Is it safe to go to the dentist yet?

Is it safe to go to the dentist yet?

Is dental treatment safe during the pandemic?

Covid-19 prompted national and regional dental associations to advise dentists to close their practices and/or postpone elective and non-emergency treatment during lockdown periods.

This advice has not been followed consistently, because the dental profession in most countries is dominated by private practices with little regulation. Some dentists have chosen to stay open and offer standard services even in hot spots of high community transmission.

Through the first half of 2020 there’s been a wide range of responses from most dentists closing up shop completely to some dentists urging their patients to continue with non-essential treatments as usual. As restrictions ease in many regions with continued community transmission, there’s ongoing conflicts within the profession about how to practice safely.

These inconsistencies have contributed to public uncertainty about how to manage our oral health during the pandemic, and what to expect from dentistry in the long-term. 

The pressures of Covid-19 on the current dental model has been (sometimes literally) painful for individual patients and dental professionals. However, it’s possible that the pandemic could be a catalyst for transformation.

I hope that we emerge from the pandemic with a more holistic, humane, equitable and prevention-focused version of dentistry.

In this article I’ll explore some immediate and long term questions from a patient’s perspective:

  • the risks of attending the dentist during the pandemic
  • keeping your mouth safe when the dentist isn’t safe
  • what does the future hold for dentistry
 
When will the dentist be safe?

Risks at the Dentist 

Dentists are an intrinsically high risk environment for Covid-19 exposure, in addition to all the usual risks of public spaces where there is community transmission of Covid-19 (such as sharing an enclosed space and close physical contact). 

 The crucial problem is that there are many common dental procedures, including hygienist’s cleanings and drilling cavities, that create an aerosol spray of saliva particles into the air (Aerosol Generating Procedures – AGPs).  There are also procedures (including x-rays) in the dental chair that cause patients to cough, which release a spray of saliva droplets

If a patient has Covid-19, their saliva contains microscopic virus particles. Droplets of their saliva from coughing can travel up to 2 metres (6 feet) before falling almost immediately to the surface below. Aerosol saliva particles generated by AGPs may travel much further (up to 8 metres or 27 feet) and may linger in the air for 2-3 hours before settling on surfaces below [link].

The greatest, and most immediate risk from a patient with Covid-19 are dental workers, especially hygienists whose main task of cleaning generates aerosol saliva spray. However, anyone who enters the dental office within 2-3 hours could be potentially at risk of inhaling virus-contaminated droplets inhaled in the air.  Further exposure could come from exposure to surfaces that were cleaned immediately after the treatment but continued to collect virus contamination from suspended saliva spray for up to three hours.   

Dental safety standards

Dental practices already had very high standards for sterilization and PPE, however Covid-19 and it’s airborne risks requires even greater vigilance.

When you book your next dental appointment, ask what extra measures they are taking to address the serious, life-threatening risks of Covid-19. Are their social distancing, screening, cleaning,  PPE and AGP reduction practices good enough?

Social distancing

It’s become fairly standard for dental practices to ask patients to wait in their cars, wear masks and use hand sanitiser. Empty waiting rooms and contactless payments help to reduce the risk of virus spreading. 

Screening

Most dental practices are attempting to screen out patients (and staff) with Covid-19 with questions and temperature tests. These measures are both unreliable, but may catch someone who is symptomatic, has tested positive, or who knows they have been exposed to the contagin. However, the real risk of transmission lies with asympotomatic or presympotomatic patients.

Asymptomatic individuals (who have Covid but never develop symptoms) and presymtomatic individuals (who have contracted the disease up to 14 days ago but not yet developed symptoms) are both highly contagious to anyone who is exposed to their saliva droplets.

A few dental practices are require everyone to take a Covid-19 test immediately before their appointment. However Covid-19 tests are of limited use because results are not available instantly and are not 100% reliable.

Cleaning

Dental practices should allow a sufficient break between an AGP and entering the room to clean it (a ‘fallow period’), to allow droplets to fall to surfaces so they can be cleaned. The recommended fallow period is one hour, however arguably may take 2-3 hours for aerosol particles to fall out of the air.  [link]

This fallow period is reduced for negative pressure rooms with powerful extractor fans, vacuum units or filtration units. These types of air cleaning systems are necessesary for the safe removal of amalgam fillings, so biological and holistic dentists are more likely to already have them in place. 

PPE

Dental workers have been using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and surgical masks since the AIDS epidemicIn the early weeks of the pandemic, many dental practices donated their stocks of PPE to frontline staff working with Covid-19 patients due to global shortages. 

The Covid-19 epidemic brings a new safety standard that layers a face shield over an N95type respirator masks covered by a disposable mask, ie three layers of face protection. Washable or disposable caps and knee length gowns complete the dental PPE needed for safer (but not completely safe) work with AGPs [link].

Ideally, dental workers should change their PPE gear between every new patient they treat, especially after AGPs. 

However, due to the cost and sometimes ongoing difficulties of aquiring PPE, not every practice is supplying adequate PPE to meet recommended safety standards.

Dental workers in large practices such as dental schools and hospitals have voiced their complaints about inadequate PPE publically. It seems likely that it is even more a problem in small, private practices where staff feel unable to speak out. 

