Issue #40, May 2013

In This Issue:
Milestones – What Technology Can’t Replace – To Heal the Body, Heal the Terrain – Weston Price – Perio Politics

Milestones (A Note to Our Readers)

It’s been a month of milestones. Our blog reached it’s 5 year anniversary and 1000th post. And Biosis has reached issue number 40!

When we began this newsletter back in November 2004, we weren’t quite sure what it would be – other than a way to keep in touch with patients and extend the educational part of our practice. For as Dr. Verigin says, those who understand how their bodies work and how health and illness happen are better able to make wise choices to restore or sustain their health and well-being. They tend to be more “pro-active” and, as a result, have better treatment outcomes.

Since that first issue, we’ve covered a broad range of topics – dental hygiene, nutrition, oral blocks to wellness, cellular health, toxins, the terrain, exercise, mental health and much, much more. In fact, our blog, Know Thy Health, actually began as an offshoot. Increasingly, there were just too many news items to talk about in each issue; too many articles and resources and time-sensitive info to share!

We’re grateful for your positive feedback and continued interest in what we’re doing – and biological dental medicine in general. We hope that you’ll continue to share Biosis with others – along with our site, blog and social media connections – to help spread the word that there is hope. Understanding the body as a complex, dynamic system of systems, you appreciate how health and healing come not from fighting or punishing it as though it were a bad child, but supporting it in what it was designed to do: maintain health and wholeness.

JoAnne’s Motivational Minute

What Technology Can’t Replace

By JoAnne Boettcher-Verigin

They always say that the more you learn, the more you realize there is to learn. It’s one reason why Gary and I have regularly attended seminars and conferences over the years – to make our practice the best it can be.

Recently, we attended a communication workshop led by a psychologist at a beautiful country club, serene and conducive to relaxed learning. The lecture was great, and the exercises were eye-opening. We were reminded about body language, eye contact – all those things we’ve heard about for years but always need to keep working on.

person textingLate in the day, the presenter shared an interesting observation: During our breaks, about 90% of attendees were preoccupied with their cell phones, chattering away. If you’re talking all the time, when do you have time to think?

On the way home, we stopped at the grocery to pick up a few things. Up and down the aisles, people were attached to their phones. It seemed strange to me. What in the world could everyone have to talk about?!

Driving past the middle school, I thought of the now common sight of kids leaving campus at the end of the day, heads down and fingers flying, texting all the way home. How do they keep from running into things, I wondered, or keep themselves from being run into?

Now, I have to admit that I eventually broke down and got an iPhone and learned how to text. I did this at the request of my grown children who told me that if I needed to get hold of them immediately, that was the way to do it. They didn’t always check their emails. (I don’t think I’ll ever get the hang of using symbols and abbreviations for words, though!)

Technology is EVERYWHERE. Some of it is wonderful. But how much might we be missing with our reliance on this kind of communication at a distance – calls and texts and emails and Tweets and all the rest.

A client came into the office the other day excited about her new grandchild. It was such fun to see the sparkle in her eyes and share her excitement as we admired the photos she had brought! Even video chat can’t convey the wonderful energy of such moments – nor offer the comfort we need when pain and sadness enter our lives. No text can put an arm around your shoulder; no Facebook post can shed an empathetic tear.

When we are truly communicating, we use all of our senses – and our instinct. For all the progress made with artificial intelligence and virtual reality, technology cannot replace this.

There is no hope or joy except in human relations. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

When a client works diligently to improve their health and reaches a milestone, the healing is enhanced through shared communication. We share their joy through their email updates, of course, but even more the next time they come into the office, where we can experience that joy in a more profound, electric and fulfilling way.

I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity.
The world will only have a generation of idiots.
– Anonymous*

* Although this quote has been widely attributed to Einstein, there’s no evidence that he ever wrote or said it.

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Dr. Verigin’s Comment

The Route to Healing: A Primer, Part 3

By Gary M. Verigin, DDS, CTN

We ended last time with a question: How does disease evolve from conditions in the extracellular matrix (ECM) – all the stuff between the cells of your body, the region we refer to as the biological terrain?

Disease Evolution & Toxic Accumulations

composition of extracellular matrixAlthough the ECM is accepted as fact in current medical books, conventional medicine says it plays no role in anything but a few collagen-related diseases.

In fact, it plays a critical role in disease evolution and health. The viability of cells is directly related to the purity of the ECM. German Biological Regulative Medicine acknowledges this. The ideal, then, is to keep the matrix as uncontaminated as possible. Many therapies can be used to accomplish this by promoting drainage and detoxification.

Of course, the simple fact of living in our chemically saturated world means that many exogenous toxins (pollutants coming from outside the body) will end up in our circulation to be stored in the ECM. The matrix is also a storage depot for the wide array ofendogenous toxins (pollutants from within) produced by a faulty metabolism.

