WYSONG HEALTH LETTER
Dr. R. L. Wysong
October 1990
Diet, Exercise and Osteoporosis
    A prime cause of morbidity and mortality in the aged, especially in institutalized settings, is bone fracture. The resistance of bone to fracture is impaired when the volume of mineralized trabecular and cortical bone within the periosteal envelope is decreased, compromising the architectural integrity of the bone. Let me put that another way, fragile bones break easily. Medicine is not always best at economy of language, is it?
    This loss of bone strength with age, particularly for postmenopausal women, is usually characterized as Osteoporosis. Some recent interesting studies shed light on means of alleviating the risk of this disease. One report in Comprehensive Therapy and another in The New England Journal of Medicine affirm that both exercise and diet can have a dramatic impact on this condition.
    As bone forms in the young, aside from genetic determinants, its architecture, its modeling, is a result of the mechanical stresses it receives. The prominances, tubercles, the very shape of bone is a result of muscular attachments and the dynamic stress exerted on it during growth. Formation as well as absorption of bone are indirectly related to the stress the bone cells receive. And what is true in the young, turns out to be true in the adult as well. Tennis players, for example, have 35% greater cortical thickness in the playing than in the nonplaying arm. other athletes have been studied and bone density in the athletes can run 20, 30, 40, and close to 50% greater than in their sedentary counterparts.
    In one study, it was shown that even moderate physical activity may increase bone mass, even if muscular size does not increase. This is great news for those of us who would like to fulfill our exercise obligation by reclining in a padded machine that moderately moves our limbs in rhythm to a background of our favorite stereo music. I’m just kidding here, its going to take more than that.
    It’s possible now to measure bone density by sophisticated techniques such as dual photon absorptiometary and computed tomography Through such measurements it has been shown in one study, for example, that female distance runners had lumbar bone density 10% higher than that of their less active counterparts. This is particularly significant since many studies have shown that although long bone and femoral neck density has increased, spinal density has not.
    In early postmenopausal women, there is an accelerate rate of bone loss for several years following menopause and the osteogenic stimulus of exercise may not be sufficient to override this accelerated rate of readsorption. On the other hand, with women in latter menopause, exercise does indeed stimulate increased bone density. All in all, the data does seem to concur that vigorous exercise, even when begun in the sixth decade, and as we discussed in a previous review, even in the ninth decade, can have a positive effect on bone mass.
    Except in those individuals who are at imminent risk of fracture, exercise that is weight bearing is the best. Exercise that simply increases heart rate is no indication that the exercise is osteogenic. In other words, exercise to stimulate bone density is not just aerobic, but must involve mechanical loading. For example, walking up a stair would fit this requirement, whereas walking would not. Of course one can join a health club and go through a variety of exercises, using machines and free weights, as well as try to maintain a high level of activity in daily living. This could include daily house and yard chores done with vigor and even increased as age increases. Other non weight bearing activities I might mention which are quite popular include swimming, stationary cycling, and sitting on the floor exercises. These may increase muscle tone, strength, and flexibility, but are not effective in increasing bone density. As I mentioned, a health club or a home gym would solve the problem of what exercises could be used as weight bearing exercises, but you might recall the previous exercises we discussed in the Review including the walking leg thrusts, and the squat hanging onto the doorknobs. For those unable to do these, simply lifting oneself from a chair, sitting and lifting again would also fill the bill.
    Bone is a much more complicated matrix than simply precipitated calcium. It is a milieu of organic and inorganic compounds intricately intertwined into a unique living tissue. The approach to treating it properly must be with the same synorgonic awareness that one would approach all aspects of health and nutrition. The way to feed a complex living thing is to eat complex living things. So the best form of calcium, minerals, and other nutrients to support bone would be derived from natural, whole, fresh, raw foods if possible. Recent studies have even shown that supplementation with calcium carbonate, and calcium citrate malate, which is the more effective of these two, were beneficial in reducing osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Again, in this case, there were also women who were early postmenopausal, and were less responsive that those who were late postmenopausal. Many apparently healthy older postmenopausal women are found to have calcium intakes below 400 miligrams, which is half the RDA described minimums. Obviously dramatic dietary revisions and perhaps transitional supplementation, particularly with the calcium citrate malate, may do much to help prevent progression as well as reverse the condition.
