My response to Dr. Mercola
I have had over 6 people email me or call me regarding an article that has been going around the internet by Dr. Mercola. I would like to respond to this article if I may.
First, I have nothing but respect for Dr. Mercola. We need health care providers who are interested in health and not treating disease, just like we need scientist like T. Collin Campbell who question the politics of our food sources. Dr. Mercola has no problem making himself a target by questioning the status quo and that is what society needs at this time.
Here is link to the article that I am going to be responding to.
The title of the article is
97% of Terminal Cancer Patients Previously Had This Dental Procedure…
The procedure Dr. Mercola is talking about is root canals. I would just like to point out some things that Dr. Mercola has said and ask you to look at facts and not jump to conclusions.
Dr. Mercola maintains that it is the bacterial infestation at the root tip as he states that “these formerly friendly organisms morph into stronger, more virulent anaerobes that produce a variety of potent toxins”. He goes on to list numerous diseases that can be attributed to root canals ,including heart disease and autoimmune diseases) He further states that according to Dr. Robert Jones (who studies 300 cases of breast cancer over 5 years) that 93% of the women had root canals and 7% had other oral pathology. Dr. Mercola goes on to list 5 of the bacteria found at the roots of extracted teeth that have been previously treated with root canals. The last point I wish to discuss is Dr. Mercola’s own statement that “as soon as your immune system is compromised, you risk of developing a serious medical problem increases-and assaults on your immune system are far too frequent in today’s world.
Let’s start with a Scientific America article that stated there are over 10 times more bacteria in a human than there are human cells published in November of 2007. Dr Mercola is absolutely correct that bacteria behave badly. But this is not limited to the root of a previously root canaled tooth, it goes for every biofilm system that we aware of. We have specific biofilms for cavities and gum disease, and the biofilms can differ in different places in one’s own mouth. The 5 bacteria that he states are found at the root tips of root canaled teeth are also found in the mouth and most of them are known pathogens for either cavities or gum disease. The statement that only 7% of the women with breast cancer had other oral pathology is a far cry from statistics that show up to 80% of all adult Americans have gum disease and the statement that cavities is the most prevalent disease in the world today. ( how many women who have had root canals don’t have breast cancer?) And even gingivitis causes the blood vessels in the gum tissue to become permeable so that bacteria from the mouth can get into the blood stream and go everywhere. According to a recent study published in Circulation up to 50% of heart attacks are caused by oral bacteremia’s.
Most important in my discussion is Dr. Mercola’s statement that once your immune system is compromised all hell can break lose. I honestly believe that he is so on target with this statement. I also believe that all of his other statements about the relationship of root canals to the incidence of cancer is just an over simplification or finger pointing at one aspect of one’s health and doesn’t do justice to the entire picture as a whole, and isn’t that what holistic medicine is…..looking at the whole.
All of us are a little bit different and our immune systems are not identical. Not everyone gets sick on airplane, just those whose immune systems are low. I think we had better look at all the ways we weaken the immune system before we place all the blame on one possible culprit (it is possible that everyone who had cancer brushed their teeth, does that mean brushing your teeth causes cancer because when you brush your teeth you upset the bacteria and change their environment?)
Diet is an absolute big area where we affect our immune system. Dr. Mercola quotes Dr. Weston Price, a dentist from the early 1900’s often in the article. The Price foundation believes that eating meat is essential to a diet. I brought up T. Colin Campbell earlier on because he is the man behind the China Study in which he has come to the conclusion that animal proteins are the root of all cancer. I am not saying either is right, but Dr. Campbell has some pretty impressive credentials and his study took 30 years to do,….. Not a fly by night study at all.
According to Robert Lustig, the man behind “Sugar, the bitter truth”, the number one cause for an over reactive immune system…sugar. And since we only use beet sugar in the United States, all beet sugar is GMO. I am not saying good or bad, it just makes it potentially different to our bodies and we really don’t know yet what it means. The meat we eat today verses what a caveman ate (the Paleo diet) is different because of hormones and additives. The wheat today is different, it has more gluten in it that in the past. Bacteria mutate quicker than we can keep up with them. What is really constant in our world today verses even 10 years ago? And we haven’t even discussed stress and what role it plays in immune response (see cortisol release and gum disease)
I am not arguing with Dr. Mercola as to whether root canals work or for that matter if they fit in the world of holistic dentistry. I am actually not a mainstream dentist as I believe in prevention; I use lots of tools to help treat my patients including lasers, Carifree and ozone therapy. All I am suggesting is that blaming root canals for cancer might be a little simplistic. Bacteria are a major problem from all over the mouth when it comes to our health and our immune system is what fails us.