Join me (Dr. Jay Davidson) as I interview Dr. Gerry Curatola as part of the Chronic Lyme Disease Summit #2 to discuss oral health and the microbiome of your mouth. Gerry has been working on his research backed natural toothpaste, Revitin, for over 20 years.
Order Revitin HERE!
A common ingredient of soap and toothpaste could be causing antibiotic resistance and fuelling the spread of superbugs, according to new research.
Read the article HERE!
Microbiome of Your Mouth
Guest: Dr. Gerry Curatola
The contents of presentation are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This presentation does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Dr. Davidson: Hello, this is Dr. Jay Davidson from drjaydavidson.com. I’m excited to welcome you to this very special segment of the Chronic Lyme Disease Summit 2. According to the CDC, there are more people affected with Lyme disease each year than breast cancer.
Today, my special guest is Dr. Gerry Curatola, and we’re going to be exploring the microbiome of the mouth and so much more. But before we do, a little bit about Dr. Gerry. Dr. Gerry Curatola is an international renowned oral health expert and founder of the Rejuvenation Dentistry, an integrative and biologic dental practice in New York City. Dr. Curatola is an adjunct clinical associate professor at New York University College of Dentistry and serves on the fellowship board of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine.
He’s a frequent television guest on the Dr. Oz Show, Fox News, CNN, and CBS networks. Dr. Curatola is a prolific writer and contributor to multiple health stories and blogs. His new book, The Mouth-Body Connection, which was released by Hachette and published this year—it was April 2017—includes a 28-day program to create a healthy mouth, reduce inflammation, and prevent disease throughout the body.
Dr. Gerry Curatola, welcome to the Chronic Lyme Disease Summit 2. © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 2
Dr. Curatola: Thanks, Jay. It’s great to be here.
Dr. Davidson: Well, I’m excited to be diving into the mouth and what I feel like doesn’t get talked about much either, the microbiome of the mouth. Now, I guess if you don’t mind, maybe we can start with the whole Lyme disease connection in oral health.
Dr. Curatola: Yeah, absolutely. One of the interesting things, it’s funny when you say that the mouth doesn’t get talked about that much in regards to systemic illnesses. And often when I give talks to functional medicine doctors, I have a picture of a giant gorilla on a couch. And I always say that oral health is the 800-pound gorilla in the room of the wellness movement. So you really can’t be healthy without a healthy mouth.
But my book The Mouth-Body Connection talks about this bi-directional connection, bi-directional approach to looking at the mouth and body. For example, your mouth is a mirror for what’s going on in your body. But it’s also a gateway to disease in the whole body. And what’s interesting is all of the research is showing that there is a huge oral manifestation of this bi-directional approach with Lyme disease, Lyme disease being epidemic as it is. And I’m really excited to participate in this summit with you. And you’ve done a great job taking a leadership role in bringing some great minds together to get actionable information to your listeners and participants in these summits.
So, if you want, I can tell you that Lyme disease manifests in the mouth in so many different ways.
Dr. Davidson: Yeah, yeah, please share. I’m very interested in this whole bi-directional approach. And then you mentioned the mouth is really a gateway.
Dr. Curatola: Yeah. So we know two things. We know that Lyme disease in the body has manifestations in the mouth and a lot of considerations for dentistry. And these include facial and dental pain. I’ve had patients with upper molar pain with no disease and a lot of dentists classified that as neuralgia and with an unknown etiology or origin of the problem.
So you can examine the patient, take an x-ray, there’s nothing there. But they have this really interesting facial and dental pain. Even facial nerve palsy, which sometimes appears as Bell’s palsy, where you get a drooping at the eye and it’s paralysis of the facial nerve and headaches, temporomandibular joint pain, and even pain when chewing, what we call masticatory dental pain. All of these have manifestations coming from Lyme disease. © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 3
So, when we see patients where we don’t know what it is and we’d like to put it under this big umbrella of neuralgia, I’ll send patients to be tested for Lyme disease.
Dr. Davidson: Wow. So where somebody might think, “Hey, I’ve got tooth pain. I might have a cavity,” it’s a possibility it could be a pathogen like a bacterium like Borrelia.
Dr. Curatola: Absolutely. Absolutely. And we’re going to talk a little bit about where those spirochetes love to hide. So we know that, for example, bad root canals create cavitations. And they create these areas of chronic infection and these areas of chronic infection around the root, which often get overlooked, because most dentists consider it asymptomatic. And they’ll see a little area on a regular x-ray and they’ll immediately think, well, if the patient’s not in pain, the tooth is in their head. And then they may have a crown or even a bridge on top of it. But yet, in that area on that x-ray, if you could zoom in and literally go into what’s brewing in and around that cavitation at the end of the root, we’ll find all kinds of nasty pathogens that can have serious systemic effects. Among them, Lyme spirochetes.
