Dr. Al Danenberg

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
August 10, 2018




WellnessMama Interviews Dr. Al DanenbergI had the privilege to be interviewed by Katie Wells, better known as the Wellness Mama.


Katie is a mom of six with a background in journalism. Years ago, she took health into her own hands and started researching to find answers to her own health struggles. Her research turned into a blog and podcast. Her website, WellnessMama.com, is one of the most read health websites on the Internet. She’s been called “a thought leader for the current generations of moms”.


The interview was published on 8/9/18. In the interview, we discuss:

  • The reason plaque isn’t always bad
  • Why our ancestors didn’t get gum disease and we do
  • The real reason animals in the wild don’t have tooth decay and domesticated animals do
  • A fascinating way that what we eat affects our oral health
  • The factor that is just as important as brushing to keep healthy teeth
  • How our mouth affects the nitric oxide levels in our body
  • The surprising way that certain mouthwash products can raise blood pressure!
  • How the gut microbiome affects the oral microbiome
  • The three primary and important reasons for dental plaque
  • How leaky gut and leaky gums are connected and what to do about it
  • How to clean the tongue correctly


It will take about one hour out of your life to listen to the interview. You may find something that you’ve never heard before or something that gets you motivated and excited. Here is the link to the interview.



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Dentistry in the Future:
Conventional Meets Unconventional

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
August 6, 2018




Dentistry in the future: conventional meets unconventionalUp until now, dentistry has been “conventional”. However, dentistry in the future may be quite different from dentistry in the past. In the future, I see dentistry broadening and deepening its approach of treatment. The conventional way of “doing things” may begin to embrace current unconventional ideas of functional medicine and other progressive healthcare modalities.




Conventional means “something that is based on what has been done or believed in the past”. Dentistry is a profession which has been practiced for the most part in a conventional manner.  The role of dentistry has been to repair the damages done to the mouth.


The far majority of mouth damage has been a result of periodontal disease and tooth decay. Other damage has been the result of trauma to the mouth, developmental abnormalities, and diseases other than tooth decay and periodontal disease.


The problem with conventional dentistry as well as conventional medicine is a lack of insight. Conventional thinking has not been aware that there are “outside factors” causing cellular damage. which eventually could cause various dental and chronic diseases. The overwhelming problem is that conventional healthcare professionals have not been able to prevent disease because of ignorance of the underlying causes.




Unconventional is the opposite of conventional. Basically, unconventional means “something that is not based on, or conforming to, what has been generally done or believed”.


The unconventional modalities that I believe will gain traction in the practice of dentistry are related to understanding and putting into practice the “outside factors”, which eventually affect every cell in the body. There will be a more holistic and integrative means to understand what is happening in the mouth and the rest of the body based on functional medicine concepts.



Functional Medicine

Environmental factors, diet, and personal lifestyle are the “outside factors” that cause the body to be either healthy or unhealthy. Functional medicine attempts to identify and address these root causes of disease. Functional medicine practitioners view the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by dental and medical specialties. This unconventional medicine delves deeply into discovering and treating the actual causes of disease and not just treating the symptoms of disease.



Conventional Meets Unconventional

The unconventional methods of functional medicine are providing evidence that there is more to dental health than just brushing and flossing. Environment, diet, and lifestyle have a huge effect on the health of the gut, the mouth, and the rest of the body.


The body and the mouth are intricately and intimately connected. Whatever affects one cell in the body ultimately can affect every other cell in the body. This includes human cells and microbial cells. All cells communicate with each other. They do this by emitting biological chemicals and electrical frequencies that can travel within the fluids and nerve tissues of the body.



Chronic Disease

Almost all chronic diseases, including dental diseases, have their origin in the gut. Processed foods, added sugars, excess carbohydrates, environmental toxic substances, stress, poor sleep, and lack of exercise as well as excess exercise have been shown to be insults to the gut. These “insults” are the “outside factors”.


These insults can cause the trillions of microbes in the gut to become out-of-balance, allowing unhealthy bacteria to overgrow. This condition is known as dysbiosis. Dysbiosis creates inflammation in the gut and damage to the lining of the gut (which is only one-cell-layer thick).


