From Biosis 20, January 2008
Dr. Verigin’s Comment:
Why “Biological” Comes First in “Biological Dental Medicine”
by Gary M. Verigin, DDS, CTN
I used to have mercury amalgam fillings. In fact, by the time I enrolled in the University of Washington Dental School, most of my molars were plugged with them. And I considered myself a happy, very healthy person. Any problems I had seemed minor: a bad bout of acne as a teen; athlete’s foot; breathing troubles due to a nose that was stuffy more often than not.
But those breathing troubles worsened. Part of the problem was the wet Seattle climate and living in the basement of the dental fraternity on Lake Washington. The stress of school didn’t help. But the biggest factor was chronic exposure to mercury amalgam in the school’s labs and clinics. My immune system protected me from it as best it could by spurring an overgrowth of Candida yeast. The result was my perpetually stuffy nose.
Of course, I wasn’t aware of this then. I didn’t know what the problem was. So I went to the university health clinic, where the physicians prescribed antibiotics and nasal inhalers. After I developed polyps in several sinuses that led to bleeding, I underwent surgery to have them removed. Breathing was easier, but I was still in the toxic environment of the dental school.
To this day, it amazes me that not once during my schooling did anyone mention that amalgams are made of over 50% mercury. We handled it five days a week for three years. We touched it. We breathed its vapors. And my back teeth were loaded with it.
Within four years of graduation, I did have those fillings removed and replaced with gold – but not because they were toxic. Gold was just superior in terms of cleanliness, durability and enhancing occlusion (bite). But a funny thing happened on the way to those restorations. When the amalgams were removed, all my earlier symptoms – acne, athlete’s foot, stuffy nose – returned with a vengeance! I consulted with several physicians who variously suggested antibiotics, steroids and stress reduction by working less. Not one ever suggested mercury exposure as a potential problem.
At the time, I was also still placing mercury fillings in my patients’ teeth on a near-daily basis, as well as root canals. But this was soon to change. My own experience with illness – and the physicians’ inability to diagnose or successfully treat my problems – helped me realize that I needed to chart another course, personally and professionally. I read. I researched. I attended seminars and classes. Our office became mercury-free.
In 1984, I attended a University of Hawaii seminar to study with Reinhold Voll, MD, who told of how holistic, biological dentists and physicians in his home country of Germany were integrating dentistry and medicine. I returned to California with an even greater awareness that conventional American dentistry was indeed a toxic profession – one that was making patients toxic, not through malice but simple lack of knowledge.
But how to get the knowledge? We needed the German dental and medical journals translated. We needed to bring the German researchers to the States to teach us – through translators if necessary.
To fill these needs, the late Dr. Ed Arana – a friend and colleague – and I established the American Academy of Biological Dentistry. We contacted all dentists we knew who might be interested in attending the seminars. Our first meeting was lightly attended, but we encouraged each dentist to invite a physician to the next one. The gatherings grew, as did our understanding of biological dental practices:
- Don’t place mercury amalgam fillings in anyone’s mouth.
- Safely remove all mercury amalgam fillings from the teeth of those who want to reduce their toxic burden.
- Evaluate the immune system through a blood test or electro-dermal screening before placing new dental materials.
- Don’t do root canals.
- Safely remove root canal-treated teeth.
- Don’t place implants into the jawbones.
- Properly treat periodontal disease.
- Extract abscessed teeth.
- Cleanse jawbone cavitations.
- Evaluate the body’s biological terrain to determine how well the basic regulative system is functioning.
- Guide patients in making the necessary dietary improvements: proper food combinations; intake of fresh vegetables and high quality proteins; avoidance of sugars, alcohol, preservatives and insecticides.
- Provide supplementation with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, coenzymes, herbs and homeopathics based on body chemistry measurements, biological terrain analysis and common sense.
Today, the Academy continues its educational mission as the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine. Yet the status quo persists. Dentists still – knowingly or unknowingly – deceive people by referring to mercury amalgams as “silver” fillings. They remain the choice filling of assembly-line dentists, including those who work on our youth, military personnel and the working and non-working poor. The FDA and American Dental Association continue to look the other way.
Individuals, however, continue to seek and find the truth. Now when new clients ask about having mercury and root canals removed from their mouths, I always ask why. Is it because they believe the materials are toxic? Or do they want to rid themselves of their overall health complaints? Increasingly – and happily – the answer is “both.”
The integration of dentistry and medicine allows such whole healing to occur. Let me share an example with you.
