Newest News:
Gut, Periodontal Disease, & RA

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

October 7, 2019 [printfriendly]




Newest News


Dentists need to be aware; medical doctors need to be aware; patients need to be aware.


The newest news and research are uncovering an important truth. The truth is that a healthy gut and its healthy microbiome are critical for the avoidance of most – if not all – chronic diseases. And a damaged gut could be the source of many diseases. It’s interesting that over 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates was reported to say that “all disease begins in the gut”. Maybe he knew something that we are just beginning to comprehend and to prove.


As you know, I have written about the gut microbiome and the importance of restoring it to a healthy state. The food we eat, the substances we avoid, and our overall lifestyle affect the gut. Specifically, these affect the bacteria in the gut, the gut’s protective mucosal layer, and the all-important epithelial layer that separates the lumen of the gut from the rest of our body. The healthy gut lining is the gatekeeper that allows nutrients that our body requires to enter our bloodstream and protects us from all the other junk in the gut that the body does not need.


Many scientific articles have been published that prove the direct causal effects of the gut microbiome on the health of various organ systems.


A 2019 medical article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences reviews the newest research and discusses the potential connections between periodontal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and the health of the gut.


In essence, this paper supports the theory that periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis may have their beginnings in an unhealthy gut. Yes, the gut!


If this theory is correct, then effective treatment should include the restoration of a healthy gut as well as specific treatment modalities for both periodontal disease (PD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).



Periodontal Disease

PD is the most common cause of tooth loss and one of the world’s most prevalent chronic inflammatory diseases. Pathologic bacteria around the tooth margins at the gum line penetrate the tissues and create a cascading progression of inflammation in the soft tissues. Often this leads to bone destruction around the roots of the teeth. The causes of this chronic disease are considered to be multifactorial. Genetic predisposition and a compromised immune system are two major factors that allow an unhealthy balance of bacteria in the mouth to progress to PD.


Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA is a chronic autoimmune disease. Patients with RA experience synovial inflammation and hyperplasia leading to irreversible damage of the cartilage and bone in the joints, loss of function, chronic pain and progressive joint disability. The causes of rheumatoid arthritis are multifactorial like periodontal disease, and these causes are similar to those of PD.



Gut Connection

Unhealthy changes in gut bacteria will create a series of changes in the immune system. These changes will cause specific bacteria (P. gingivalis and A. actinomycetemcomitans) to proliferate. Both of these bacteria can lead to local protein alterations by process called “citrullination”. Citrullination is the conversion of the amino acid arginine into the amino acid citrulline. Evidence suggests that increased citrullination may participate in tissue destruction associated with periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Citrullination may be a key mechanism allowing both PD and RA to affect one another.


Treating an unhealthy gut will not automatically treat periodontal disease or rheumatoid arthritis. But a healthy gut could be an important therapeutic result for an inclusive treatment plan for both diseases.


I have developed a Protocol to Restore Normal Gut Bacteria, which I could send in a PDF. Email me at, and I will send it to you.



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3 Failures in Dentistry

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

May 6, 2019 [printfriendly]


3 Failures in Dentistry


Dentists help repair or remove broken, damaged, and diseased teeth. Dentists also help replace missing teeth, correct bite and airway problems, and create beautiful smiles. And dentists help treat the results of many acute and chronic infections in the mouth. Unfortunately, dentistry fails the public in several other critical areas.


Here is my take on 3 Failures in Dentistry:


  1. Not informing patients of potentially toxic elements that are used in dental treatment and their potential consequences in the body.
  2. Not educating patients adequately and in-depth about the obscure and underlying causes of dental diseases.
  3. Not emphasizing the causal relationships between the gut, the mouth, and the overall health of patients.


I know I will get quite a bit of blowback from my comments in this blog. My intention is to bring to the forefront the weaknesses of my profession so that dental professionals and dental educators can improve the delivery of oral healthcare, which ultimately affects overall health. Also, my intention is to help the public understand the failures I’ve stated and ask intelligent questions to their healthcare professionals.




If dentists were successfully treating and preventing dental diseases, then the prevalence of periodontal disease and tooth decay should be very low. However, dental diseases are at epidemic levels.



Prevalence of Periodontal Disease Today

In 2010, a published paper revealed that 93.9% of adults in the United States had some form of gingivitis.[1]


In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published their results in the Journal of Dental Research. The report was recently updated in 2015 in the Journal of Periodontology.[2] It showed the prevalence of periodontitis was estimated to be 47.2% for American adults (approximately 64.7 million people). For adults 65 years old and older, the prevalence jumped to 70.1%. These findings were the result of the most comprehensive periodontal evaluation performed ever in the US.



