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On Monday November 2nd, Dr. Thom Evans, Dr. Kindal Robertson and the staff of the Evans Centre for Dental Health and Wellness, hosted their annual Halloween Candy Buy-Back. 

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Building on the success of last year’s event, more than 150 kids from the community brought a whopping 525 pound mountain of Halloween Candy to the Evans Centre in a 3 hour event. The Evans Centre paid the ghouls and goblins of Halloween, a loonie and an entry for an IPOD Nano for every pound of candy they brought, plus each Trick-or-Treater received a Firefly LED Toothbrush.

Two enterprising students, Ryan Dickie and Logan Neill, students at the Calgary Academy and also Ashley Perry, a Student Teacher at Westmount Charter School, collected 225 lbs and 150 lbs respectively. The money collected for their candy will be used for their school’s favorite charity. Many kids who came to the Evans Centre donated a portion of their take to various Charities. Dr. Evans matched all these charitable donations. In essence, those kids who donated to charity were giving up their hard-earned treats for two dollars a pound.

With the help of these schools, the Evans Centre collected an amazing 900 lbs of candy!

The two most common questions asked at the event were:

 

What do we do with the candy?
Why do you do this?

We are a health-centered office and we worry about the effects of this much sugar on our clients. The annual consumption of sugar has accelerated for the past century to a yearly 44.2 kg per capita in Canada in 2005. More alarming is the increased consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup which we believe is much more harmful to health and is the sweetener used in nearly all Halloween Candy.

At a time when our community is very concerned about strengthening an immune response to such health threats as H1N1, eliminating 900 lbs of candy from the diets of our children is the right thing to do. For those great kids who gave their candy up for charity, a number of other important groups have been helped in their ongoing efforts to improve our community. If the collected candy is unhealthy for our clients and families, it can not be good for others. So we destroy the candy. There are alternatives to candy.

This was a fun and Healthy event to end the Halloween activities this year.
 
 

 

 

Case History; Jan Jones

 

Allergies and autoimmune reaction have played a huge part in my life. Coupled with extreme stomach distress (diagnosed as IBM; irritable bowl syndrome), I was in a constant battle to ‘feel good’.

 

Through information given to me by a friend, I began to enter the world of “complimentary medicine, herbs, etc.” When all you get is a diagnosis, with no concrete information on dealing with it, feeling just absolutely awful just isn’t good enough! I was under the care of Dr. Orian Truss, who wrote the book “The Missing Diagnosis”. Dr. Truss treats his patients with Nystatin, and anti-fungal drug. I IMPROVED TREMEDNDOUSLY. In 1996 and again in 1998 I had two set-backs. I began to feel terrible, experiencing waves of nausea, pains in my ears, puffy eyes, low grade headache, rash on hands, stiffening joints, lack of energy, and flu like symptoms. I went to my doctor and he couldn’t find anything “wrong”.

 

It never occurred to me that my situation could be “tooth related”. In the spring of 2003 I had a crown put on a bicuspid. I immediately started my downhill slide again. The same symptoms! I began to devour anything that I could find to read on “Mercury Toxicity”. I went to Auburn University library and found a research type of booklet entitled “Candida and Mercury Toxicity”. There on the pages was m life story! I had over 18 mercury fillings in my mouth. I had my first filling put in my mouth when I was only three!

 

I decided to mention to my dentist what I had read, and how I was connecting it all. Big mistake! He treated me most disrespectfully and told me there could not possibly be a connection because I had had a crown put on my tooth in 1996 and another one in 1998.

 

A bell went off in my head. My two major autoimmune set-backs could be directly related to the occasion of having crowns put in my mouth!

 

I had gotten the name of Dr. Clark in Amity, Arkansas from a friend. She told me of two women in our area who had been to Dr. Clark and had their mercury taken out of their mouths. I phoned them and asked them about their experiences and if they had improved health-wise. They said they had improved greatly.

 

I then called Dr. Clark and spoke with him about my situation. He explained to me that the metal lining of the crowns could be causing a reaction with the mercury. He said the crown would probably be fine, if the mercury was removed.

 

I went to Amity and had the mercury taken out of my mouth. Immediately the next morning I could tell a huge difference in the way I felt. It has been a wonderful last year and a half! I am much improved. I have no allergies at all and my stomach situation is so much better.

 

I am still amazed about this entire situation! It really is hard to believe. I want to shout from the rooftops and tell medical professions to look into other reasons for illnesses. Not to be so closed minded! It’s to bad things are the way they are. One truly has to be responsible for their own health.

