Just Because It’s In Toothpaste
Doesn’t Mean It’s Safe
– Xylitol, Nano-hydroxyapatite, Fluoride, Activated Charcoal –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

May 8, 2022

If you want to put something into your mouth, it should be compatible and healthy. Not just for your mouth, but also for the rest of your body! If it’s not, then why would you subject yourself to potential harm?

  • Would you drink water that contains lead?
  • Would you gargle with gasoline?
  • Would you eat arsenic?

Of course, you wouldn’t since you know that these elements could kill you.

But what if you didn’t know what you didn’t know?

What if you were told something is beneficial but the potential harm was not disclosed and intentionally hidden from you?

You’d be more than angry – you’d be irate!

So, let me bring this reality to you.

 

Teeth & Dental Plaque Are Unique

Here is a little-known fact. The only area of the body where a hard structure pierces the skin and enters the sterile bony structures is the tooth. Think about this for a moment …

Can you imagine the potential havoc that could occur if infection were to move down the tooth into the jawbone? Your jawbone could rot, and you could die.

But the body has solutions.

The body created a “healthy biofilm” to protect this susceptible area to prevent bacteria from sliding down the tooth into the bone. There are other protective structures under the gum that can alert the immune system to fight infections.

But first, this protective and healthy biofilm is the initial defense. It is called “dental plaque” and is composed of several hundred bacteria is a state of balance.

This natural biofilm serves at least three main functions. Healthy dental plaque …

  1. Allows necessary nutrients and minerals from the saliva to enter the root of the tooth to remineralize it as necessary 24/7.
  2. Produces hydrogen peroxide to kill any potentially pathogenic microbes in the mouth from getting to the gum/tooth margin
  3. Buffers the acidity around the gum/tooth margin to maintain an acid level of no more acidic than pH 5.5 to prevent decay of the root surface.

So, you don’t want to disturb or destroy this healthy dental plaque. Proper oral hygiene using a healthy toothpaste will not remove the thin layer of healthy dental plaque. Proper oral hygiene will only remove any excessive, unhealthy dental plaque.

 

Four Potentially Toxic Ingredients in Toothpastes

Four specific ingredients in various toothpastes are promoted as healthy and disease fighting.

  • Xylitol
  • Nano-hydroxyapatite
  • Fluoride
  • Activated Charcoal

But most people are confused about these ingredients because there are many published scientific papers that proclaim the benefits of them for the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. But the far-reaching damage that these additives may cause to other parts of your body as well as to the garden of balanced bacteria in your mouth is not disclosed. And you need to be informed before you decide to use them in your mouth or to avoid them.

 

Xylitol

Xylitol will prevent a specific mouth bacterium (Strep mutans) from growing. Strep mutans is one of the bacteria that is responsible for tooth decay. But in a healthy mouth with a balance of bacteria, Strep mutans is part of the homeostatic community in healthy dental plaque without causing any harm. To destroy Strep mutans could disrupt the overall balance of bacteria and create an unhealthy overgrowth of other microbes.

Xylitol also prevents healthy dental plaque from forming and attaching to the root surface near the tooth/gum margin.[1] But healthy dental plaque is protective as I described above.

In addition, xylitol can damage the gut microbiome and create GI (gastrointestinal) disturbances.[2]

 

Nano-hydroxyapatite

Hydroxyapatite is the calcium-phosphate mineral structure of tooth enamel. Nano-hydroxyapatite has a much smaller size than hydroxyapatite and can adhere to the existing hydroxyapatite in teeth and “fill in holes”. The effect is that it can reduce root sensitivity and mineralize and repair early tooth decay. Nano-hydroxyapatite is marketed as the healthier alternative to fluoride.

However, several medical papers have shown that “nano” particles can penetrate other cellular tissues in the body and become cytotoxic.[3] They also have the potential to damage the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut.[4],[5],[6] All “nano” particles have the potential to do more harm than good. Much unbiased research still needs to be done in this area of medicine before I am convinced that medical nanotechnology is unconditionally safe and proven effective.

 

Fluoride

For years, dentistry has been a proponent of fluoride in water and in toothpaste. The ideas are that fluoride will kill oral bacteria and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. And the American Dental Association (ADA)[7] and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)[8] still believe this to be the case.

However, much of the current science demonstrates potential overall harm when fluoride accumulates in the body. The IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology) put together this detailed paper describing the harm of fluoride. And the IABDM (International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine) published this paper about their position on fluoride and republished this paper on the ingestion of fluoride.

