In this episode, I am speaking with holistic dentist and dentist educator, Dr. Judson Wall about how your oral health is the gateway to bodily health, and the keys to optimizing your oral health..
Table of Contents
In this podcast, Dr. Wall and I discuss:
- The crucial connection between oral health and systemic, whole-body health
- Which common nutrient deficiencies contribute most to dental decay, bone density and nerve issues (and a whole host of other problems)
- Does fluoride work – in toothpaste or in drinking water? (And is it worth the downside!)
- Why our ancient ancestors didn’t really need to brush their teeth or floss (and what we can learn from them)
- The best natural alternatives to commercial toothpaste products
- Why the Ph of the mouth is the most vital aspect of avoiding gum disease
- Why root canal surgery and silver fillings are terrible practices (and what alternatives and remedies there are)
- Tips for avoiding sleep apnea and poor craniofacial development in childhood
- Dr. Wall’s top 4 tips for great oral hygiene and health
Listen or download on iTunes
Listen outside iTunes
Ari Whitten: Hey there. This is Ari. Welcome back to the Energy Blueprint Podcast. Today’s episode is with Dr. Judson Wall, who is a dentist for over 20 years. He’s a graduate of the University of Utah and received his doctor of dental surgery from the West Virginia University School of Dentistry. He has an impressive list of accomplishments and credentials, including accreditation by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, a Fellowship with the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, a Fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry, and an Associate Fellowship with the World Clinical Laser Institute.
Dr. Wall also teaches dentists from around the world how to do holistic dentistry. This episode covers a lot of great topics. Everything from gum disease, causes, and best treatments to how what’s going on in your mouth relates to systemic health and risk of various diseases and chronic fatigue, to nutritional hacks for improved dental health and systemic health and much, much more. I think you’re going to get a lot of value from this episode. I really enjoyed it and I hope you do too. Welcome to the show, Dr. Wall, such a play to connect with you.
Dr. Judson Wall: Thank you for having me.
How bad teeth can make you sick
Ari: First of all, I have watched a number of your videos through a mutual friend of ours, Dr. Nicole Vane, who has actually been on the podcast a couple times previously. She’s my personal dentist. She spoke enormously highly of you. She basically told me you have to get him on the podcast, he’s amazing. She gave me access to some of her programs, her what do they call them, continuing education requirements that that dentists have to do. I watched some of your material and it’s excellent. I thought we’d-
Dr. Wall: Thank you.
Ari: -we’d talk about it. Other people, so my audience can benefit from it. First of all, I would love, if you could give a broad overview of the relationship of oral health to systemic health more broadly, what are the connection points, what are the mechanisms that what’s going on in our mouth connects to what that’s going on in the rest of our body, how it can affect things like heart disease or cancer or insulin resistance or chronic fatigue. Can you talk a bit about some of those mechanisms?
Dr. Wall: Sure, absolutely. The mouth is the gateway to health. It’s actually the first stop of the digestive tract and all digestion starts in the mouth. If the mouth is not healthy, it is impossible for the rest of the gut to be healthy. Really, gut health is ultimately dependent on oral health. That’s a broad synopsis. When there are toxic materials in the mouth, those then transfer not only to the gut, but also through the immune system, and then you get chronic inflammation systemically. Mouth is the crux of health.
Hidden causes of periodontal disease
Ari: There’s many different avenues we could look at. I know that some of the things we talked about before the interview were toxic materials in the mouth, or root canals that were done improperly that then get infected. There’s a whole documentary, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, it’s called root cause. It talks a lot about chronic fatigue and the relationship of that with root canals and dental work. As far as gum disease, more broadly, how do you conceptualize the major causes of that, and obviously, poor diet and lack of brushing and flossing your teeth would be major causes, but are there any less well-known causes or hidden contributors to periodontal disease that people should should know about?
Dr. Wall: Probably the most important is nutrition. Lack of nutrients in particular vitamins D3, vitamin K2 is one that’s getting a lot of attention currently. Western Price was a dentist who traveled the world back in 1920. The principles that he discovered then hold true today. What he found basically in a nutshell was that in our refined diet, we’re missing loads of nutrients. They’re getting chelated in the soil and they’re just not making it into our food.
One particular thing that he found was that the foods of these indigenous people were four to 10 times higher in vitamin content than in the refined process food that we “enjoy” today in our civilized society. One of those factors was called Activator X. You’re probably familiar with that. Well, it turns out that Activator X is vitamin K2 and we are just not getting enough of vitamin K2 and so our bones are becoming more [unintelligible 00:05:33] one of the reasons why every other American in the United States over the age of 50 is either osteo product or osteopenic.
Ari: Elaborate on that a bit more because I think the Activator X thing will be cryptic to most people who are unfamiliar with Western Price’s work. Also, talk just some basics about– Assume people don’t know what vitamin K does.
Dr. Wall: Okay. Dr. Price didn’t– He found this commonality among all these indigenous people that their bones were dense. They had all of their teeth and the incidence of cavities in their mouths was next to zero, it just didn’t exist. He found that this common substance was called, he didn’t know what to call it and so he called it Activator X. Well, it turns out through my research and allumination.
Now we understand that Activator X is vitamin K2, and vitamin K2 is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins, meaning they can only be absorbed in the body if you digest and therefore, absorb fat. That has to do with the functioning liver and gallbladder which is a whole topic in and of itself but it’s worth mentioning the most common surgery in the United States is cholecystectomy, removal of the gallbladder.