Damage to the gut lining will create small holes in the gut. Toxic substances and undigested foods in the gut can then leak into the bloodstream through these holes (often called ‘leaky gut”). Once this occurs, the immune system will try to eliminate the substances that are invading the bloodstream by creating inflammation. Too many invading substances over an extended period of time create excess and continuous inflammation known as chronic inflammation.


Chronic inflammation begins to weaken the overall immune system. Both of these can damage other organ systems. A person’s inherited genetic code will determine which organ system may suffer. The result is the manifestation of various chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, dental diseases, and many other auto immune diseases.


In addition, these insults can prevent essential nutrients from either being available to the body or being absorbed by the body. Healthy cells require essential nutrients to survive and thrive.


In the mouth, a compromised immune system, lack of essential nutrients, and systemic chronic inflammation can cause a healthy balance of bacteria to become out-of-balance and unhealthy. Then, poor food choices like unhealthy carbohydrates can feed these overgrown unhealthy oral bacteria. In turn, these pathogenic bacteria could flourish and begin to create periodontal disease and dental decay.



Dentistry in the Future

Dentists will become students of the effects from the environment, diet, and lifestyle on the health of the body. Dental professionals will begin to integrate this knowledge as they treat the mouth. They will begin to educate their patients about these factors and will help patients modify them to improve their mouth as well as the rest of their body.



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Switch to Healthy

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
July 23, 2018




Switch to Healthy


The big switch in on.


It seems that many people want to switch to healthy. The big question is, “What is healthy?” While there are many ideas out there, it is a fact that over the course of human evolution, nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory ways of eating have served societies the best. These plant and animal sources were endemic to where these peoples thrived.


“Nutrient-dense” means that there are many nutrients per calorie of food. “Anti-inflammatory” means that these foods do not cause inflammation in the gut and into the blood system.



Talking With Patients

I discuss with all my patients the benefits of nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory food choices. But, not in overly complex terms. Actually, I explain how to switch to healthy and eliminate the not-so-healthy.


I have learned that if I want to bring up the subject for patients to switch to healthy, I need to be supportive and not condemning. Patients need to feel a need to change. They need to have an emotional “Why?” for this to happen. They need to make this “change” their own.


Most importantly, I must offer appropriate and appetizing food substitutions up front in order for patients to see better options. They need to know there are substitutes for bread and pasta that will satisfy. They need to know there are yummy snack replacements. If I can’t offer appealing choices, I could turn them off right from the beginning.


So, this is my secret to help patients. Give them tempting and delicious ideas and recipes that can replace those not-so-healthy foods they are eating every day. Sometimes we talk taking “slow, baby steps”; other times we talk jumping in “all at once”. These approaches are based on what the patient needs.



Offending Foods

Initially, I point out the major offending foods that are inflammatory and provide little nutrition. Here are the major “food categories” that are not-so-healthy:

  • Grains (especially gluten grains)
  • Free sugars (sugars that are added to foods)
  • Over-processed seed and vegetable oils
  • Pasteurized milk products
  • Processed and packaged foods, which have added preservatives, emulsifiers, and chemicals


As I just noted, it is critical for me to offer delicious substitutions for these frequently consumed foods. If I were only to say, “Stop eating these foods” without giving suitable replacement choices, I would lose my patients at the start.


To that end, I created tables that identify various unhealthy choices along with my personal suggestions of healthier options that are available locally or online. In addition, I provide resources for many recipes and foods.


Also, I give patients my original recipes, which are on my website. For example, instead of bread made from grains, I offer my recipes for almond bread and cashew bread. Instead of wheat pancakes or oatmeal for breakfast, I give them my recipes for blueberry plantain pancakes and no-oat oatmeal. Instead of conventional pudding or apple pie for dessert, I provide my recipes for chocolate avocado pudding or apple crisp with honey.


Here are PDFs that offer some healthier alternatives for grains, sugars, and over-processed oils.



3-Day Food Journal

It is important for me to learn what my patients really are eating. Although many may tell me they already eat healthy, it is amazing to see their real diet when we get down to the nitty gritty. So, I give them my 3-Day Food Journal to fill out.