 

Jan Jones

 

 

Gum disease has been linked to hardening of the arteries for nearly a decade, and scientists have long fingered a gang of oral bacteria as the obvious suspects behind many cases of the vessel-clogging killer.

Now University of Florida researchers have cornered the bacterial ringleaders of gum disease inside human artery-clogging plaque — the first concrete evidence to place the pathogens at the heart of the circulatory crime scene. Their report appears in the current issue of Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

“Our finding is important because it has proved there are live periodontal bacteria in human atherosclerotic tissue,” said study investigator Ann Progulske-Fox, a professor of oral biology at the UF College of Dentistry. “Now we can begin to understand how these bacteria contribute to the disease process.”

The oral bacteria UF researchers found in the plaque, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, are two of the most aggressive offenders in periodontal disease, the leading cause of adult tooth loss. Because of the strong association between periodontal and cardiovascular diseases, scientists have postulated for years that oral pathogens contribute to arterial damage that leads to heart attack or stroke, which kill nearly a million Americans a year. In fact, a recent study conducted elsewhere found a direct correlation between the amount of periodontal bacteria in the mouth and the formation of blockages in the carotid artery in the neck.

To reach the circulatory system, the bacteria have to breech the barrier between tissues in the mouth and the bloodstream, Progulske-Fox said. For patients with periodontal disease, whose gums are inflamed and bleed easily, bristles from even the softest toothbrush can tear tiny blood vessels in the compromised gum tissues, leaving the door wide open for bacteria to enter.

But could the bacteria elude the body’s protective immune response once within the bloodstream?

Researchers worldwide have sought to empirically nab oral bacteria — dead or alive — in atherosclerotic tissues. They have found remnants of bacterial DNA in arteries, signaling that bacteria had entered the bloodstream. Yet scientists have never been able to grow periodontal bacteria isolated from arterial plaque in Petri dishes, even though the same species of bacteria swabbed from oral plaque can be cultured that way. Therefore, researchers could not be sure the DNA was from bacterial trespassers destroyed by the immune system in the bloodstream, or if live bacteria were actually directly involved in plaque formation within the vessel walls.

“It makes sense that those periodontal bacteria most invasive in the mouth could be able to adapt to the vascular situation,” said study project leader Emil Kozarov, an adjunct associate professor of oral biology at UF and a faculty member at Nova Southeastern University.

Probably only a handful of periodontal bacteria have been successful in making the jump of being infectious to both the oral and vascular tissues. Identifying these bacteria would give researchers the inside scoop on how the bacteria may contribute to cardiovascular disease, said Kozarov.

To find them, Progulske-Fox’s team took the unusual approach of attempting to grow bacteria from arterial plaque directly on human artery cells. They obtained a section of a diseased carotid artery from a 74-year-old, partially toothless male patient undergoing surgery to remove an 80 percent blockage at Shands at UF in Gainesville. After removal, the sample was rinsed and placed on ice, then rushed to Progulske-Fox’s nearby lab in a sealed, sterile container.

Within six hours of leaving the operating room, researchers pureed plaque from the artery and set it to incubate in a brew of healthy arterial cells and liquid growth medium. After 24 hours, the cells were separated from the slurry in the flask, washed several times, then subjected to a series of fluorescent baths containing antibodies sensitive to P. gingivalis and A. actinomycetemcomitans bacteria.

Finally, the cells were fixed to a glass slide and placed under a microscope to search for the presence of invasive periodontal bacteria within the cell structures. If any of the artery cells were infected with the bacteria, fluorescent antibodies would light them up like Alcatraz in lockdown.

Progulske-Fox and her team found the endothelial cells were infected with both P. gingivalis and A. actinomycetemcomitans, proving live bacteria had been present in the atherosclerotic plaque.

“This report certainly provides a smoking gun that live bacteria have become seeded from the oral cavity to become inhabitants of the vessel wall,” said Dr. Steve Offenbacher, distinguished professor of periodontology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. “The exciting implications focus on the known ability of these bacteria to destroy connective tissue in the mouth, suggesting that when infecting the vessel wall they may contribute to the instability of the atherosclerotic plaque — leading to acute events such as heart attack or stroke.”

Progulske-Fox plans to study atherosclerotic tissue samples from 50 to 60 more patients to better understand how bacteria infect arterial cells. She suspects some strains of the bacteria may be more successful in breaching the barriers separating oral tissues from the bloodstream. These bad bugs would become “most wanted” in the fight against periodontal and cardiovascular disease.