Unfortunately, when people have their gallbladders removed, the physicians are doing a disservice by telling patients they don’t need their gallbladder which could be further from the truth. The gallbladders hold bile which is produced by the liver and the purpose of the bile is to digest fat. Well, if we are missing a gallbladder, we don’t have a storage of bile that we can use to digest our fat and so we’re not able to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K.
A little bit of a side there, but very important because so many people are missing their gallbladder and they’re not digesting fat. Well, you got to have fat to make hormones. You got to have fat to make every cell membrane in the body. You’ve got to have fat in order for the mouth to be a proper pH. We’ll get into pH a little bit later, but back to vitamin K2. Current literature shows that vitamin K2 has at least seven or eight key functions in the body.
Number one, it makes the bones more dense. In Japan, their first line of treatment for osteoporosis or osteopenia is not a drug like these [unintelligible 00:08:13] that physicians are handing out like candy to old ladies, it’s to food vitamin K2. That’s their first line of therapy, 15 to 45 milligrams per day. Now, if you look at USRDA of vitamin K2, it’s something like, I don’t know, 60 micrograms. That’s like spin in the wind. It’s not going to do any good. The current a therapeutic protocol is between 15 and 45 milligrams per day. That’s a general recommended dose that will not harm anyone because the half-life of vitamin K2 is less than 24 hours.
Ari: It’s pushed.
Dr. Wall: You could overdose if you ate the whole bottle, but who’s going to do that?
Ari: Is there any concern of taking it with vitamin D and vitamin A having a balance across those?
Dr. Wall: Well, the concern is flipped. You should never take vitamin D3 without taking vitamin K2 but you can take vitamin K2 without taking D3. There’s no harm in that.
Dr. Wall: Of course, you want to get a good balance of all of those vitamins, the fat-soluble vitamins are crucial. That’s one of the benefits, is increase in bone density. Another benefit is that it actually reverses heart disease. That’s crucial when you look at the number one killer in the United States, men and women is heart disease. We’ve got a simple food-based supplement that can actually reverse the leading cause of death in the United States. That blows my mind when I saw that research.
Ari: When was that? I don’t know if I’ve seen that research. Can you talk about what specific studies you’re referring to?
Dr. Wall: Currently and I’m a PubMed junkie, so I try and stay abreast of all of the current literature, pertinent to dentistry, and then, of course, how dentistry relates to this the body. Vitamin K2 health benefits, of course, we talked about increasing the bone density, reversing heart disease, stabilizing blood sugar, and reducing insulin resistance.
That’s absolutely crucial when you talk about one of the causes of gum disease.
When there’s too much sugar in the blood or in the tissues, then the immune system doesn’t work properly. Then the bugs that are supposed to normally be in balance in the mouth, and the rest of the body are out of balance and the bad bugs outpace the good bugs, and then you get things like spiral repeats and tripping names and all of these nasty players. It’s akin to the inmates running the asylum, they overtake the mouth.
K2 also prevents tooth decay, it kills breast cancer cells, that’s huge, suppresses an overreactive immune system, and protects the brain from neurodegeneration. That’s one that was recently published. I’ll just zip through these studies, so you can see. This was published in August of last year, showing many of those benefits of vitamin K2 improving bone density, cardiovascular health, brain health, improving joint health, improving neuropathy, so patients that have got nerve issues, such a simple solution lies before them just supplementing with vitamin K2. I’ll zip through the details of those.
Here’s one study showing the suppression of inflammatory cytokines. Speaking back to periodontal disease, one of the reasons, let me back up, one of the facets of gum disease is bone loss. Why does the bone loss happen? Because the immune system actually is over-aggressive in attacking the bad bugs, and as a result, you get all of the fallout, the artillery shells, the holes in the ground, if you will, the broken buildings. All of that happens because of an overexpression of inflammatory cytokines. These are chemical messengers that tell one cell to another what to do. Vitamin K2 helps attenuate that response so that you’re not getting a huge amount of bone loss.
Another benefit of the vitamin K2 is it protects mitochondria increases ATP. ATP is basically the energy of the cell. It’s the gas of the cars, if you will, slowing the progression of neurodegeneration. One of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States is Alzheimer’s, neurodegenerative disorders. Let’s see what else we got here. This study also touches on the benefits of K2 in reversing heart disease in keeping the vasculature healthy.
The mechanism of action of that is vitamin K2 actually takes calcium and phosphorus deposits, calcium deposits out of areas, it shouldn’t be like blood vessels, the gallbladder, kidneys, those are all areas we should not have calcification. Vitamin K2 will actually redirect those mineral deposits into areas where it should be like the bones and the teeth. There’s some of the mechanisms therefrom that study. Let’s see vitamin K2 blocks neuroinflammation. Let’s see, of course, K2 works with vitamin D3 to help calcium and other mineral deposits go where they should. You let me know, I got so many of these studies.
Ari: Yes, maybe just one more or two more on any other important point.
Dr. Wall: I mean, all right. Here’s the actual dosage recommendation. This one from the International Journal of Vitamin Nutrients, 5 to 45 milligrams a day vitamin K2 basically increases bone density. Straight out in the literature, that recommended dose. Let me see if I can find one for the heart disease. Here are a few for the heart disease. There you go. This is from a British Journal in 2020 vitamin K2 decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease because it takes the calcium deposits out of the vessels.