 

Activated Charcoal

Charcoal is a porous black solid form of carbon that is created by burning wood or other organic material. This charcoal can be burned again at higher temperatures to produce “activated charcoal”. Activated charcoal can bind to toxic elements primarily in the gut. It doesn’t remove toxic elements in the mouth and does not prevent tooth decay or gum disease as promoted by some dental product companies.[9] Activated charcoal can also bind to essential nutrients to induce vitamin deficiencies, dehydration, constipation, and even vomiting.[10],[11]

In toothpaste, activated charcoal also is promoted to help whiten teeth. However, it is abrasive and could possibly damage or remove the outer layer of the tooth, which is the enamel. If some of the enamel is removed by activated charcoal, a more yellow under-layer of the tooth called dentin will become exposed. The exposed dentin will stain more easily than the enamel and could cause tooth sensitivity. And the lost enamel will never “regrow”.

If you are interested, I published a blog on teeth-whitening ideas a few years ago.

 

Summary

When selecting a toothpaste, you shouldn’t use one with potentially harmful chemicals that may act as “Band-Aids” to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Even if some research suggests that these elements may have benefits, they still should not be used if other science shows that they can cause harm.

Choose a toothpaste with no harmful elements and one that can enhance the healthy balance of the garden of bacteria in your mouth. My choice is Revitin.

There are very specific methods to stop tooth decay and gum disease. And they don’t involve chemicals to disturb natural processes in your body. In fact, these methods not only will prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but also assist in overall health and wellness. In this PDF I published, I describe the 4 Steps to a Healthy Mouth.

Tooth decay and gum disease are results from poor diet choices, an unhealthy gut, and inefficient oral hygiene protocols. You wouldn’t paint a rusted pipe with Rust-Oleum to hide the rust. And you wouldn’t take an aspirin to treat appendicitis. You would figure out the cause of the rusty pipe or the appendicitis and treat both correctly.

That’s the way you must approach the problems of tooth decay and gum disease. Treat the real causes of these diseases and repair the damage these diseases have created in the mouth.

Don’t rely on Band-Aids like Xylitol, Nano-hydroxyapatite, Fluoride, or Activated Charcoal to solve the problem.

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31361368

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537870/

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31349397/

[4] https://particleandfibretoxicology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12989-020-00349-z

[5] https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/4/1942

[6] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969721001443

[7] https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/fluoride-topical-and-systemic-supplements

[8] https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-brief/fda-brief-fda-proposes-updated-standards-fluoride-added-bottled-water-maximize-health-benefits-while

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32112023/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482294/

[11] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1745-4557.2004.tb00647.x

 

Schedule a ”30-Minute Free Consult” with me to answer some of your questions and determine if we are a good fit for a coaching program! CLICK HERE.

 

If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my Free “Belly Bites” Newsletter and receive your free copy of Dr Al’s “5 Things That Could Be Impacting Your Health Right Now” HERE.

Dental Implants & Inflammation

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
January 23, 2017

Can titanium dental implants cause inflammation? I used to believe the answer was, “No”. Now, published medical research suggests the answer may be, “Yes”.

 

Dental Implants

There are an estimated 3 million people in the US who have dental implants, and that number is increasing by 500,000 each year. In addition, over 95% of these implants seemingly have been successful and symptom free. Complex healing stages must occur before a dental implant becomes attached to surrounding bone tissue. But, all this may need to be reinterpreted and further investigated.

 

Problems with Dental Implants

I see patients all the time with existing dental implants that are functioning well with no obvious infection and no obvious inflammation. However, I see a few patients with infection around implants that is causing rapid destruction of the supporting bone. Some reasons for this destruction are obvious to me as a periodontist:

  • Poor oral hygiene and unhealthy food choices allowed bacterial infection to take hold around dental implants as it would around natural teeth.
  • Sometimes there was excess cement under the crown that attached to the implant, which caused inflammation and infection.
  • There might have been excessive biting forces on the implant putting unhealthy pressures on the bone.
  • Occasionally, the dentist may have created damaging heat when placing the implant in the jaw, leading to bone destruction.

While I could understand and identify most of these causes, I saw patients with failing implants that stumped me. I could not determine a cause, and science wasn’t able to give me an answer.

  

Perplexing Problem

One question I needed answered was this: Was there something about the metal of titanium that was causing an inflammatory problem in the surrounding tissues?

After I reviewed the recently published medical research, I became concerned. I found documentation that medical implants using titanium sometimes created problems in the bone. Some of these implants in various areas of the body created chronic inflammation and severe bone destruction. This breakdown was without infection and was apparently related to titanium particles that were released into the tissues.

Up until now, I could not find peer-reviewed studies that addressed the potentially damaging effects of titanium particles from dental implants. Was there a cause and effect relationship of titanium particles creating inflammation in the jawbone?