“More study samples will show us which strains are implicated in the disease process, so we can design simple diagnostic technology that could be used in a dental office to identify specific bacteria the patient is carrying and whether that bacteria is known to cause atherosclerotic disease,” said Progulske-Fox.

She envisions those diagnostic tests would be the first step in the war against periodontal and cardiovascular diseases, eventually leading to the development of a vaccine that would prevent oral bacteria from ever gaining a stronghold in the mouth. Antibiotic or antimicrobial treatments that could kill the bacteria after they have entered the circulatory system might also someday be possible.

For now, however, she advises people to practice good oral hygiene.

“It is important for these patients to have very good dental hygiene,” said Progulske-Fox, “because losing a tooth may not be a big deal to some people, but it can become a life-threatening situation.”

   

 Article taken from IAOMT.org
Government bans all use of mercury in Sweden

Press release 15 January 2009
Ministry of the Environment

http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/11459/a/118550


The Government today decided to introduce a blanket ban on mercury. The ban means that the use of dental amalgam in fillings will cease and that it will no longer be permitted to place products containing mercury on the Swedish market.

"Sweden is now leading the way in removing and protecting the environment from mercury, which is non-degradable. The ban is a strong signal to other countries and a Swedish contribution to EU and UN aims to reduce mercury use and emissions," says Minister for the Environment Andreas Carlgren.

The Government's decision means that products containing mercury may not be placed on the Swedish market. In practice this means that alternative techniques will have to be used in dental care, chemical analysis and the chloralkali industry. The Swedish Chemicals Agency will be authorised to issue regulations on exceptions or grant exemptions in individual cases.

In connection with the Government's decision, waste containing mercury will be disposed of in deep geological repositories in other EU countries. The Swedish market for hazardous waste is small. Last spring, a government inquiry established that there are existing repositories for waste containing mercury in, for example, Germany that more than adequately meet the safety requirements on which Swedish legislation is based. Creating a new Swedish repository would be around 15 times more expensive than depositing waste in existing facilities in the EU. The bodies consulted on this matter shared the inquirys conclusions.

"By using common solutions and almost forty years of experience of storing mercury in the EU, we are not lowering safety standards. The waste will be transported to a deep geological repository with high safety standards. In accordance with the polluter pays principle, the owners of the waste will be responsible for ensuring that disposal in a repository is arranged and paying for it," says Mr Carlgren.

The disposal possibilities in other EU countries provide better incentives for the desired development of safe, large-scale technologies to stabilise waste containing mercury.

Since the beginning of the 1990s there has been a ban in Sweden on the manufacture and sale of certain products containing mercury, including thermometers and other measuring devices and electronic components.

The new regulations enter into force on 1 June 2009.

 


07/31/2009

[Analysis by Jim Dickinson,* www.FDAweb.com]
Although FDA estimates there were 154 million teeth filled last year
with mercury-laced dental amalgams, this is a small and fast-shrinking
market that’s yielding to safer alternatives. Which makes it all the
harder to understand why FDA 7/28 capped a flawed, 32-year effort to
support the use of this notorious environmental toxin in dentistry by
announcing a final rule classifying it as a Class II medical device.
Rule making is supposed to be an objective process, and all the more
so when it is scientific rulemaking. Egregiously, this one was not.

FDA’s announcement was “shocking,” declared the Florida-based
International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology in a press
release. “Dental amalgam is universally acknowledged to expose people
to mercury, but by declaring it a Class II device the FDA has passed
on the opportunity to require proof of safety from its manufacturers.
Instead, FDA has declared it safe by administrative fiat.”

Unlike most controversial FDA decisions, that administrative fiat has
little to no backing from a powerful regulated industry whose ox might
otherwise have been gored in a stronger rulemaking. In fact, one
industry analyst, Northcoast Research, told its clients that far from
protecting mercury’s market share, the rule might actually expedite a
shift to costlier, less durable and more profitable composite resin
alternatives — clearly not what the FDA rulemakers intended.

Buried in the depth of the preamble to the rule, on Page 86 of its
typescript, under the heading, “Risk,” the intent and the bias of its
principle author — thought to be dentist Susan Runner, acting director
of CDRH’s Division of Anesthesiology, General Hospital, Infection
Control, and Dental Devices — can be discerned: to promote public
health through more, not less use of mercury amalgams.

