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An Urgent Appeal to Dentsply

Written by Administrator.

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A petition on Change.org is appealing to Dentsply to cease its production of dental amalgams.

The petition, spearheaded by the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry states, “We must end the toxic trade of dental mercury that pollutes our bodies, land, water and air!  We have no capacity to sustainably handle more mercury polluting products, which end up in the food we eat.”

Supported by a large network of NGOs and concerned individuals around the globe, the petition is gaining steam and already has over 9000 signatories as of this writing.

“Wake up call”

Echoing the sentiments of Pennsylvania consumer welfare group, South-Pennsylvania for Mercury-Free Dentistry, the group of NGOs and citizens state that the letter and petition are a wake-up call for the company.

As the leading manufacturer of dental amalgams and its alternatives, Dentsply should immediately halt its production of dental amalgams and instead concentrate on the manufacture of mercury-free alternatives, they assert.

With the new mercury treaty (The New Minata Convention on Mercury) set to be signed this coming October, there is also a growing concern among these NGOs that surplus mercury-containing dental products will wind up in developing countries such as the Philippines.

Effects of mercury

Dental amalgams contain about 50 percent mercury and according to the petition, mercury is

  • An environment pollutant. Discarded dental amalgams can wind up in water or ground systems and will remain persistent for generations.  Likewise, the burning of dental amalgams through cremation releases the toxins polluting the air.
  • A danger to health. Long term exposure to mercury fumes is particularly deadly to women and children. Its effects can lead to chronic illnesses, and degeneration of psycho-motor skills.

Likewise, the petition stressed that dental amalgams are a mark of social injustice as the treatment is relegated for use among lower-income families and developing countries.

You can head over to Change.org and sign the petition asking Dentsply to stop its production of dental amalgams.

For more info:
Full letter to Dentsply:
http://www.toxicteeth.org/letter-with-62-ngos-40-nations.aspx,

World Alliance for Mercury:
www.toxicteeth.org

The text of the mercury treaty aka New Minamata Treaty:
http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances/MercuryNot/MercuryNegotiations/tabid/3320/language/en-US/Default.aspx,

Soda as Harmful as Meth

Written by Administrator.

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It is loaded with sugar and undeniably bad for your health. However, dentists have recently discovered that there is something more sinister with sodas: it is that, when it comes to teeth, it is as bad as meth.

In a study published in the Journal of General Dentistry early this year, Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny, professor of restorative dentistry at the Temple University School of Dentistry, found that there are similar patterns of enamel erosion between meth addicts and soda drinkers.

Comparing the oral health conditions of a soda drinker, a meth user, and a crack cocaine user, Dr. Bassiouny discovered that the “the intensity and extent of damage are more or less the same.”

Soda teeth

Dr. Bassiouny pointed out that like meth and cocaine; the highly acidic components in the soda can erode teeth enamel and over time make teeth vulnerable to cavities.

More popularly known as “meth teeth” or “coke teeth”, these are soft, rotting, and discoloured teeth common among drug users. One of the study’s subject – a woman who professed to consume an average of 4 litres of soda every day for the past five years displayed similar teeth.

In fact, Dr. Bassiouny stated that her teeth were in such a bad state that the subject had no other choice but have the rotten teeth removed and then replaced with dentures.

A previous study also published in the Journal of General Dentistry found that teeth immersed in soda lost more than five percent of their weight due to teeth enamel worn out by the high acidity of the sodas.

The American Beverage Association was quick to refute Dr. Bassiouny's study citing the study subject's neglect for proper oral health care. However, Dr. Bassiouny is also quick to answer that the case isn't isolated and he has been seeing similar results with other soda drinkers. 

Breaking bad...habits

As we have pointed out in previous posts, overconsumption of sugar is bad and based on this study, the damage caused by sodas come in two ways.

If you care for your teeth, we strongly encourage you to drop sodas altogether and develop healthier habits. However, we know that habits are difficult to break. To protect your teeth from damage, we suggest:


-    Drink beverages with less sugar and acid. Water is always the smarter choice.
-    Rinse your mouth with water after drinking soda.
-    Practice good oral health care.
-    Visit the dentist regularly.

Total Body Dentistry is a firm believer in the old adage that prevention is better than the cure.  Spare yourself the agony and pain of unsightly rotting teeth and put down that bottle of soda.

The bottom line is, soda is bad. You don't need to be a Walter White to know that.

References:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/28/diet-soda-teeth-similar-to-meth-photos_n_3348158.html

http://rt.com/usa/diet-soda-teeth-meth-963/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130528122505.htm



It's Mercury-Free Dentistry Week

Written by Dan Abril.