Prevalence of Tooth Decay Today

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reported from its most recent data approximately 91% of U.S. adults aged 20–64 had dental caries in permanent teeth.[3] The prevalence increases to 93% for those above 65 years old.[4]


The World Health Organization has stated that dental decay is one of the most infectious, non-communicable diseases globally.[5]



Addressing the 3 Failures

1: Understand potential toxicities

Many dental materials, medicaments, and procedures are used routinely in the dental office. And many of them have been shown to be potentially toxic to human cells. Of course, toxicity usually depends on the dose and the frequency of exposure. But if a toxic element is in the mouth 24/7, then its presence could be potentially harmful.


As you may know, I am treating my aggressive form of multiple myeloma through various unconventional protocols. I believe my bone marrow cancer was directly related to my excessive exposure to various toxic elements in dentistry – especially my continued exposure to mercury and ionizing dental radiation while in dental school and during my early years in practice. Yet, there is no way I can prove this.


I’ve listed a few of the substances and procedures that are frequently used in the dental office that might be toxic for some patients and the dental team. I also have provided links to peer-reviewed articles that go into detail about their toxicities:


  • Methacrylate[6]
  • Mercury amalgams[7]
  • BPA in some composite materials[8]
  • Fluoride products[9]
  • Titanium[10]
  • Nitrous oxide[11]
  • Chlorhexidine[12]
  • Antimicrobial mouthwashes[13]
  • Peroxide at-home bleaching[14]
  • Ionizing dental radiation[15]



2: Learn about obscure causes of dental diseases

Three human studies clearly show that nutrition is the critical element to a healthy mouth – Baumgartner (2009)[16], Woelber (2016)[17], Woelber (2019)[18]. I have described these results many times. Each of these studies determined that removing dental plaque by brushing and flossing was not critical to improve oral health as long as diet was corrected. Specifically, the researchers demonstrated that changing from a diet abundant in high-processed-carbohydrate and inflammatory foods to a diet excluding high-processed-carbohydrate and inflammatory foods will decrease signs of gum disease.


In a paper published in the Journal of Dental Research in 2015, Aubrey Sheiham summarized many peer-reviewed research articles, which clearly showed that free-sugars were required to cause tooth decay.[19] And the removal of free-sugars from the diet greatly reduced or eliminated tooth decay.



3: Study the causal relationships within the body

Detrimental lifestyle, toxic elements in the environment, toxic substances accumulating in the body, and inflammatory foods are major factors that can damage the gut and create unhealthy gut bacteria (gut dysbiosis). Leakage from a damaged gut into the bloodstream and into the lymph fluid can cause systemic chronic inflammation and a compromised immune system. Both systemic chronic inflammation and a compromised immune system can cause havoc in other body tissues including the mouth.


In the mouth, these may cause an overgrowth of pathological bacteria. Unhealthy food choices will continue to feed the pathological bacteria. As you know, unhealthy bacteria will cause periodontal disease and tooth decay. Dental diseases potentially could affect all other areas in the body causing a vicious back-and-forth cycle between the mouth, the gut, and other tissues of the body.




The 3 failures in dentistry should be addressed and corrected. Dentists need to (1) inform patients about potential toxicity from dental procedures and only use the most biocompatible materials, (2) learn about the obscure causes of dental diseases, and (3) become knowledgeable about causal relationships within the body.
























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I was Interviewed for
Wise Traditions Podcast

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
May 28, 2018 [printfriendly]




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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Dr. Alvin Danenberg & Dr. Steven Lin
Chat on FaceBook Live

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
March 9, 2018 [printfriendly]





Dr. Steven Lin and I had a chat on FaceBook Live. We talked about so many topics including:

  • Bleeding gums, gum disease, and mitochondrial health
  • Vitamin K2
  • Spore-based probiotics
  • Daily Mouthwash: Good or bad?
  • Nitric oxide
  • My recipes: Homemade applesauce, Seaweed soup
  • And much more…..


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An Apple a Day
Gut Health & Mouth Health

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
November 28, 2016 [printfriendly]



applesEveryone has heard the proverbial phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, there is research that shows two apples a day prepared properly improve gut health. A healthy gut, in turn, helps prevent chronic inflammation. Also, a healthy gut creates a healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth, which goes a long way in maintaining mouth health. And so, two apples a day really might keep the doctor away!


Benefits of Apples

Two cooked apples a day could improve the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut. In fact, your gut’s health could improve within 2-3 weeks of eating cooked apples daily.


Published research has shown apples improve the gut bacteria that reduce inflammation. Human studies also have shown that apples improve colitis symptoms, and studies in rats have shown apples reduce the risk of colon cancer and other intestinal diseases.


Beyond the gut, the health properties of apples benefit the entire body. For example, apples even may reduce the levels of unhealthy lipids in the blood. Interestingly from Dr. Michael Ash’s research, two apples a day have the anti-inflammatory benefit of taking 10-15 mg of a steroid, without any of the side effects of steroid medication.