Reducing aerosols (AGPs)

Some dental practices are working with alternative techniques and tools that reduce the saliva spray from aerosol generating procedures (AGPs).

Hygienists can clean teeth manually instead of with an ultra-sonic scaler, but hand cleaning is much slower, and more uncomfortable for both patients and hygienists [link].

Low speed drills produce less aerosol than high speed drill but take longer and are more uncomfortable for most patients.  Using dental dams, high tech suction devices or intra-oral negative vacuum can all reduce the spread of saliva [link].

Immunity and your gums

In addition to these risks in the dental office, there is another risk which you may want to consider when deciding whether its safe to go back to your dentist yet. 

Any procedure that cuts into the gum might lower your body’s immunity. This includes standard hygienist cleanings, periodontal deep cleanings and tooth extractions. If you go ahead with one of these procedures, take extra precautions to build up immune resistance and avoid exposure to Covid-19.

If you are in severe or ongoing pain, or have swelling in your mouth, you should seek emergency treatment even where there is a risk of Covid-19 transmission. 

When will the dental hygienist be safe?

At home oral health

If you weigh up your personal risks vs benefits and decide that going to the dentist isn’t worth it for you right now, there is actually quite a lot you can do at home to prevent teeth and gum problems from developing or getting worse.

Nutrition

Nourish your teeth and gums with the best quality fresh vegetables and protein you can access. 

Good oral health comes with a nutrient dense diet that is rich in minerals and fat-soluble Vitamins A, D and K2 consumed as fresh, local, inseason, minimally processed food rather than in capsules or powders. 

You probably know that sugar is not good for teeth. If you are craving sweets, try to avoid sticky, chewy candies and soda drinks of any kind.

Even kombucha may be harmful for teeth because the phosphorus in the bubbles can draw out calcium from your enamel making them vulnerable to harmful bacteria.

Avoid popcorn as well, because it can break weak teeth, knock out fillings and cut your gums.  

Hygiene

The mouth plays an important role in the body’s immune system. Poor oral hygiene can increase your risk of Covid-19 infection [link].

Brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day, and rinse your mouth out after eating to help maintain a clean healthy oral cavity. 

Brush and floss gently to avoid damaging your gums. Bleeding gums can potentially compromise your immunity.

Rather than brushing straight after you eat, when your enamel is soft and vulnerable, try rinsing with a salt water solution after every meal or snack. 

These simple habits can help prevent or stabilize decay or gingivitis until it’s safe to visit the dentist.

For more oral health habits for prevention and healing, watch Holistic Oral Health at Home, my free online workshop. 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • 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

What can we anticipate for dental services going forward?

 Like pretty much everything else right now, it’s difficult to predict what the future holds for dentistry.

My speculations below are based on current information from the industry, which assumes a 1-2 year minimum before returning to ‘normal,’ along with my own analysis of opportunities for long overdue changes to the way we think about oral health.

Regular services limited

Almost everywhere that’s been locked down, dentists were closed to all but emergency treatments.

In regions where a second wave of Covid-19 is emerging regular dental services may be restricted even further.

Dental hygienist cleanings are likely to be the last services to return to normal because of the greater risk involved.

However, because dentistry is privatised and minimally regulated in most regions, decisions about who returns to work and when are left up to individual practice owners, who may prioritise financial concerns over the safety of their staff, their patients or even themselves.

This is leading to high levels of stress and anxiety among dental professionals [link].

Reduced demand

Switzerland was one of the first European countries to ease restrictions. Swiss dentists experienced a rush of patients seeking urgent dental treatment after six weeks in lockdown. The backlog of emergency and urgent dental treatment had severe consequences for some people, who have lost teeth that might have been saved under normal circumstances.

Wherever dental services are available, people will go for emergency and urgent treatment. However, it’s likely that widespread economic hardship and unemployment will lead many to postpone elective and non-urgent dental treatments for at least the next couple of years.

More people may start seeking out alternatives for the first time, searching for self-help approaches to manage non-urgent issues and to prevent urgent issues from becoming emergencies.

We can expect to see increasing demand for home remedies and oral health coaches, so it’s important that effective products and services become available for every market, and in every language.

Fewer dental practices

Many dental practices are in such a financially precarious position that they may not be able to reopen after lockdown restrictions are lifted [link] [link].

This is likely to lead to increasingly widespread dental apartheid aka dental deserts ie areas where few, if any, dentists practice, such as in rural and tribal areas of the United States.

Without access to conventional dental services, it’s a matter of social justice to make effective preventative care and home remedies widely available in unconventional ways.

Online coaching, mobile and pop up clinics, community and peer educators are some of the possibilities worth exploring.

Rising Cost

We can expect to see increased charges for professional dental services; primarily to cover the costs of extra PPE, and in some practices Covid-19 diagnostic testing and updated sterilisation equipment.

Rising prices will widen the gap between those who can afford regular dental care and an increasing proportion of people who will go into hardship or debt for urgent or emergency treatment.

Now is the time for communities to invest in preventative systems of food and housing security and grassroots health care to help prevent oral health problems becoming emergencies as well as bolstering our immune systems and increasing resilience to many other illnesses.

Tele-dentistry

Dentists are already experimenting with video and phone consultation services, and some may continue to offer tele-dentistry into the future [link].  