Dr. Davidson: Wow. So what is the best solution not to have a root canal in the first place?
Dr. Curatola: Well, for years and years, root canal was recognized as a routine dental treatment that could preserve and maintain a tooth in someone’s mouth. So if you extracted every tooth that needed a root canal in some patients, they would be going around like a jack-o’-lantern. Now, we’re really recognizing that the research that’s emerging on dental implants, especially some of the newer biologic implants—the ceramic, what we call as zirconia implants—are getting increasingly stronger and stronger in terms of the research that emerges. Some of the older titanium implants even had better track records than root canal treatments. So we’re really looking at giving the patient the option, if they do need a root canal, of extracting that tooth and doing a dental implant instead.
But with that said, there are now advances in modern root canal therapy that is showing increasingly greater promise than root canals that were done a conventional way. And here’s the problem, you can need a root canal for three different reasons. You can have a chronic abscess around the root, which in my opinion leads to a greater chance of failure and a greater chance of creating a long-term chronic infection. And those should be carefully evaluated because, if I had one of those in my own mouth, I would opt to have the tooth extracted, the bone thoroughly cleaned out, and replacement with a dental implant. © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 4
However, sometimes there are some teeth that have a deep carious lesion on the coronal portion or the top portion of the tooth that exposes the nerve during the excavation. So we get what’s called a carious exposure, where the pulp chamber is not infected and it remains vital. But root canal therapy is indicated because of the invasive nature of the decay and the fact that the nerve has been exposed during treatment. In that case, I’m finding that there are ways that we can adequately sterilize the canal and put in a biologic filling material and have a successful root canal.
Now, how do we do that? I use, in my practice here in New York City, an erbium/chromium YAG laser. It’s the BIOLASE WaterLase 2.0. The laser disinfection of the canal penetrates a thousand microns, whereas the irrigation solution that we use only goes 100 microns. So, the old way we would flush the canal out and then put a filling material in. The problem is that bacteria can harbor in the thousands and thousands of microtubules that exist in the soft part of the tooth.
So the bottom line of all of this is see a biologic dentist that uses a dental laser if you have a root canal procedure that’s needed to avoid and get a better successful long-term result and avoid the potential complications of cavitations forming from root canal therapy.
Dr. Davidson: I was thinking the same thing, just the complexity of each individual person to have an expert like yourself, Dr. Gerry, to literally look at your mouth and determine what’s the best thing. When you say biological dentist, can you just define that for our listeners.
Dr. Curatola: Yeah, biologic dentist—there’s a lot of terms. We find that there is—in the world of holistic dentistry and holistic medicine, we find a lot of terms that can get confusing to the public. So for example, a holistic dentist can also be called a biologic dentist. There is functional medicine or integrative medicine. There’s integrative dentistry. They all fall under the category of a dentist who is acutely aware of the connection of the mouth to the rest of the body and the interconnection of even individual teeth to the rest of the body and also a strict adherence to the use of biologic or biocompatible dental materials.
So, for example, dental mercury is not used. Those “silver fillings” are not really majority silver. They’re really 52% mercury. So a dentist who tells a patient he’s going to place a silver filling, there’s not full disclosure there and honesty to the patient. It is really a 52% mercury filling. What’s worse is that many dentists remove these fillings when they break down. And a lot—there are millions of patients that have dental amalgam fillings, which are 52% mercury, and getting them drilled out without safe precautions, exposing them © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 5
to much greater exposure to methyl mercury, dental mercury without proper protection, which we can talk about as well.
But biologic dentists do safe mercury removal. They use biologic materials. For example, many of the replacement materials for dental amalgam, some of the more aesthetic materials we call dental composite. And this composite can also be potentially harmful because it’s a plastic resin and many of these materials have BPAs, bisphenols, which have estrogenic effects and can raise levels of estrogen, which is linked to breast cancer and colon cancer in men.
So we want to use BPA-free composites. We want safe mercury removal. Many dentists incorporate nutritional counseling as nutrition is a cornerstone of oral health. I talk about Triple A nutrition in my book, The Mouth-Body Connection. I have a very great deal of attention dedicated to that. Triple A stands for alkalizing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant rich. But all of this is under that heading of what we call a biologic dentist.
