the effectiveness of these forms of therapy. Nevertheless, the business of orthomolecular training and treatment methods is flourishing. There are even “continuing medical education” (CME) diplomas for “orthomolecular medicine” handed out the by medical associations. What is it that our doctors are supposed to convey to us, when it concerns things that have not even been verified in studies – good studies; we’re not talking about “tabloid studies”!?

Without studies, there cannot be a substantiated proof of effectiveness – whether the treatment concerns conventional or alternative medicine, our viewpoint is clear. If there is sound scientific documentation (evidence-based studies) for the success of a treatment, this method should benefit the public and be applied – but assumptions and lore may not be used as a basis for the treatment of patients.

But what is the reason for our "deficiency?" People feel empty, exhausted, tired, and stressed. Why? Could it be that we, as people, allow ourselves to drift more and more into a profit-oriented society; that empathy and social warmth are replaced more and more by mobbing and the profit thinking (in medicine, too)? The homo oeconomicus – is a misstep! Could the image that we see every day in subways, cars, and busses all over the world (beat, tired, and frustrated faces) perhaps be the result of our lifestyle after all? Not because of a vitamin deficiency, but because we no longer look at our needs, at our internal clock, and at ourselves?

Are there bad teeth?

Yes and no. Most people have good teeth, but bad habits! If you have your fillings mainly in the posterior region, then you also belong among the people with good teeth, but bad habits. Most of us believe that we have bad teeth, but there is a reason why we have fillings and missing teeth primarily in the posterior region.

The correct brushing of teeth must first be learned! We brush the anterior teeth well, but in the posterior region we allow ourselves to be misled by the fresh feeling of the toothpaste and thus have cleaning deficits. That has consequences, plaque leads to caries and to periodontitis. Bad teeth are very rare! Very few people have hereditarily bad teeth; but in such cases, all teeth would be affected, i.e. the front teeth as well.

I bet you have your dental fillings, crowns, inlays, or missing teeth only/mainly on the side! Why do you have bad teeth only on the side – okay, maybe you have fillings in the front of the upper jaw as well. Maybe you have crescent-shaped fillings there, if you’re not already a step further – namely, having crowns. But why is it that only certain teeth are bad? If they are bad, then all would be bad! But don’t worry, you’re not alone – just take a look into the mouth of your fellow human beings and you will notice, that all of your “bad” teeth are located on the side.

So the reason for our “bad teeth” is a simple one – the upper anterior teeth touch each other at broad contact areas. The lower anterior teeth touch each other at small contact areas. In the lower jaw, the toothbrush usually reaches between the teeth – but not in the upper one. That is why caries develops in the upper jaw – in a crescent shape between the teeth. If the fillings have reached the nerve of the tooth, a root canal treatment is performed. In most cases, this means crowns. And what about the posterior teeth? Well, the front is brushed well, but in the rear, we usually just rush over the teeth and allow ourselves to be misled by the fresh feeling of the toothpaste. The plaque that is not removed (cleaning deficits in the posterior region) cause caries – in most cases, already during childhood. Dentists do not teach, they just drill. And that’s how we have all our fillings on the side. So it is bad habits, together with bad education, that result in broken teeth!

Equipped with this knowledge, we can now make a number of changes in our oral care – let’s start cleaning our teeth properly:

• Start by brushing your posterior teeth first and leave the easy parts for the end.

• At least once a day, use a water pick; don’t worry, in the beginning, the gums may bleed and hurt slightly. As a rule, that will pass soon.

• Give your teeth a proper brushing. Once you are done, take a plaque tablet (you can purchase them in pharmacies) – i.e. after the brushing. Any place where you still have plaque (check the inner surfaces of your teeth as well), you should brush again. By brushing your teeth again, you reprogram your mind, and your hand and you will easily learn a new brushing technique!

The goal is to learn to brush your posterior teeth just as well as your anterior teeth. If, on top of that, the dentist performs good work and provides your teeth with ceramic inlays, for example, than you can forget about drilling for a very long time. A conscientious dentist will explain these issues to you in an initial consultation – prior to the beginning of a therapy, because that is the real therapy – education!