In this journal of three consecutive days, they list everything they eat and drink for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all snacks. This is detailed. They also note any exercise they are doing and specifics about their bowel movements. Here is the 3-Day Food Journal I give my patients to complete.


After they complete this journal, I sit down with them and figure out what foods are in the “bad” or “unhealthy” category. I make specific suggestions to replace these foods with more “healthy” and appetizing choices. Here is a summary form I prepare that points out my recommendations for the changes they may want to make.



30-Day Reset

Last, I give my patients my 30-Day Reset, which summarizes the healthiest foods, the foods to eat in moderation, and those foods that must be totally eliminated because they have few nutrients per calorie and are inflammatory to the body. Here is my 30-Day Reset.



Going Forward

Follow-up is critical for success. After my patients work on their diet for at least 30 days, we get together for another appointment. They complete a new 3-Day Food Journal, which we review. They usually have many questions, which I proceed to answer. We need to tweak some food choices and figure out solutions to the problems they have encountered.


Some patients need more one-on-one coaching going forward. If they need extra help, I offer my 12-Week Total-Body Coaching Program to help them personally navigate an overall lifestyle change for a lifetime.


All this is exciting!


The switch is on!


These people are effectively making their switch to healthy!



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I was Interviewed for
Wise Traditions Podcast

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
May 28, 2018




Podcasts are an amazing vehicle to get a message to the listening public. I really enjoy the opportunity to voice my passion about what means a lot to me. Recently, I was interviewed by Hilda Labrada Gore for the Wise Traditions Podcast that aired May 28, 2018.


This Podcast Series, which launched in January 2016, is part of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Wise Traditions Podcast Series now has over 900,000 downloads. Interviews of guests are published weekly and consist of a 30-minute discussion relating to fields of health, food, and farming.


The Weston A. Price Foundation is an important organization. It is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999. Its goal is to disseminate the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who was the chairman of the National Dental Association from 1914 to 1928. Dr. Price studied isolated non-industrialized peoples. He established parameters of human health and determined optimum characteristics of human diets. His research demonstrated that humans achieve health when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble “activators” found in animal fats.


I had fun doing this interview. Take 33 minutes of your time and listen to me and my interviewer, Hilda Labrada Gore, as I describe my views for gut health and dental health including my 5 tweaks for overall health.



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Healthy Snacking for Kids

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
May 21, 2018




Healthy Snacking for Kids


“Can I have some Skittles and a Coke?”


Kids say the “darndest” things. Kids also eat the “darndest” things. Skittles and Cokes and all that stuff are junk foods. They certainly are not part of healthy snacking for kids. These “foods” are extremely harmful to every cell in their bodies. They also are major causes of tooth decay and obesity. So, what are the choices that will satisfy those “darndest” cravings and still be healthy? Read some of my thoughts.


Looking for Something to Crunch?

Many years ago, I asked my grandson what he thought was so great with potato chips. He was only 7 years old when I asked that question, and his insight amazed me. He told me that chips are tasty because they are crunchy and salty. At such a tender age, he already knew how the food industry could manipulate his choice of “foods”.


Potato chips, tortilla chips, pretzels – all are crunchy and salty but not healthy. They are made of over-processed carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, excessive salt, and chemicals. In addition, they are devoid of most nutrients.


Think “healthier”!


A great “crunch” without eating chips or pretzels could come from apple slices, celery sticks, cucumbers slices, radish slices, or carrots. You might want to shop for dehydrated veggies and fruit that also work well as a crunchy snack. (However, be sure you only buy dehydrated veggies and fruits. They should not be cooked in unhealthy vegetable oils with added chemicals and salt.) These nutritious substitutes give the satisfaction of a crunchy snack without added processed carbs and other unhealthy ingredients. They could be dipped into an organic peanut butter, organic almond butter, or organic coconut butter (try it; you will be surprised) for added nutrients and taste.


Another crispy choice, which may be new to you, is Jicama slices. Jicama is a root vegetable, with the texture of a firm pear and the flavor of a sweet apple. They also are great for “dipping”.


When it comes to candy, most is not healthy. Basically, candy is all sugar with added chemicals. Instead of grabbing for a handful of candy, think about substituting with a handful of nuts, seeds and raisins. Nuts, seeds, and raisins are crunchy, sweet, and loaded with good nutrients.