Ari: Wow. Yes, I was under the impression, I knew that it was critical for preventing vascular calcification, but I didn’t know that it could actively take them out of the built-up [unintelligible 00:15:16] deposits. That’s incredible.
Dr. Wall: Let me see if I can find another one of those here. There we go. 2016 Journal of atherosclerosis and [unintelligible 00:15:28] heart disease. Vitamin K2 reduces vascular calcification, actually pulls it out.
Ari: Wow. Incredible stuff. Are there any other key dietary things that people should know about as far as–
Dr. Wall: Gum disease?
Ari: Yes, as far as periodontal disease is concerned.
Dr. Wall: Yes, absolutely. Let me get to another one here.
One of the most important is omega-3 essential fatty acids. There’s even more studies on that than vitamin K2. In fact, let’s just go to a few of those here. In last year alone, there were over 1,000 publications on the health benefits of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Again, speaking about cardiovascular disease, I do like to harp on that because anytime we can decrease death and morbidity in patients, fantastic. With a simple supplement as omega-3 essential fatty acids, just 4 grams a day of EPA and DHA has remarkable and statistically significant reduction in heart disease.
One of the mechanisms of that is it, again, decreases inflammatory cytokines, those chemical messengers that cause all of the fallout, all of the bone loss, all of the inflammation, and all of the proliferation of these nasty bugs. Omega-3s would be huge. Vitamin C is also another absolutely essential component of periodontal health. Vitamin C is crucial for production of collagen. Collagen is the basic building block of all of the tissues in our body, including the bones and the gum tissues surrounding those bones, which make up the periodontium or the periodontal tissue.
Let’s see, again, I have tons of studies on those other nutrients. Here’s one that’s not probably talked about nearly enough, is iodine and I would venture to say along with many of my physician colleagues, that most Americans are deficient in iodine. Any cell that needs to excrete something has to have iodine. If you look at the Japanese, they typically will ingest about between 6 and 50 grams of seaweed today. It’s just part of their diet. In that seaweed, they’re getting at least 12 to 25 milligrams, not micrograms, milligrams of iodine a day. US RDA of iodine is 160 micrograms.
Ari: Do you have any concern around iodine toxicity? I have a good friend who’s a specialist in this area. He is pretty convinced that there’s a very narrow range of optimal for iodine intake and that exceeding that amount can contribute to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Dr. Wall: Yes, I’d like to see that in the literature, but I have not. Again, I’m a published literature guy and I’ve seen plenty of literature showing the opposite, where you basically flood the body with iodine, it’s water-soluble, it’s not like it’s a fat-soluble vitamin that’s going to be stored in the fat. Any excess, you pee out.
I have yet to see any literature showing that a very safe dose like 25 milligrams of iodine, which many holistic physicians recommend will contribute or make worse a Hashimoto’s or any type of thyroiditis that’s going on. The opposite is certainly true. There are so many people that are iodine deficient. Look at all of the hypothyroid women in particular. There are at least in Utah on the west side front. It’s as common as COVID right now. It’s crazy.
Ari: Why do you think it’s so common there?
Dr. Wall: Well, I, and not just here, I have colleagues across the nation that report the same thing. Thyroid issues are ubiquitous. I think one of the biggest reasons is because of fluoridation of the water, fluoride, and pesticides. We’re just inundated with fluoride. One of the things that happens, I’ll show this up on the screen here, is when you’ve got your thyroid hormones, T3 and T4.
It’s called T3 because it’s got three binding sites occupied, supposed to be occupied by iodine and T4, the same four binding sites. Well, iodine is a member of the halide family, halogens and unfortunately, it’s the slowest, biggest, fattest least reactive of all of that family.
Fluoride for your teeth, yay or nay?
If you’ll notice on that periodic table, fluoride is at the top, it’s the fastest, most reactive, and most dangerous of all of those elements. And so–
Ari: It happens to be in the water supply in many countries, including Us.
Dr. Wall: Because of some ridiculous part of a study that was taken from the 1950s, not the whole study. They didn’t look at the whole thing. They just looked at one little piece of the study that said, “Oh, it just so happens that these kids don’t have as many kid cavities as these other kids.” That’s the one piece they looked at.
Ari: Let’s actually just maybe elaborate on that a bit. This is an example, one of not very many examples of essentially a medical intervention you being done on the entire population. Most people are not even aware of this fact that the government decided to knowingly add this chemical fluoride to the water supply because of the research that you just referred to linking fluoride consumption with lower risk of cavities.
They’re giving this to everybody in the drinking water all the time. As a dentist who has studied this issue, what is your, obviously, we’re just alluding to it, but what is your take on this sort of population-level intervention on healthy disease-free, cavity-free people? What are the positives of fluoride, if you think there are any, and what are the negatives?
Dr. Wall: There are no benefits to putting fluoride in the water. Zero.
Ari: Are there any with topical fluoride, like used in the mouth?
Dr. Wall: Absolutely not because the patient’s going to swallow some. Regardless of how much you put on, they’re going to ingest some fluoride.
Ari: Does it actually work in the mouth to prevent cavities or to promote recalcification? Is that aspect of it true at all? Is there any grain of truth in it?
Dr. Wall: Absolutely. You can take fluoride and replace part of the hydroxylapatite mineral in the teeth. Supposedly, again, it depends on which part of the research you agreed, supposedly, that makes the tooth more resistant to decay. The downside is all of the other negative benefits or negative effects that you get from that proposed benefit, which include brittle bone.