  • This study in 2015 evaluated 22 dental implants from various international implant companies. Surprisingly, 7 out of 22 “sterile” implants had endotoxin contamination on their surfaces, which would generate an inflammatory response in the body.

 

  • In 2016, researchers reported that bacteria around dental implants could trigger inflammation. In addition, these bacteria also caused corrosion on the titanium implant surfaces. Corrosion dissolved the titanium surface and released titanium particles into the surrounding periodontal tissues. These particles aggravated the inflammatory response. These researchers also noted that fluoride ions from mouthwash, toothpaste, drinking water, and food could potentially cause corrosion on titanium implant surfaces.

 

  • In January of 2017, a published research paper showed that titanium particles actually were released from an implant surface after it was cleaned with ultrasonic scaling instruments. These titanium particles reacted with immune cells in test cultures, which led to bone destruction. In addition, researchers studied the results of placing these titanium particles into bones of mice. The result was severe inflammation, which quickly caused the bone to melt away. This same study showed that these titanium particles were more damaging than specific types of bacteria, which were the cause of severe periodontal disease.

  

Beyond the Mouth

My concern goes beyond damage to the jawbone, which is serious enough. My concern is that these titanium particles could leak into the blood system. Once in the blood system, they could cause other serious chronic inflammatory reactions affecting other organ systems. And, all of this might take many years to manifest.

Research has shown that harmful bacterial particles from the gut can enter the blood system and cause chronic inflammation, resulting in various chronic and autoimmune diseases. As I mentioned, these diseases could take decades to develop clinically. Since titanium particles have been shown to cause more inflammation than bacterial fragments, what potential damage could free titanium particles produce in our body?

  

Moving Forward

I am concerned. Dental titanium implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth. Yet, titanium particles can be released from the surface of these implants. These particles have been shown to cause inflammation, which may translate into implant loss and potentially serious chronic diseases over time. Well-designed studies must be devised and published to give my profession more information about what is happening with titanium implants and what needs to be done.

 

 

If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my email alert list here.

Buy My New Book

Crazy-Good Living

I Write A Lot. I Read A Lot.
But, I Don’t Believe Everything I Read

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
      August 18, 2016  


 
 
     

I Write A Lot; I Read A LotI write a lot; I read a lot, but I don’t believe everything I read. I am always reading papers of peer-reviewed research on PubMed.gov. PubMed is the go-to site for me to search what’s available in the worldwide archives of published science.

 

I was scanning through recent articles about periodontal disease on PubMed when I came across this paper. The title is, Primary prevention of periodontitis: managing gingivitis. It was published in the prestigious publication of the Journal of Clinical Periodontology in April 2015. Great article title, if you were a dental geek like me. Detailed review, if you wanted to delve into results of many published papers. But, way off the mark in its conclusions, in my opinion.

 

Just because you read peer-reviewed research that has been scrutinized by experts before it is published doesn’t mean it’s “correct”. The words “published” vs. “correct” may be as confusing as “normal” vs. “healthy”.

 

It may be “normal” to have occasional bleeding in the gums, but that condition certainly would not be “healthy”. “Normal” means the far majority of the population exhibits a particular condition. Occasional bleeding gums are “normal” because most people have that condition, but any bleeding gums certainly are not “healthy”.

 

This article presents information that was “published” many times before, but the conclusions are not “correct” because the human species over 2.5 million years of evolution proves otherwise.

 

Here is what the article concluded: “All people should brush their teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes with fluoridated dentifrice”. Also, for patients with advanced gum disease, “2 minutes are likely to be insufficient.” In addition, patients with gum disease would need to clean between their teeth and use “chemical plaque control agents”.

 

I agree that brushing for at least 2 minutes and the use of interdental cleaning brushes are the best ways to clean around and between the teeth. I recommend that to all my patients. However, evolutionary dentistry clearly shows that tooth decay and gum disease are primarily a result of a lack of a nutrient-dense diet and the abundance of unhealthy gut bacteria. (HERE. HERE.) The human species is not deficient in chemical plaque control agents. We were not born with a genetic deficiency in fluoride. If anything, chemicals disturb the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut and mouth. (HERE.)

 

So, what should you do if you had gum disease or if you wanted to prevent gum disease? If you had gum disease, first the disease would need to be treated properly. Once it was treated, or if you only were trying to prevent this disease in the first place, you should be eating nutrient-dense foods and you should maintain a healthy and balanced level of good bacteria in your gut. (HERE.) Proper brushing and cleaning around your teeth are important, but proper diet and healthy bacteria are critical for health going forward.

 

If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my email alert list here.