Here’s another idea. My personal go-to snack is chocolate. However, milk chocolate is just candy with a little cocoa mixed in. But, chocolate bars could become a healthier snack if you replaced a milk chocolate candy bar with an organic 85% dark chocolate bar. Organic cacao powder is loaded with healthy nutrients and antioxidants. Two of my favorite bars are: “Alter Eco Dark Blackout” and “Theo Pure 85% Dark Chocolate”. These are organic with little sugar and healthy levels of magnesium and fiber.


Looking for Something to Drink?

Avoid all sodas – both those that have sugar and those that are artificially sweetened. All sodas are loaded with unhealthy chemicals and acids. Sugars and acids will cause tooth decay as well as gut problems. Artificial sweeteners by themselves can damage the healthy bacteria in the gut.


Instead of sodas, consider water, teas, or seltzers that have no chemicals. If you want to use a sweetener, use a non-caloric natural sweetener like organic whole-leaf stevia or organic monk fruit (Luo Han Guo).


Looking for Something Cold?

Many people cannot tolerate milk. But, if your kids can tolerate milk products, here is a great substitute for conventional ice cream, which is loaded with sugar and chemicals:

Organic, unsweetened, full-fat yogurt is a healthy substitute. Add slices of whole fruit like berries and bananas to the yogurt and chill in the freezer.


Here is another great summer idea. Instead of traditional, sugary Popsicle, try freezing a smoothie. Make a smoothie with fresh whole fruits and some greens including all their healthy fiber. Don’t juice. Pour the mixture into individual ice cube trays. Then insert a Popsicle stick into each cube and freeze them. Easy to eat and healthy.


Bottom Line

Snacks can be healthy and can be fun. Be creative. Involve your kids when it comes to preparing these snacks. This will be fun for them, and they will learn how to prepare healthier foods. It is important to try to avoid all processed grains and added chemicals, and limit added sugars as much as possible.


Most snacks can fit into individual serving packs like small Ziploc bags. These will be time-savers and convenient for trips, lunches, and the perfect “grab-on-the-go”!



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Our Pets Have Dental Diseases!

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
May 14, 2018




Our Pets Have Dental Diseases


We love our pets. But, our cats and dogs are prone to a common disease that we as humans also must deal with. Our pets often develop dental diseases (tooth decay and gum disease). Dental diseases can cause loss of teeth and can contribute to other chronic diseases. Interestingly, animals in the wild rarely have dental diseases. Why are our pets suffering from these life-threatening diseases while animals living in their natural, wild environments mainly avoid these devasting dental problems?



Imagine for a moment an animal who lived 200,000 years ago. I’ll call her “Fluffy”.  Fluffy was a cuddly little creature who used her teeth to chew her food to gain the nutrition she required to survive. But, something happened to Fluffy and all of her brothers and sisters. They all began to develop tooth decay, pain in the mouth, and bleeding gums. Their teeth began to rot, get loose, and eventually fall out. Can you imagine what would happen to Fluffy and all her kind?


Sadly, they would become weak because of pain, infection, and lack of nutrients. Predators would take advantage of their weakness and eat them for lunch. Eventually, this species would be wiped out from the evolutionary line because of natural selection. Fluffy and her species would have died off and not be alive today.


Animals alive today who require teeth to chew their food were not designed to develop tooth decay or gum disease as a natural sequence of life. If so, they could not survive. It is no surprise that animals in the wild today rarely have dental diseases. So, why do our cherished cats and dogs have rampant tooth decay and gum disease?


The Food

Food is medicine. But, food can be poison, too!


Take a look at the ingredients in most commercial cat and dog food. The first several ingredients usually are a collection of grains, fillers, and other processed products. Then down the line in the ingredients’ list, you’ll find added chemicals, preservatives, unhealthy fats, and emulsifiers. This “food” is what we are feeding our beloved pets.


A cats’ digestive system is designed to eat meat. They are obligate carnivores. Dogs have a digestive system that wants to eat mostly meat. When we feed our much-loved pets products that their body cannot digest and does not need, then their immune system will become compromised. A compromised immune system is more susceptible to infections in addition to the manifestation of chronic diseases. Dental disease is one of many infectious, chronic diseases.