Because dental hygienists are being forced to adapt to so many challenges, I am offering a short course to help dental hygienists get started offering oral health coaching online. 

Dental hygienists already have preventative knowledge and skills that they haven’t always gotten to a chance to share with patients in their chair, due to time pressure.

Now is a wonderful opportunity for hygienists to either add online coaching to their in person services or pivot to be able to work from home in the future. 

I also want to see more online health practitioners integrate effective oral health support into their practices (and I’ll be looking at adding a course for natural health practitioners eventually).

Get Started as an Online Oral Health Coach

A professional development course for dental hygienists who want to work from the safety and comfort of home. 

Can you help meet worldwide demand for safe home based oral health coaching?

 

There are genuine opportunities for radical transformation!

Almost every type of industry and organisation is going through a crucible of change this year.

There are intense pressures causing great harm at the same time as creating opportunities for radical change in every aspect of our lives.

It will be fascinating to see how it all unfolds and what the future of dentistry and oral health becomes.

In the meantime, please take good care of your teeth and gums at home with the tools you have available to you. 

When will the dentist be safe?

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.

Get Started as an Online Oral Health Coach

A professional development course for dental hygienists who want to work from the safety and comfort of home. 

Can you help meet worldwide demand for safe home based oral health coaching?

 

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How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralise cavities?

 

 How long it takes to remineralise cavities, reverse decay or regrow receding gums depends on three factors.

  1. Your symptoms, how severe they are and how long you’ve had them for
  2. How wholeheartedly you are able to engage with holistic healing strategies
  3. How much time you feel is available

 

The most thrilling part of my work as a natural oral health coach is hearing back from people who have successfully saved a tooth from a root canal or extraction by following the Holistic Tooth Fairy Way. 

 Unfortunately I can’t wave a magic wand to fix your dental problems overnight. Unlike visiting a dentist who spends no more than an hour or two to drill, fill and bill, working with natural healing strategies requires an ongoing commitment to self care. 

 Most of my coaching clients see significant improvement to their teeth within the first three months and their gums within six months. A few determined and lucky people have healed dramatically within days or weeks of starting the Holistic Tooth Fairy Way.

But there are no guarantees with this approach. Some people find that their symptoms remain stubbornly resistant to holistic healing. 

It’s not always possible to save a tooth so sometimes my work involves supporting people through their root canal or extraction.  

I help them come to clarity and peace with their decision. We tailor a personalised protocol to help prepare physically, emotionally and practically for the procedure they’ve chosen.  On the day of, and days after, the procedure I check in to offer whatever support is needed to help manage their physical recovery and common feelings of anxiety and grief etc. 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • 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
Spiritual Meanings Behind Gum Disease

When is it too late to remineralise a cavity

One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked on the free 15 minute assessment call is whether they’ve left it too late to heal their tooth or gums holistically.

 The interesting thing about this question is that it most often comes from someone whose symptoms are comparatively mild, but because it’s an isolated incident and the worst thing they’ve experienced, they feel scared and hopeless.  

I was thinking about how to make a flow chart for deciding whether or not it’s too late to save a tooth. But even the most complicated tangle of factors would still be too simplistic to decide whether it’s worth trying to save your tooth.

Often it’s a matter of timing that makes the difference between being able to heal your teeth or gums holistically, or not. The severity of your symptoms and how long you’ve had them may be the deciding factor for  e.g. a three year old abscess is going to take longer to heal than a three week old infection.

When the problem has been going on for too long, there may be no time left to allow for the incremental improvements of holistic healing. 

If you let an intermittent niggle develop into an intolerable toothache, ongoing pain undermines your ability to stick to a healing protocol for long enough to take effect. 

The main consideration for deciding whether or not it’s too late, is not usually the seriousness of the problem, but your willingness to wholeheartedly commit to consistently practicing a Very Intensive Protocol.

Ultimately it’s rarely the symptoms that hold the answer to whether it’s too late to save your tooth or gum from a dental procedure, but how wholeheartedly you are able to engage with all four realms of the Holistic Tooth Fairy Way and practice nutrition, jaw relaxation, hygiene and metaphysical strategies consistently and persistently for as long as it takes to heal

Your ability to heal faster than the problems can progress may depend on whether you utilize ‘short cuts’ such as eating animal products or take a ‘fast track’ 1:1 intensive with a natural oral health coach 

That’s why we need to have a conversation so I can get a sense of who you are, not just what is happening in your mouth.

We need to consider not only your symptoms, oral health aspirations and dental diagnosis, but also your lifestyle, your priorities and your personality.

One thing I can can say for sure, is that the sooner you start applying your own personal Very Intensive Protocol the more flexibility and fun you can have in the healing process.

Finding time to remineralize cavities

Another aspect of time seems to make a significant impact on whether your tooth can be saved. It’s an intangible quality of spaciousness. Saving a tooth seems to require an attitude that there is enough time. Paradoxically, the more time you feel like you have, the faster a tooth seems to heal. 

Note I’m not talking about the amount of obligations you are juggling. Your days may be packed full with work, kids, side gigs and more, yet you can hold it lightly with a flexible, expansive way of thinking about your personal experience of time. 