Dr. Davidson: I almost think of biologic dentist maybe as more of like a functional medicine-type practitioner but for the mouth.
Dr. Curatola: Yes. Yes, that’s absolutely right, Jay. They very much—and good biologic dentists—unfortunately, the biggest question I have when I go around the country and lecture, I have patients ask me, “Do you know a good biologic dentist?” Unfortunately, not all biologic dentists have excellent restorative capabilities and expertise. So you want to make sure that you have an accomplished biologic dentist who does good dentistry. Dentistry is—I like to say the word “dentist” comes from D for doctor; EN for engineering, there’s a lot of engineering in restorative dentistry; and the TIST, which is the last part of the “dentist,” is from the word “artist.” So you have a doctor, engineer, and artist in a dentist.
Dr. Davidson: I love that.
Dr. Curatola: So I like to—you really need to find a dentist that has excellent, excellent capabilities in terms of the structural components of doing good dentistry, the artistic components of doing good dentistry, and the understanding of science involved in this healthcare profession, which is under the heading of a doctor.
Dr. Davidson: That’s great. There’s a reason you’re my favorite dentist, Dr. Gerry. So I want to shift into the oral microbiome a little bit more. So I view this as there’s conventional dentistry, there’s biologic, and now I feel like there’s a third tier that’s rising up. And I think I honestly believe you’re the © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 6
guru or the person that’s leading this charge. And it’s this whole idea of microbiome dentistry. So can you touch on the microbiome of the mouth?
Dr. Curatola: Yeah, absolutely. I have spent the last 21 years of my life doing research and even development of oral care products and initiatives related to the oral microbiome. So the human microbiome project, which officially launched in 2002, I began my research and development on supporting the microbial flora of the mouth in late ’96 early ’97, which was even before the human microbiome project was commissioned in Washington, D.C. by the NIH. But what has happened in the past 20 years is we have re-defined what it means to be human.
The microbiome is a term—it was actually the term coined by microbiologist, Josh Lederberg, who changed the word from biofilm—we have biofilms on our skin, our hair, our eyeballs, and mouth, gut, genitourinary tract, and skin. We changed the term from a biofilm, which almost had like a negative connotation, to a microbiome. This living, breathing community. This intelligent semi-permeable membrane.
The oral microbiome, which is one of the most important, which is why dentists are on the forefront of helping you live a longer healthier life. The oral microbiome is an intelligent semi-permeable membrane. Yet, since the inception of oral care, which we’ll talk about more in a little while, we have been focused on basically killing plaque and killing what we called germs, right? The germ theory. Bacteria are invaders. Kill them.
Then, we had what I’d like to call the détente theory, which was, there are good bugs and bad bugs. So you have probiotics and what I like to call conbiotics or pathogens. Everybody’s gung-ho about probiotics and probiotics. And yet, we tried using probiotics in the mouth on the oral microbiome as far back as the ‘70s. And it didn’t work. But still, it was a great concept, probiotics and conbiotics.
But that’s not the full understanding of the oral microbiome. The real understanding of the oral microbiome is bacteria are bacteria. They can behave good and they can behave bad. And they can actually help your body behave good or your body behave badly. So how does that happen?
Well, these bacteria do everything from, in our gut, they make neurotransmitters for our brain. And in the mouth, the bacteria in your mouth live in this community called the oral microbiome. And it takes minerals from saliva. These bacteria help to transport minerals like calcium and phosphorus from saliva to repair your teeth. How about that? That the bacteria we were trying to kill with consumer products that kill germs on © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 7
contact with whether it’s Listerine or Colgate Total, any of these consumer products that are mega-billion dollar brands are actually doing more harm than good. Which is why, in my opinion, we still have an epidemic of gum disease, which is linked to everything. Gum disease is a source of chronic low-grade inflammation that’s linked to everything from Alzheimer’s to colorectal cancer.
So these bacteria in the mouth bring minerals to teeth, but what else do they do? It brings molecular oxygen to your gums. And it takes ionic oxygen or free radicals from the gums and gets rid of it to keep your oral environment in balance. So what we’ve done is we’ve looked at this environment in the mouth we don’t really understand. We just thought, well, brush and floss and see your dentist twice a year and use all these detergent and alcohol-based products or these essential oils. And we’ll talk about natural toothpaste that are just as much in the dark in terms of science as conventional products.
But the most important thing about the oral microbiome is that it plays a very essential role in helping to keep your immune system strong and protect you from the devastating effects of Lyme disease and many other types of systemic illnesses.