There were some studies that just barely came out, showing that fluoride make our kids stupid. It decreases the IQ of kids across the board. There’s no doubt about its irrefutable evidence, so many studies showing that. Fluoridation is the greatest fraud perpetrated on the human race. That’s a quote from, I think it’s called Fluoride, the Great Debate. There are many books on the topic, but absolutely water fluoridation is stupid. Just plain stupid.
Ari: This is a bit of a digression, but I just can’t resist given what we’ve gone through in the world in the last two years. I think there are so many and this topic has been highly politicized. You always have to be careful how you phrase things, so as to not anger one or the other side of the political spectrum. I’m not in this for the political side. I’m just a science guy and I have a take on things and I think I’ve been-
I think I’ve been consistently proven correct as I imagine you have. One thing that is worth pointing out here is many people operate with the assumption their whole lives, they grew up with the assumption and I did, that the big decisions about what happens per government and these health bodies, they are based on just decades of the most solid evidence possible. They never roll out a public health intervention unless all of the greatest minds and the best experts in that field have shown conclusively and a mountain of research that it’s-
Dr. Wall: I wish that was true.
Ari: Totally effective and unbelievably safe.
Dr. Wall: I wish that was true.
Ari: As you start to dig into the science and you become highly scientifically literate you learn about these subjects you discover example after example of things like this. They’re fluoridating the water of hundreds of millions of people based on terrible evidence and when there is actually evidence showing all kinds of toxic effects; thyroid toxic effects, neurotoxic effects, and they’re still doing it. You start to see through the veil of this world view of all the experts are just looking out for us they would only do something if they have amazing evidence it’s all the best minds in the world.
You start to realize, “Oh, my gosh, these people are just humans and they make mistakes, or they’re corrupt, or they’re making bad decisions and they’re not modifying them in the face of evidence showing the decision was wrong.” You start to realize how fallible and how fragile the whole system is. I think this it’s highly relevant to what’s going on in the world in the last two years as well.
Dr. Wall: I couldn’t agree more.
The best foods for healthy teeth
Ari: Yes. Are there any other nutrients of concern or aspects of diet that you feel are worth mentioning before we move on to other more technical dentistry topics?
Dr. Wall: Absolutely, fruits and vegetables antioxidants. Getting back to our roots eating whole foods. Our first line of defense in our body is antioxidants and one of the reasons that death, decay, chronic disease, inflammation happens, is because we have oxidizing elements. Things that steal energy in the form of electrons from our system. Anything that steals electrons, steals energy is an oxidizer. Too many oxidizers and not enough oxidants is going to equate to disease and breakdown, so five to nine fresh fruits and vegetables a day is a great rule of thumb. I tell my kids greens for every meal. If in doubt green it out.
Make sure you’ve got some bright-colored naturally colored foods on your plate every meal. If you can’t do that then supplement with something, a whole food organically grown supplement that helps to balance out all of those oxidizing factors throughout the day. One of them I like is Juice Plus, JuiceFestiv is another excellent supplement. A little less expensive than Juice Plus, but get something in there that is going to help balance out the oxidizing effect.
Ari: Excellent. I have an interesting question. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone answer this or that I’ve seen any literature on it and I’ve looked, but you’ve dug into the literature around oral health obviously much deeper than I have and you know the history here. I’m a very naturalistic-oriented person I think you’re to look at things from an evolutionary lens.
From that lens, I have always been very curious what the dental hygiene habits look like of hunter-gatherer people or traditional living people in parts of the world like the ones that Weston A. Price studied where they had good oral health. Absence of cavities, good straight teeth, and all that. Do you know what their brushing and flossing habits look like if any?
Dr. Wall: Well, I have a good idea not because I was there but just because of what I understand about biochemistry and physiology. I’ve had some exposure to a little bit of what Weston Price experienced. I’ve spent some time in Africa. and had some African friends that I’ve interacted with. One in particular that I can think of is a young man. He was 19 at the time, this was probably about 10 years ago.
He came and stayed with my parents for several months. They watched him and of course, me being a dentist, they’re very excited to share with me that he didn’t even own a toothbrush. Yet he had every single tooth in his mouth including his wisdom teeth, which is a whole [unintelligible 00:30:36] topic, airway and pallet size. We may have time to get in that later. Maybe that’s another time, but he didn’t have a single cavity.
The way he cleaned his teeth was with the leftovers from his plate AKA a chicken bone, he got something caught in between. He’d go in and just a toothpick. I combine that with visits I’ve made to Africa and some humanitarian work I’ve done over there where I think I’m doing them a favor by bringing them toothpaste, toothbrushes, [unintelligible 00:31:17] they don’t need it. These kids come up to me. Let me see if I can find this photo because it tells the whole story. I took a picture of these kids. Give me just a second to find this, a picture of these African kids with beautiful white perfectly straight and aligned teeth, just beaming and not a single cavity in their head.
Ari: How do we explain that? How do we make sense of that?
Dr. Wall: Well, I think it goes back to the basics that Dr. Price found back in 1920 that processed refined food plain and simple changes the biochemistry in the mouth. Then we have to counteract it by removing it every day that biofilm that gets on the teeth, we’ve got to remove it. Otherwise, it will contribute to breakdown, decay, gum disease. Whereas, ancestral diet, if you will without the refined process foods, you just don’t have that.
