Major News Release by the FDA

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     March 30, 2016  


 
 
     
 

LANAP no cut no sutureToday, the FDA made a substantial statement about LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure).

 

The clearance by the FDA of the laser procedure called LANAP to regenerate bone and tissue will change the playing field in the treatment of advanced gum disease forever. I have been licensed in the LANAP procedure for the last 6 years, and it has been the most revolutionary change I have made in my 42-year career as a periodontist.

 

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7 Things I Used To Know
That Just Ain’t So

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     March 7, 2016  


 
 

7 things I used to knowJosh Billings (the 19th Century humorist) put it so clearly: “It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble. It’s the things we know that just ain’t so.”

 

As a periodontist, I have been treating patients now for 42 years. That is a long time. You would think that I should know everything that there is to know about gum disease – its causes, its treatment, and its prevention. If any medical doctor or dentist or any other professional told you that he or she knew everything that there was to know about a subject, run as fast as you could to the nearest exit.

 

I live and breathe “outside of the box.” I have an open mind about almost everything. It is exciting for me to learn new things and even change the way I currently do things if a better method or newer knowledge were proved. I am still aware that these newer and better ideas may still be changed or disproved in the future. I will continue to learn until I die. This invigorates me.

 

So, with that said, here are seven hard and true dental facts that I have learned in the past during my professional career that no longer are valid or accurate. I have included peer-reviewed research LINKs:
 

  1. Brushing and flossing are all that is necessary to prevent gum disease and tooth decay: Disease-producing dental plaque is clearly unhealthy. Brushing and flossing properly will remove it. But, eating processed foods is actually the more important culprit of increasing harmful bacteria in the gut and in the mouth. LINK.
  2.  

  3. Killing all the bacteria in the mouth is the goal for a healthy mouth: Healthy plaque actually is made up of numerous microbes that benefit one another. If they were to be destroyed, or if their delicate balance were to be altered, tooth decay and gum disease would ensue. LINK. LINK.
  4.  

  5. Antibiotics should be used to treat infections in the mouth: While some acute infections must be brought under control through the use of systemic antibiotics, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics will damage good bacteria in the gut as well as in the mouth. LINK.
  6.  

  7. Traditional gum surgery (including cutting open the gum tissues, cutting the damaged jawbone, and using sutures) is the treatment of choice for treating advanced periodontal disease: Research has shown that a specific type of laser can kill the virulent bacteria that cause periodontitis and increase the potential for some of your own damaged jawbone to regrow. LINK . This procedure is called Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP), and does not require scalpels or sutures. You probably would be able to return to your regular routine the next day.
  8.  

  9. Mercury fillings are the best way to treat a decayed tooth: The science is out there. Today, dental fillings incorporating biologically compatible materials are excellent choices to repair decayed teeth. Mercury fillings are not one of them. Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that can interfere with numerous biological pathways in the human body. LINK.
  10.  

  11. Fluoride is necessary to remineralize a tooth and prevent tooth decay: While locally-applied fluoride preparations can harden susceptible tooth surfaces, diet is more important. Nutrient-dense foods that also are anti-inflammatory can provide the building blocks to strengthen and remineralize tooth surfaces. LINK.
  12.  

  13. Mouth problems are independent from what is going on in the rest of the body: P. gingivalis (an aggressive bacterium causing periodontitis) can invade other tissues and potentially may cause other systemic diseases. LINK. LINK.

 

I will be the first to declare that what I am doing is no longer valid when science demonstrates that it is no longer effective. Is your health professional open to new knowledge? He or she should be!

 

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5 Questions Dental Patients Frequently Ask

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     January 30, 2016  

5 QuestionsI’ve been consulting with patients as far away as Australia, Switzerland, and England. They all seem to have similar questions. They’ve told me that their local dentists either can’t answer their questions or don’t want to answer them.

 

Are some of their questions your own? Here are the five questions most frequently asked:

 

  1. Why do I have gum disease since I brush and floss everyday?
  2. Why hasn’t my dentist been able to give me the answers?
  3. Can my advanced gum disease be treated without surgically cutting my gums?
  4. Are my kids destined to suffer as I have?
  5. Can I spread gum disease to my partner like the germs of a cold?

