#46 Holistic Dentistry 101 & Oral Health - with Dr. Lewis Ehrlich
The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast
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In Episode 46 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas, Kate Callaghan, and their guest Dr. Lewis Ehrlich, (Holistic Dentist) discuss a holistic approach to dentistry and how to practice holistic dental health.
- The difference between a conventional dentist and a holistic dentist
- Visiting the dentist- when and why
- Dentists role in sleep quality
- Mouth breathing and the influence on sleep quality and overall health
- Strategies to address mouth breathing and improve sleep quality
- Oral health & hormonal health link
- Mercury fillings & getting them removed
- Flossing, oil pulling, tongue scraping and charcoal teeth whitening- whats fact and whats fiction
- Apple Cider Vinegar and your teeth
- Foods for optimal oral health
- Choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste
- Lewis’s morning routine and favourite daily health habits
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich
Welcome to the holistic nutritionist podcast where he’ll find inspiration and answers to how you can become the healthiest, happiest version of you. Do you think whole food nutrition, smart supplementation, movement and lifestyle hacks, your host Natalie Burke and Kate Callaghan, a degree qualified dietitians and nutritionists, certified fitness instructors, speakers and authors with extensive knowledge and clinical experience in the wellness industry. So sit back and enjoy the show.
Natalie K. Douglas 0:38
Hi, everyone, and welcome back to Episode 46 of the holistic nutritionist podcast. Today I’m lucky enough to be joined by Dr. Lewis Ehrlich. Before I read lewis’s bio, I’d like to preface this by saying Louis was the first dentist I went to, that didn’t scare the #### out of me, and who really took the time to go into detail how about the connection between oral health and overall health? A particularly right me in when he started talking about sleep quality and oral health, which we’ll chat about shortly as well. So, if you’re a chronic dental pansy like I was, or you just avoid it because you’re not in pain, then I hope that this episode convinces you to change your mind. So moving on, Lewis is a holistic dentist at Sydney holistic Dental Center with a background in professional soccer and his passion for holistic health. Louis focuses on the link between oral health and general overall health. His mission is to educate people to take control of their own health and prevent oral health disease and in turn overall health disease diseases. before studying dentistry, he completed a Bachelor of Science at Northeastern University in Boston after receiving a soccer scholarship where he played for two years. He then moved to Iceland, where he played professional soccer, lost his passion about the many links between RL and general health. He is a qualified fitness instructor and has graduated from the Institute of integrative nutrition in New York with a qualification in holistic health coaching. He is also a member of the Australasian College of nutritional and Environmental Medicine, the American Academy of craniofacial pain and the American Academy of cosmetic orthodontics. js Lewis How do you even have time to brush your teeth with all that?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 2:27
still find this on?
Natalie K. Douglas 2:29
and floss Lewis and floss?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 2:31
Oh, yeah, always.
Natalie K. Douglas 2:32
Excellent. Before we get started, I do have one very important question from that very impressive buyer. Why did you play soccer
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 2:42
Klay strike so I tried to score goals it didn’t always happen. But yeah, a the striker on the wing. So as a fast runner, so they used to put me out wide so I could run as fast as I could.
Natalie K. Douglas 2:57
I like it actually. That’s exactly the positions I used to play with. I’m also striker I I just I wasn’t very good at defending because I knocked people over too much.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 3:07
You and me both. I’m a terrible defender.
Natalie K. Douglas 3:10
Yeah. And I just never It’s never happened for me in sport. I played netball as well. And also terrible at defense could also be because on the size of a 12 year old but
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 3:20
you just live the glory now.
Natalie K. Douglas 3:22
Yeah, that could be part of it. I’m not gonna lie. Alright, so one more question before we continue into all things dental, what did you have for breakfast this morning.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 3:33
Not to be honest, nothing. And the reason being is that currently I am doing this 16 hour fasting eight hours eating situation. And the reason for that is that I want to explore this idea of hunger, something that we don’t really do much of in society. And I think if you have a have a look back into history, and even like this day and age with all the all the publicity around, you know, what our ancestors used to eat, there’s a lot of information out there about what we should be eating, but not how they used to eat. And I’m pretty sure they got hungry every now and again and didn’t have this abundance of food.