Dr. Davidson: So I’m getting the same sense, Dr. Gerry, that almost to some degree in the Lyme world, the focus has always been about killing the bug that we are even more in the dark in the mouth that you said these bugs help to bring minerals to our teeth, oxygenate the gums, and health. So can you take us through a little bit more of the conventional toothpaste to the natural toothpaste to where do we actually need to start moving to take care of our mouth to actually protect the microbiome.
Dr. Curatola: Absolutely. By the way, the first thing that everyone should understand is that probably the greatest dentist—there should be a statue of him in front of the American Dental Association, but he was treated horribly and as a pariah—is Dr. Weston A. Price. And Dr. Weston Price was the chairman of the research section of the American Dental Association from 1914 to 1923. He wrote his seminal work on nutrition and physical degeneration in the 1930s, which has really established him as the Charles Darwin of nutrition. But Dr. Price was the first to connect the mouth to systemic disease.
And so, one of the things we have to understand is that, in the mouth, the oral microbiome is probably the first line of defense that protects us from deadly viruses and bacteria such as Lyme spirochetes and multiple other bacteria that are involved in the propagation of the manifestations of Lyme disease and its related diseases. And you know how devastating that is, but many times © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 8
this oral microbiome actually creates a very inhospitable environment for Lyme spirochetes to set up shop when it is in balance, what we call microbial homeostasis.
So the approach with the oral microbiome has got to move away from this pesticide-scorched earth approach of nuking it, as if somehow that’s good, and instead re-balancing it. Sort of like when I went on Martha Stewart in 2008, she said, “I understand you’re doing a lot of research on new approaches to taking care of our mouths.” And I said, “Martha, it’s time for doctors to get out of the pesticide business.” And what I’m really promoting is organic gardening for the mouth.
So the oral care products that I’ve developed like Revitin oral care is really designed to promote microbial homeostasis and balance. What happens when we do that? Well, a lot of things happen. First, gums stop bleeding, teeth get whiter, breath gets fresher much more organically. But in addition to that, we see some profound effects in terms of systemic wellness that when your mouth is healthy, you’re able to have a stronger defense against the devastating effects of all kinds of other bacteria in the environment around us.
And there are a lot of threatening bacteria. I mean one of the greatest threats right now in addition is the problem of antibiotic resistance. They’re calling it a bigger crisis than the Ebola or HIV crises. Antibiotic resistance, which has been manmade because of this failed understanding of the human microbiome.
Dr. Davidson: Yeah. Well, I love your idea of get out of the pesticide business. I just see so many parallels, Dr. Gerry, with dentistry, with doctors, with farmers, literally, how we kind of transition from this synthetic, artificial pesticide, that’s how we’re funded, to moving into more how the body was naturally designed to be treated and cared for. And this whole organic gardening idea for the mouth, I definitely resonate with that.
Dr. Curatola: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Dr. Davidson: So, where does—I mean when you talk about pesticide idea and this whole bug bombing, I mean what’s wrong with like commercial toothpastes that are out there?
Dr. Curatola: Well, I mean the origin of commercial toothpaste really resides in the consumer product industry. It wasn’t a great scientific breakthrough in research in the medical industry. It was really—toothpaste was invented like flavored detergent for your teeth. So we were washing with soap on our skin and shampoo on our hair and it became basically a flavored soap. © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 9
So, what does soap have that makes it foam up? Let’s start with sodium lauryl sulfate. And a lot of the early tooth powders and then toothpaste, as far back as 100 years ago, were just that. It was a detergent. And what do detergents do? Well, sodium lauryl sulfate we know is actually very harmful to mucosa. It’s actually even used on skin to irritate skin to test new dermatological products.
So we’re brushing with something that has an inflammatory and irritating effect to soft tissue in the mouth, gums and mucosa, right? What else does it have? It has coal tar extract, which gives it that funny blue color and fluorescent blue color. That’s harmful. What else does it have? A lot of toothpastes people will be shocked, even the leading brands, still use saccharin and aspartame and all kinds of chemicals to sweeten and flavor the product.
In the late 1950’s, early 1960’s, we thought putting fluoride in would be a great idea. Now, we have 41% of children in America have teeth damaged by fluoride called fluorosis. And fluorosis is a disruption of enamel mineralization that makes the teeth more prone to decay. They were given this toxic chemical to protect them from. So, originally when I was in school and it first came out, it was like, “Well, fluoride stimulates re-mineralization.”