Drainage and detoxification remedies stimulate the body’s greater defense system. The goal: remove the smudge and toxic residues built up in the ECM by way of the venous (blood) and lymphatic pathways to the liver. There, they are further detoxified before elimination through other channels.

Unfortunately, the goal isn’t always reached, for the same system that protects the cells from homotoxic (that is, toxic to humans, homo sapiens) burdens may be the cause of long-term health problems.

Again, it all depends on the matrix.

Nowhere in the body is a functional capillary further than 20 to 30 microns away from a cell – about 0.03 millimeters at most. That between-area is called the transit space, which works as a kind of molecular sieve. Although the capillaries – like the vegetative nerve endings – are very close, they never touch the organ cells.

fibrocyteThe mother cell of the matrix is the fibrocyte. It’s the only cell that can respond to changes in its surroundings with an adequate synthesis of the fine-meshed web or sieve made of proteoglycans. This is a filtering system between the cell and the venous and lymph systems.

When the matrix gets loaded with toxic residues, pH turns acidic and both rH2 and r increases. In turn, the fibrocyte becomes damaged and starts to lose its ability to distinguish between helpful and harmful information. The ground substance it synthesizes will be un-physiologic. This has bad implications for cell function and metabolism.

Like any sieve, the transit space only lets through matter of a certain size or membrane potential. Anything else gets caught. It might trap homotoxins, metabolic waste or other unwanted elements. It may just as well obstruct the flow of interstitial fluid to and from the cells, preventing essential minerals, oxygen and other nutrients from getting through, blocking the transport of cellular products. Either way, cellular function is impaired.

In long-term health, there’s a stable balance between dying and newly formed cells. It’s been estimated that 7 to 10 million cells are renewed each and every second. Popp notes that this is only possible due to the enormous amount of information being shared throughout the body by biophoton radiation and oscillations moving at the speed of light!

Biological Objectives

Again, the main objective is to keep the matrix as unpolluted as possible. This means keeping its biophysical filtering system clean and functional, as well.

If tissue is wounded or if the toxic load is high and metabolic waste or antigens build up in the ECM, a healthy defense system will trigger inflammation, which turns the matrix acidic. If not suppressed by conventional drugs, this inflammation spurs turbo-cleansing. Temporary changes in the matrix structure allow toxins, waste and antigens to be eliminated – auto-regulation at its best!

Inflammation is a sign of disease and also loss of healthy function of the affected tissues. The patient’s quality of life is the first priority, of course, but the long-term goal is to restore homeostasis (balance, health). So we apply drainage medicines to the inflammatory process, stimulating removal of the toxic residues.

This is a cleansing process. Muting symptoms is not the point. So we make sure that the therapy we use is enough to stimulate the body’s self-regulating functions but not overwhelm the patient. We work with both their comfort and our mutual biological objective in mind: the restoration of homeostasis, which is the restoration of health.

Effective Principles

In wide circles of scientists, physicists, biologists and dental and medical practitioners, the prevailing view is that electromagnetic oscillations in nature deserve greater recognition.

Recent research has also shown that components of the matrix are actually semiconducting liquid crystals. These materials are known to have a variety of remarkable properties for the transmission, storage and processing of information in regulation (Szent-Gyorygi, Ho, Pop).

Regulatory biology is key, based on the understanding that every function and process in a living body involves the matrix. Every cell is nourished through it; all metabolic waste passes through. It pervades the entire organism and always reacts the same way.

A wide variety of complementary therapies have developed sophisticated methods for interacting with the auto-regulation system. For it is in the matrix that we can identify the reasons for symptoms and so-called systematic and chronic diseases.

Since the acupuncture points are the windows to the matrix and the acupuncture meridians are the input channels for healing and tissue repair, the complementary therapies involving these principles would be the most efficacious.

We are capable of providing a variety of complementary acupuncture therapeutics to improving the quality of our Biological clients. If you are interested, do talk with us about which therapeutics may be helpful.

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“Dental Diagnosis…Requires a Greater Knowledge…”

You may know about Weston Price’s important nutritional research, but do you know about his other contributions to biological dentistry? That’s the subject of the newest article in our online library. Check it out!

From Our Blog:

The “Politics” of Periodontitis

The political blog Daily Kos is the last place you’d expect to find a post on treatment for periodontal disease, but there it was, its utter unlikelihood luring us in.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with an advanced case of gum disease. I was showing pocket depths of 9s and 10s. Many of my teeth were actually loose. And it had become painful to eat certain foods.

That’s pretty bad, all right. Healthy probing depth is 2-3 millimeters tops.