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Total Body Dentistry is pleased to announce that this week (15 -21 Sept) is Mercury-Free Dentistry Week, a week long awareness campaign promoting mercury-free dental treatments and the education of consumers on mercury toxicity.

Initiated in 2011 by osteopathic physician and author, Dr. Joseph Mercola and the non-profit group, Consumers for Dental Choice, the yearly campaign is steadily gaining support from individuals and other concerned groups around the globe.

This year, Total Body Dentistry and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) here in the Philippines will be joining the week long campaign.

Dr. Lillian Ebuen, of Total Body Dentistry and director of IAOMT-Philippines, stressed that this year’s campaign is particularly special as the phase-down of mercury amalgams has been incorporated in the mercury treaty. “After years of hard work, people are finally realizing problems associated with mercury.”

Dr. Ebuen and IAOMT – Philippines has been around the country, talking to government officials, dental associations, and even academic institutions; expressing concern over the use of dental amalgams.

She stated that based on research studies conducted by IAOMT in the US, toxic mercury fumes emanating from the amalgam can seep into the body and bloodstream and cause complications in the nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems. She also warned that aside from the patients, dental health practitioners are also at risk from handling dental amalgams.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that UNEP estimates global use of dental mercury at between 300 – 400 metric tonnes per year thus justifying a need for a phasedown and elimination.

As Dr. Ebuen prepares for the weeklong activity, she further stated that this is an opportunity for the government and other institutions to seriously focus on the dangers posed by dental amalgams on people’s health and the environment. “There’s an administrative order banning the use of mercury and mercury-containing products among hospitals and clinics, but there are no similar steps when it comes to dealing with the dental sector.”

Emphasizing the need for consumer education and dentists offering alternatives, Dr. Ebuen is ensuring that this year’s Mercury-Free Dentistry week be able to reach out to a greater majority, “We are encouraging both dental professionals and the public, we wish to foster an initiative to learn about mercury toxicity and what they can do to prevent damage.”

Visit IAOMT-Philippines for more info on mercury-free dentistry.

Gum Disease Can Have an Effect on Your Pregnancy

Written by Administrator.

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Listen up, moms! We are all aware that pregnancy is a delicate period and to ensure the health of the baby, expectant mothers are advised to practice extra caution when it comes to their diet and lifestyle. In addition to that however, researchers and dental professionals are also recommending pregnant women to take care of their teeth and gums.

As suggested by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) and the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP), these recommendations are based on research studies showing a possible correlation between periodontal disease and premature birth or low birth weight.

Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

Periodontal or gum disease is a chronic, bacteria-induced condition that causes the inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, the ailment can worsen and affect the underlying gum tissues, weaken the bones supporting teeth, and even spread to the body. As we’ve noted earlier, there is a growing body of evidence that gum disease is linked to other health complaints such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and respiratory problems.

In a similar manner, bacteria from the gums can seep into the bloodstream, reach the uterus, and trigger the production of chemicals that eventually induces premature birth.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions that premature birth or babies weighing less than 2.49 kilograms (5.5 pounds) are prone to long-term health problems and may even have  implications on the development of their learning and motor skills.

As periodontal disease can be prevented or treated, expectant mothers are advised to take care of their oral health by adopting a strict regimen of brushing, flossing, and gargling with mouthwash. A visit to the dentist is also recommended as the dentist can assess the overall health of the teeth and gums.

If going for a treatment, surgeries should be avoided until after birth. However, non-surgical and non-invasive procedures such as root planning, scaling, and medicines are available. As always, check with a dentist to see the best form of treatment for during your period of pregnancy.
For more information, please visit our office or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130828092310.htm
http://www.babycenter.com/0_bleeding-gums-during-pregnancy_217.bc
http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=p&iid=325&aid=4854
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/07/gum-disease-pregnancy-chances_n_890529.html
http://www.clevelandperio.com/periodontal-disease/mouth-body-connection.asp#respiratory
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/periodontitis/DS00369/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

HPV and Oral Health

Written by Administrator.

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According to a study published in the journal of American Association for Cancer Research, superb oral health may actually reduce the risk of HPV infections and HPV-related cancers.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center revealed that regardless of smoking habits or oral sex behaviours, the overall health of teeth and particularly the gums, play an important factor in the development of HPV infections.

Based on the results conducted among 3,439 participants between the ages of 30 and 69; the survey looked into the participants’ HPV status as well as other health indicators such as the presence of gum disease, mouthwash use, missing teeth, and other dental problems within the past week of the survey.

Thanh Cong Bui, Ph.D., a member of the team and a postdoctoral research fellow at the university's School of Public Health, stated that, “Although more research is needed to confirm the causal relationship between oral health and oral HPV infection, people may want to maintain good oral health for a variety of health benefits.”