The problem is besides the fact that fluoride lowers IQ in children, which is a study from Harvard University, it disrupts the thyroid leading to hypothyroidism, that came out of the University of Manchester in England. Fluoride is one of the most highly reactive nonradioactive elements, fluorine, on the periodic table. So we have a whole host of toxicities, which has long been known about fluoride. But as dentists, we thought, “Hey, it’s good for re-mineralization.” But what we found is that the type of mineral that fluoride makes is a very hard yet brittle mineral called fluorapatite. It is not a good mineral. It’s a mineral that’s related to a tremendous amount of problems with teeth and bones today.
For example, in the 1980s the Orthopedic Group started doing studies to see whether or not the fact that fluoride makes teeth and bone stronger. Let’s see what the effect was on hip fracture rates. What was interesting—and this was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, New England Journal of Medicine—is there were orthopedic studies that showed an exponential increase in hip fracture rates correlated to the same introduction of fluoride in that period. So fluoridated teeth and bones are not stronger. They are harder but more brittle. So think of it like a porcelain cup. You can’t really scratch it. But if you bang it against the side of a table or drop it on a hard floor, it’ll break into a million pieces. © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 10
So, we’re looking at osteoporosis, all kinds of the really epidemic of orthopedic joint replacement, hip replacements, knee, shoulder and all this from skeletal fluorosis which really interesting is a study at Harvard University, again, back about 10 years ago, came out with a correlation between water fluoridation, drinking fluoridated water, and osteosarcoma in male children between the ages of 7 and 11. Which was really a startling finding that fluoride has a very, very profound impact on the very active growth endings of bones in young males, especially in children. It was male children more than female because the difference in growth rates and at different ages. But again, there is a very strong fluoride lobby that continues to defend fluoride, while a lot of very sound scientific data continues to emerge on the dangers and hazards and failure of the great fluoride experiment since the 1950s that we’ve done in this country.
Dr. Davidson: Yeah. I agree with you on the fluoride thing. So I would imagine probably most listeners of the Lyme Summit right now, they’re probably not using as conventional type toothpaste like the big bug bomb killers like Colgate Total and those things. But they’re reaching more for like natural things. You mentioned essential oils. You hear about like activated carbon charcoal for the teeth, I mean just going to like a health food store and buying toothpaste. What do we need to know about “natural toothpaste”?
Dr. Curatola: You’re absolutely right. And I know that people who are tuned in on this program are probably looking for answers and to empower themselves with knowledge that can help them more effectively deal with whatever medical crises they are facing or their loved ones are facing. But here is probably one of the biggest areas of frustration for me, is that most natural toothpastes started out as natural detergents.
So you take brands like Tom’s of Maine and I had met with Tom Chappell over 10 years ago and really wanted to bring some of the science and research that I was working on to what he was doing. So what Tom Chappell did of Tom’s of Maine was he was one of the first really natural toothpastes. So he took out really artificial flavor and artificial color, as many artificial ingredients and came up with a natural detergent product.
The problem is, is that whether you’re a natural detergent or you’re a synthetic detergent, you’re still a detergent and you’re still disturbing the oral microbiome. What was disappointing about Tom Chappell was caving to the fluoride lobby to try and get an ADA seal of acceptance, which is sort of ludicrous in light of some of the products that have the ADA seal that have some very harmful ingredients, that that was a move to build the product into mass market. © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 11
Many other natural toothpastes—you were talking about the big bomb killers. There are a lot of natural big bomb killers that are essential oils. Peppermint oil is very anti-microbial. So if your natural toothpaste says it’s anti-microbial, guess what? You’re a bomb killer. So whether you’re using triclosan, which is a synthetic chemical that’s a pesticide, or you’re using tea tree oil which is equal—or tulsi oil or peppermint oil or a number of—they’re at the tip of my tongue—but many of these essential oils, especially what we call the terpenes, are very powerful disturbers of the oral microbiome. So that’s just one thing with the essential oils and some of these natural products.
Now, let’s go one step farther of another giant hoax that has been perpetrated on the natural products industry. And that is the sugar alcohols. So for some reason, xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol, and erythritol and sorbitol, consumers and even consumers of natural products were led to believe that these were natural, made from pretty birch bark and all this stuff. In actuality, the majority of xylitol was introduced under a subsidiary of the DuPont Company. Xylitol is manufactured and you could Google this—it is made by a hydrogenation process. It is the manufacturer of what’s called the high-value chemical.