I see this kind of spacious attitude to time working it’s teeth healing magic most effectively when you 

  • relax about what you ‘should’ be doing, 
  • let go of perfectionism and 
  • allow your intuition and body wisdom to guide your decisions from day to day. 

 I suppose a few souls grow up with this kind of graceful self-trust around time (I don’t know many). Most adults only learn about it later, if at all, usually as the result of a crisis that rearranges your priorities. 

For some people that crisis is embodied in our teeth.

Therefore, practicing the Holistic Tooth Fairy Way may involve embracing a new sense of time. 

Instead of toothbrushing in a mindlessly rush on your way to work or bed, you could find it becomes a moving meditation on self love and forgiveness. 

Instead of grabbing at snacks to graze on the go, you could find yourself sitting down to a home cooked meal and savoring it with grace.

How long to keep practicing?

One final FAQ about time is to do with how long to keep going with a teeth or gum healing protocol. 

Once your cavity has started to remineralize, the root canal has been averted or your gums begun to regrow…how long will you need to follow the Holistic Tooth Fairy Way?  

The answer depends on whether your oral health problems are isolated and straightforward or chronic and multifaceted.

Are your current symptoms unusual for you? Are you generally in good health overall?  Then you may find that after this particular problem is resolved you can return to your old habits with no further problems.

Or are you more like me and your teeth are your health weakness? Is your mouth the part of your body that will always be ready to communicate when something in your life is out of alignment with your highest good?

Then you may need to follow a modified version of your healing protocol for life.

 I’ve been practicing what I preach for 7 years and yet I still get symptoms flaring up in my mouth when I’m stressed. For as long as I want to keep my teeth, I’ll be following the Holistic Tooth Fairy Way… for the rest of my life.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • 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

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.

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How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralise cavities?    How long it takes to remineralise cavities, reverse decay or regrow receding gums depends on three factors. Your symptoms, how severe they are and how long you've had them for How wholeheartedly you are able to...

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How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

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Spiritual Meanings of Teeth

Spiritual Meanings of Teeth

Root cause vs immediate cause

 The biggest difference between holistic oral health coaching and mainstream dentistry may be coaching’s consideration of the spiritual meanings of teeth

The spiritual meanings of teeth can help you to identify the root cause of your symptoms. Understanding the root cause is key to effective, sustainable holistic healing. 

The immediate cause that takes you to the dentist might be decay, a cavity, a trauma, an infection or abscess, or a mysterious toothache. On observing any of these symptoms, dentist will probably respond with a surgical intervention. The cavity is filled, the root is canaled or the tooth extracted. 

However, this purely physical response leaves unresolved energetic influences.

Dental interventions don’t address the root cause, so it can often cause problems later.

Such problems can :

  • reappear in the same spot (eg failed root canals or implants, cavitation, ongoing decay),
  • refer to another part of the mouth (eg another tooth or gum on the same meridian), or
  • stir up trouble elsewhere in the body (often on the same meridian).

That’s why, with holistic coaching, we focus on understanding the root cause(s) of the symptoms, both physical and spiritual or metaphysical.

Teeth troubles are usually telling a complex story about interconnected influences including physical causes (eg certain nutrients lacking in your diet) and metaphysical causes (eg suppressed emotions from a childhood trauma).

Symptoms such as cavities are trying to alert you to something that needs to change in your life.

As we identify what your tooth really needs, we respond with appropriate strategies that meet those needs- that’s your personalised healing protocol.

We look to the root causes to decide which holistic strategies go into your protocol (eg herbs, exercises, spiritual healing etc).

Whereas the immediate cause or symptom tells us how intensely and for how long you need to apply the protocol.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • 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
Spiritual Meanings Behind Gum Disease

Why look for spiritual meanings of teeth

Our teeth and gums need us to address both their metaphysical and the physical needs. 

Teeth are not only the gateway to our digestive system, they can also be a gateway to deeply transformative inner work and spiritual development. 

Our teeth act like stoic storehouses, holding onto suppressed or distorted emotional energy.  

My theory is that because teeth are some of the most dense matter in our physical bodies, they have an almost gravitational pull on emotional energy when it is suppressed instead of released.

Suppressing emotions is a survival tactic, so it makes sense that our body will compress those emotions somewhere secure, while we get on with doing what we have to to survive. 

When suppressed thoroughly enough, the energetic burden can accumulate for years. Sooner or later that stored emotional energy becomes embodied in the cells of our teeth even influencing the DNA to be passed down through families if we don’t release it first.

The energetic burden means the teeth are more vulnerable to physical pressures such as undernourishment, environmental toxins or simply wear and tear. That’s when teeth start clamoring for attention with symptoms. 

Not everyone’s teeth hold energy in this way. Some people store spiritual and emotional energy elsewhere in their bodies.

But for those of us plagued by chronic teeth troubles, it’s only when we address the metaphysical influences, that our teeth can finally heal.

Making sense of the spiritual meanings of teeth

Everyone’s mouth has a unique story that contains the solution to healing your symptoms. You just need to translate what your teeth are telling you, and then respond appropriately.

More and more people are turning to established metaphysical theories for understanding the spiritual meanings of teeth.