Humans have experienced the same scenario as our favorite pets. Our primal ancestors rarely had tooth decay or gum disease. However, today the prevalence of some form of gum disease or gum inflammation in US adults approaches 94% [1], and the prevalence of those who have had tooth decay approaches 92% [2].


Some foods like grains can damage the gut microbiome and the gut lining [3]. When these foods are combined with a slew of chemicals and are eaten several times a day, the gut never can get over the constant insult to begin healing from the previous meal.  Over time, chronic systemic inflammation can become the norm and not the exception. The ultimate result is the manifestation of chronic diseases.


In addition, added sugars in our foods will damage the gut, provide food for pathogenic bacteria, and initiate various forms of injury to other organ systems [4].


A Solution

Cats and dogs prefer a raw diet – cats require meat, and dogs require mostly meat. This is what their digestive systems were optimized to eat. In contrast, humans are adaptive and true omnivores.


Our body requires an organic diet including a variety of foods – nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and wild caught or pastured animal products from nose to tail.


No animals, including humans, benefit from chemicals, preservatives, genetically modified organisms, emulsifiers, or any artificial ingredients added to food.


So, why do our pets have dental diseases? Because the foods most domesticated animals eat are not healthy for their mouth as well as their entire body. Remove the junk and put it the good stuff! These steps will go a long way in avoiding dental diseases.



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it’s an inside thing
(4 active steps)

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
March 5, 2018




Beauty ... it's an inside thing

Several years ago, my dental colleague, Dr. John, told me about his patient, whom I’ll call Gloria. John told me Gloria was fixated on beauty. She dressed immaculately, wore expensive perfume, and must have taken a long time to apply her makeup. She went to Dr. John to have her upper front six teeth crowned to make her look “more beautiful”. John told her that she had many back teeth that were broken down and needed repair, but she only was concerned with her front teeth. Her response to John was, “These front teeth are the ones that people see when I smile”.


My dental colleague explained to Gloria that she had active gum disease and active tooth decay. However, facts only confused Gloria. She wasn’t motivated to change her lifestyle and nutrition to recover from the chronic diseases of tooth decay and gum disease. Gloria reemphasized that she only wanted her upper front teeth to be beautiful.


What is Beauty?

Beauty is defined as, “a combination of qualities – such as shape, color, or form – that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.” The problem with this definition is that it focuses attention on external beauty only.


To me, beauty goes far beneath the superficial surface. As a matter of fact, external beauty is often the end result of internal beauty. I see real beauty as an inside thing.


The inner workings of our amazing machine we call the human body affects not only the inside of us but also the outside of us. When you start making yourself beautiful from the inside, beauty reveals itself on the outside.


Some Examples


  • Most people want to smell good, so they use various soaps and perfumes to create a fragrance they think is pleasing to others. Certainly, we all want to smell good, and everyone should clean their body to remove unhealthy bacteria and dead cells. But, to use artificial fragrances made from various chemicals and to apply them on the skin in excess may be masking other internal problems. In my way of thinking, it would be best to understand and repair the internal problems in order to improve the external manifestations.
  • Some people use various mouthwashes several times a day to conceal odors in the mouth because these odors are offensive to others. While antibacterial mouthwashes may kill many bacteria that may cause unpleasant mouth odor, these mouthwashes also kill very important and beneficial bacteria in the mouth. The “bad” bacteria are overgrown in the mouth because of unhealthy bacteria in the gut, unhealthy food choices feeding these offensive mouth bacteria, a compromised immune system, and poor oral hygiene.
  • Others may use various chemical preparations on their skin to cover up pimples and kill bacteria and other microbes. However, these skin blemishes are frequently the result of a compromised immune system, poor nutrition, and damage to the healthy gut bacteria.


The common denominator to much of what is happening on the outside of the body is a result of what is happening in the gut and in the overall immune system. In fact, when a person begins an internal beauty program to improve the inside of his or her body, many of these outward “offensive” body odors, mouth problems, and skin ailments diminish or disappear. Real beauty is an inside thing.


Beauty on the Inside

So, how does a person get beautiful on the inside? What is the “inside thing” that has to occur?