Natalie K. Douglas 4:16
I thought they sat around and ate every three hours.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 4:21
And you know, I’m actually finding that my mental clarity is really good. I’ve realized that I actually just ate for the sake of eating and energy levels of great feeling good. But also from a dental health standpoint, which is what we’re here to talk about. The decreased frequency of males actually decreases your chance of dental decay, which is a win.
Natalie K. Douglas 4:45
Interesting. So what did you break your fast with them this morning?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 4:50
I had a chicken salad, essentially. Yeah. Nice.
Natalie K. Douglas 4:56
So are you more of a savory breakfast person break fast person?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 5:04
Yes, very much. Yeah. sweet stuff makes me feel a little funny. If it’s the first thing that I eat. There’s definitely room for some sweet stuff every now and again. But
yeah, not not first thing in the morning or first mail.
Natalie K. Douglas 5:16
All right, I like a good start to the podcast. So now I want to move on to obviously more things dental. And I have quite a lot of questions for you today. Because we’ve never had a holistic dentist or dentist at all on the podcast before. And we also To be honest, haven’t spoken about it a lot. So it’s really good to have you on. But first of all, what is a holistic dentist as opposed to a conventional dentist.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 5:47
So I mean, the the main differentiation is that, I guess in in sort of a quick brief summary is that we obviously focused on the teeth and gums. But we’re also focus on the person connected to the teeth and gums. And I think, generally speaking as a profession, we can get a little bit one track mind, the focus on how healthy the teeth are, or how healthy the gums are. But if you only focus on that you miss out on a range of ways that you can actually improve health outcomes for patients. So as a holistic dentist, we obviously do routine dental procedures like anybody else, that that’s a dentist, but what we do is we try and educate our patients about the many links between oral health and general health. We look at breathing dysfunction, we trade headaches, neck aches, your aches, we’re looking for sleep that sleep apnea, sleep disordered breathing conditions, and trading those. And then obviously, a nutritional component as well. Because at the end of the day, I think there’s too much focus on curing dental problems, rather than actually educating people on how to take control all of the overall dental health but general health in, in, in all so. Yeah, that’s basically how I would summarize it.
Natalie K. Douglas 7:10
Okay, I like it. So you kind of mentioned there at the end that you are trying to focus on prevention. So I guess it’s interesting to me, because I was definitely someone who didn’t go to the dentist until I felt pain. And I know that we’ve had many conversations before about that probably not being the best indicator. So how often should people go to the dentist? And like, why is it a real issue that people wait until they actually experienced pain before they schedule an appointment.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 7:43
So there’s this kind of idea within the community that pain is the only time that something, you know, an indicator that something’s wrong, but about 95% of all diseases, and that includes to tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, which is actually on the rise, and one of the most common cancers in the world now, actually doesn’t present with any time whatsoever. And I’ll give you an example. We had a patient in the other week who was concerned about a brown spot on his cane on to the vampire toes. And looking around his mouth, we actually saw teeth that were actually rotted down to the gum line. So he had no crown of his tooth, nothing above the gum. And he didn’t have any pain whatsoever associated with that he was purely focused on the brown spot on his cane on. So that’s just an example of like, even in the case of nerve obliteration, where the tooth is completely rotted away. It doesn’t necessarily cause pain. So being proactive rather than reactive is the best thing that you can do for your health. Because at the end of the day, a lot of really important things start in the mouth, you know, we eat, we drink. Breathing is affected by what’s going on in your mouth, sleeping is affected by what’s going on in your mouth. And so in order to be the healthiest version of yourself, you actually need to be proactive rather than reactive. So pain is not a great indicator and like if you went to a cardiologist, not that I know that I
Natalie K. Douglas 9:28
have a regular cardio.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 9:31
But you know, if if you if you went for example, to a cardiologist and they said, Oh, you don’t pay and come back, when you’re in pain, you think, well, this guy’s got no idea what he’s doing. So he paints a pretty ordinary indicator of oral health.