    Dairy products are fairly rich in calcium, although some argue it is a poor source of calcium, and various vegetables and fruits are sources of calcium as are grains, nuts, and legumes. Although the National Dairy Council would argue that many of these nondairy products are poor sources, it could be argued that the calcium within these foods is highly bioavailable and complex, as it should be, to properly deliver the full spectrum of nutrients important for not only bone health, but general health as well.
    Reference:
        Dalsky, Gail, ”The Role Of Exercise In The Prevention Of Osteoporosis",
        Comprehensive Therapy, 1989, 15(9) :30-37.
        Dawson-Hughes, Dallal, Gerald, Krall, Elizabeth, Sadowski, Laura, Sahyoun, Nadine, and Tannenbaum, Saul, "A Controlled Trial Of The Effect Of Calcium Supplementation On Bone Density In Postmenopausal Women" The New England          Journal of Medicine, September 27,1990, pp.878-883.
 
Adaptive Forestery
    Carl Schurz, Secretary of the Interior, said "The rapidity with which this country is being stripped of its forests must alarm every thinking man." This was not said this year, but was stated in 1877 about what was happening in the United States. These are the same sentiments we feel today about what is occurring in the rain forests. Thus the problem is not new. It is a part of the settling of territories by humans throughout history. The reform that took place in the United States was by way of national and state forest and parks. Whether this is what will occur in the rain forests is yet to be seen.
    Simply setting aside vast wilderness areas to be untouched may not even be the best approach considering the earth's growing need for resources to care for its swelling human population. Much study has been carried out on the rain forest and it is becoming increasingly clear that, although deforestation is done for economic reasons, alternate actions may create a better economy for the country and the impoverished peasant. The hope seems to be not in protecting untouched jungles that entertain youthful fantasies, nor does it rest with the widespread application of forest management.
    Adaptive forestry, which is the careful use of harvesting moderated by environmental needs and done with long term stability in mind, seems to be the real hope for the rain forests.
    The rain forests can be a sustainable source of medicinal plants, animal fodder, thatch, foodhoney, clear water, rubber, nature orientated tourism, and wild life habitat. Such treatment of the land has already occurred in Indonesia and Brazil where these areas are called natural biotic areas or anthropological preserves. The idea is not to prohibit logging or the extraction of natural resources, but to enable local people to continue to do it harmoniously with their environment, undisturbed by modern technology and massive alterations to the landscape.
    The benefits from an economic standpoint are remarkable as opposed to clear cutting conversion of the land to grazing.
    An article in Nature discussed a study of 1 -hectare, which is about 2.5 acres, of tropical rain forest based on its inventory of value. Tallied were such things as edible foods, rubber producing latex, and timber. Product values were determined in local markets. The scientists concluded that when the land was used near its near natural condition by local residents seeking fruits and latex, its value was $6,330 a hectare. If periodic selective logging is thrown in, the value increases to $6,820. If medicinal plants were also accounted for these amounts could even be far greater. By comparison, if the land were clear cut and converted to a tree plantation, its value would only be $3,184 per hectare, and if it were converted to grazing its value drops to $2,960.
    Surely, the same logic could be used regarding other environmental problems. What is the long term cost to us of fouling the air, for example to create new model changes in automobiles every year, as opposed to producing clear burning vehicles which do not have model changes every year? What is the cost to us to live our lives hedonistically without regard for prevention and then attempting cure with heroics when crisis strikes, as opposed to careful synorgonic living to prevent disease and increase vitality?