The best dental routine
Ari: Do you have any other thoughts? I know this is probably a very boring topic for you as somebody who’s gotten into all kinds of very advanced and sophisticated levels of dental issues and training dentists and all that. Do you have any more thoughts on the very basics of just brushing and flossing? I’ve actually developed an interest in this recently and dug into literature and it’s been honestly a little bit shocking to me how little research there is on just something that you would think that there’s thousands of studies on brushing and flushing and what’s the best toothbrush and what’s the best flossing, interdental brushing or whatever. It’s amazing how little research there is. I was pretty shocked by that.
Dr. Wall: It’s unfortunate. There’s one study here. I wanted to show you. Here we go. This was done in Europe. They looked at over 160,000 people and actually measured their heart function. They found that those that had good flossing and brushing and we’ll get into the details a little bit of what that means, but those that did those two things had to decrease risk of fibrillation and heart failure just by doing those two things. 161,000 people, that’s a huge N that’s a big [unintelligible 00:34:15]
I like to keep it simple for patients. I tell them four steps. Number one, you floss, any floss going to work. You just need the mechanical way. I should back up and say this is if you are not living on an ancestral diet, If you have zero refined foods, then you don’t need to do this. Most of us are not going to be living on raw vegetables and raw milk and that type of thing. If you are not living the ancestral diet then you should follow these four things, the first two at least flossing between every tooth in your mouth, the ones you want to keep the least, and then good brushing technique. I tell people very simply, half the bristles on the tooth, half on the gums. Keep it simple and you do it in small circles. You’re simply mechanically removing the biofilm that’s built up on the teeth, and then third and fourth step if you want to do that, the third one would be a Waterpik, they’re really popular these days. I personally don’t like those. I just like brushing, flossing and my teeth are professionally cleaned every day so I don’t have much to worry about.
Ari: Because you’re cleaning your Tier I.
Dr. Wall: Exactly.
Ari: I actually just got a Waterpik a few months ago, and I actually really liked it and I find it helps.
Dr. Wall: Some people absolutely love it. In the Waterpik, I’ll recommend that people will alternate between one of two mixtures. The first mixture is baking soda, the second one is peroxide. Cheap and easy and both of those things are going to raise the pH in the mouth, you raise pH in the mouth, you create an environment conducive to health [unintelligible 00:36:09]
Ari: The hydrogen peroxide mixture or the baking soda mixture would be, I don’t know, 1%, 2% hydrogen peroxide, something like that?
Dr. Wall: They’re very simple, make sure you get a non-aluminum baking soda. A cup of baking soda in a gallon of water and a cup of 3% peroxide like you can pick up at Costco, food-grade, mixed in a gallon of water, so just a cup of each, and then you got your two gallons of mixture that’s probably going to last you several months. You just put a tablespoon or so in your mouth to do the swishing, that’s step four. Step three would be using one of those two mixtures in your Waterpik so then you’re getting it in all those hard-to-reach areas.
Ari: Sorry, say step three and four again.
Dr. Wall: Three is your Waterpik.
Ari: Okay, just with water?
Dr. Wall: With one of those two mixtures in the bin’
Ari: Then what’s four?
Dr. Wall: Then for is just swishing with a tablespoon or so of one of those two mixtures.
Ari: Got it.
Dr. Wall: Then alternate, so peroxide one day, baking soda the next, peroxide the next, baking soda the next.
Ari: Okay, and this alters the pH in the mouth to be a more alkaline pH?
Dr. Wall: Exactly. Here’s a key principle that probably not many people know and it’s about pH. You’ve got your zero and a 14 scale, 14 is very alkaline, zero, of course, is super acidic. The pH of the stomach should be 1 to 2, very acidic, that’s the way it should be. The pH of the mouth should be 6.8 or above, and if the pH in the mouth is 6.8 or above, it is impossible to develop dental decay, it’s impossible to get a cavity. Everything we do nutrition, dental treatment, toxic material removal, exercise, sleep, all of that should be geared to keeping the pH in our mouth above 6.8, and if it is, then we’re not going to have the breakdown, we’re not going to have gum disease.
Ari: Okay, and the biggest keys to that are obviously, diet being a huge thing, and then the mixtures you just described. Is there anything else that is useful in the pH wars of the mouth?
Dr. Wall: I’d say those are the biggest ones; nutrition, exercise, good sleep, and then, of course, proper oral hygiene. You can’t let that biofilm build up. If you let it build up one night, if you go one night without brushing and flossing, you have an entire Amazon forest of bacteria in your mouth the next day, that’s how fast it builds them up.
The studies on brushing and flossing
Ari: I can’t resist mentioning this. As I was digging into the literature on brushing and flossing, I was having a bit of a debate with two dentist friends of mine and first, I mentioned to them how little research there was on it and they were also both shocked. They didn’t believe me at first and then they went and looked for themselves and they were like I can’t believe it.
One of them told me that he was at a conference where there was some sort of big shot dental expert who was presenting to a group of dentists and he mentioned, “Yes, there’s hardly any research on brushing and flossing,” and everybody, all the dentists in the audience cracked up laughing because they thought he was joking and he was actually being serious. [chuckles]
It’s just so hard for people, especially dentists, to imagine that being true but I was looking specifically at which toothbrush is better, the Sonicare or the Oral B and there’s comparisons going back at least 10 years if not more like 15 or maybe even more than that. What I found was two major studies that found the Oral B was superior to the Sonicare.