 

Here are my thoughts:

 

  1. Why do I have gum disease since I brush and floss everyday?

 

Although brushing and flossing are important, there are many other not-so-obvious causes of gum disease:

  • Certain foods we eat affect the bacteria in our gut, which in turn affect the bacteria in our mouth. Processed foods like grains and sugars create an increase in unhealthy bacteria in our gut. When bad bacteria get out of control in our gut, they increase the bad bacteria in our mouth. Bad bacteria that become dominant in our mouth cause bad bacteria to overgrow in the dental plaque around the teeth. When these bacteria predominate, they ferment the refined grains and sugars that we eat to form acids and inflammation. A vicious cycle begins between the foods we eat and the bacteria in our body, which results in advancing tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Many of us don’t eat the foods that are necessary for health. We need necessary nutrients to fuel individual cells, and we need fiber to feed our healthy gut bacteria. When we don’t get the nutrients we need, our immune system suffers. If our immune system suffers, the health of our mouth suffers.
  • Our immune system also is affected by emotional stress. Cases have been reported where individuals under significant emotional stress developed severe inflammation and gum sores without the abundance of unhealthy bacteria.
  • Environmental chemicals that get into our body can disrupt our cell’s ability to function properly. These chemicals can be in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. If cells don’t function properly, chronic inflammation could occur. Chronic inflammation can cause havoc throughout our system including our mouth.

 

  1. Why hasn’t my dentist been able to give me the answers?

In dental school, dentists-to-be learn about the obvious causes of dental disease. They also learn traditional treatments to repair damaged teeth and gums. Unfortunately, they learn very little of the nutritional, environmental, and psychological causes of oral disease. Without this additional knowledge, they may not be able to answer some of your pressing questions.

 

  1. Can my advanced gum disease be treated without surgically cutting my gums?

Today, there are regenerative procedures that can assist the body to heal from advanced gum disease without using scalpels and without using stitches. In my office, I use the PerioLase® laser along with the LANAP® Protocol (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure). They do not require scalpels or stitches, and they have been shown to kill bacteria causing periodontitis and to stimulate new bone to grow around teeth. HERE. HERE. You can watch this animated video showing the LANAP procedure in action.

 

  1. Are my kids destined to suffer as I have?

Your kids need to be taught good oral hygiene. Also, nutritional and environmental factors need to be controlled to help your children be healthy. You are their example. You, as an adult, set the rules. If you eat healthy foods and promote a healthy lifestyle, then your kids will be positively influenced. You must become educated in what is healthy and what is not. Your children do not have to suffer dental decay or gum disease. Our primal ancestors over the course of 2.5 million years hardly every experienced dental decay or gum disease. Primal societies today rarely have dental disease or chronic disease. Huge factors for health include never eating processed foods and living an active lifestyle without environmental toxic chemicals.

 

  1. Can I spread gum disease to my partner like the germs of a cold?

The bacteria causing gum disease are not airborne like the viruses that cause colds. However, they may be transmitted between partners through intimate kissing. Based on a person’s immune system, these unhealthy bacteria from one partner may or may not affect the other partner.

 

These are a few of the most frequently asked questions I get. If you can think of others that you need answered, drop me an email. I will try to respond in a timely fashion.

 

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I’m A Periodontist:
What Makes Me Different?

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS          January 5, 2016

 

What makes me different? functional medicine

I am a periodontist (a dentist specializing in gum disease) and have been in practice for almost 42 years. I have been trained traditionally, and therefore I would be considered a conventional periodontist.

 

However, for the last 6 years I have abandoned the conventional surgical procedures of treating advanced gum disease and have embraced the LANAP® Protocol (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure). This laser treatment kills specific bacteria that cause periodontitis and assists the patient in growing new bone around diseased teeth. The procedure does not require scalpels or sutures, and the patient returns to his or her normal schedule the next day.

 

In addition, I also have been trained in functional medicine and awarded the designation of Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner. That means I not only treat the signs and symptoms of gum diseases. I also actively seek the core causes of these diseases to improve cellular function that could turn these diseases around. Many of these causes are related to our species’ specific nutritional and lifestyle requirements, which have evolved over the last 2.5 million years.

 

With my training in functional medicine, I view the mouth as interconnected to the whole body. I appreciate that anything affecting an individual cell will ultimately affect the entire body. I recognize that underlying issues can trigger numerous and diverse manifestations of disease. Science now is demonstrating the benefits of functional medicine. These include addressing basic causes of disease on a cellular level and finding the right tools at the right time for each individual to improve health and prevent future disease.

 

I see my patients as unique individuals who are experiencing common but advancing periodontal diseases. My goal is to explore each patient’s unique nutritional and lifestyle issues that may be compromising her or his oral health and overall health.