Natalie K. Douglas 9:45
Okay, so in saying that, how often is often enough to be saying a dentist to make sure that nothing, I guess, is going on, that’s going to negatively impact your health.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 9:58
Yeah, I think like once every six months is really important to at least have a claim. And depending on your decay rate. You know, if you’ve got a whole bunch of holes, or you die, it’s pretty ordinary, probably getting a check out once every six months, as well as a claim. But if you’ve got no feelings, no issues, no history of decay, then probably once every 12 months for a checkup. But we tend to be creatures of habit will brush the same way over and over and over again. And that includes myself. And so when you leave a spot and touched on unclean for six months that can promote localized inflammation in the mouth, which is not good for you systemic health.
Natalie K. Douglas 10:38
Yeah, and I guess putting that into context, can you imagine how like disgusted we would be if we didn’t wash a certain part of our body for like six months? So it’s an interesting point, I kind of never thought of it like that. And then I think it was the other day I was on the way home from the dentist and I thought about that an awful lot, actually really disgusting.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 10:57
Yeah, well, I mean, look, if you getting any, like bleeding, bleeding, gums are bleeding when you’re brushing, you know, that’s a classic sign of this chronic inflammation in your body and that ladies susceptible to systemic diseases as a privileged previously mentioned. But you know, I always say to my patients, like if you, if every time you wash your hands, your palms started lady being a state of panic, you’d rush to the hospital. But you know, people turn a blind eye when it comes to their oral health and just think it’ll go away on its own. But in reality, that’s a classic sign that you probably need to go and have your teeth clean, and the surface area of your palm is the equivalent of the surface area of your gums. So if you had a what, you know, a welding lesion, you know, red bleeding part of your palm, you you’d be panicking. So we should be trading, you know, quite seriously.
Natalie K. Douglas 11:51
Yeah, I agree. And hopefully no one’s eating right now with that description.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 11:57
It’s pretty good.
Natalie K. Douglas 11:58
For now, it’s it’s good to be nice things because I think a lot of us are so far removed from oral health, because it’s not something that a lot of us put a lot of time and thought into. So it’s good to kind of give analogies or other contexts that people can actually make the connect the dots with Now, something else that you mentioned that, really I find incredibly interesting. And as I mentioned in the intro was one of the things that I thought was really interesting, when I came to see you for my first consultation was the role that a dentist plays in assessing someone’s sleep quality. So can you expand on that? What role do you actually play in that? Um,
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 12:38
yeah, so a lot of people don’t realize this aspect of dental health, which is, again, sort of thinking more holistically, but the shape of your upper and lower jaw is actually dictate the shape and size of your upper airway. So a lot of people say crowded teeth, a lot of people don’t have room for their wisdom days, a lot of people will have teeth removed for orthodontic reasons. You know, if you’ve got a crowded upper and lower jaw, you’ll have a restricted upper airway. And if you’re breathing poorly, you leave yourself more susceptible. Upper risk, spiritually tract infections, you leave yourself more susceptible to sleep apnea. And at the end of the day, you know, sleep is pretty important. And we slept for a third of our lives. And if you’re not breathing well, day in day out for, you know, in an average lifetime, we slept for about 25 years, that’s going to affect your immune system and your ability to to be resilient. And so the shape and size of your upper and lower jaw actually gives us an indication as to whether or not there might be some sleep disordered breathing. asking the right questions is another important thing. So we always asked, What time do you go to sleep at night, obviously, there’s there’s better times and others you should be sleeping for about seven to nine hours as a as an adult. We asked people if they wake up refreshed. Whether they wake up gasping for air, that can be a sign of sleep apnea when they wake up in the middle of the night really wide, which I know can, you know, be a sign of adrenal fatigue, but it can also be a sign of sleep apnea. If you’re not off after lunch, without alcohol, if you can not offer in a public place, if you can not offer when you’re at a traffic light. These are all signs and symptoms that you’re not breathing well. And you know, dentist play a huge role by asking those questions in diagnosing potential sleep apnea. So if we suspect anything, we work with sleep physicians, again, thinking more holistically, we work with a range of practitioners, we send them off to sleep studies. And depending on what comes back, we can make them night guards and appliances and train them to breathe a little bit better through the nose rather than the mouth and get better sleep better health outcomes.