What is HPV

HPV or the human papillomavirus is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI). The virus can infect not only the genital area but also the mouth and throat.  It must be stressed that HPV is not similar to the human immune virus (HIV). However they are quite similar since individuals – whether sexually active or not – are susceptible to HPV.

HPV can lead to damaging problems including cancer but in most cases, HPV will disappear even without the person knowing they had it. If the infection persists, HPV can cause genital warts or develop into cancer. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), cervical cancer is the most prevalent HPV related cancer among women and oral cancer for the men.

Oral Health and HPV infection

Based on the study, bad oral health – or precisely – unhealthy and bleeding gums can serve as an entry way for an HPV infection.

The research team further stated that while the results need additional study, it raises the importance of oral health in many aspects of our overall health condition. Dr. Thanh Cong Bui concluded that, "Given that oral hygiene is fundamental for oral health and that it is modifiable, public health interventions may aim to promote oral hygiene and oral health as additional preventive measures for HPV-related oral cancers.”

Sources:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/21/oral-health-hpv-risk-_n_3790205.html
http://www.empr.com/poor-oral-health-tied-to-higher-risk-of-oral-hpv-infection/article/308721/#
http://www.ada.org/news/8952.aspx
http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

Removing Dental Amalgams: What You Need To Know

Written by Administrator.

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The recent mercury spill at Fabella Hospital in Manila once again brought into focus concerns about the use of mercury, its phase-out, and its proper storage.

As of this writing, the Department of Health (DOH) has already announced the successful cleansing of hospital premises but will need further tests and clearance before opening the affected areas for public use.

This news highlighted not only the need for a proper mercury storage facility but also the need for continuous education on handling and managing mercury and mercury-containing products.

Mercury Toxicity

In recent years, the local media has done its share of reporting on mercury spills and poisonings. Undeniably, this helped raise public awareness on mercury toxicity and of the possible results if individuals are exposed to deadly mercury vapors.

A primer released by the World Health Organization (WHO) states that “(M)ercury is highly toxic to human health, posing a particular threat to the development of the child.”  The primer continues by listing down the number of health effects which includes damage to the nervous, respiratory, and immune system and in some cases, “can be fatal.”

While both public and private hospitals have acknowledged the dangers and appropriately taken steps in removing and managing mercury, the dental health sector is still debating on the safety of dental amalgams aka silver fillings.

Dental Amalgams: What About Them?

Silver fillings are dental restorative materials composed of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other trace metals. Our previous post, “Dental Amalgams: Why the Fuss?” discusses the risks involved (for dentists and patients) in using dental amalgams.

Research conducted by the International Academy for Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), an organization of academics, scientists, and dentists, have continuously shown that mercury vapors from the amalgams can seep into the body through chewing and drinking. As such, IAOMT has been calling for the removal of dental amalgams and other mercury-containing products in dental health care.

Dr. Lilian Ebuen, head of the Philippine Chapter of IAOMT reiterates that there’s already a government order in place, calling for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to stop using mercury-containing products and it’s about time that the dental sector – including the dentistry schools – to follow suit. 

“There are better options such as resin-based composites and atraumatic restorative treatment (ART).  These have consistently proven to be more practical, more durable and more affordable than dental amalgams. In fact, developed countries have moved away from using mercury in treating caries altogether.” she adds.

Removal of Dental Amalgams

Patients with dental amalgams and are concerned about their health should consult their dentist. Preferably, look for dentists that are accredited by IAOMT since they are most knowledgeabe and have the skills in dealing with the matter.

For a directory of IAOMT accredited dentists, follow this link

If you’ve decided to get the fillings removed, there are a number of precautions and procedures that must be observed.

1.    Ensure that the dentist has the proper equipment in removing amalgams. This is not a simple process and should be approached with caution, the dentist must have “(A)n efficient suction system in the oral cavity with a special tip or its equivalent to contain amalgam particles and mercury vapors.”

2.    The dentists and his/her staff must wear protective gear during the removal.

3.    Patients should likewise be protected. The patient’s face should be covered with a damp paper towel or a surgical drape.

4.    The patient must also be provided with piped-in air so as “to avoid breathing air directly over the mouth during amalgam removal.”

5.    The dentists should be applying generous amounts of water during the removal and

6.    The amalgam should be removed in large chunks to reduce mercury vapour.

For more information, please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Our staff is trained in handling dental amalgam related questions and will be more than happy to assist you. For further inquiries, you can check out the IAOMT-Philippine website, http://www.iaomtphilippines.org/
 

sources:

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/68488/doh-says-clean-up-of-mercury-spill-at-fabella-hospital-completed
http://www.who.int/phe/news/Mercury-flyer.pdf
https://iaomt.org/safe-removal-amalgam-fillings/
http://iaomt.org/find-a-doctor/faqs-for-patients/