 

In this way, I am different than most periodontists. I combine periodontal treatment, functional medicine concepts, and ancestral nutrition and lifestyle requirements to treat my patients. I offer my patients a health-oriented, patient-centered, holistic approach to periodontal treatment.

 

While I am a gum specialist, my approach is more diverse than that of most others in my profession.

We Were Born to be Healthy:
Part 6 of 7

evolution rThis is installment 6. Part 1 is HERE; Part 2 is HERE, Part 3 is HERE, Part 4 is HERE, Part 5 is HERE.

 

Here is how I treat advanced gum disease in my office.

 

I first address the acute problem if there is one. Other dental procedures that need to be completed are treated. Then I perform specific gum treatment usually using the PerioLase laser with LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure).

 

Following active gum treatment, I establish a necessary maintenance program based on the needs of each patient.

 

But, I go a step further. I incorporate my knowledge of primal nutrition and my appreciation for gut health. I provide nutrition and immune support for my patients who are interested in improving their health for the rest of their lives.

 

Nutrient-Dense foods:

 

The science clearly shows that nutrient-dense foods are medicine. They allow every cell in our body to survive and thrive. The trick is knowing what these foods are and what they are not.

 

It is important to understand that any nutrient isolated alone in a synthetic supplement form does not produce the health effects, as would a whole food containing that nutrient. Real food contains so much more nutrient-synergism than we understand or comprehend. Our knowledge is not as advanced as we might think it is.

 

This is a typical meal of the Standard American Diet.

Burger for blog

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This is the obvious result of years of ingestion of the Standard American Diet.

Cellular damage was actually occurring and beginning to compound decades before clinical signs and symptoms were evident.

Overweight for blog

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Here is a summary of nutrient-dense foods:

Animal proteins should be pastured and wild caught – not grain fed or farmed. Organ meats are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet – liver, brain, heart, kidney (you may need to acquire a taste for these). Healthy fats are your friends, contrary to popular belief. Saturated fats from grass fed beef or pastured pork are healthy; coconut oil is healthy; avocados are healthy; butter from grass fed cattle is healthy. All non-starchy and deeply colored veggies are healthy. Seaweeds like kelp and wakame are healthy. All dark colored fruits like berries in moderation are healthy. Nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, and fermented foods are healthy. Homemade bone broth is extremely healthy for your gut. And don’t forget clean, filtered water.

 

A healthy plate of food

In order to get the combination of micronutrients and macronutrients your body requires and craves, you could think about eating in this way:
Food Plate for blog

For every meal or snack you eat, visualize it like a plate of food.

  • More than 1/2 of the plate should be non-starchy veggies with healthy fat like olive oil or melted butter from grass-fed cattle.
  • Up to 1/4 could be a protein like salmon or pastured chicken or grass fed beef with its own healthy fats.
  • And less than 1/4 could be a few nuts or a few blueberries or maybe a small sweet potato – again with some healthy fats if possible.

 

Here is what to avoid:

Grains, processed foods (including pasteurized milk products), sugars, industrial oils, and legumes (because of antinutrients and high carbohydrates) should be avoided. Animal products from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) should definitely be avoided. CAFOs are cluttered, unhealthy factories where antibiotics, hormones, chemicals, and other toxic substances often are administered to the livestock. Then these meats are processed for sale.

 

These are CAFOs

CAFO 1 for blogCAFO 2 for blog

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In the next and last installment, I will discuss some natural supplements I suggest to my patients, and then I will wrap up my thoughts with my overall lifestyle philosophy.

Your Gums and Your Health

evolution rI write frequently about nutrition, gum disease, and overall health. This is my passion since I know first hand that providing our cells with the nourishment and supportive lifestyle they need will allow our bodies to thrive. You could read my personal transformation here.
 
I want to share some thoughts about the connection between gums and health.
 
Do you have gum disease?
 
If your gums bleed sometimes, you most likely have a form of gum disease called gingivitis. This is an infection; it involves inflammation and bacteria. Often, this infection can travel under the gums and into the jawbone surrounding the roots of your teeth, which transforms into a more advanced stage called periodontitis.
 
Gum disease can give you bad breath, loose teeth, tenderness in the gum tissues, gum recession, and root sensitivity. It also can participate in spreading infection throughout your body. Unfortunately, as the disease progresses, your occasional bleeding gums might go away, causing you to believe that this disease is not a problem any longer. Don’t become misled. Often this infection has moved deeper under the gums and into the bone around your teeth, slowly destroying your jawbone. The bleeding has stopped, but the infection is worse. And, it may not cause pain until the teeth are ready to fall out.
 