My periodontist told me that in order to stop it from getting worse, I had to have as many as seven teeth pulled. Seven teeth! And, even with my insurance, it was going to cost many thousands of dollars.

Yowch! Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising. We’ve seen such treatment recommendations. Often, they’re a lot more aggressive than Dr. Verigin believes the patient needs, in which case, he calls for a second opinion. Depending on the amount of bone loss, removal ofsome teeth may be appropriate. But less traumatic procedures such as LANAP surgery and tissue grafts can help a person keep as many natural teeth as long as possible.

The first line of treatment, however, is periodontal therapy: regular and frequent scaling and root planing to thoroughly clean the teeth both above and below the gumline. Lasers or ozone may be used to disinfect the pockets around each tooth, and this may be followed with a short course of an antibiotic such as amoxicillin to further help keep things under control. When used, it’s as an adjunct. Antibiotics alone are insufficient.

Yet antibiotic treatment alone seems precisely what the writer wanted.

Curiously, during one of my many consultations, it was explained to me that gum disease is actually the result of a bacterial infection. So my first thought was, surely, there must be an antibiotic treatment. But my periodontist said no. Sometimes they use a topical antibiotic, like a gel, to help arrest the spread of infection, but there was no pill you could take like you would for, say, strep throat.

So, I sought a second opinion. Then another. All had the same bad news. ‘There is no antibiotic treatment and we’re going to have to rip out your teeth with pliar-like things and charge you big bucks to do it.’ Or something to that effect.

Convinced that there just had to be an antibiotic therapy, the writer launched his quest to find one.

Unsurprisingly, he found a research paper on what’s since become the common practice described above. Yet although antibiotics play a supporting role, the writer seems intent on making them the star.

So why did the periodontists he first consulted say antibiotics weren’t an option? Consider how the question was framed: extraction vs. antibiotics. In that sense, again, the latter are not an option. Had he asked, “What are my options for saving these teeth?” he may have heard some different answers.

Eight other offices similarly told him they’d never even heard of “systemic antibiotic treatment.” Had he asked if antibiotics are part of the perio therapy they provide, on the other hand…

How you ask a question helps determine the kind of answer you’re going to get.

And he did ask a different question of the periodontist he eventually got treatment from: Can and will you provide the treatment documented in this research? As per Walter Loesche, author of the original paper mentioned above, via email to the writer,

  • Get your teeth cleaned (in my case this involved a full scaling which I had already had done).
  • Then get your Dr. to prescribe Azithromycin 500mg.
  • Take one a day for 3 days. Then stop for 4 days. Then resume for 3 more days.

scalingIt is a little surprising that the final periodontist was totally unfamiliar with this kind of protocol, calling it “a miracle” and something she’d “never seen” before. Still, stranger things have happened. And the happy ending is that the writer’s periodontal status improved. We hope things stay that way.

But that still leaves us with the question of what this post is doing on a political blog. Fortunately, there’s a headline to let us know where the politics are, and they come as a variation on one of the main complaints about profit-driven medicine:

I’m not suggesting that there’s some plot among the periodontal establishment to suppress the use of antibiotic treatment, [but] there certainly appears to be little incentive for them to embrace it.

For extraction and, presumably, related procedures to replace the teeth, the writer “was quoted roughly $12,000.”

My antibiotic treatment cost me $15.

The antibiotic alone, perhaps, but – again – that’s not the whole treatment. The therapy Loesche proved through his research published in JADA was deep cleanings and short term antibiotics every three months over the course of years – not one-time antibiotics as the DK post suggests. Factor in those cleanings at an average of $200-300 a pop, and it’s suddenly not quite the bargain.

Still, it is cheaper than and preferable to so many extractions, let alone implants.

Not that we’re fans of antibiotics, either, which are overused and too often inappropriately used. They can wreak havoc with gut flora in particular, which is why we advise our patients to take specific probiotics should they ever opt for antibiotics for any reason. This along with dietary changes (such as eating more fermented foods) can help ensure proper balance through the course of therapy.

Your most economical option, of course, is to prevent the problem from cropping up in the first place: practicing good hygiene, eating right, refraining from tobacco and other drug use, managing stress and bruxing behaviors. You’ll save money and your teeth!

Again and as always, the best dentistry is the least dentistry.

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Image Credits

  • Texting: kamshots, via Flickr
  • ECM diagram via Matrix Biology
  • Fibrocyte via University of Nis, Centre for Electron Microscopy
  • X-ray: Felixe, via Flickr
  • Scaling: Wsiegmund, via Wikimedia Commons

Copyright ©. Gary M. Verigin, D.D.S., inc. All Rights Reserved. California State Licensed General Dentist.
Disclaimer: We make no claim of providing superior services, nor do we guarantee any specific outcomes from the services we provide.