Xylitol is a high-value chemical made through a process of hydrogenation. And listeners will be startled to know that the majority of it is made from GMO corn cobs. But even the so-called organic xylitol—I don’t know how it can be organic when it’s made by this hydrogenation process. This hydrogenation process, most of it uses a heavy metal as a catalyst in its hydrogenation. And remember, hydrogenation is the same process that makes margarine. It’s very difficult for our body to recognize hydrogenated products. They have inflammatory effects.
Use of xylitol—that chemical, that white powder that’s added as a natural ingredient, that is one of the most untrue labeling claims calling xylitol natural or made from sugar or natural sugar. This is all an ad campaign. And if you want to bring up the research, I looked at all the research on xylitol. There’s no long-term safety data.
The Wall Street Journal had a story just this past summer on how the FDA is re-looking at xylitol because it can be fatal to your pets, especially your dog. There’s enough xylitol in two pieces of gum to kill a 100-gram rat. And there’s been no long-term safety data on xylitol. So I hope everyone listening understands that xylitol is not metabolized. It’s not recognized in the body. It’s not absorbed, which is why they touted it as anti-plaque. It helps to keep plaque from sticking to teeth. © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 12
What they’re really not saying is it’s very disturbing to the oral microbiome. And it’s equally disturbing to the entire gastrointestinal tract. So what happens when you eat products with xylitol? You got intestinal bloating, diarrhea, and gas, intestinal gas. So when a xylitol chewing gum company delivered a box of xylitol gum when it first came out to my dental office and my staff started chewing this gum, by the middle of the day, everyone was running to the bathroom. And it sounded like that scene on the Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles, where they’re all passing gas around the camp fire after eating the beans. Anyway, just a little comic relief there. So yes, everyone who’s listening, xylitol is not your friend despite the research, which was paid for by the xylitol manufacturers, saying otherwise. It is very disturbing to the oral and the gut microbiome.
What’s probably more insidious and is being considered being used as an insecticide because it kills fruit flies, which, by the way, fruit flies have a lot of DNA similar to us, even though we’re quite different in size and shape and everything else. But erythritol has been shown to kill fruit flies. Erythritol is a little more insidious because it’s absorbed by the body but not metabolized. So it gets into the body. It’s not metabolized. It’s been linked to esophageal reflux, even esophageal cancer.
And it has—again, the long-term safety data is very, very slim. So a lot of natural—and you know what, I’ve walked the floor of the natural products show looking at all kinds of natural toothpaste and I was shocked to see all these natural toothpaste companies embracing the use of xylitol as their sweetening agent. They thought it was good because it didn’t have calories. So they were like, “Well, this would be good for diabetics and all that. And it stopped the glycemic spike that a lot of other sugars can have.” And the problem is that we’re starting to find that it has not such a great effect on insulin resistance. So lots of interesting stuff coming out about that.
Dr. Davidson: Yeah. It’s really interesting, Dr. Gerry, because it seems as if the xylitol, it got its start from the dental world. Like I mean you go into a dental office and it’s like everything xylitol because that’s safe and protecting your teeth. Do you feel like that was just funded and money-driven marketing?
Dr. Curatola: Yeah. It was funded by xylitol manufacturers. They even started societies like the Oral Systemic [Connection] something or another. And I looked at who the underwriting sponsor was, it was a xylitol manufacturer. And so, be careful everyone. Because in the world of research, you could get any result you want depending on who’s paying for it. © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 13
So we really have to be careful detectives and sleuths at looking between the lines and really not taking everything as gospel truth. I was embarrassed that the dental industry went whole hog because the major consumer products companies, the two biggest, were still promoting the idea that killing plaque is still a good idea. So, the two leading brands of toothpaste still have advertisements talking about how they reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth, as if that’s a good thing. That, for everyone who’s listening, is like killing a coral reef protecting an island.
Dr. Davidson: I love that analogy. So as I see it, from what you’re saying, we’ve got the conventional/traditional toothpaste, which is really just a commercial detergent, then you’ve got the “natural stuff,” which is still detergent-based. It’s still disrupting your microbiome even though it might have better ingredients in it. Obviously, there’s the whole xylitol thing that you brought up. So is the correct solution—because here’s how I think of it because I’ve been using Revitin now for probably a year and a half and love it. My daughter and my wife use it. And I think of it more as a supplement. Is that maybe a better way to call Revitin?