    It is all part of the same problem and it is all solved by similar thinking. A caring, long-term fiduciary view toward our world and our own health is obvious and we are reaching the point where intelligent action must take place. What we can do is support efforts that reflect the synorgonic view. This does not have to mean flying to the rain forest and setting up a picket line on a bulldozer path. It can mean financial support of organizations who are trying to educate on these issues. It can mean reducing, reusing, and recycling in our own lives. It can mean setting up a natural wildlife habitat in our own yard, it can mean planting trees, growing our own garden, embarking on an exercise plan, converting our diet to more of an vegetation based one, and shunning products which reflect the ruinous philosophy that the earth is simply a raw material to be profited from without regard for consequences, and that health care is simply an opportunity for curing rather than prevention.
    Reference:
        Nature, June 1989.
        Fazio, James R., "Money Growing On Living Trees", Arbor Day, September/October l990, pp.4-5.
 
Financial Tip
    Continuing with the series of financial ideas to help increase security, understanding that health itself may be at risk when financial health is in ruin, lets look at a somewhat unique interest-indexed bond.
    As I have mentioned before, I discuss these ideas, hopefully with your understanding, that I am by no means a financial expert and receive no kick-back, or the like, for making any specific recommendations. I will give you a brief over view of what this bond is, and then give you the number of a broker you can call to find out all the particulars, and make your own decision.
    Magma Coppers Interest-Indexed Bonds are earning approximately 16% interest. These bonds are rated B-1, which is one level less than investment grade, and thus are regarded as somewhat speculative. But some financial advisors are very high on this bond because they anticipate the price of copper to remain relatively high over the next few years. The return on the investment on these bonds is linked to copper prices. The current yield is about 16%, but the interest yield can not fall below 12%, and can go as high as 21%. income is paid quarterly, and the brokerage firm I will refer to you to will keep you abreast of their recommendation as to whether you should stay invested in these bonds, or move to something else.
    Assuming these interest rates remain, which many believe they will, this seems to be an excellent hedge for part of your nest egg security to help resist the losses that can occur from taxes and inflation.
    The person to contact is Alex Green at International Assest’s Advisory Corporation, 1-800-333-4222.
 
Green Consuming
    Now that being ecologically correct is the trend, corporations have figured out ways to make their products sound green, look green, smell green, and perhaps even taste green when they're not green at all. It's all a result of the new environmental advertising, which is advertising's big-business response to the ecological mood of this decade. As we've discussed before, advertising people hove a way of latching onto certain terms and phrases -- "natural" is one such overused, abused term. For a great while, most consumers were inclined to buy "natural" fruit juices, until they were instructed to look further at ingredients and discovered that 10% of the drink was natural fruit juice and the re was colored sugar water. We're learning, but we still need to be more cautious.
    A well-known design and new products consulting firm, the Michael Peters Group, found in a 1989 market research poll that 89% of Americans are concerned about the impact on the environment of the products they purchase; more than half say they won't buy certain product out of concern for the environment, and 78% say they're willing to pay more for products packaged with recyclable or biodegradable materials.
    Thus, "green" is in-- Hubert Humphrey III, who is Minnesota's Attorney General, says that the "selling of the environment may make the cholesterol craze look like a Sunday school picnic." According to the journal American Demographics, the environmental concern is a much "bigger market than some of the hottest markets of the '80's."
    By now you've heard that the much-heralded "biodegradable" garbage bags and diapers are not really biodegradable at all; the "Blue Angel" symbol which has been given to hundreds of products in West Germany to call attention to greeness of products was given to a gasoline powered lawnmower just because it was quieter, while no Blue Angel symbol was awarded to the push variety which is soundless and emission-free; both Volkswagen and Audi are singing the praises of their cars' low emissions, including "harmless" carbon  dioxide, which we know to be a leading greenhouse gas. The bottom line-here is we must be ever vigilant and look closely at our purchases, and remain skeptical about greenness.
    As Greenpeace puts it, an environmentally benign product is an extremely rare beast which, if sighted, should be purchased immediately. Here would be some of the criteria: "It is not obnoxiously frivolous, like the new electric pepper mill. It releases no persistent toxins into the environment during production, use, or disposal. It is made from recycled material or renewable resources, extracted in a way that does not damage the environment. It is durable and reusable first, or recyclable or truly biodegradable next. It is responsibly and minimally packaged. It provides information on manufacturing, such as location, labor practices, animal testing, and the manufacturer's other business."