The four most important proactive steps you can take to repair that “inside thing” are:

  1. Create diversity, quality, and quantity of balanced gut bacteria, which a unique blend of spore-based bacillus probiotics may provide
  2. Remove most grain products, added sugars, over-processed seed oils, and pasteurized milk products from your diet
  3. Include organic vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, healthy fats and oils, and animal products that have been raised humanely in their natural environments and allowed to feed in their natural way
  4. Remove or reduce any chemical and toxic exposures to your food, air, skin, and the water supply.


Here are some links to articles I have written about gut bacteria, mouth bacteria, healthy eating, and toxic exposures: HERE, HERE, HERE


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… The Real Diet …
the “Next Best Thing”

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
February 26, 2018




The Real Diet - the "Next Best Thing"


Fads come and go – especially dieting fads. It’s always the “next best thing” that replaces the previous “next best thing”. These diets seem to work to some extent until they don’t. Or, the fad diet you’re on makes you sick. What do you do? Move onto the “next best thing”?


Some of these diets are based on facts. Most of them are based on hype and anecdotal justifications. When a celebrity endorses a new fad diet, the masses rush in to become a part of the “next best thing”.


This style of dieting sets you up for one experiment after another. The Real Diet, which I’ll discuss near the end of this article, should complement your body’s requirements to survive and thrive. It should be a lifestyle diet and not a “next best thing” diet.



Timeline of Diets

Rene Lynch wrote an excellent article, which sets up a timeline of major diet crazes.[1] There are many diets that have gone in and out of favor over the decades. I’ve summarized some of the earliest ones as well as some of the more bizarre ones below:


1830: One of the first “diet crazes” was created by Reverend Sylvester Graham. He emphasized a high-fiber diet based on whole grain breads. His work inspired the manufacturing of graham flour and graham crackers.


1863: William Banting was an Englishman who was obese. To improve his own health and lose weight, he developed a low-carb diet and wrote about it in “Letter on Corpulence”. He was the first to popularize a weight-loss program based on limiting carbohydrates, especially starchy and sugary foods.


1925: Of all things, there was The Cigarette Diet.  Lucky Strike, a brand of cigarette, created an advertising campaign with the slogan, Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet”.


1928: The Inuit Diet became popular with the publication of “Studies on the Metabolism of Eskimos” by Peter Heinsbecker. His book emphasized eating meat, raw fish, and whale blubber.


1930: The Grapefruit Diet was a 12-day crash diet. It required eating a grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice at each meal.


1934: The Banana and Milk Diet was created by a medical doctor at Johns Hopkins University for his patients with diabetes. The diet consisted of eating four to six bananas and drinking three to four glasses of milk every day for two weeks. Then, for the next two weeks, patients would eat only meat, fish, eggs and vegetables, avoiding other fats or carbohydrates.


1950: The Cabbage Soup Diet is still popular today. It’s a 7-day diet that consists mainly of fat free cabbage soup, eaten two to three times a day. Other specific foods are allowed as the diet progresses over the course of 7 days.


1962: The Drinking Man’s Diet was published by Robert Cameron. He suggested dieters should count carbs and not calories. He stated that his diet, “… would let you have two martinis before lunch, and a thick steak generously spread with Sauce Béarnaise, so that you could make your sale in a relaxed atmosphere and go back to the office without worrying about having gained so much as an ounce.”


1975: The Cookie Diet was the baby of Dr. Sanford Siegal, a physician who specialized in treating overweight patients. He created a low-calorie cookie made with his secret “hunger-controlling” formula. These cookies were touted to keep appetite down and calorie-count low. There was a scheduled plan for eating Dr. Siegal’s cookies during the day along with a low-calorie meal for dinner.


1976: The Sleeping Beauty Diet suggested that being sedated is necessary to help people lose weight. It recommended taking sedatives when hungry to avoid eating too much. In essence, a person would sleep instead of eating.


1981: Judy Mazel created The Beverly Hills Diet to help her lose weight. It was based on the actions of enzymes on various foods as they were being digested. The diet detailed when specific foods could be eaten and in what combinations they should be eaten.



The Real Diet

Enter The Real Diet.


