A Chat With …
Dr. Alvin Danenberg & Dr. Steven Lin

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS  Nutritional Periodontist
January 22, 2018




Dental Nutrition, The Oral Microbiome, Vitamin K2, and the Gut w/ Dr. Al Danenberg from Steven Lin on Vimeo.


Dr. Steven Lin is a dentist from Australia. He is “setting the world on fire” with his fresh take on diet and dental disease. He wrote an excellent book, The Dental Diet, that was released in early January of this year. His book is much more than a diet book. Get the book; you will love it.


Steven and I have been sharing our thoughts and knowledge for over a year. We had a chat via Skype last Thursday. We talked about all kinds of things. It was like a fireside chat.  The major theme was how the gums may be the first warning sign of inflammation occurring in the rest of the body. Also, we talked about brushing and flossing, Vitamin K2, gums and the microbiome, and why bleeding gums and gum disease may have a common source – your gut.


Spend about 34 minutes, and watch us talk about “curing the world”.



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Just Give Me A Prescription and Be Done With It?

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
January 8, 2016



Just give me a prescription?So, your gums are bleeding. You think, “Just give me a prescription and be done with it.” Well, that may treat the immediate symptom of bleeding gums, but it hardly goes to the cause of the disease.


Just a prescription for an antibiotic may kill some of the offending bugs around your teeth that are causing the acute infection of bleeding gums. But, this medicine will also kill hundreds of species of beneficial bacteria in your mouth and thousands of species of beneficial bacteria in your gut – all of which you need for your body to function in a healthy state.


You need to realize that your bleeding gums are the result of various factors. Just like any manifestation of disease, you would be better served if you could determine the actual cause of the disease and correct it rather than just take a pill to only deal with the symptoms. Then, you might prevent the disease from coming back in the future.


Reducing the out-of-control bacteria may be the first treatment, but don’t forget that follow-up treatment is necessary to remove the underlying causes.


Still, you have bleeding gums. What can you do right away to stop it?

  • Essential oils have antimicrobial properties. A potent essential oil is oil of oregano. You could add two drops of oil of oregano to one teaspoon of coconut oil and swish this in your mouth for about a minute and then spit out. Do this four times a day for a week.
  • Sometimes a mouth rinse of diluted hydrogen peroxide (1.5% hydrogen peroxide) used four times a day for a period of one week could help reduce the inflammation. You could purchase 3% hydrogen peroxide at the drug store and dilute it (1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1 teaspoon of filtered water). A commercially available product is alcohol-free Peroxyl by Colgate. This is an over-the-counter, 1.5% hydrogen peroxide solution that I have found to be effective for some of my patients. Be aware that the use of hydrogen peroxide for more than a week could increase the potential for a yeast infection and soft tissue damage.
  • Sometimes a prescribed antibiotic is necessary if the acute infection is aggressive. If you need to take an antibiotic, I would advise taking a probiotic along with it and continue taking it for several weeks thereafter. Probiotics help restore healthy bacteria in your gut and in your mouth. Eating live-culture fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi as well as unsweetened plain yogurt also will help support the good bacteria in your mouth and your body. (Peer-reviewed articles on probiotics and oral health: Here, Here, Here.)


But, this is critical:
It is important to see a dental professional who can diagnose gum diseases properly. In addition, in my opinion, this professional also needs to understand the intricate relationships between (1) nutrition and lifestyle factors and (2) other contributing factors resulting in your bleeding gums. Proper treatment in its proper sequence is important to rid you of the potentially health-damaging infection of gum disease.




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What Did You Say I Have?

        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       November 8, 2015


evolution r“What did you say I have? I brush my teeth everyday and floss when I can. Now you say I have gum disease that is eating away at my jawbone! How did this happen to me?”


You are not alone!


A study published in 2010 demonstrated that 93.9% of adults in the United States had some form of gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gum tissues surrounding the teeth.


Another study published in 2012 by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 47% of the US adult population has periodontitis (the advanced stage of gum disease that eats away at the jawbone). If you were over 65 years old, the prevalence of this advanced infection jumped to 70%. Wow!


Advanced gum disease typically does not hurt. The earlier stage of this disease, which is gingivitis, usually produces bleeding gums. But, if gingivitis progresses to the more advanced stage of periodontitis, the bleeding generally stops as the infection moves deeper under the gums to begin destroying the jawbone.


If left untreated, periodontitis will cause teeth to get loose. Teeth will become sore and painful to the touch. Chewing will become uncomfortable. Infection that is around the tooth root could be pushed into the blood system, affecting other areas of the body. These gum infections could also become severe in the mouth resulting in much swelling, bleeding, and odor. Once the structure of the jawbone is significantly destroyed, the only option would be to extract the teeth involved. In addition to mouth problems, gum disease has been associated with many other bodily conditions such as diabetes, pre-term and low-weight babies, heart disease, and many more.