You may be familiar with writers such as Louise Hay or Evette Rose who offer spiritual meanings for different symptoms. However, the most well-known and long-standing theory of spiritual meanings for teeth comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Meridian system.

You may be familiar with a version of the Teeth Meridians chart on the left that show the association between each tooth and the organs it’s linked to via the Meridians.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine each tooth is associated with an organ that is in turn associated with certain emotions, and so those feelings can influence, or be influenced by your teeth.

The Psycho-social Teeth chart on the right is a contemporary and complementary framework based on the work of Dr Michele Caffin.   This chart shows the links between each tooth and certain relationship dynamics or psychological themes.

All these systems can be used as basic vocabulary to help you start to make sense of why that particular tooth, or area of gum, is causing problems. 

But, if you have ever landed somewhere you don’t speak the language, you know the limits of just having some vocabulary when you need a nuanced conversation. 

You might be able to buy a ticket or find the bathroom, but you can’t really talk about anything abstract without good grammar, pronunciation and the kind of speed that comes with familiarity. 

Helpful as they are, Meridian and Psychosocial frameworks will only take you so far in understanding the underlying influences on your oral health.

To have an in depth, meaningful and ultimately useful conversation with your teeth and gums, you need more than just the charts. 

To learn a more nuanced way to work with the spiritual meaning of their teeth, sign up to watch Listen to your teeth: Understanding your mouth’s metaphysical messages, a free 30 minute masterclass available now.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • 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

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.

Spiritual Reasons for Gum Disease

Understanding the spiritual meaning of gum disease The spiritual meanings of gum disease symptoms are often overlooked, yet working with these messages often holds the key to effective healing.  Gingivitis, periodontal or gum disease often begins with gum recession or...

A simple guide to online coaching

Any timezone, any place A consultation with the Holistic Tooth Fairy is nothing like going to the dentist! It's easy, empowering and even fun! All my consultations are done in online video calls which means that you can work with me no matter what country or what time...

Seeking within for toothache meaning

Asking your intuition about your toothache meaning can put you in touch with the subconscious feelings and thoughts that influence your oral health. The metaphysics of the mouth can also include meridians, chakras, dreams, ancestral influences, family and cultural...

How to get rid of cavities naturally, for FREE

I believe in empowering you to be your own teeth healer, no matter how much cash you've got left after visiting the dentist. I'm not holding back some powerful secret behind the paywall of my coaching services. It is completely feasible that you can learn how to heal...

How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

Spiritual Meanings of Teeth

Root cause vs immediate cause  The biggest difference between holistic oral health coaching and mainstream dentistry may be coaching’s consideration of the spiritual meanings of teeth.  The spiritual meanings of teeth can help you to identify the root cause of your...

Horse teeth vs human teeth

This is a guest post written by my good friend Trisha Wren from Equine Energetics. If you don’t have a horse, or haven’t spent much time around them, you may not have given much thought to their teeth and how they differ from human teeth. There’s the obvious of course...

How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralise cavities?    How long it takes to remineralise cavities, reverse decay or regrow receding gums depends on three factors. Your symptoms, how severe they are and how long you've had them for How wholeheartedly you are able to...

Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

Metaphysics is the study of abstract ideas, concepts and systems.  There is more to teeth and gums than their existence as physical objects within our bodies. Economics, aesthetics, psychology, spirituality, meridians, family stories and cultural myths are just a few...

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably...

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns

I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably traumatic, but their current status in my body is relatively benign.

Avoiding what would have been my 7th root canal by changing my diet seemed like a miracle that opened my eyes to the wonderful and wacky world of alternative oral health (or alt-oral as I like to call it).

In the seven years since healing that root naturally, I have become very familiar with the experts and arguments presented in the recently released Netflix documentary Root Cause.

Books by several Root Cause featured experts are on my shelves, but I don’t agree with everything they say. Particularly when their tone veers into fear-mongering, exaggerated extremes and conspiracy theories. Theories which aren’t part of the documentary, but are easy to find in most alt-oral discussions of root canals.

On one hand, it’s exciting to see the root canal debate enter mainstream awareness. Root canals are problematic and the dental profession’s excessive use of the procedure needs to be challenged, particularly when cavities or abscesses are not present.

The flip side to this is the manipulative way that director, Frazier Bailey, presents a mixture of facts, opinion and distortions lacks nuance. These very qualities are what make Root Cause so slick and watchable actually undermine the credibility of its central argument, that root canals can cause harm. And don’t even get me started on the film’s objectification of women – I’ll save that discussion until the end of this review.

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Watch ‘Root Cause’ until the end

The best part of Root Cause is the second half, where some of the more sensible and balanced information and practical advice is presented. Although the ‘sexy dental hygienist’ trope was quite unnecessary.

My highlight was Dawn Ewing and Mark Briener‘s explanations of how every tooth sits on two or more meridians, which is the main mechanism for the whole body health impacts of root canals. This is incredibly useful information to apply to any oral health problem, not just root canals. I was thrilled to see it explained clearly in a mainstream context.

Almost as an aside towards the end, the Netflix documentary mentioned that everyone processes root canals differently. Some people are much more susceptible than others to being affected by toxic root canals.

Let me repeat that, because it wasn’t emphasized enough in Root Cause: not everyone gets sick from root canals.

