by Dr Mark A. Breiner DDS (2011)
In the small but horrifying Alt-Oral publishing sub-genre of ‘what’s wrong with dentistry’, ‘Whole Body Dentistry®’ is the best, in my opinion. Unlike most similar books, ‘Whole Body Dentistry®’ is a solid, well written, well-edited and authoritative text that rationally conveys the risks associated with many mainstream dental practices.
The author, Dr Mark A. Breiner DDS, started practicing in the early 1970s as a conventional army dentist. In 1978, out in private practice, he began to question the safety of mercury in fillings while also learning about the positive impact that bite adjustments could have on whole body health. Over the following decades, he pioneered the ‘Whole Body Dentistry®’ approach to resolve ‘baffling, unresolved health problems’ which don’t necessarily have an obvious link to dentistry.
In the 11 years since this book was published Dr Breiner has become well-known in alternative health media where he argues against amalgam fillings, fluoride treatments and root canals while advocating for biological and holistic dentistry.
Introducing biological dentistry
‘Whole Body Dentistry®’ was one of the earliest books I read when I started looking for a way out of my chronic dental problems and endless dental treatments. By then I already knew a fair bit about the risks of amalgams, root canals and fluoride but I devoured Breiner avidly and anxiously, learning enough about implants, cavitations, jaw bone loss, inflammation etc to keep me awake at night.
Unfortunately most of the solutions Breiner offers to the dangers he describes involve more dental interventions. Yes, biological dentistry as he practices and advocates is a less harmful, less invasive approach. But it’s simply not available to most people. There are very few dentists anywhere in the world who practice anything like Whole Body Dentistry®, and those who do almost always have long waiting lists and astronomical fees.
Should you read it?
Nonetheless, Metaphysical Anatomy has occasionally been helpful for me over the years since then. When I've encountered a client with a condition I'm not familiar with, MA is one of several books I might turn to help me build a healing story with them (although I would never wholly rely on it). As a result, it has helped to influence the 'Symptoms as Messengers' chapter of The Secret Lives of Teeth.
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- Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
- Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits
- Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
- Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
- Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
- Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume
Should you read it?
Even though ‘Whole Body Dentistry®’ is written accessibly for the lay reader, I would most enthusiastically recommend this book for dental professionals and dental students. All dentists need to know how their treatments can affect their patients’ whole-body health and more of them need to question what they are being taught in dental schools and dental conferences.
For the rest of us, is it worth reading? If you are someone with an extensive history of dental interventions (root canals, extractions or implants) and serious, systemic health problems that seem to have no explanation, then yes. It may help you unravel the mystery of your symptoms and find remedies that finally work.
Maybe also a yes, if you are considering an extensive treatment plan and want to be a more educated self-advocate with your dentist. It’s one way to learn the language and concepts for communicating with your dentist on their own territory.
However, from my perspective as a holistic oral health coach ‘Whole Body Dentistry®’ can be a disempowering read for people who are already living with a mouthful of dental work. I’m concerned that reading it without discernment could generate unnecessary anxiety because it doesn’t adequately explain that not every root canal turns toxic and not every extraction generates a jaw bone cavitation. And by presenting his very techno-focused and literally trademarked solution, Dr Breiner offers little hope for low-income readers in particular.
Is Whole Body Dentistry worth reading?
As a book, ‘Whole Body Dentistry®’ does what it sets out to do, which is to introduce biological and holistic dentistry to those unfamiliar with it, and explain why such alternatives are needed. ‘Whole Body Dentistry®’ does this job better than most similar books but it’s still too easy to come away with the impression that your mouth is a ticking time bomb and the only way to defuse it is out of your reach.
Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!
I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!
Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system
These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.
Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.
You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.