Globules, homeopathy, Schüssler salts are on an upswing

Medicine Overdose

Medicine Overdose

Admittedly, conventional medicine has lost a lot of trust in the past couple of years. The primary reason is that many medical doctors “bought” their academic title with the aid of the tabloid press. In general, medical research is not as clearly structured as the case, for example, in other natural science disciplines. But medicine is catching up, the key word being evidence-based medicine. These deficits in conventional medicine helped the “alternative medicine” gain ground – the catch phrases are homeopathy, gentle medicine, complementary medicine, natural healing methods, kinesiology, traditional Chinese medicine, etc.; they appeal to patients, who are looking for help. Just recently, the ineffectiveness of Schüssler salts was mentioned in a report by the European consumer protection organization; nevertheless, the boom continues!

Saliva test for caries prevention

By using the diagnosis of saliva, doctors attempt to list patients with an increased caries risk. This is done through the classification of bacteria (S. mutans and lactobacilli) while taking into account the rate of saliva flow and buffer capacity! Successfully? Unfortunately, no – although one keeps reading and hearing about the saliva test for the prevention of caries. In case of drug tests and in criminal investigations, the saliva diagnostics have gained acceptance – but not in dentistry! Tests that are performed once show considerable fluctuations; they do not allow any differentiation between children with a high or low risk of caries. Finally, the good news – regular visits to the dentist and good oral care can prevent caries!

Fluorine – Fluoride. Fluoride compounds as protection against…

Sodium fluoride, fluoride teeth, toothpaste fluoride, flourine – there is a lot to be said when it comes to the issue of fluoridating teeth. What is right, what is wrong?

First of all – fluorine is a very toxic gas that belongs among the halogens. Contrary to that, fluoride ions, i.e. electrically charged nuclear compounds, are essential for human beings; they are counted among the trace elements.

Commonly used fluorides are:

• Sodium fluoride (NaF, e.g. in fluoride tablets or in some toothpastes or mouth rinses)

• Potassium fluoride (KF, in fluoridated table salt)

• Tin(II) fluoride (SnF2, sometimes used in toothpastes)

• Amine fluoride (in toothpastes and fluoride-containing gels)

To have any effect in preventing caries, only fluoride applied locally on teeth that have already erupted is effective. Since the population has access to numerous sources of fluoride (tablets, table salt, drinking water, toothpastes, fluoride gels…), dealing with these trace elements in a prudent manner is very important. Since caries is a disease with many causes, the development and course of a carious cavity cannot be completely prevented by applying fluoride alone. It follows, then, that caries is not a symptom of fluoride deficiency! In the following recommendations for fluoride measures, only such points are listed that have proven scientific benefits!

Toothpastes

The use of fluoride-containing toothpaste is an effective measure to prevent caries. The caries-preventing effect in permanent teeth rises with an increasing fluoride concentration in the toothpaste and frequent use.

Fluoride tablets

Fluoride tablets have a caries-preventing effect. Since the caries-preventive effect in teeth that have already erupted is based on the local effectiveness of the fluoride, they should be taken on a regular basis. Only one form of holistic (systemic) fluoride supply (tablet or table salt) is recommended – see the graphic. In case of table salt, the available data is not as clear as in lozenges. When fluoride tablets are given to children under the age of six years, a consultation on the fluoride anamnesis must be conducted in order to avoid an excess intake of fluoride from other sources. During pregnancy, fluoride tablets do not have to be taken since the administration of fluoride tablets has no influence on the prevalence of caries in the milk teeth.

Fluoride varnish application

The application of fluoride varnish is an effective method for caries prevention. In children and adolescents, it may be performed twice or several times per year and independently of other fluoridation measures.

Fluoride gels

The application of fluoride gels is an effective method for caries prevention and may be performed independently of other local fluoridation measures – provided that the gel is not swallowed. The caries-preventive effect of fluoride gels does not depend on the application method; die form of application depends on the compliance of the patient and should, therefore, be chosen individually.

Fluoride-containing mouth rinse solutions

In case of low caries activity and regular oral hygiene with fluoride-containing toothpaste, the use of fluoride-containing mouth rinses is not recommended. In persons with increased caries risk, the controlled use of mouth rinse solutions leads to a reduction of the increase of caries and therefore, may be recommended independently from the application of other fluoride preparations.

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