The dangers of root canals which are explored in such great depth were eventually put into the context of the toxic overload that everyone of us is subjected to. Sustained, cumulative and insidious exposure to environmental toxins, toxic emotions, EMF (electro-magnetic frequencies including wifi), pathogens and of course junk food, overload the body which is already burdened with a root canal.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • 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

Recoiling in fear

By half way through the Root Cause documentary, my cortisol was so elevated by the graphic, gruesome root canal footage paired with a barrage of cancer statistics. So much so that it was hard to actually hear those quiet voices of reason at the end.

Root Cause uses horror genre film-making techniques (e.g. structure, filters and music) to manipulate our emotions.The sunshine and humour of the first act, contrasted with the dark intensity of main act, are all very effectively scary and disempowering.

Unfortunately fear and powerlessness, along with anger and grief, are toxic emotions which may actually exacerbate the impact of root canals on our health.

Many Netflix viewers are urgently seeking ways to remove their root canals safely because it’s almost impossible to watch and not feel scared. Unless you reject everything Root Cause says.

There’s plenty of dental professionals (a majority) who are using Root Cause’s dodgy statistics and misquotes to dismiss the whole argument about root canal risks. Mainstream dentists are publishing mocking reviews and associations of dental professionals worldwide are lobbying Netflix to take it down on the basis of poor science. Update: it appears that Netflix has now taken down Root Cause*, though it’s still available on Amazon.

And that’s the real problem, because important information is half-hidden in amongst the dramatic license of Root Cause. Root canals are to frequently recommended with little regard to the risks they may carry for some people.

Balance and tolerance

The Root Cause documentary didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know from seven years of research into root canals. I was already familiar with many of the experts that were selectively quoted. Having read widely and in-depth enabled me to put the documentary’s messages in context that many viewers lacking background knowledge would miss.

Root canals can contribute to serious health problems for some people. Most root canals contain bacteria, and along with cavitations, may be a contributing factor with some cases of chronic degenerative and/or autoimmune conditions.

However, everybody is different. We all have a different ability to tolerate a root canal. 

Most people will not develop heart disease, cancer or chronic fatigue from their root canal. But for some people, removing the root canal may help you to recover your health.

Many people are able to tolerate a root canal without health problems for many years. Comparing a root canaled tooth to a toe with gangrene that must be amputated is inaccurate and unhelpful.

Not every case of breast cancer can be blamed on a root canal. The commonly quoted statistic that 90-something percent of breast cancer patients have a root canal on the same side cannot be traced to any published research. Even where a cancer patient does have an infected root canal, it not necessarily the cause.

Review of Netflix Documentary Root Cause

A broader holistic context

I’m a holistic oral health coach. When clients come to me with concerns about their root canal we also take into consideration the non-physical and energetic impacts of getting, removing or keeping it.

In addition to oral and whole body health impacts, we may explore:

  • family history
  • emotional issues
  • dental trauma,
  • social/professional consequences of extracting a tooth
  • the cost and accessibility of the procedure.

Root Cause follows the story of the director, Frazier Bailey. A white Australian man with the privilege of trying dozens of alternative therapies in his search for a cure to his mysterious malaise (the film includes a montage which seems to cover every new age modality- in mocking rhyme).

Once convinced that his root canal is behind his symptoms there seems to be no practical obstacles to getting it removed. Bailey never mentions the cost, or any difficulty in finding a co-operative dentist.

A safe removal and replacement of a single root canal can cost $10,000 and it’s common to need multiple appointments over 3-6 months. The removal process can also include:

  • the preliminary scan
  • tooth extraction
  • ozone cleaning of the jaw
  • rebuilding the jaw bone (if needed), and
  • installing an implant 3-6 months later.

That’s if you can find a dentist who will do it!

Not many dentists are willing to do this kind of procedure without evidence the the root canal has failed, so it’s not unusual to have to travel, sometimes internationally, if you are determined to have your root canal tooth extracted.

Removing a root canal safely is not an easily accessible option for many people, and this documentary has left them feeling scared for the root canals they have little choice but to keep.

There are holistic strategies, including herbs, homeopathics and energy healing that can help to mitigate the physical and metaphyscial impacts of root canals, so that the body can tolerate them well.

In conclusion

Admittedly, Root Cause set my teeth on edge from the very beginning with its sexist montage of women in bikinis. I tried to put aside my objections to the objectification of women’s bodies that cropped up all too often throughout the film… because what does the gratuitous male gaze have to do with root canals?  

I squirmed to see another condescending montage, as the main character rhymed his way through alternative therapies with no regard to the cultural context from which many of modalities have been extracted… because all those therapies weren’t the point of the documentary either.

Nonetheless, I kept watching, despite my discomfort with Root Canal‘s tone, because I want to know why so many people have suddenly started requesting my Root Canal Decision Checklist. This checklist is a free resource available on my website that didn’t get much attention until Root Cause was released on Netflix.

But in fact, the casual sexism and cultural insensitivity of Root Cause are completely aligned with its fear-mongering central message presented through a lens of privilege.

Mainstream dentist’s patronising and negative Root Cause reviews find plenty of material in the film that is deserving of valid criticism. So by itself the documentary is unlikely to sway any dental professionals currently committed to root canals.

