Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
November 7, 2021
I have no gum disease.
I have superb nutrition and an extremely diverse gut microbiome.
In fact, one of the core elements of my Balanced Metabolic Coaching Program focuses on dental health. So how come my latest periodontal exam showed signs of tooth decay? And why is it highly likely this decay is connected to my cancer battle?
My “25 Hydroxy Vitamin D Blood Level” is 83ng/mL, and I take 300 mcg of Vitamin K2 daily. The 2-week standard deviation of my glucose variability is 10 (amazing!). And I cycle into and out of ketosis weekly. I think these factors suggest that I have a robust immune system.
So, my mouth should be in perfect shape.
But something happened. I have an area of root decay on my lower right cuspid. Even though it is incipient, I am concerned that this could have happened to me.
Let me be candid and transparent, which I have been throughout my cancer journey.
- How was the decay diagnosed?
- How could that have happened?
- What am I going to do about it?
- My personal experiment to remineralize active decay
Well, let’s get into this.
How was it diagnosed?
I made an appointment with my buddy periodontist to exam my mouth on 10/28/21. This was my first periodontal exam since being in Hospice in August 2019.
After his detailed evaluation, he determined my overall mouth health was excellent. But he noticed a small area of soft decay on the side of the root of my lower right cuspid (tooth #27) between the cuspid and lateral tooth. It was not significant on the x-ray, but he diagnosed it with a dental instrument.
What??? How could that be? How could I develop tooth decay?
How Could That Happen?
When I fell in my bathroom in August 2019, I split my right femur and right humerus in half and broke a couple of ribs. That was my worst setback. I could not imagine that my body and quality of life could recover from so much damage.
My original prognosis in September 2018 was to live only another 3-6 months. In August 2019, I already outlived my original prognosis by 6 months. Lying on my bathroom floor, writhing in pain, seeing my leg and arm in positions I could never bend them, I was ready to die. I wanted to die. I was placed in hospice to die.
In hospice, I was bedridden, catharized, demoralized, depressed, and constipated. I was unable to clean my mouth for over a month. My right arm was broken and not functional. The best I could do was to try to brush and use Tepe Easy Picks until my right humerus began healing and my right hand could function.
I recovered, revoked hospice, and reintroduced my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. I amazed all my doctors!
By the middle of October 2019, I returned to my oncologist and was on the mend. He couldn’t believe I was still alive!
However, the weeks in hospice and then several more weeks of recovery came with various infections, mouth issues, and antibiotics.
While on narcotics and many drugs during hospice, my gut microbiome was severely compromised. The catheterization caused me to develop two urinary tract infections which required antibiotics. As a result of antibiotics and other meds, I also had several bouts of yeast infection in my mouth, which needed to be treated.
Once I was able to start flossing and cleaning my mouth correctly, I mistakenly believed all was OK. There were no signs or symptoms of any residual damage in my mouth – no pain, no bleeding, no swelling, no problem eating, and no problem speaking.
Six months after I began a strict animal-based diet on 1/1/20, my gut biomarkers showed a well-diversified garden of bacteria, and other metabolic biomarkers were exceptional. Even my PET Scan in May 2020 showed no signs of cancer cells.
So, I went on my merry way.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to have my mouth checked out since it was over 2 years since my last dental exam.
I know! How stupid was it to procrastinate until now?
As I said, on 10/28/21, I scheduled my first periodontal exam in a long time. Thinking I was in great shape, I looked forward to an excellent report.
Surprise! I didn’t get it.
I was diagnosed with isolated early root decay.
This should be a “heads up” warning for all of us. You don’t know what you don’t know!
What am I Going to Do About It?
My isolated decay appears to be very early. One option would be to place a composite restoration to repair the decay. That would involve some mechanical trauma to the tooth to place the filling. It also could cause possible nerve damage to the pulp of the tooth depending on the depth of the existing decay and further preparation of the tooth for the filling. In addition, there would be a chemical in my mouth that I would prefer not to have if possible.
A better option would be to attempt to remineralize the area of decay naturally. Since the decay is very early, remineralization should be easy and predictable.
There are several peer-reviewed medical papers discussing the benefits of micro-hydroxyapatite particles remineralizing active decay. There also are a few published dental clinical trials showing that manuka honey will decrease the pathological activity of decay-forming bacteria (ex: Strep mutans) as well as decrease the pathological potential of various periodontal pathogens (ex. P. gingivalis).
Since my entire cancer journey has been an experiment with only me as the subject (N=1), I am going to try to remineralize this early but active decay. I’ll document the existing decay with a current x-ray and then follow-up with necessary dental appointments.