    Being truly green is going to increasingly require that decisions made in corporate boardrooms put the needs of the planet and its inhabitants ahead of corporate profits
    The best ultimate answer is simply more self sufficiency and less consuming.
    Reference:
        Green peace Journal, May/June 1990
 
Dirty Diapers
    Here's the essence of what is being hotly debated about disposable diapers: About a year and a half ago, the diaper manufacturers began to come up with "biodegradable" diapers. It looked like a lifesaver.
    Then, in December, both the Environmental Defense Fund and the Environmental Action Foundation, as well as six other environmental groups, called for a boycott of all "degradable" plastics. Based on the belief that it was all a sham, a marketing ploy designed to fool green consumers, the conclusion was we'd all been hoodwinked and should take retaliatory action.
    However, biodegradable diaper manufacturers are making some interesting accusations of their own. They maintain that the environmentalists are wrong, and that tests show the degradable diapers indeed will break down in landfills: biodegradable being broken down by bacteria, photodegradable being broken down by light. They say it's not perfect, but it's a good start.
Many manufacturers even go so far as to suggest that the environmentalists were the unwitting dupes of the big oil companies who have propagandized to the max against degradable plastics since they stand to lose millions if plastics become corn starch-based instead of petrochemical-based. This is indeed big, big business with the disposable diaper industry at $3.5 billion each year. Tremendous amounts of money are at stake. Also tremendous amounts of waste: 3.6 million tons of waste into landfills annually from disposable diapers, which, according to Dr. David Johnson, a solid waste expert at Michigan State University, joins the other stuff that doesn't degrade - biodegradable, photodegradable, or not-- since there isn't enough moisture, oxygen or light in landfills to achieve the degrading process.
    For the time being, it seems that consumers -- green or not --are somewhat at the mercy of intense public relations campaigns being waged on both sides of the issue. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission and a nine-state coalition of Attorney Generals have initiated an investigation into truth in packaging -- in an attempt to define and keep sacred terms such as “degradable" and “environmentally safe"
    Remember, the most degradable of all is zero. Don’t make purchases unless essential then reuse.
    Reference:
        Buzzorm May/June 1990
 
Composting
    This month's environmental tips will help minimize garbage output by incorporating composting of organic refuse into the daily routine.
    For most homes, two to three or even more garbage cans filled per week is the norm. An unpleasantly noisy truck puffing petroleum garbage into the air comes along at on unfortunately early hour once a week and like magic garbage problems disappear. But what if we had to store all that mess in our own yard? How could we reduce  -- as we all should, since everyone's mess is-being stored in all our "yard”… the Earth.
    How to compost: Step number one is to separate all organic material from the rest of the trash. This would be any food item, especially: potato peelings, apple cores, the last piece of crust from your loaf of bread, leftovers, houseplants or flowers which have died, and so forth. If your household is like ours, you will be amazed at what you used to throw out once you begin to save it. We have a medium-sized covered pail by our kitchen sink.  We use and it fills to the tune of at least one gallon a day.     This increases as you consume more raw and fresh fruits and vegetables. Now, what do you do with all this once you've saved it? If you are not a land owner. then you should put these organic items into a paper bag rather than plastic (line with newspaper if necessary to hold the wet in) and discard it all in this manner with your garbage. Packaged that way, at least once it arrives at the landfill, it will degrade rapidly and make room for more garbage. But, if you are a property owner, learn the art and the adventure of composting Compost is nothing more than decayed organic matter. Think of it as recycling at its best. As the food and organic material decays, it goes through stages of unique odors and various interesting physical states But, within a few weeks in a compost pile in your yard, it becomes a lovely rich fertilizer type of soil which you can use in gardens, in the grass for flower beds and plantings, or even indoor plants. It is clean, rich and loamy.  You’ll be amazed at the transformation and the way volumes of garbage are reduced to small amounts of rich black soil.