Dr. Curatola: I started the work on Revitin 20 years ago. And I started the work on Revitin because I looked at what was existing in oral care, including natural toothpaste. And I was completely aghast at what was going on. The natural products were sort of natural imitations of conventional toothpaste, which really wasn’t based on any real science to what we should be doing in our mouth, especially in light of what we’ve learned in the last 20 years. So originally, I thought of Revitin as taking a nutritional approach, deconstructing the detergent base of oral care and turning it into like, you said, almost a dietary supplement. Feed your smile.
Jay, there was a study from a Japanese dental researcher in the 1970’s. He biopsied diseased gums. And he found that there were two key nutrients, antioxidants, and one is considered a vitamin—it’s not. It’s coenzyme Q10, which is a cofactor in the Krebs cycle. But it is a nutrient. These two nutrients were vitamin C and CoQ10. They were the ones that were deficient in this biopsy sample of a patient with periodontal disease.
And so, he was talking about taking those supplements systemically, which I’m in favor of as well. It’s a good idea. But the concentrations in the mouth by the absorption and assimilation through the digestive tract to the tiny capillaries in our gums, the concentrations go down, down, down. So I looked at it as a topical solution. But if you lace it in a conventional toothpaste formula like some manufacturers impinging on my three patents tried to do it over the past 20 years, it doesn’t work. © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 14
Because if you just lace it into a detergent formula, it’s not the same as what we did with Revitin. Revitin was designed—literally, every ingredient came out of a health food store when I started this. It was vitamin C. And I started this with my classmate from dental school, who did a lot of work on mixing the stuff up in the back of his office, Dr. David Shuch in Augusta, New Jersey. He’s my classmate in dental school. He and I went into a master’s program in holistic health in 1983 after we got our doctorates from New York University.
So what we did is we took vitamin C, CoQ10, vitamin E, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) a great connective tissue nutrient. And we put it in a base with xanthan gum and a couple—which xanthan gum, I’ll talk about in a minute—and a couple of natural ingredients. Everything came out of health food store. We mixed it up. And it almost looked like foundation makeup that women use. So, it was like brown, orange goo. And it took us about three years to get this dietary supplement, basically, this nutritional formula to act like a toothpaste.
But what happened when we started to use this product and test this product in several clinical research studies that we did is we saw dramatic effects that we can’t even say in our labeling or we’d be labeled as a drug even though everything was over-the-counter out of a health food store. But because of the regulations with the FDA, we can’t say that it stops bleeding in six minutes even though we had photos and pictures of this. We can’t say that it reduces inflammation by over 68% in 14 days, even though the research that we did in Europe came back and said that.
So all of these things we can’t say. All we could say is it promotes a healthy mouth, whitens teeth, freshens breath. But yet, I get calls from oncologists in cancer centers who are saying, “Can you get this stuff to me because it’s the only thing that reversed and stopped the oral mucositis that my patients were experiencing from chemotherapy and radiation.” And to me, it gives me such a—and my great hope is that Revitin will be on the front line of a whole new generation of intelligent oral care products that work to help the body heal itself.
Dr. Davidson: I love that. I still think, Dr. Gerry, that when we were with each other and I was doing another interview earlier, we were in person. But you literally took out—this was when like Revitin was more released, so this is a little while ago now. But you took some of the supplement Revitin out and you ate it. It like stopped my breathing for a second because I’m like somebody’s eating “toothpaste.” So touch on that for a second for me please.
Dr. Curatola: Well, you know what, I’m going to tell you a more somber story before that. In the 1980’s, one of the major consumer products companies © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 15
came out with a children’s toothpaste that was flavored like bubblegum and it was fluorescent blue with sparkles in it. And it was called sparkle toothpaste. I’m not going to say the brand, but most people probably had it. And even maybe even tried it or used it.
But there was a little-known fact that children started to eat the toothpaste and fluoride fatalities—you heard that correctly. Fluoride fatalities increased in children and young children by 280%. There is enough chemical fluoride, sodium fluoride, in a conventional tube of toothpaste to be fatal to children under five years old.
So parents never thought that children brushing their teeth was a hazardous thing. But in 1998, it was almost 10 years later, which is another really sad fact, but it took 10 years for the FDA to mandate a poison warning on toothpaste for any toothpaste containing sodium fluoride. And that is when parents started coming to me and saying, “Why does my kids’ toothpaste have a poison warning on it? Why does it say ‘use a tiny amount, a pea-sized amount’ and if more than that amount used for brushing is swallowed, contact a poison control center right away?”
So this was the fact that exists. And fortunately, we’re in the age of information with internet and social media. You can’t sequester this data anymore because most people in 1998 didn’t even realize that the FDA did that and the reasons behind the FDA doing that. So I developed Revitin to be able to be swallowed. That you can eat it. That a child can eat the entire tube, and it’ll be a dietary supplement.