Then it turned out my dentist friend pointed this out to me. He said that, “Oh yes, but those were studied by Braun,” those were funded by Braun, which is the manufacturer of Oral B. Then I found two other studies that supported the idea that Sonicare was better than Oral B, and then it turned out both of those studies were funded by the manufacturer of Sonicare. Then there was a literature review that did a review of those four studies plus several more, I guess, and they found that overall, there was a slight edge to the Oral B over the Sonicare, but it’s interesting how much the person funding the study influenced the results.
Dr. Wall: It is interesting. You can find a study just about a study for anything, depending on who’s funding it.
Root canals and toxic materials
Ari: Right. I want to get into some more advanced topics here. I don’t think I’ll have time to cover everything, but I definitely want to cover root canals and toxic materials in the mouth. Can you talk- and those are probably separate things, so let’s talk about root canals first and what do people need to know about that.
Dr. Wall: Well, first off, dentistry is the only profession that will mummify one of your body parts and leave it there. That doesn’t make any sense. Any other healthcare profession would be sued for malpractice if they did that. Think about an appendix, appendicitis as an example. Necrotic gangrenous tissue, you don’t see the surgeon going in there, stripping the blood supply, stripping the lymph supply, stripping the nerve supply, and then filling that appendix full of plastic, plastics that’s full of heavy metals by the way, and then say, stitching up the patient and say, “You’re good,” may be sued for malpractice. Somehow we’re brainwashed in dentistry thinking it’s okay. We’ve got to save the teeth at the expense of the patient.
Ari: Okay, so what does that lead to? Obviously, you mentioned the heavy metals aspect, so we can assume heavy metals are now leaching into the body, but what happens– [crosstalk]
Dr. Wall: Heavy metals are a big part of it.
Ari: What happens at the site of that mummified tissue?
Dr. Wall: On several levels, number one, you’ve got a dead body part, and that creates a disruption. If you look at traditional Chinese medicine, every organ sits on what’s called a meridian. I don’t know if you’re familiar with acupuncture. That’s the basis is that every one of those 12 meridians acts like a circuit. As long as that circuit is closed, the electrons flow, all of the organs are happy, and the body functions properly. If any of those organs has a dysfunction, and by the way, every tooth is an organ. It has blood supply, nerve supply, lymph supply, and a function, so by Dorland’s medical dictionary, that tooth meets every requirement for an organ.
Every tooth organ sits on one of those meridians and so if you have a dead body part, it creates an opening of the circuit, and when the circuit is open, it can negatively affect any of the organs on that chain. That’s the first strike. You just got a dead body part and the body doesn’t like it, it can’t get rid of it, it can’t sleep, it can’t relax, it cannot get into that parasympathetic part of the nervous system. Instead, it’s stuck in sympathetic, always on. It’s like you’re always running from a lion, you get no rest.
The second thing, strike against root canal therapy is the biological effect it has. Teeth are made up of thousands of little tubules, dentinal tubules. In a single-rooted tooth, you have at least three miles of those tubules if you stack end to end, three miles. If you think about a molar, which typically has three or four roots, you’ve got up to 10 miles, maybe even more of organic material that is no longer aerated has no nerve supply, it no longer has a blood supply, and it’s 99 degrees, it’s moist, it’s dark, it’s perfect breeding ground for any pathogens that want to set up shop there, things like, Lyme disease.
I’ve seen– every tooth I take out, I swab on a microscope and blow it up 400 power and I watch what swims across the screen. I see parasites, I see all kinds of bacteria, I see some stuff that I’ve never seen before, I don’t know what to call it. There is nasty stuff that grows around these infected root canal-treated teeth, and that has access to the body.
Dr. Wall: It’s just three inches from the brainstem.
Dr. Wall: I wouldn’t want one in my head. If a patient has a tooth die, the tooth is dead, it no longer has blood supply, it has left the earth, so to speak, then the patient has three options and any dentist in the world should give the patient those three options, if they do not, they are not treating to the appropriate standard of care. The first option is get the tooth out and then you can talk about replacement later, but get rid of the diseased part of your body.
Second option, if you want to keep the tooth, you can do root canal therapy. If they opt to do that, I recommend they do it in one place. There’s only one doctor I would recommend to do root canal therapy because she uses laser, ozone, and she tries, she’s doing all research trying to figure out how to revitalize dead teeth. Her name’s Val Kanter, she’s in California, LA area. Anyway, that’s the second option. Third option is, you don’t have to do anything, not a great option, but no treatment is an option
Ari: Better than a root canal?
Dr. Wall: It depends. If they’ve already had a root canal and they’re just watching it-
Dr. Wall: -yes, no treatment’s an option. Again, if it were in my head, I’d get that out yesterday.
Ari: Got it. Okay. That’s excellent on root canals. As far as toxic materials, obviously, you know, the old silver fillings, I had silver fillings as a kid-
Dr. Wall: Yes, I did too.
Ari: -and obviously mercury is a concern there.
Dr. Wall: Absolutely.
Ari: That in itself is a controversial topic and this is another example of what we were talking about earlier with fluoride of the authorities, the “experts” in systems. This is perfectly safe.
Dr. Wall: Yes, because it’s been used for over a hundred years, that’s their science. That’s their scientific basis for saying it’s safe.
Dr. Wall: That’s laughable.
Ari: Yes, so tell us what the deal is with silver fillings and then any other things of concern as far as toxic materials. I’d be also curious what your take is on plastics, things like Invisalign.