    We used to just toss our compost into an outdoor pile and it would nicely degrade there, but there are ways to build a compost bin which will contain it all and make the process more clean and efficient. Here are some suggestions for your backyard composting  Choose a spot in full sun which is level and well drained. Build a bin out of easily available materials such as scrap lumber, bricks, block, or chicken wire. One side should be removable.   A cheap and quick way to make a vin is to use used pallets. Many places of business get their supplies in on these then discard them.  They’re yours for the taking.   Stand them on end, nail three sides together and put posts in the ground to hold the fourth, cut in half, removable one in place.  If you re going to use the composted material in your garden, then the closer to your garden spot the better. Some people build their compost bin in the middle of their garden. Leave the top open so that the bacteria and fungi which do the composting work can get enough oxygen. Then, just feed your compost pile with indoor food scraps, outdoor weeds, twigs, manure, dirt, grass clippings. etc. Keeping moisture in by adding water every few days will help speed decomposition, as will turning the pile with a pitchfork to move the softer, rapidly degrading center toward the outside.
    We’ve talked before about washing and re-using Ziploc baggies, etc., but on a cautionary note I want to point out that some frugal people who turn bread wrappers inside out to use them for further food storage have suffered ill effects because the printing contains lead dyes which may contaminate the food you're storing. So be careful in your zeal to reuse everything.
 
Mercury Poisoning
    About a year ago a four year old boy in Michigan developed leg cramps, rash, pruritis, fever, personality changes, erythema, desquamation of the hands, feet, and nose, weakness in the pelvic and pectoral girdles, and lower extremity nerve dysfunction ten days after the inside of his home was painted with a latex paint. Upon investigation it was found that the paint contained high quantities of phenylmercuric acetate. This compound is used in latex paints as a preservative.
    Water-based latex paints are used liberally by most individuals, and are considered much more safe than solvent-based paints which create fumes which just plain smell toxic. Solvent based paints of the past were also high in lead. The almost pleasant smell of water-based latex paints helps create the deception that no poisons could lurk there in.
    This recent case raises to mind the ever present need to be wary, particularly of what we put in our homes, in terms of decorating and construction materials. As we seal off our homes more and more to increase energy efficiency the potential toxicity of vapors from such materials becomes increasingly important.
    Mercury pops up repeatedly as an environmental toxin. It seems to have a proclivity for young children for some unknown reason. I can remember as a child in grade school sleeping in a bedroom that my father had recently painted. When I woke up in the morning I discovered that I was unable to move my legs. I felt fine, other than being paralyzed from the waist down, as I remember, a few days. It was rather scary but kind of nice having mom and dad carry me around and feed me the standard get-well fare of ice cream and cookies.
    Whether that was due to mercury, or some other sensitivity to a solvent in the paint, I am not sure. I can also remember as a child playing with the mercury out of broken thermometers. If you put it on pennies it changes them to silver, and if you throw it on the carpet it forms neat, little, shiny balls. It's a wonder I have any brain left at all, considering such childhood entertainment.
     Mercury is quite ubiquitous. In the 1940's it was used in teething powders, about 1/3 of all interior latex paints in the United States contain mercury, anthelmintic preparations contain mercury, and diapers have been washed with mercury compounds added as fungicides and disinfectants. Even babies in incubators have been exposed to the vapor of metallic mercury when minute droplets of liquid mercury escaped from. broken thermostats.
    Forms of mercury which are potentially toxic include its vapor, phenylmercuric compounds, and both mercurous and mercuric salts. All of these forms are metabolized in the body to inorganic mercury, but the organic forms are metabolized more slowly. Also consider that brain mercury levels are twice as high in people with amalgam tooth fillings as in those with no fillings.      The potential exposure here is in the billions, with even Dr. Spock advocating three year old children visiting the dentist to have their cavities filled with amalgam.