Natalie K. Douglas 14:55
Awesome. So mouth breathing you just mentioned so what influence so if someone obviously you’ve you’ve kind of alluded to the fact that breathing to like out of your math, while you’re sleeping is not optimal. Why is that? Like why is math breathing as opposed to breathing through your nose. So detrimental to sleep quality and dental health?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 15:19
Yeah, so noses for breathing mouths are failing. They the tongue should be at the roof of the mouth, and you should be breathing through your nose. This four out of the five filtration mechanisms line the nose, the fifth one is your tonsils, which is in the mouth. And if you think about how much bacteria is around, in the air, with pollution, etc. You can expect that you will be able to feel try that better if your nasal breathing, so it’s better for your overall health. There’s a fine his adenoids terminates and mucous membranes of woman humidifier the air before it goes into our system. And if you mouth breathe, you bypass that and you realize the tonsils now if you rely on the tonsils, they swell up like golf balls. So when I look at the back of the mouth, if they’ve got really, really enlarged tonsils, that may be a sign that there’s some mouth breathing going on. And that can actually reduce the size of the airway even further, which leaves you more susceptible to sleep apnea, etc. The other thing as well as that if you mouth Brady actually dry your saliva, which has a protective effect against tooth decay. So we know saliva to neutralize acid, you can also get higher rates of gum disease as well, because you’re not having that lubricating effect of saliva. And you’re also more likely to wake up and go to the bathroom as well because it affects your co2 balance in the body. So if you breathe through your mouth, you’re more likely to get your co2 levels dropping that causes your bladder to constrict. And then you wake up and go to the loo. And then that disturb your sleep when you should be resting and recovering.
Natalie K. Douglas 16:54
And actually, like Now, you mentioned that our member, that being my main thing that was happening for me, and then it was the biggest change that happened when I got a night God and went through the terrible sleep study process. And that was one of the things I noticed pretty quickly as I woke up feeling more fresh. And I also found I was waking up way less to go to the bathroom and left side, you know, had a lot of water before going to bed, which is not recommended everybody. So yeah, interesting. Now, you mentioned also before that you guys have strategies to actually address math Bry math breathing, and therefore improve sleep quality. So what are the main strategies that you use?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 17:42
Well, it’s really dependent on what sort of signs and symptoms they have in their mouth. So some some of the reasons why your mouth breathers you might have a tongue tie, for example, that’s a ligament underneath your tongue. And sometimes that gets really, really taught and, and short. And sometimes, you know, you can actually be born that way. Or in as a result of fading patterns when you’re a child or what have you. If that’s the case, that’ll actually be really difficult for you to get the tongue up at the roof of the mouth, which leaves you more susceptible to tooth crowding, because the tongue should be at the roof of the mouth. And that’s the best orthodontic appliance that we had and he gave it to us. So if your mouth breathing that way, then you know sometimes a little bit of surgery to release the the tongue so you can actually get it up to the roof of the mouth is required. Other times it’s just lengthening the ligament by doing some what we call our own biology, which is like oral physiotherapy exercises. There’s that, you know, breathing courses, actually retraining yourself how to breathe effectively, because we as a population, we tend to breathe through our mouths and we over brave. And so just going back to basics and retrain yourself. And then you know, in some cases, we actually recommend some mouth taping during the day or even at night time for people that can can handle that or, or have been deemed, you know, safe to do so. It’s just a little bit of micro port. It was not duct tape. Yeah. So it’s just a little paper thin paper tape that has little paws through it. And I actually tied my mouth at not and I like out far more refresh because I’m getting more oxygen, my co2 levels are in perfect balance, etc. So yeah, there’s ways that we can retrain people but as a hidden health epidemic, this is mouth breathing business.