In August 2005, we saw a 56 year old male engineer who, by his own admission, had not seen a dentist since high school. During his intake interview, he described having extreme pain in the left side of his neck, daily left-side headaches and increasing hand tremors. His left eyelid drooped, and his left pupil was noticeably smaller than the right. These symptoms were always worse at the end of the day, he said, especially after physical work. He described the pain as dull and ongoing. He also complained of sleep problems.
The client’s symptoms had begun about 14 months earlier. It all started, he said, after he’d used a “Bush Hog mower” to clear out some land. He was aware of no physical injury, yet within hours, he experienced his first pain symptoms. He tried cold milk compress therapy, which helped only slightly. He then turned to bee pollen, dust mite control for allergies, B vitamins and nutritional supplements for headaches, stress and nerve, brain and eye health.
One day after exercising, the client noticed a straight line down the middle of his forehead. The right side was a normal pinkish-red with sweat, but the left side was white and dry. His left eyelid was now drooping and his left pupil, small.
Through online search, the client found that his symptoms matched a condition known as “Horner’s syndrome.” He then sought diagnostic opinions from internal medicine specialists, dermatologists and neurologists. In addition to numerous blood tests, they also performed a CT thorax scan, 3 brain MRIs, cervical spine and thoracic spine MRIs, and MR Angios of the neck and head. The total cost? Nearly $30,000. The doctors’ conclusion? Unspecified physical trauma was the most likely cause of the client’s symptoms, for which they would give him medication. He declined and continued to seek alternatives – eventually being referred to us for examination and consultation.
At the consultation, the client and I discussed the results of his dental x-rays, clinical exam, bio-energetic evaluation and biological terrain analysis via fasting urine and saliva samples. His terrain was extremely disordered. The urine was much too acidic, with elevated resistivity. The saliva was too alkaline, with increased redox potential and depressed resistivity. The energetic evaluation showed blockages in many of his meridians – some inflamed, some degenerative.
Dentally, of concern were 16 surfaces of mercury amalgam fillings in 8 teeth and osteonecrotic lesions in all 4 wisdom tooth sites. Additionally, the x-ray of one extraction site showed an opaque metal object – 5 to 6 mm long and 1 to 2 mm wide – in the uppermost part of the lesion. We agreed, however, that before addressing these issues, we’d first focus on balancing his terrain, the nature and importance of which he’d been studying since receiving information from us at his previous visit.
We began with dietary changes – mainly increasing his intake of more alkaline-producing foods. We also needed to open the channels of elimination, including the large intestine, urinary system, lymphatics, bronchial tree and skin. This would allow his body to get rid of its toxic burden. So he began a regimen of homeopathic drainage remedies in conjunction with homeopathic nosodes, Pleomorphic isodes and herbs as tissue cleansers. (Nosodes andisodes are both types of homeopathics. The former are prepared using products of a disease, while the latter are prepared using the source of a disease.)
Within 6 weeks of beginning these procedures, the client reported a lessening of his headaches. By June 2006, he reported feeling extremely well – better than he had felt in years.
Eleven months later, the client and I agreed that it was time to begin taking out the mercury. We removed 2 amalgams at a time over 4 appointments spanning 2 months, giving the client ample recovery time between visits. Upon removal of the last in October 2006, the client began using a vast array of oral chelating agents to pull the mercury and other accumulated heavy metals out of his terrain. He reported some mild headaches of short duration at first but is now headache-free.
After another 14 months, we agreed to move on to the first oral surgery procedure, focusing on the lower left wisdom tooth site where the x-ray had shown the metal object. We discovered that the metal was a piece of wire accidentally embedded by the orthodontist who had straightened the client’s teeth many years prior. We referred the client to an oral surgeon who removed the wire and sanitized the cavitational lesion. The client tolerated the surgery well with no adverse affects.
Through the coming year, the client will build on these good results. He will have the other 3 sites surgically treated while continuing to balance his terrain. Meanwhile, he continues to report feeling great and says that his symptoms are 99% gone.
This client’s case clearly illustrates a point I feel cannot be stressed enough: if we are to get the maximum optimum results, it’s vital to identify allobstacles present and contributing to the disordered biological terrain. It’s not just the mercury but the whole body that holds it, in both its physical and energetic aspects. And so it’s imperative to defer any clinical dental procedures until the biochemical and bioelectric issues are fully understood. Likewise, the client needs to fully understand why their terrain is disordered and how to balance it – the whys, whats and how-tos before treatment begins.