There are many causes. The most common is bacteria that get under the gums around the teeth that thrive off of the sugars and refined carbohydrates we eat abundantly everyday. Another cause is the lack of efficient oral hygiene, which includes effective tooth and gum cleaning habits. Additional causes are the health of our digestive system, the nutrients that are in our foods, our stress level, and our genetic predisposition. Frequently, habits like gritting or grinding your teeth, even if you are not aware of this habit, could weaken the jawbone and result in further destruction.


You cannot change your genetics, but you can change the quality of foods you eat and your lifestyle, and you can learn to properly clean around your teeth and gums.


Those who read my blogs may know that I am a periodontist (gum specialist) with 41 years experience in treating patients with advanced gum disease. I also am licensed in the laser gum treatment called LANAP® (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure), which is patient-friendly and involves no cutting with scalpels and no stitches. I have found this to be the best way to treat advanced gum disease. In addition, I am a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner using this background to guide patients to a healthier diet and lifestyle. Some of my patients decide to complete a 3-Day Food Journal, which allows me to evaluate their eating and lifestyle habits and then to recommend healthier food and lifestyle choices.


I offer my patients a Lifestyle Repair Plan, in which I recommend an anti-inflammatory diet, selecting from a host of nutrient-dense foods. These are the foods that have a great deal of nutrients packed into each calorie. My Plan also incorporates changes in lifestyle that are critical for overall health. Included are concepts of health maintenance like Oral Care, Restorative Sleep, Efficient Exercise, and Stress Reduction – concepts that I have summarized into simple and doable steps.


My goal for my patients is to treat their active gum infections, teach them methods to maintain a healthy mouth, and assist them with eating and lifestyle changes that could lead not only to a healthier mouth for the rest of their lives but also to a healthier body.

My Gums are Bleeding and Sore

evolution rAbout a year ago I was asked to evaluate a patient who had bleeding gums, which was not responding to daily, good oral hygiene and had not responded to a deep cleaning by the hygienist in his dentist’s office.
This was a 71-year old gentleman who had ongoing gum issues for over 3 years. When I spoke to him, he did not complain of pain all the time, but he explained that his gums would bleed when he brushed his teeth and were a little sore. He wanted a quick fix like an antibiotic.
I told him we first needed to rule out infections and any blood diseases including serious diseases like cancers. As I questioned him, he told me that he had bouts of diarrhea and bloating. He also complained of acid reflux disease for which his medical doctor put him on an acid-reducing prescription. When I questioned him about his eating habits, he told me he had a healthy bowl of oatmeal every morning and usually some pasta dish with dinner. I suggested that some of his problem could come from the grains that he was eating.
He immediately dismissed my idea because he had been eating this way his entire life, and that obviously could not be at the cause of his gum sores. He left my office to seek other opinions.
Then several months later, I saw him again. He had seen an oral surgeon and then his own medical doctor who put him on anti-inflammatory prescription drugs. These meds did not resolve his bleeding gums. He finally allowed me to make my suggestions.
I had him fill out a 3-day food journal listing everything he ate. He also had to write down the frequency of his bowel movements and any exercise he participated in during these three days. When I reviewed his journal with him, we discovered he was eating some type of grain product with every meal as well as every snack. He also realized that he was eating very few green vegetables. Most of his drinks were laden with sugar.
I had him promise to do an experiment for 30 days. Since he had been suffering with bleeding, sore gums for several years, to experiment on himself for 30 days would not be too much to ask of him. He agreed, and here is what I recommended:
• Eliminate all grains – I described the foods that had grains and grain products, which had to be eliminated. I also gave him a list of foods that could be substituted for these grains and snacks. I even included some of my favorite recipes.
• Eliminate all sugary drinks – I recommended various drinks including regular water that he should be drinking.
• I suggested that he begin to take a nutrient-dense supplement of fermented cod liver oil capsules as well as organic kelp powder capsules every day. I gave him resources online where he could purchase them.
• I explained the benefits of coconut oil as an excellent mouthwash. He would place about 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil in is mouth and swish. At the end of 10 minutes, he would spit it out and rinse with water. He could do that several times a day if he wanted.
• Then, at the end of 30 days, he and I would get back together to see what happened.
To his astonishment, his bleeding gums were significantly better after 30 days – not healed yet, but much better. My further discussions with him were to include improving the bacteria in his gut and continuing to modify his diet to remove all offending items and replace what needed to be there. If necessary at a later date, I would suggest some functional testing to delve into specific cellular problems.