But, be aware that bleeding or sore gums might be something other than gum disease. The mouth mirrors many of the internal functions and malfunctions of the entire body. Sometimes, both a dental as well as a medical evaluation are necessary to determine if you have gum disease or something totally different.
 
What can you do about gum disease?
 
You need to be cleaning your mouth properly. A well-trained dental hygienist can demonstrate what you need to do if you need some help. I find that most people will benefit by brushing with an electric toothbrush that efficiently cleans the bacterial film from around much of the tooth. It is also important for you to clean between the teeth with floss and a small brush that is designed to clean the in-between spaces as a bottle brush would clean the inside of a baby’s bottle. Brushing is all about removing the bacterial film (called dental plaque) from the surfaces of the teeth. When it comes to toothpaste, my recommendation is organic coconut oil and baking soda.
 
For most people, I recommend the following for effective tooth cleaning:

  • Have a small jar of coconut oil and baking soda in your bathroom. Coconut oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties; baking soda has very low abrasiveness and helps maintain a healthy pH level in your mouth. The coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but melts at 76 degrees F.
  • Dip your toothbrush bristles into some coconut oil, and then dip them into some baking soda. I like an electric toothbrush because it is more efficient than a regular manual toothbrush. I find that the electric toothbrushes that sit in a cradle that charge from an electrical outlet in the wall are much more effective than battery-operated brushes, which don’t seem to have much torque.
  • Next, place the toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle into the gum margin where the gums meet the teeth. The baking soda will make the toothpaste taste salty.
  • Turn the brush “on”, close your lips to keep the drool and splatter in your mouth and not all over the bathroom wall and mirror, and let the electric toothbrush do all the wiggling. Just move the brush from one side of your mouth to the other staying in the gum margins. Be sure to clean all the outside surfaces facing the cheeks and lips and then all the inside surfaces facing the roof of your mouth and your tongue.
  • You also want to clean the in-between surfaces of your teeth. Floss is good, but I also like a tiny brush that fits between the teeth. Think about how you would clean the inside of a baby bottle. These little interdental brushes are soft, and they gently remove the soft bacteria sticking to the tooth surfaces between the teeth as you slide the brush in and out between these teeth.

 
The bacteria, which are major factors causing this infection, also can harden around the teeth and under the gums. A dentist or a dental hygienist can gently remove these deposits called tartar that are like barnacles that form on a boat’s bottom as it sits in the water. Tartar irritates the gum tissues like a splinter in your finger would irritate the surrounding skin until it was removed.
 
To understand what is going on with your gums, you should make an appointment with a gum specialist (periodontist) like myself. A periodontist could help you learn how this infection might be spreading in your body and how it might be arrested and healed.
 
Gum health and overall health
 
Gum health is not only about brushing and flossing. While most dental offices will never address nutrition in depth, I believe nutrient-dense nourishment is a critical component for a healthy mouth and a healthy body. The refined carbohydrates (like breads, cereals, processed foods, sugars) that you consume can increase bad bacteria in your gut. Then, unhealthy bacteria from your gut can affect the bacteria in your mouth by way of your saliva. These unhealthy bacteria have a negative effect on overall health as well as mouth health. Infection-causing bacteria forming in your mouth feed off of the refined carbohydrates you consume to cause gum disease and tooth decay – a vicious cycle.
 
This cycle needs to be broken. The ways to a healthy mouth and a healthy body must start with individual cell health. And, the only way a cell can get healthy is with proper nutrients and the removal of any irritants. You need to remove the bad and replace it with the good. From a mouth perspective, it means removing the soft bacteria and the tartar from around the teeth. From a nutrition standpoint, it means eating nutrient-dense foods and removing the unhealthy carbohydrates. From an overall perspective, it also means obtaining restorative sleep, effective exercise, and stress reduction.
 
If you would like, you could schedule a phone consultation with me. You would fill out a Questionnaire and a 3-Day Food Journal (both are on my Website), then send them to me by FAX or online. If you would prefer, you could mail them to my Post Office Box listed at the bottom of this page. I will review them and call you by phone or Skype to discuss your issues. I am here to help if you feel the need.
 
I see patients in my office located in Bluffton, SC (843-593-8123). The way I treat advanced gum disease is by incorporating a laser procedure called LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) with Primal Nutrition and Lifestyle concepts. Positive lifestyle changes can make all the difference as they assist cells around the teeth as well as cells throughout the entire body in healing.