And, by the way, here’s another fact about children. Children are really intuitive. And I love to see children’s reaction. I just had a friend who brought her children into me here in New York. And I gave them tubes of Revitin. And they went back and the mother called me and said, “I tried to give them the toothpaste that they were using before this time to prevent cavities.” And I was like, “They don’t need that fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities.”
As a matter of fact, we now are seeing the fluoride paradox in communities where there are fluoridated communities with higher rates of decay than non-fluoridated communities. It really gets down to nutrition as the key foundational element to preventing decay in your children. But anyway, this woman came back and said to me, “They started using your Revitin and they will not use anything else. It’s almost like they intuitively know this is really good for them and the other product was harmful.” And that was truly astounding. © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 16
Dr. Davidson: Well, and it just connects all the dots here, Dr. Gerry, as we wrap up of the idea of, if it’s a detergent in your mouth, whether it’s natural or conventional and more toxic, if you will, you don’t want to swallow a detergent. But a supplement, that just makes so much more sense to be taking care of our mouth. And you mentioned, if you can just touch on it real quickly here, the difference of a probiotic approach versus more of like the Revitin maybe prebiotic approach.
Dr. Curatola: Right. And I also want to tie this back to Lyme disease and the devastating long-term, chronic consequences of patients living with Lyme and how to effectively treat and, I do believe, heal themselves from the ravaging effects of what is a very pathogenic systemic infection. So the best way, if you can come away with anything from this discussion of the mouth-body connection, is we need to make peace with our microbes first. And I always say, our microbiome is like a friend with benefits, okay?
The microbiome will protect you from deadly viruses and bacteria in the world around us. An optimally functioning oral microbiome creates a much stronger environment for you to battle and eliminate the Lyme pathogen. You have to look at the oral microbiome as a living, breathing intelligence in and on our bodies, not just our mouth, the oral microbiome, but the skin microbiome, the gut microbiome, the genitourinary microbiome, the respiratory microbiome.
And in doing that, we need to consider the fact that we need to keep this environment as healthy as possible. So we need to look at—really, I have four cornerstones here. It’s not just the oral care products you’re using and ones that promote microbial homeostasis, but we need to look at our nutrition: alkalizing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant rich.
We need to look at managing stress which has very, very devastating effects in the mouth. It decreases saliva flow. You grind teeth, it can actually promote or exacerbation pain in the temporomandibular joint. And you need to look at fitness as not just for your body but for your mouth. By that, I mean that a healthy amount of movement is essential for immune system competence and circulatory function. And that’s why I wrote the book, The Mouth-Body Connection.
If anyone here, Jay, would read this book—I want everyone to know this book was almost a decade in the making. It explains the oral microbiome. It explains everything about oral care products. It has a 28-day program that I created called the Curatola Care Program that goes through the supplements, the oral care products, and the management of stress, and a healthy fitness program. All of it is in there. And I hope that it’s just part of an armamentarium, part of everyone on this summit or participating in this © www.DrJayDavidson.com. All rights reserved. 17
summit, equipping themselves and understanding that what goes on in your mouth is an essential part or on the frontline of your ability to stay healthy.
Dr. Davidson: Love that. So well-said, Dr. Gerry. I want to thank you so much for joining me on the Chronic Lyme Disease Summit 2 today.
Dr. Curatola: My pleasure, Jay. Thanks so much.
Dr. Davidson: And as you’ve heard from Dr. Gerry Curatola, think of toothpaste more from a supplement side of things or angle versus more of the chemical detergent side. And the mouth is an important piece to the Lyme disease puzzle. And again, his book is called The Mouth-Body Connection. A great book. It’s got—he just was touching a little bit on the Curatola Care Plan. It’s a four-phased piece. Amazing book. Highly recommended. Talking about rethink, restore, renew, refresh.
So definitely take this life-saving, life-transforming information home with you as well by clicking on the banner beside or below. And be sure to share this with your friends and loved ones as this is groundbreaking in the mouth hygiene, dental world. Dr. Gerry is just amazing. And don’t forget to visit him. He’s in the heart of New York City. You can check out his website rejuvdentist.com, R-E-J-U-V dentist dot com, and his toothpaste or supplement for the mouth, revitin.com, R-E-V-I-T-I-N dot com. You will not be disappointed.
Maximum blessings. This is Dr. Jay Davidson.