It’s not a fad at all; it’s a lifestyle. It’s my “slogan” for what humans have been eating over the course of evolution – different foods based on different locations throughout the world.


For the last 200,000 years or so, modern humans – our primal ancestors – have learned to survive and thrive on the foods that were endemic to the areas of the world where these people lived. The DNA of our ancestors slowly evolved to become the blueprint, which guides our lives today. Our gut microbiome, which is continuously evolving more rapidly than our human cells, plays one of the most important roles in our overall health.[2] Our human cells and our gut microbiome require specific foods to provide the nutrients for us to survive and thrive, just as was true for our primal ancestors.


There is enormous variation in the foods that can provide our body with everything it needs. However, over-processed foods, ingested chemicals and medicines, and an overly-antiseptic lifestyle have caused our cells and our microbiome to malfunction.


Fad diets are not the answer. The “next best thing” should be The Real Diet. We need to return to a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory way of eating supported by a lifestyle embedded with efficient exercise, restorative sleep, and reduction in all forms of stresses on the body.



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Healthy Foods – Healthy Mouth

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
February 12, 2018



Healthy Foods - Healthy Mouth

Healthy foods create a healthy mouth; unhealthy foods create an unhealthy mouth.


“Food is medicine”. This is not a new catchphrase. More than 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates was reported to have said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. But today, modern foods are far different than the foods our primal ancestors ate.


Over-processing of foods and the addition of chemical preservatives, thickeners, emulsifiers, antibacterial agents, insecticides, fertilizers, weed killers, and genetically modified species of plants have confused our body. These “foods” have confused our digestive systems, our natural microbiome, and our genetic code – all of which direct our cellular function. Along with unhealthy changes in our food sources, other toxic substances in our environment have resulted in various types of chronic diseases. I have described these changes in some of my articles, which include links to peer-reviewed medical articles: (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE)


Nutritious Food is Medicine; Over-Processed Food is Poison.

Ancient skeletons suggest that gum diseases and tooth decay were rare problems among our primal ancestors. Today, gum diseases and tooth decay are rare problems for the few primal societies that are still in existence in remote parts of the world.


Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds that are grown in mineral-rich soils and are not contaminated with chemicals and genetic modification are healthy. They must be consumed in abundance. Animals, which are raised humanely in their natural environments and are allowed to eat the foods that their bodies were designed to digest and absorb, also are healthy and necessary for human cellular function. Although this statement is contested, there have been no vegan societies in history that have successfully lived without chronic diseases.[1]


What I have written about nutrition is not just anecdotal. My statements are based on research studies on humans. For example, Dr. Baumgartner[2] and Dr. Woelber[3] have published studies in peer-reviewed journals relating food to dental health. Specifically, these two papers show how real foods with minimal processing can reverse and possible prevent dental diseases.


Specific Healthy Foods

Here are some healthy nutrients that support a healthy mouth, along with examples of foods which contain them:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and EPA (ex. wild-caught seafood like salmon, herring, sardines, anchovies, shellfish);
  • Vitamin C (ex. citrus fruits, dark leafy green vegetables, bell peppers, broccoli);
  • Vitamin D (ex. cod liver oil, herring, rainbow trout, pastured eggs, wild caught salmon, shitake mushrooms);
  • Antioxidants (ex. dark chocolate, various types of berries)
  • Fiber (ex. fruits, vegetables)


Specific Damaging Foods

Here is a list of foods that can damage the mouth resulting in dental diseases:

  • Free-sugars, which allow unhealthy bacteria to grow in the gut as well as the mouth. These pathogenic bacteria can produce acid levels below pH 5.5 around the tooth surface, causing tooth demineralization.[4] Free-sugars also encourage pathogenic bacteria to overgrow and create gum disease.[5],[6]
  • Grain products, which have chemicals (called phytates) that bind to nutrients in the saliva and tooth surface that can increase the potential for demineralization of the tooth surface.[7],[8] They also contain lectins and other proteins that can cause an increase in pathogenic bacteria in the gut, irritation to the gut lining, and chronic inflammation throughout the body. All these changes can compromise the body’s immune system and the health of the mouth.[9]
  • Sodas, which are very acidic – well below a pH of 5.5. Sugar-loaded sodas feed cariogenic bacteria with free-sugars.[10] Sugar-free sodas contain artificial sweeteners, which can irritate the gut and create pathogenic types of bacteria.[11]


So, What is the Bottom Line?