Natalie K. Douglas 19:33
Yeah. Interesting. It’s I find it all really fascinating. Because, again, like for someone like myself, that was like, is very into health. This stuff wasn’t even on my radar. So and as I said, having a night guard and doing some taping, for me really made a difference too. So definitely something for people to consider discussing with the dentist as well. Now shifting gears slightly, man, Kate, of very much into hormonal health. And we wanted to know, is there I guess? Does oral health have anything to do with hormonal health? Um,
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 20:10
So I mean, hormonal changes can have a huge impact on your oral health. So yeah, I mean, depending on what stage of life you’re at, like, for example, puberty. You know, if we’re talking about women, but also also young men as well, there’s an increased risk of gamma inflammation, way without Clark. So normally plot causes gum inflammation, but just hormonal changes in young men, men and women through puberty can actually cause the gum to gums to become inflamed. So, yeah, I mean, you can get some increasing bleeding gums I blade more readily. You can even get what’s called Advanced juvenile periodontitis, which is gum disease. And that’s characterized, you know, by the absence of plaque, so there’s actually purely caused by an inflammatory response through hormonal changes. You know, as you get a little bit older, you know, if you take menstruation, for example, it’s been associated with all altered collagen production in the gums, and there’s an increase in inflammatory cells. So you’ll see more bleeding swollen gums, temporary sort of tooth mobility, so loosening of teeth. And you can even see recurrent Alice’s herpes, and Canada infections during this time. So the like, and then obviously, like pregnancy, we, I’m not sure if everyone knows this, but you got a high chance of something called pregnancy ginger virus, which can happen depending on the studies, like between 30 and 100% of all pregnant women. Big range there, I know. Yeah, but that can sort of range from mine inflammation to severe gum overgrowth. So literally, like you can barely see the teeth. And then there’s pain bleeding. And you can even get something called a Pio Genet granuloma, which is also known as a pregnancy tumor, which can occur on the gums, but also can be found on like tongue, lips, cheeks palettes, and there’s a higher higher sort of incidence or increase in aggressive bacteria associated with gum disease, then there’s contraception, contraceptives, that can, you know, range from mild redness, you know, if you’re taking them to complete gum overgrowth. Yeah, there’s a whole range of stuff in like, we made a pause, post minimum pause is an association with like, you know, decreasing estrogen and then yet high risk of osteoporosis and then you get low bone mass and increased risk of fracture, but because of the bones affected, it actually has a profound effect on the quality of bone within the jaw. So in the presence of already existing gum disease, you can actually get faster the bone loss, which is a common effect of gum disease, a lot of people think gum disease just to fake this the gums, but it actually causes a lot of bones. Yeah, hormones play a huge role in in oral health that can cause some havoc.
Natalie K. Douglas 23:30
Just a few links there. Oh, wow. So that’s, that’s really interesting. And just to back up a bit on the pregnancy side of things. So given there, is that increased risk during pregnancy? Is there is that a time where people should be going to the dentist more frequently? Or when someone is like becomes pregnant? Or is, you know, going through pregnancy? Is that a time where, yeah, they should come and see a dentist,
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 23:55
yeah, hundred percent, because you can, because of the inflammation that you get any, you know, you get an increase amount of inflammation, that that can actually cause preterm birth. So low birth weights, the baby just wants to come out, you know, because it’s just such a hostile environment, if there’s a lot of inflammation around and the gums are the most common side of chronic inflammation in the body. So yes, I always recommend people that are pregnant to have regular clients throughout their pregnancy.