Dr. Wall: Yes. Let me just get to this system here. One second here. All mercury fillings, the silver fillings, they’re at least 50% mercury. Again, the only science that the ADA has to show that they are “safe” is that they’ve been used for over 150 years. That’s not science, that’s an anecdote. However, there is a ton of science showing that the mercury off-gasses continually from the teeth, especially when you heat it up or you create some friction against it.
There’s a great video I like, it’s called The Toxic Tooth. You can find that on iaomt.org and it shows a tooth actually off-gassing, it’s in front of a green screen so you can see the gasses coming off of the extracted tooth with the mercury filling in it and you can see what happens when you heat it up, when you rub on it with an eraser, like when you go get your teeth cleaned, and you get all this mercury off-gassing into the brain and into the lungs, it’s crazy. There’s no reason to use mercury fillings.
Now, there are so many much better materials to use right now. Yes, they are technique sensitive, and yes, they take some training to learn how to do them properly, but that’s evolution. That’s what dentistry should be. We shouldn’t be practicing the same way today as we were a year ago. If we are, it’s time to retire. Yes, mercury is just horribly toxic. I’m looking for some research here, actual science.
Mercury negatively affects the gut. It changes, remember that good and bad bacteria balance? It makes the bad, more prevalent than the good. Let’s see, mercury fillings are a permanent, toxic source of mercury in the body. Of course it kills brain cells. There’s another great video clip here. Have you seen this one?
Ari: I don’t think I have. I saw the smoking tooth one that you’re referring to, though.
Dr. Wall: This was clear back in 1999. It placed a little thing of mercury here. This is a brain neurofibril from a snail. You saw that neurofibril just totally receded and then it froze, it’s dead. [crosstalk]
Ari: For people listening, who are not watching the video, basically it was a video of a neuron that is growing, and then when a small bit of mercury is placed near it, the neuron actually starts shrinking away from that bit of mercury.
Dr. Wall: Yes, just crazy. Let’s see what else we got here. Oh, another absolutely crucial thing about mercury is we can talk about stomach function because I think stomach function is way underestimated in medicine. I think the stomach can be considered the hinge point of health, right next to the mouth. One of the things that mercury does is it inhibits the function of zinc. Zinc is crucial for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
Here’s another startling statistic. Every other American has had or currently experiences some form of acid reflux. One of the reasons for that is because they don’t make enough stomach acid. It’s not that they have too much stomach acids, they don’t have enough. One of the reasons for that is because most people have mercury fillings. That’s bad news right there.
Ari: Mercury is toxic to the gut, toxic to neurons.
Dr. Wall: Yes. Toxic to everything in the body.
Ari: Toxic to mitochondria, we should mention that as well and is strongly linked with chronic fatigue as well.
Dr. Wall: Largely because of the gut issues it causes. There are more neuroreceptors in the gut than there are in the brain. If someone’s feeling lousy, it’s probably because they’ve got something wrong in their gut, and that’s probably because there’s something wrong in their mouth.
Ari: Are there any other materials in the mouth as far as things with implants or the plastics that I mentioned before?
Dr. Wall: Yes. There are so many we could talk about. Let’s talk about titanium implants. Titanium is considered among most oral surgeons to be the goal standard material for implants, dental implants. Unfortunately, they are not pure titanium. To be considered to be commercially pure, titanium implants only have to be 96% titanium. The other 4% are made of up of other metals and all titanium implants contain nickel. The percentage of Americans that are sensitive, not to mention allergic to nickel, is astounding, and more and more studies are being published every month on hypersensitivity and allergic reactions to titanium alloy implants.
The FDA just came out in 2019, and you know when the FDA gets involved, things are really bad. They came out with a paper in 2019 outlining the negative health effects, I’m pulling this up here so you can get a view of it here, 2019, the negative health effects of metal alloy implants in the body. There are two pages dedicated to titanium implants, oral implants.
Look at this list of, of negative health effects that can be caused by putting titanium in the body. You get bacterial colonization, so remember that balance of the good and the bad, you get more bad than good because you’ve now changed the biochemistry to favor the bad bacteria, which then makes a more pathologic, more problem-causing, which then also contributes to gum disease, circling back to that. It also creates an oxidizing environment. Remember we talked about anything that is oxidizing contributes to chronic disease.
Let’s see. It also contributes to all of these pro-inflammatory cytokines, things that contribute to chronic inflammation throughout the body. It creates an over-aggressive immune response from the body which then creates just like a dozen gum disease, negative fallout, and side effects. There’s so much literature being published right now. One study, in particular, shows that the incidence of peri-implantitis can be as high as 87%. Peri-implantitis means there’s chronic inflammation around a titanium implant. That’s astronomical.
Some of my colleagues are saying that this peri-implantitis wave is like a tsunami. When it hits, especially with 5G coming out right now, all of those energy waves coming through, these implants are going to fry in people’s heads. Anyway, titanium is not good. There’s a much better alternative; ceramic zirconia which is zirconium oxide which has excellent biological results. It’s inert, it doesn’t off-gas. It doesn’t release any toxic materials into the tissue. Right now that is the best option until we start growing new teeth for tooth loss
Ari: For implants?
Dr. Wall: Yes.
Ari: Okay. Then what do you think about plastics, Invisalign, things like that?