My Personal Experiment to Remineralize Active Decay
- On 11/2/21, I had a full-mouth series of dental x-rays confirming root decay on the mesial of #27 and evaluating other areas in my mouth.
- My dentist mechanically removed the soft decay in the area and placed ozone in the area to kill the bugs.
- Immediately, I began using a Tepe Easy Pick dipped in Manuka Honey and then dipped in OraWellness MCHA Powder (a micro-hydroxyapatite powder marketed by OraWellness). Then, I’ll gently rub the medicaments onto the surface of the decayed root 3-4 times a day. I also apply it to the other tooth surfaces between each of my teeth.
- I will let the OraWellness MCHA Powder stay on the surface of the root decay and other tooth surfaces without rinsing it out of my mouth.
- Every couple of months, I’ll have my dentist check the area to evaluate remineralization.
- If I am unsuccessful, I will have a composite restoration to fix the decay.
Your Bottom Line
This should work for me. It might work for others who have early tooth decay.
But many other factors must be in place to create remineralization – a nutrient-rich way of eating, a diverse gut microbiome, a healthy gut lining, and a daily mouth cleaning regimen. I’ve got all those bases well-covered.
I also can help you cover those bases. I offer a one-on-one 12-week balanced metabolic coaching program if you are interested.
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Good to see you moving forward. I hope this process will restore some tooth decay. These approaches are very important to understand there are more natural ways of doing things.
Interesting info here. Hoping it works for you. Thank you for sharing ❤️
My dentist recently diagnosed two spots of root decay on tooth 31 at the furcation and lower down on the root.
She and I were both shocked, as decay hasn’t been an issue for me. In fact, in my 25+ years as her patient, she’s never had to do any work on my teeth.
I hadn’t had a dental cleaning or exam for two years (unheard of for me) due to the covid shutdown and other obstacles.
Needless to say, I was quite upset about it and didn’t know what the best course of action was.
I agreed to have her apply sodium diamine fluoride to the two areas of root decay, for fear of it progressing.
Is it possible to remineralize SDF-treated root surfaces?
As always, thank you for sharing. I wanted to ask you about Shine which I have been using daily.
You note that xylitol might decrease the formation of good plaque. Perhaps I should discontinue
daily use? I hope you are able to remineralize the area of concern. Stay well.
As I said in my Blog, i don’t recommend the daily use of xylitol in the mouth because it prevents the formation of healthy dental plaque. Also, when swallowed, it can be an irritant to the gut.
I like Orawellnesses HealthyMouth blend of Essential Oils to spot treat issues. Get a periobrush and apply to the affected area. Waterflossers are useful as well.
You can contact Tom Carbone at https://www.naturaltoothhealth.com/ and ask him to make a custom formulation that will omit any sugar alcohols or other ingredients you wish to avoid. He made one that is just mhap and calcium carbonate, calcium lactate, and calcium silicate. I apply it liberally at night, and just let my body swallow it to increase calcium intake.
Tom has a background in ceramics and mills his hydroxyapatite so that the particles are small enough to occlude dentin tubules, but are not nanoscale, though as with any material in nature, nanoparticles are present. Just applying gallic acid and other phenolics will lead to aptatite formation in saliva and the aglomeration of calicum-phosphate will create nanoparticles – our mouth, due to diet, is full of nanoparticulates of hydroxyapatite!
Another tooth remineralization protocol you can apply, cycling it in on some days, is Grape Seed Extract. It’ll create those nanoparticulates by drawing in the calcium-phosphate from saliva. The GSE binds to the tooth, then draws in the calicum-phosphate. GSE is easy to buy in a powder form. A periobrush can be used to apply it. Tastes really bitter. Useful medicinal use though. Has some noted anti-cancer activities. GSE is one of my favorite plant extracts due to the great number of uses it has. In fact, if you end up needing a dental composite, it’ll even improve the bond strength and longevity – lots of dentin crosslinking and binding capacity for monomers in composites. Though, you might be looking for something like an ormecer like Admira Fusion it being more inert, and I’m not sure how GSE would interact with those materials.
Anyways. Always a fan of n=1 remineralization experiments!
I’d like to see clinical trials using what we know to remineralize soft infected dentin. and I mean infected. Not affected; really truly rotten stuff where you only remove the stuff so soft it’d come off with brushing and waterflossing in one group and a wooden instrument in another. I think it’s silly that this hasn’t been fully tested in the over 100 years that dentists have been arguing about it in the dental literature.
Orawellness also sells packages of hydroxyapatite That would allow you to make your own tooth powder without xylitol.