The only way that the dental industry is ever going to look critically at the consequences of root canals is if a sufficient mass of their customers expect their concerns to be taken seriously.

Thanks to Netflix, mainstream dental practices are experiencing an increased number of patients refusing root canals, requesting removals and ultimately seeking more sympathetic providers.

Root Cause, for all it’s many flaws, is provoking a new wave of consumer demand that dentistry continues to dismiss at its own peril.

___________________________________

*Update: On the day I published this post, Root Cause was suddenly removed from Netflix. It was unexpected; Root Cause was not included in Vulture’s list of 42 movies planned to be removed from Netflix in February 2019. As yet, there is no explanation for this removal. Why did Netflix take down Root Cause? Was it responding to pressure from dental associations?

 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • 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

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.

Political Teeth

What do Nazis have to do with your teeth? A holistic approach to oral health doesn't stop at the boundaries of our bodies (or even at the edge of our aura).  We exist in communities that are connected globally in real time and our mouths are not separate from what is...

Seeking within for toothache meaning

Asking your intuition about your toothache meaning can put you in touch with the subconscious feelings and thoughts that influence your oral health. The metaphysics of the mouth can also include meridians, chakras, dreams, ancestral influences, family and cultural...

How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

Spiritual Meanings of Teeth

Root cause vs immediate cause  The biggest difference between holistic oral health coaching and mainstream dentistry may be coaching’s consideration of the spiritual meanings of teeth.  The spiritual meanings of teeth can help you to identify the root cause of your...

How to get rid of cavities naturally, for FREE

I believe in empowering you to be your own teeth healer, no matter how much cash you've got left after visiting the dentist. I'm not holding back some powerful secret behind the paywall of my coaching services. It is completely feasible that you can learn how to heal...

Horse teeth vs human teeth

This is a guest post written by my good friend Trisha Wren from Equine Energetics. If you don’t have a horse, or haven’t spent much time around them, you may not have given much thought to their teeth and how they differ from human teeth. There’s the obvious of course...

Is your jaw clenched right now?

If you had to stop to evaluate whether or not it was clenched, noticed that it was, and then had to manually un-clench it – this article is for you!We are in an unprecedented moment.  Not only are we adapting to a complete change in daily life, but we are in a time...

My 5 Best Websites for Natural Oral Health

As soon as you start searching for information about oral health on the internet you can quickly become overwhelmed by thousands of choices, most of them fronting small dental practices or large toothpaste manufacturers. Almost all offer the same tired mainstream...

How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralise cavities?    How long it takes to remineralise cavities, reverse decay or regrow receding gums depends on three factors. Your symptoms, how severe they are and how long you've had them for How wholeheartedly you are able to...

Channeled Teeth Healing Codes

Symptoms are messages from your soul The problems in your teeth and gums are more than symptoms of physical imbalance or depletion, they contain information about the health of your energetic body including emotions, conscious and sub-unconscious thoughts, beliefs,...

Is it really possible naturally heal cavities with tooth remineralization?

Is it really possible naturally heal cavities with tooth remineralization?

Is it really possible to remineralize cavities naturally?

The short answer is yes! Tooth remineralization is a natural process in a healthy body.

Small cavities come and go naturally all the time

Small cavities are very easy to heal holistically because your body is naturally remineralizing your tooth enamel all the time.  I’ve written a simple explanation the body’s natural system for constant tooth remineralization here.

You are probably never aware of most of the small cavities that come and go in your mouth throughout your life because they never reach the point of causing you pain. They may cause some sensitivity but they are gone by the time you go to the dentist.

There is an inevitable ebb and flow to your teeth of the nutrients that cause tooth remineralization. Sometimes poor diet, stress or ill health cause that flow to slow down which allows cavities open up, and at other times the nutrients are flowing free and fast so that small cavities remineralize swiftly, leaving no trace.

Tooth remineralization is a natural process that we can consciously choose to accelerate and direct by applying a range of holistic teeth healing strategies.

Disclaimer: This information is provided solely for educational purposes. It is not a substitute for specialist advice tailored to your individual circumstances and is not meant to take the place of seeing licenced health professionals. You are responsible for your own actions. Please use common sense and make independent enquiries before deciding that the information here applies to your circumstances.  Full Terms and Conditions.

 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • 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

Bigger cavities can be healed naturally too

Big cavities can be remineralized in the same way, but you need to be more committed to incorporating holistic strategies into your daily life for a longer period. Even large cavities that are coming close to the nerve or root, when some dentists will suggest a root canal is the only option, can be healed holistically.

Although there is some evidence that dentin (the part of the tooth between the root and the enamel can be regrown (secondary dentin), it’s unlikely that a big hole can be filled in enough to match the original tooth shape.

However, it is certainly possible to remineralise the enamel across the surface of the cavity to create a hard, glassy surface with no decay either underneath or on top. Once a large cavity is remineralised in this way,it should never cause you problems again in the future as long as you keep the indentation, the remaining hole, very clean and keep up a maintenance level of teeth healing nutrients and other holistic strategies.

If you have a dead nerve underneath a filling or just inside an intact tooth surface, it may be that the nerve may be able to be restored. A dead nerve isn’t really dead its just broken. It is possible with commitment, time, and investment in support like homeopathy to restore the health of a ‘dead’ nerve.