    Acrodynia, which is the manifest disease form of mercury poisoning as experienced in the young boy, has also resulted in more massive disasters such as the consumption of contaminated fish in Japan, and in Iraq, from the consumption of contaminated bread. Fish are increasingly becoming a repository of mercury as pollution increases. Increasing acidity in lakes by acid rain increases the level of mercury in the tissues of fish. The contaminated bread was the result of wheat that had been treated with methyl mercury fungicide.
    Treatment of mercury poisoning has been performed with Dimercaprol penicillamine and dimercaptosuccinic acid. The latter treatment, in particular, is quite effective. It can be given orally with few side -affects.
    The more obvious solution is prevention. An ever wary eye toward essentially any commercial synthetic compound. Ever present is the danger of some insidious poison lurking within. The assumption of safety because of widespread use of a product or seals of approval by manufacturers or governmental agencies, is no guarantee.
    Reference:
        “Mercury Exposure From Latex Paint”, The New England Journal of Medicine October18, 1990, pp 1096-1101.
Clarkson, Thomas, “Mercury - An Element Of Mystery”, The New England Journal of Medicine, October 18, 1990, pp 1137-1139.
 
Disease Free Teeth
    Odontosis, dental disease, is a result of a variety of factors, but ultimately at some stage, is a result of invasion of pathogenic micro-organisms.
    A commonly held view of both professionals and the public at large is that dental disease is inevitable, that people are too incompetent to care for their own oral health, and that the only viable avenue to prevent or repair dental disease is to have a dentist do it with machinery. In the Journal of the American Dental Association it was stated, "From the perspective of behavioral science, little evidence supports the hope that such behaviorally-based preventive programs will be a significant deterrent to dental disease... Home Care Prevention Is Not For Everyone; in fact the number of people who could benefit from such instruction may be no more than several hundred per dentist." This is probably as true in dental health as it is in general health in order for people to impact upon their health they must take action and often this means adjustments in life styles, and many people simply will not do it. But this should not be taken to mean that nothing can be done by those willing to participate in their own health.
    Dr. Nara, a dentist in Houghton, Michigan, has a preventive dental health program called Oramedics. He has shown that by patient intervention that lactobacilis and streptococcus mutants can be significantly reduced to a level where no active odontosis will occur whatsoever.
    Odontosis can be subdivided into cariosis, cavities in the teeth, gingivosis, which is infection or inflammation of the gums, and periodontsis, which is an infection of the periodontal membrane which holds the teeth in place within the jaw.
    Pathogentic micro-organisms are capable of creating a waste by-product which creates a film on the teeth and permits microbes to colonize. As they colonize they secrete an acid which is capable of eroding the tooth enamel, permitting access to the matrix within the tooth. From there, of course, cavities result, abscesses can result, and if such an infection occurs in the gums and the periodontal membranes, teeth can be lost.
    So what can a person do to save their teeth? Tooth health, of course, can not be separated from general health. A balanced life, a healthy body, can lay the ground work for a healthy dentition. Saliva is known to contain a variety of chemicals that help maintain appropriate oral health and help clean, as well as inhibit, the growth of bacteria. But content of the saliva is affected directly by nutrition, with poor nutrition resulting in a saliva that does not perform properly.
    If the colonies of bacteria can be prevented from growing and clustering and creating an anaerobic environment which permits the conversion of sugars into acid, much can be done to prevent dental disease. The trick, therefore, becomes continued disorganization of the germ matrix within the mouth. The primary means of doing this is by a person mechanically disorganizing and dislodging these niduses.