“[A]ny change away from use of dental amalgam,” the preamble baldly
says, “is likely to result in negative public health outcomes (delayed
dental treatments or increased costs of treatment); while there would
be a decrease in mercury exposure, there is no evidence that there
would be any reduction in adverse affects associated with mercury.
Conversely, any change toward use of dental amalgam is likely to
result in positive public health outcomes (fewer delayed dental
treatments or decreased costs of treatment).”

This statement is repeated word-for-word on Page 96, under the heading
“Potential Public Health Effects of the Final Rule.”

In a particularly obtuse and speculative section, “Alternatives to the
Final Rule,” FDA presents no factual reference whatever, but projects
an unsubstantiated theoretical cost to the country of $63.9 million in
delayed treatments and higher costs if dental amalgam is no longer
available and dentists are forced to use more expensive and less
durable alternative materials.

The preamble appends 88 references reflecting biased selections of
literature that almost invariably reference studies vaguely
exonerating dental mercury from human harms, even while repeatedly
acknowledging “gaps” in human data and falling back on animal studies
and epidemiologic meta-analyses instead. FDA Webview could find no
anti-amalgam study conclusions in the one-sided literature that FDA
referenced.

However, in a 15-minute Google search, FDA Webview found four such
studies that were not included in FDA’s bibliography (but doubtless
Runner could find them not in compliance with the regulatory
definition of “valid scientific evidence” notwithstanding that many of
her own 88 references in the preamble also appear to have that
deficiency, including a discredited 2006 FDA White Paper declaring
dental amalgams safe and a controversial mercury-exonerating study
done for FDA by the Beltway consulting firm LSRO cited favorably in
the preamble): A high proportion (mean 77% SD 17%) of inorganic
mercury was found. It is concluded that the cause of the association
between amalgam load and accumulation of mercury in tissues is the
release of mercury vapor from amalgam fillings. Nylander, M. et al,
Swedish Dental Journal (1987)

The results showed that examined subjects with dental amalgams had
higher pre-chewing mercury levels in their expired air than those
without amalgams. After chewing, these levels were increased an
average of 15.6-foldin the former and remained unchanged in the latter
group. It was concluded that in situ dental amalgams can increase the
level of mercury in expired air. Svare et al, Journal of Dental
Research (1981)

Blood mercury concentrations were positively correlated with the
number and surface area of amalgam restorations and were significantly
lower in the group without dental amalgams Abraham et al, Journal of
Dental Research (1984)

The report points out, supported again by a multitude of studies, that
amalgam contributes more mercury to the human organism than all other
sources from the environment (food, water, air) combined. Kieler
Amalgam Gutachen (2002 German Govt. study) Among the preamble’s 88
references, however, were two ambiguously described votes from a 2006
joint meeting of FDA’s Dental Products Panel and Peripheral and
Central Nervous Drugs Advisory Committee on amalgam. As reported at
the time, but not in FDA’s final rule preamble, these declared by 13-7
majorities that FDA’s White Paper did not objectively and clearly
present the current state of knowledge about them, and that the White
Paper’s conclusions about safety were not reasonable.

In July, before it announced the final rule, which is to publish in
the 8/4 Federal Register, FDA updated the White Paper in response to
those criticisms, but its updates were largely technical, not
substantive. Simultaneously, it updated CDRH’s amalgams Web page to
remove advisory language saying: “Dental amalgams contain mercury,
which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing
children and fetuses.” FDA is about to be sued in federal court over
this, according to Consumers for Dental Choice national counsel
Charles G. Brown.

Among its responses to some 3,000 public comments on the proposed
rule, published in 2002, the final rule’s preamble conceded that
mercury does cross the placental barrier but cited a lack of human
data on fetal effects. The preamble acknowledged one animal study that
showed no fetal effects and another showing “adverse effects on fetal
development only in cases where maternal exposure to mercury vapor was
so high that it became toxic to the mother (leading to decreased
maternal body weight).”

There were two substantive White Paper updates among the eight FDA
listed in its preamble to the final rule: (1) The label warning about
zinc in amalgam was changed to a warning about the presence of
mercury; and (2) Submitters of 510(k)s for mercury amalgams were
required to include test data about the amount of mercury vapor
released by their device.

Dental product labels, however, are seldom read by patients.

As it typically does in preambles to final rules, FDA’s discussion of
these 3,000 comments did not break them down into for-and-against
counts, nor did it provide per-topic counts; instead it used, as it
typically does, vague adjectives like “many” when more than several
commenters made the same point.