What are the limits of tooth remineralization?

There are limits to the tooth remineralization that holistic teeth healing can achieve. If the cavity has already exposed the root or nerve, the pain is agonising and dysfunctional. You simply aren’t able to work, parent, sleep or carry out basic daily tasks when you are in the pain caused by an exposed root.

Sometimes an infection is too advanced and your overall body health is not strong enough to support healing. An infection won’t always be painful, other symptoms include inflammation, infection, abscess, pus draining etc.

When the root or nerve is exposed and/or infected you need to deal with it quickly and decisively. Those kinds of bacterial infections can enter your blood stream and cause serious disease in other parts of your body.

People have died from untreated tooth inflammation. You need to do something if you have a tooth root or nerve that is infected. It is not the time to take a ‘wait and see’ approach. Either go to the dentist, or inform yourself about natural alternatives and put them into action without compromise, but do not do nothing if you have an infection in your tooth.

Can holistic teeth healing complement dental interventions?

If the root is exposed you will be recommended a root canal by the dentist, and if you hesitate they may offer an extraction as a secondary (cheaper) option.

Many people have a blanket opposition to root canals and say that no root canal is a good root canal, but I believe that in some cases it is possible to have a root canal that is stable and doesn’t cause serious health problems. (I recommend reading my blog posts about root canals).

Everyone is different. Some people who are in good overall health, with a low-stress life and can live with root canal in a tooth (that is not associated with a part of their body that is vulnerable to inflammation and disease) and keep it stable with good holistic strategies to support teeth health.

If you have an extraction, it is possible to live with a gap in your mouth without needing an implant and without the bone loss or collapsing teeth that the dentist will tell you is inevitable. It is possible to keep your mouth stable around a gap after an extraction, and there is no need to decide on the spot whether you will get an implant. So even if you feel you have to rush into an extraction, you can take your time deciding what the next step will be.

You are the boss of your mouth

There are limits to holistic teeth healing, but natural, complementary and self help strategies can do an great deal more than most people think.

Small cavities do not need to become big cavities. Big cavities do not need to lead to root canals. Root canals are not the only option for an exposed root, and implants are not the only option after an extraction.

If you are facing a difficult diagnosis from a dentist I encourage you to get a second opinion, to do your own research, and not just passively accept what the first dentist advises. Sometimes what they are recommending is the right thing to do but not always, and its always worth considering all your options.

It’s up to you to make the best decision for your mouth, your health and your life.

Get started now healing cavities!

The FREE Emergency Teeth Relief Toolkit is a great place to start learning about some of the most effective and fast acting strategies that can help to cure cavities and relieve toothache.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • 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

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.

Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

Metaphysics is the study of abstract ideas, concepts and systems.  There is more to teeth and gums than their existence as physical objects within our bodies. Economics, aesthetics, psychology, spirituality, meridians, family stories and cultural myths are just a few...

Natural solutions for gingivitis or gum disease

What is gingivitis or gum disease? Gum disease or gingivitis covers a continuum of symptoms such as bleeding gums, gum recession and gum pockets which may or may not proceed to ginigivitis and eventually periodontis.  Left untreated the consequences can range from...

How to heal decaying baby teeth

As a parent you want to do whatever is right to keep your baby healthy. You can feel so guilty to see brown spots or cavities developing on your baby's teeth. Yet, discoloration and dental decay can start very young, sometimes within hours of a new tooth erupting!...

How to get rid of cavities naturally, for FREE

I believe in empowering you to be your own teeth healer, no matter how much cash you've got left after visiting the dentist. I'm not holding back some powerful secret behind the paywall of my coaching services. It is completely feasible that you can learn how to heal...

Political Teeth

What do Nazis have to do with your teeth? A holistic approach to oral health doesn't stop at the boundaries of our bodies (or even at the edge of our aura).  We exist in communities that are connected globally in real time and our mouths are not separate from what is...

Spiritual Reasons for Gum Disease

Understanding the spiritual meaning of gum disease The spiritual meanings of gum disease symptoms are often overlooked, yet working with these messages often holds the key to effective healing.  Gingivitis, periodontal or gum disease often begins with gum recession or...

How long does it take to remineralize cavities?

How long does it take to remineralise cavities?    How long it takes to remineralise cavities, reverse decay or regrow receding gums depends on three factors. Your symptoms, how severe they are and how long you've had them for How wholeheartedly you are able to...

Channeled Teeth Healing Codes

Symptoms are messages from your soul The problems in your teeth and gums are more than symptoms of physical imbalance or depletion, they contain information about the health of your energetic body including emotions, conscious and sub-unconscious thoughts, beliefs,...

Seeking within for toothache meaning

Asking your intuition about your toothache meaning can put you in touch with the subconscious feelings and thoughts that influence your oral health. The metaphysics of the mouth can also include meridians, chakras, dreams, ancestral influences, family and cultural...

Spiritual Meanings of Teeth

Root cause vs immediate cause  The biggest difference between holistic oral health coaching and mainstream dentistry may be coaching’s consideration of the spiritual meanings of teeth.  The spiritual meanings of teeth can help you to identify the root cause of your...

Register now to watch the

Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording

on how to maintain oral health at home

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