Natalie K. Douglas 24:28
Interesting, good to know. And really interesting to know, the link between post menopause low estrogen levels, and oral health because Kate and I actually have a big audience that suffer from a lot of people that have suffered or suffering from something called hypothermic amen area, which is when you lose your period because the brain stops communicating with the ovaries and often low estrogen is part of that story. So that’s something I thought I would just highlight for people listening that are in that crowd, because another reason to really focus on healing that condition that Kate and I talk about a lot. conditioning, hypothalamus, amen area, hypo hypo. Yep. So it’s Yeah, it’s really interesting. And I’m Kate actually has a whole course on it. And Kate and I have both suffered from it. And usually it is from not eating enough and exercising too much, or just too much stress on the body because the body, the body, you know, he’s going to prioritize survival over reproduction. So often your sex hormone production gets shut down. So yeah, really common thing to happen in eating disorders or history of eating disorders, that kind of situation. So if Yeah, it’s it’s a good point to highlight because as I said, we do have quite a few people that fall into that category that that listen and are on a healing journey. Sorry, checking in with their dentist wouldn’t be a bad idea right now.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 26:01
Natalie K. Douglas 26:01
Yes. Now moving slightly on, still relating to Homer. And so I specialize in thyroid conditions. And I see a lot of people with hypothyroidism. And often what comes up is these people tend to have a lot of mercury fillings. And actually, it’s, I guess, it’s a problem because mercury can inhibit the uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland, amongst other things, and I often recommend that people get their mercury fillings safely removed. And for those of our listeners that may be in this boat, do you have any advice around what questions they should be asking their dentist or anything they should consider before or after getting mercury fillings removed? or replaced? Or whatever it is the process that happens?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 26:55
Um, yeah, well, I think the first thing is, is that you need to be communicating with the practitioner that’s looking after that person’s detoxification, because there’s obviously a correct time to remove them. And we don’t really look after that side of things, you know, we just speak to the the practitioner that’s, you know, looking after them, and then we were just having when the the right time is to remove them. amalgam fillings contain 50% Mercury, and that can cause a whole range of issues, you know, with brain function and lodging organs and things like that. And looked at being a good servant to the dental community, but there’s better materials out there by for your health and, you know, longevity as well. And, and chew ability. Don’t know if that’s a word.
Natalie K. Douglas 27:51
That is, it is now.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 27:55
Yeah, and you know, unfortunate, it’s not industry standard to remove it safely. So, in our practice, what we do is we remove it under something called a rubber dam, which is a rubber shake that sits over the teeth, rather than drilling out the mercury just into the mouth, which can be somewhat ingested, even though we’re using a high speed suction. And then we also give people medical grade oxygen to breathe in. So we made them look like a bit of a fighter pilot, like in Top Gun. Yeah, very extreme. And they they breathe in oxygen, as opposed to mercury vapor. And then we’ve also got filters in our room to pick up any fiber in the air. So it’s very important that those steps are taken, if you’re going to get them removed, or if they don’t do it that way, then see someone who does remove them safely. The other thing as well is that it’s really important up your selenium, leafy greens, sulfur containing foods, because I can help to bind any excess metal and help you to read it, read, read it yourself. But ultimately, it’s a case by case thing, and every human body is different, with a different nutritional support. And that’s why, you know, we remove it safely and work with practitioners to help, you know, get the best result.
Natalie K. Douglas 29:18
Yeah, and on that note, obviously, I’m a practitioner that would support someone in that process. And I would just explain, generally speaking, so when those is talking about timing it right. In my opinion, one of the big things to consider before getting any kind of amalgams removed or going through that process is a that you have good gut function, because the last thing you want to be doing when I guess the last thing you want to do is start I guess eliminating any kind of toxins without the capacity to get rid of them through your own. I guess detox pathways and part of those detoxification pathways ways also include the gut, because elimination is a huge way that toxins exit the body. So I will refuse to give anyone any nutrients or support to push their detoxification pathways until we have you know, regular bowel motions, a good functioning digestive system. Because otherwise what happens in in liver detoxification is, if toxins aren’t eliminated, I guess in a timely manner, they will be turned into more reactive and more problematic intermediates, we call them and be recirculated, which is worse than if you just didn’t touch them in the first place. So definitely something to be discussing with a practitioner, before you go down that path. But really good tips in terms of safe removal and what people want the kind of questions people can ask as well. Because, yeah, I can imagine that removing them not safely would probably cause a lot more problems than if that were just left in there. And on that note, how do you guys protect yourself as dentist is it mainly the lack the filter in the arrow?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 31:07
Yeah, so that’s a little bit of a concerning thing for us is that, you know, the the patients really well protected. But for us, we’ve just got standard kind of masks and, you know, obviously, we’re using a lot of water spray, we’re trying to suppress the, the vapor as it rises, we use a lot of water, high speed suction, you know, I’m washing my, after I remove the amalgam I’m washing my elbows and hands and changing gloves and changing mask. But, you know, it’s it is one of the concerning things about being a dentist and, and removing amalgams is that it can affect your health long term. And there are some masks out there that are meant to be, you know, quite good, but they can be quite bulky and get in the way of, you know, like goggles and magnetic occasion that we we were so it’s a bit of a concern, but I’m, you know, one of the best ways to rid yourself of, of that. Sort of, you know, Mercury is to sweat, and urinate. And so I’m, you know, doing a lot of exercise and eating really clean a lot. Yeah, I tried it and, you know, sit in my Infrared Sauna every now and again, and you know, a couple of times a week just to put out some toxins. And I’ve actually done like a Mercury try test recently. So that’s blood, blood, hair urine. And it was pretty, I mean, I’m not sure that it’s as good as a challenge test that sort of a bit of, you know, controversy about what what tests you do female curry, but in that test, it was reasonably low, all things considered. So
I’m just gonna take it and run run with it.
