When you see the IAOMT logo on select dental advertisements, what exactly does it mean? It stands for the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit global network of dentists, health professionals, and scientists who research the biocompatibility of dental products, including the risks of mercury fillings, fluoride, root canals, and jawbone osteonecrosis. “Biological” or “biocompatible” dentistry typically refers to dental practices that utilize mercury-free and mercury-safe dentistry while also considering the impact of dental conditions, devices, and treatments on oral and systemic health, including the biocompatibility of dental materials and techniques.
Mainstream dentistry has historically been in love with fluoride, a naturally occurring element in our earth’s crust. In dental school we were told it was a great tool in combating tooth decay, which of course we wish to lessen for our patients. It was explained that if taken systemically in water or supplemented it would be incorporated in the teeth as they form, making them less susceptible to acid attack which is the primary reason teeth rot. What has been found, however, is that this desired action is false.
Our bodies are made up of a diverse array of symbiotic microorganisms – an estimated 100 trillion cells in fact; at least 10 times the number of our human cells, as we mentioned in our previous article in Our BerkshireTimes magazine. When in proper balance they carry out a vast number of vital physiological and psychological functions and about 80 percent of our immune response. But when less desirable microbes are given the opportunity to take over and wreak havoc, we need to take action. Sometimes antibiotics are unavoidable, but there are many natural ways we can help. For instance, eliminating sugar and adding raw, organic fermented foods to our diet is very beneficial.
The dental world is an interesting place but it’s also an important one since your oral cavity is the gateway to your body, and what you place in it directly impacts your health and well-being. Whether it’s from food, dental materials, cosmetics, or microorganisms introduced by family members, pets, or even by biting your nails, your body will be exposed to both good and bad microbes that will affect your oral ecosystem and overall health.
In the past two articles we discussed how we found ourselves concerned about dental materials and how we safely remove one of the worst toxins on the planet from our patients’ mouths: mercury. But once mercury amalgam fillings are removed, one might ask “What should we use to replace them?”
Almost 15 years ago we learned about the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) when member dentists at an unrelated nutrition conference asked us if we were still placing mercury amalgam (silver) fillings. When we admitted we were, they quickly told us that there is substantial, convincing evidence that the mercury found in these fillings is harmful and that we could learn more about quality alternatives at the IAOMT.
It was many years ago, after we graduated from Georgetown Dental School in 1985, that we both came to the realization that mercury has no place in the human body. It may have been after we heard a local dermatologist, Dr. Alfred Zamm of Kingston, NY, speak of the unique chemistry of mercury and how it can damage all sorts of chemical reactions within us. He had examined numerous patients seeking help for their skin issues and found that many of them experienced improvement when their mercury fillings were removed.
Your eyes may be the doorway into your soul, but did you know that your mouth is the gateway to your overall health and well-being? Research shows that the condition of your teeth and gums can greatly affect many systems in your body, and even your mental health. But with the help of a caring and skilled dentist, and thorough at-home care, great dental health and a beautiful smile can be yours.