Accordingly, the agency admitted that “many” commenters wanted amalgam
classified into Class III, an effective ban. But, since rulemaking is
not a popularity contest or a ballot, the agency overruled these
commenters, citing regulatory alibis, rather than substance.

“In reaching this determination,” it wrote, “FDA made the findings
required by § 860.7(d)(1) that, first, when subject to the general
controls of the act and the designated special control, and when
accompanied by warnings against unsafe use in individuals who are
allergic to mercury, the probable benefits to health from use of the
device outweigh any probable risks. Second, FDA has determined that,
when subject to the general controls of the act and the designated
special control, valid scientific evidence demonstrates the absence of
unreasonable risk of illness or injury associated with the use of the
device for its intended uses and conditions of use.”

In response to comments asking FDA to ban mercury amalgams as other
countries have done, the agency’s biased preamble said it “recognizes
that certain countries, e.g., Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, have banned
dental amalgam, adopting a ‘precautionary principle’ approach (taking
preventive action despite uncertainty regarding the need for such
action). However, FDA regulates devices, like dental amalgam, in
accordance with the requirements of the act. As explained above, in
accordance with the statutory criteria for classifying devices, FDA
has concluded that there is sufficient information from which to
establish special controls that, along with the general controls of
the act, will provide reasonable assurance of the safety and
effectiveness of the device.”

FDA also showed its bias in a response to two comments requesting
disclosure of mercury in amalgam labeling “citing to a recent poll
showing that 76% of Americans do not know that the primary component
of amalgam fillings is mercury,” and disclosure of the amount of
mercury vapor released. Clearly, the implication of these comments was
that patients should be told. Yet in its response, FDA said it agreed
that “dental professionals” should be alerted in the device labeling,
but said nothing about also alerting patients.

Directly addressing other comments asking for patient informed consent
before mercury amalgams are inserted, the preamble said that because
dental decision-making is a “complex matter” when selecting
restorative materials to use for fillings, “FDA has concluded that it
is not necessary to require that dentists provide this information to
patients in order to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and
effectiveness of the device.” Patient involvement in such decision-
making was not addressed here.

Several comments directly accused FDA of being biased in favor of
mercury amalgams through being, the preamble characterized, “too
closely aligned with the interests of professional dental
organizations and, as a result, has unfairly discounted evidence
regarding the health risks presented by dental amalgam.”

Unable to document the agency’s deliberative open-mindedness, the
preamble retorted: “FDA disagrees with the comments suggesting that it
has been biased in its approach to regulating these devices. This
final rule and the special controls guidance document reflect FDA’s
careful and impartial consideration of all the comments and
information it has received, the scientific information and safety
assessments discussed previously, the White Paper and Addendum
reports, and the adverse event reports submitted regarding these
devices.

“FDA has been proactive in obtaining as much information as
practicable regarding the safety of these devices. As described
previously, FDA has undertaken or supported several safety assessments
since the early 1990s regarding dental amalgam. In 2006, in an effort
to ensure a transparent, public forum for discussion, FDA convened a
joint committee of panelists with diverse backgrounds, including
neurology and toxicology experts, to consider FDA's most recent review
of the scientific literature related to dental amalgam (the White
Paper) as well as presentations from members of the public.”

FDA can be proactive and transparent in obtaining information from the
public, but this rule demonstrates that what it subsequently does with
that information can be far from proactive and transparent.

As one apparently knowledgeable FDA employee commented to our report
on the rule’s announcement: “Why continue to use and recommend mercury
amalgam when there is safer composite alternative? No dentist in our
area will use mercury because it is considered a hazardous waste and
expensive to deal with. Composite is the only option, but insurance
will only cover them for the same amount as mercury, with the patient
responsible for the difference. I really question FDA's motivation
here. It seems to be more responsive to industry than human health.”

FDA is congenitally unable to respond to such comments, nor does it
see a need to do so. Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who has recused
herself from this matter because of a possible conflict of interest
issue arising from her prior employment, has in a recent presentation
emphasized the great importance of improving FDA’s regulatory science.

Her necessary absence from this rulemaking is to be regretted, because
its inability to demonstrate even C-grade regulatory science, much
less improved or “new” regulatory science, is all too apparent here.

Through its biased accumulation and assertion of evidentiary resources
and its apparent escape from rigorous internal process validation and
scientific challenge, this is the most flawed example of FDA
rulemaking I have witnessed in 33 years of reporting this once-great
agency.

* Jim Dickinson is editor of FDA Webview.

   

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