If your goal is to help your mouth stay healthy, follow my nutritional suggestions:

  • Consume foods that are organic and are unprocessed or minimally processed.
  • The composition of every meal should include more than 50% of non-starchy vegetables and healthy fats; less than 25% of animal proteins and healthy fats; and less than 25% of a selection of nuts, seeds, fruits, or starchy vegetables.
  • Most importantly, avoid foods and chemicals that are toxic to the human body.



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Dentists & Physicians
Have Gum Disease

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
January 8, 2018



Dentists & Physicians Have Gum DiseaseMany dentists and physicians, whom I know, have some degree of gum disease. How do I know? I can diagnose gum disease when I do a periodontal examination. Sometimes, I can see gum disease when a person smiles. Occasionally, I can smell gum disease on the breath.


There are primarily two stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.


Gingivitis is inflammation and infection in the gum tissues, which do not involve the bone of the jaw. Sometimes, gingivitis can progress to the advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis involves infection in the gum tissues as well as the surrounding jawbone that supports the teeth.


Cause of Gum Disease

So, why do these healthcare professionals have gum disease?


Occasionally, it is because they don’t brush and clean between their teeth properly. Just because a person is trained to be a healthcare professional, he or she doesn’t necessarily take care of his or her mouth correctly. However, there is an underlying cause of gum disease that is independent of how well a person cleans his or her mouth.


A change in the bacteria in the gut can change the bacteria in the mouth. Then, a give-and-take can occur between unhealthy bacteria in the gut and unhealthy bacteria in the mouth. [1] The change from a healthy balance of bacteria to an unhealthy level of pathogenic bacteria is called dysbiosis.


There are many factors that can cause an increase in unhealthy bacteria (or dysbiosis) in the gut. Some of these factors include poor food choices, chemicals in food, stress, poor sleep, some prescription and over-the-counter medications, low-level electromagnetic fields, over-exercising, and sleep apnea.


As I mentioned, medical research shows that dysbiosis of the gut microbiome and dysbiosis of the oral microbiome affect one another. Therefore, both the gut and the mouth must be addressed if a healthy result is the goal. If only the gut or only the mouth were to be treated independently, the other location of dysbiosis could continue to spread back and forth.


Prevalence of Gum Disease

Gum disease is not a stranger in today’s modern world. The prevalence of gum disease in the US is staggering, in my opinion.


A study was published in 2010 in the American Journal of Dentistry. This peer-reviewed paper demonstrated that 93.9% of adults in the United States had some form of gum inflammation or gum bleeding. [2]


In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published their results in the Journal of Dental Research. [3] It showed the prevalence of periodontitis was estimated to be 47.2% for American adults. For adults 65 years old and older, the prevalence jumped to 70.1%.


Be Proactive

I encourage everyone to evaluate their diet and lifestyle. The choices we make can improve our overall health and the health of the mouth. [4] From my point of view, dental diseases are frequently a sign that healthy bacteria in the mouth have gotten out of balance. Pathogenic bacteria have taken control, leading to dysbiosis.


Poor food choices certainly feed gum disease, tooth decay, and pathogenic bacteria. However, published science [5], [6], [7], [8], [9] suggests that the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the mouth is a direct result of (1) the friendly bacteria in our gut becoming overwhelmed by pathogenic bacteria, (2) the gut lining becoming damaged, allowing toxic elements to seep into the blood system (called “leaky gut”), and (3) our immune system becoming compromised.


Once gum infection is allowed to progress, toxic substances in the infected gum spaces could enter the blood system. Chronic systemic inflammation could result from a “leaky gum space” just as chronic inflammation could result from a “leaky gut”.


No one is immune to gum disease. My medical and dental colleagues certainly are not immune to gum disease. Since there is an epidemic of gum disease in the US [10] based on the prevalence of dental disease, it is no surprise that many dentists and physicians have fallen victims to this disease. The goal should be to regain homeostasis of the gut and oral bacteria along with practicing efficient oral hygiene.



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