Your Gut. Your Health. Your Choice.®

Real food has everything the body needs to survive and thrive. It has been that way for 2.5 million years of human evolution. Our genes receive critical information from nutrient-dense foods to run the business of keeping our bodies healthy. Our healthy microbiome throughout our body also receives critical information from the foods we eat.


My slogan, Your Gut. Your Health. Your Choice.® says it all. By taking care of the health of your gut and all the healthy microbes that live there, you can improve your immune system. Your immune system is figuratively the well-equipped armed forces of your body. Its mission is to fight anything that is harmful to your body. If you improve your immune system, you can improve your mouth health.


I have posted a recipe to make applesauce, which I call Anti-inflammatory Applesauce. One cup of this homemade applesauce provides approximately two apples of this gut-healing, anti-inflammatory food.


To enhance the health of my gut, I also sometimes take one capsule of Prescript-Assist Probiotic with a cup of goat kefir. (I like the Redwood Farms brand.) Prescript-Assist Probiotic is a combination of various beneficial soil-based microbes.


Personally, I am fanatical about the human machine I call my body. I make a choice to stay as healthy as I can. I know from personal experience that my gut is the first place to begin the process.




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Your Gut. Your Health. Your Choice.®
What Does This Mean?


        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       December 11, 2015


Dr. Danenberg LogoYour Gut. Your Health. Your Choice.® This is my slogan. But, do you know what it means?


Medical articles are pouring out about the importance of the bacteria in our guts. Since 2002, there have been 508 published peer-reviewed papers in PubMed on the subject of the “importance of the gut microbiome” as of today. is the government website that archives all peer-reviewed medical research from around the world. This is the most important source of medical information that has been independently studied and reported for the general and professional public. The most recently published article on the importance of gut bacteria appeared on November 20, 2015 in It describes the direct relationship of gut bacteria and autoimmune diseases, specifically lupus.


In fact, periodontal disease has been identified in part as an autoimmune disease.


Autoimmune disease is when your body incorrectly assumes its own cells are “invaders”, and your immune system starts to attack your own cells. Not a good thing. Examples of autoimmune diseases are lupus, sarcoidosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, lichen planus, and type 1 diabetes to name a few.


It makes sense to discover what is causing an autoimmune disease and eliminate it. The health of your gums as well as the health of the overall body will benefit. Dr. Alessio Fasano suggested that autoimmune diseases are a result of harmful foods that irritate the gut and create growth of unhealthy bacteria, both of which causes tears in the gut lining. The bad stuff then leaks into the blood system leading to autoimmune diseases.


So, the health of the gut is critical. It is your choice. Make your gut healthy, and you will improve your overall health including your mouth health.

Have Respect for What is Right

evolution rWhen you think about things changing over time, you might compare how things are today related to a time in the past. For example, a gallon of gasoline today costs about $3.35, but a gallon of gas when I started driving in Baltimore in the mid 1960s cost $0.23 a gallon. Styles of clothing have changed decade after decade. Food preparation certainly has changed from when our grandparents were cooking compared to how we cook today. Everything is relative. Some things are better today; some things were better in times gone by.


Old is also relative. After my wife and I moved to Charleston over 40 years ago, we were impressed with the city’s history and homes that dated back several hundred years. I thought that was old. Years after moving to Charleston, my wife and I traveled to Israel. We were shown and told about buildings that were built several thousand years ago. We thought that was really old. Sometimes old is good; sometimes old is not so good. But several thousand years is not that old.


Really old is when you go back 2.5 million years and look at our evolution. During that period of time, our bodies slowly adapted to our environment and the foods that were available to us for nutrition. Our bodies developed a method of using nutrients for our growth and survival. It took 2.5 million years for our cells and organs to slowly evolve. We need to respect what our bodies need.


Degenerative diseases today can be traced back to the insults from certain foods that we began to eat about 10,000 years ago and which our guts were never designed to digest completely. Also, toxins we ingest as well as toxins we create internally are related to these degenerative diseases.


We need to understand what was right about the diet and lifestyle of our primal ancestors. We shouldn’t condemn modern life; we should make progress where progress leads to betterment. Change usually is for the good. Yet, we never should lose sight of what our bodies essentially require. Nutrient-dense foods are always going to be the right things for us. That will never change!


So what are nutrient-dense foods? These are foods that have an abundance of the things we need with little or none of the things we don’t need. Specifically these are:


• Free range and grass fed animal products from nose to tail including all their wonderful fat and organs
• Wild caught seafood
• All kinds and colors of vegetables including seaweeds
• Fermented foods
• Most fruits with an emphasis on the deeply colored varieties
• Some nuts and seeds in moderation


Don’t get confused with all the processed products on the grocery shelves that have been filled with chemicals and artificial ingredients that can only harm our individual cells. Always keep in mind that you want to eat what is natural – not what has been transformed and processed into cutely packaged goodies. Amazingly, your overall health is at stake here, and your mouth will be the healthy recipient.