    Two primary tools which can be highly helpful in preventing odontosis are the tooth brush and floss. A thorough cleaning of the teeth, at least once a day, can do much to prevent the development of dental disease. This means thorough, not the quickie sudsing up that we often do with tooth brush and sweetened toothpaste. Teeth should be brushed with a relatively stiff, high quality tooth brush with nylon rounded ended bristles. A tooth brush should be comfortable and capable of reaching all areas of the mouth. Brushing should be done in a very methodical way so that ideally every tooth is brushed on all of its surfaces. The best way to do this is to remind yourself each time you brush that this operation should take no less than two minutes. The average time is about 15 to 20 seconds, about as long as it takes to fill the mouth with the suds created by a dentifrice. So unless you can force yourself to go the full two minutes, and make sure that you brush thoroughly every single section of the mouth, inside, outside, and on all surfaces, giving equal time to all using a toothpaste, then it would be wise to brush without the paste. In fact, many would argue you will get a better cleaning without the use of any paste whatsoever. This will force you to concentrate on the brushing, and not on the impression that once suds are formed, and they are spit out, the job is completed.     During the two minutes, focus your mind on the teeth areas your scrubbing not on other matters. It should be done like any other job requiring attention.
    Another important avenue of cleaning is through flossing. The area between the teeth is not capable of being reached with the tooth brush, and thus proves to be an excellent hiding place for the development of plaque and bacterial colonies. The best tapes are the wider tapes that spread out into a band but are thin on one edge so that they can be more easily slipped between the teeth. We have a unique flossing material which is similar to the nylon pads that are now available for general house cleaning.     You can thread one end of the floss between the teeth, and then use the brush like filament to move back and forth between the teeth, moving down into the sulcus between the gum and the tooth, to give a thorough cleaning.
    Another device we have enclosed is a handy tooth pick that permits you to, at your leisure, almost get a flossing action. The serrated edges of the pick permit you to move the pick back and forth between the teeth and dislodge particles that may lie there. This is an extremely handy device and is easy to carry in the pocket and use throughout the day.  Try them both, you will find them to be extremely handy aids for teeth cleaning.
    Other devices which are also helpful in tooth cleaning include a waterpick, which is a pulsating water jet that allows you to flush out materials that can accumulate between the teeth and along the gum lines. Electric tooth brushes will help buff the enamel of the teeth to a shiny polish, thus decreasing the ability of plaque to form and micro-organisms to attach. An electric tooth brush is handy, particularly for children who will find tooth brushing for two minutes to be extremely difficult. Having a close-up mirror that allows you to inspect the teeth closely, and disclosing tablets that can be chewed after your daily mouth cleaning to determine which plaque remains, are also especially helpful. The disclosing tablets contain dye which will adhere to plaque you have not removed. Thus it allows you to target on those areas needing special attention.
    There is much controversy regarding the use of fluoride in drinking water supplies, although there is significant arguments that fluoride used in mouth washses or dentifrices may be helpful in preventing decay. Baking soda, combined with salt, are also good dentifrices, with the salt creating a hypertonic solution which stimulates the salivary glands to release the best dentifrice of a1l salvia. The soda helps neutralize the acids within the mouth which are capable of injuring the enamel.
    There are endless reasons to maintain dental health. There are economic reasons, as demonstrated on the chart that Dr. Nara has produced, which is on the backside of the summary sheet; there are cosmetic reasons, no one looks better than someone with nice white clean teeth and fresh breath; there are pain reasons, no one who has experienced dental disease has found it very enjoyable, either to have it, or to have it repaired.
    There are also more general health reasons. A mouth filled with chronic infection has the potential of seeding organ systems with various toxic metabolites as well as the pathogens themselves. More serious disease may eventually result. In animals this is more easy to follow. For example, in dogs and cats living out their lives in twelve to fourteen years, it is easy to see cause-effect relationships which are lost in lifetimes spread over eighty years. Many veterinary practitioners are convinced that long term periodontal disease which is very common in animals eating processed foods, is responsible for organ diseases that follow in latter life, such as valvula heart disease and chronic kidney disease.
    So there is hope. By spending just a few minutes a day, it is possible to literally prevent the development of odontosis and keep all of your teeth for a lifetime. There is some evidence indicating that small caries are capable of self-healing, given a reversal of the environment from one which promotes decay to one which promotes health in the mouth. Dental disease once one gets older can be a preoccupying, exasperating, painful experience. Spending a few minutes a day to prevent this from happening is time well spent. A more thorough discussion of this can be found in the book, How To Become Dental Self Sufficient, by Dr. Nara, which we carry in the library.