Dr. Wall: Those can be an issue. You just need to be careful that they’re BPA-free as they’re oxidizing in the mouth. Anything you put in the mouth is going to oxidize by the nature of the environment. It’s usually quite acidic in most people instead of neutral. That’s the state of disease that we live in the United States, unfortunately. Anything with a PH less than 6.8, you are going to degrade it. If there are materials such as BPA that are in the plastics, and then they get into the saliva and then you swallow the saliva, then that can be a systemic issue. You just need to be careful and ask, “What’s in this?” If it doesn’t–
Ari: Do you know the details of Invisalign? Do you know if it’s got BPA or BPS in it or– [crosstalk].
Dr. Wall: I can’t say that because there are so many companies now that do “Invisalign.” You’ve got half a dozen companies that are producing these trays, who knows what’s in them. The onus is really on the dentist or the patient to find out from the dentist, what’s in the material and don’t put something in your mouth unless you know what’s in it.
Ari: Got it. I want to talk about airways, sleep apnea. You mentioned this in passing earlier when you were talking about wisdom teeth. Do you have any thoughts on airways, breathing issues, sleep apnea issues, because this is the issue for some people. For a segment of people struggling with chronic fatigue, it’s the major cause of their issues. From a dental perspective, do you have any thoughts on this?
Dr. Wall: Absolutely. It is a huge problem. Some practitioners have considered it the number one undiagnosed chronic health problem in the United States. I see patients with sleep apnea every single day. They don’t even know they have a problem. Especially men, they mostly live in denial and that’s not the river in Egypt, thinking, “Oh, I sleep just fine.” Of course, then the wife chimes in and says, “Oh, you snore like a banshee. What are you talking about?” Of course, snoring is a red flag sign that there’s probably an airway issue.
Speaking about sleep apnea, basically, what happens, the most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. That’s where the tongue and the soft palate interact and create turbulence when those tissues are flapping in the wind, so to speak. That happens because there’s some kind of constriction in the airway. When there’s that constriction, sometimes it will lead to an actual stopping of breathing, call it an apnea, 10 seconds or more. That creates a problem because then the oxygen intake decreases and that makes the blood more acidic, which then creates another oxidizing environment, which leads to all kinds of chronic health issues.
What does that have to do with dentistry? Well, on several levels. Number one, if we don’t have all of our teeth, including our wisdom teeth, then typically our jaws become more narrow. When our upper jaw is narrow, our lower jaw, of course, has to fit underneath it. Well, the narrower the upper jaw, the further back the lower jaw has to sit. Just push back on your lower jaw and tell me what that does to your airway. Closes it off, right? It’s not rocket science. The further back the jaw goes, the more constriction you have and the more likely you are to have an apneic event.
The importance of chewing hard foods
What I recommend is screen kids early, five, six, seven years old. If it looks like their – parents can tell this – if the baby teeth are crowded, there’s a major issue. Baby teeth should have spacing between them. If they don’t have spacing, intervention is advised. Intervention can be as simple as using an, it’s an orthodontic appliance basically, with some expansion mechanism to actually guide the child’s arch upper jaw wider and more forward so that it helps them to grow and develop into a wide-open airway ultimately, so they can have all their teeth. If they have all of their teeth and they have a broad upper arch where the tongue can fit, that’s an ideal situation.
Ari: I had Dr. Mike Mew on the podcast recently.
Dr. Wall: Oh, perfect. He talked all about it then.
Ari: Yes, he was talking all about it and the importance of chewing hard stuff, and not feeding kids all a soft diet of mushy stuff.
Dr. Wall: Where did that come in? Where’s the literature that supports that?
Ari: Absolutely, good point. Dr. Wall, this has been really excellent. I’ve really, really enjoyed this. If you want to summarize maybe the top three or four things to leave people with, what would your top three be as far as practical tips for people to avoid dental health issues, or if they’ve got them, maybe a tip or two there?
Dr. Wall: Sure. Number one, we are what we eat and digest, digestion is crucial. Make sure that you’re putting good stuff in so you get good stuff out. The second thing I would say is, anything metal or dead should come out of your head, plain and simple. Certainly, don’t put anything metal or dead in the head. That doesn’t make any sense. Just take care of the teeth. Simple oral hygiene, all of that four-step protocol. I think those are probably three things anybody can start with.
Ari: Excellent. Thank you so much. Where do you want to direct people to? Where can people follow more of your work or do consultations with you or do programs with you? Feel free to describe all of that.
Dr. Wall: Sure. Probably the easiest place to go would be my which is Utah Dental Health, all spelled out, U-T-A-H D-E-N-T-A-L H-E-A-L-T-H.com. On there, I’ve got videos and explanations and more and more new information every day. I’m also working to train dentists around the world to think like this and to treat along these lines so that patients’ ultimate treatment can be improved.
Ari: Wonderful. Thank you so much, Dr. Wall. Really it was a pleasure. You are a wealth of wisdom. I’m sure you have enough material to lecture for probably 50 more hours on all of these topics and we’re just scratching the surface. I’m sure I would love to have you on again to talk about–
Dr. Wall: Just let me know. I’d be happy to come back.
Ari: Wonderful. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. To everyone listening, I hope you enjoyed this and I will see you again next week.
Dr. Wall: Thanks for having me. Bye-bye.
How bad teeth can make you sick (01:25)
Hidden causes of periodontal disease (03:33)
Fluoride for your teeth, yay or nay? (21:16)
The best foods for healthy teeth (25:55)
The best dental routine (32:40)
Root canals andx toxic materials (41:10)
The importance of chewing hard foods (58:45)