Natalie K. Douglas 32:56
I think so well, it sounds like you’ve got many good strategy gene strategies in place. And hopefully, as time goes on, they’ll be more technology to protect you guys further, because obviously, that’s very important as well.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 33:09
Natalie K. Douglas 33:12
Alright, so a few quick dental FAQs for you that I came up with myself from just questions I thought that people would want to know the answer to. And you don’t have to go into great detail. But I know that these questions would be questions that a lot of people are wondering about. So first of all, is flossing really that important?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 33:36
Yeah, it is. And for the reason why is that, you know, flossing gets the areas where you brush can’t get to. So if you think about how we’re creatures of habit more brush the same way over and over again, think about not flossing for years and years and years, there’s going to be an accumulation of plaque, which will leave you susceptible to decay and gum disease. But also a lot of people think that they’re just gonna get rid of all the bacteria like that’s the purpose of flossing. But in fact, what you trying to do is introduce oxygen into an area underneath the gums where oxygen doesn’t exist. So bacteria that are really aggressive, the anaerobic bacteria, they leave without oxygen. That’s how tenacious they are. And what you’re actually doing with flossing, but by placing your force on it gum gently, is introducing oxygen into that space and making the bacteria friendly, as opposed to a FIFO.
Natalie K. Douglas 34:25
And should you brush and then floss or floss and then brush
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 34:29
personally on the on big on flossing, and then brushing? So you put you get some of that bacteria out some of the block some of the oldest that’s in there. Yummy.
And then you brush it away.
Natalie K. Douglas 34:42
Nice. Okay, good. Good to know. And next question is, what is oil pulling? And in your clinical experience? Does it make a difference?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 34:53
Yeah, so Oil Pulling is basically just getting a taste minute or teaspoon tablespoon of coconut oil first thing in the morning, popping it in the mouth and swishing around your mouth. And the idea is that the fats, the you know, the liquids in the coconut oil actually pull block, hence, oil pulling from underneath the gums. And it’s also got some lorich acid, which is antibacterial. And you do it for 15 minutes, don’t swallow, because there’s all that gunk coming out. And don’t spit it down your drains because you have a plumbing problem. And, yeah, I think it’s worthwhile. A lot of people that are anti it,
Natalie K. Douglas 35:30
have gum disease.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 35:33
You know, some of the people that either put it this way, there are a lot worse things that you can do. Then Then do oil pulling, it’s a useful adjunct. And we’ve seen it work quite well for things like ginger vitesse, and even some mild gum disease. But the more advanced stuff, you’re not going to get much out of oil pulling but it’s a good sort of preventative thing. For people that have pretty good oral oral health.
Natalie K. Douglas 35:59
Yes, good. DN Just a tip everyone you can actually like because a lot of people when they first try it, try and do it for 15 minutes with the same oil, like the same spoonful of oil. And sometimes, like I know personally, sometimes I’m like, all right, this this is I can’t handle this anymore. So I sometimes like we’ll put in like half like a teaspoon of oil, and then swish it around or whatever for half that time and then put in another teaspoon, because otherwise, sometimes I’ve just it’s just getting too much. Good to just a heads up. And if you’re a small person like me, a taste burn usually is enough. I tried a tablespoon once and I was like, Oh, this was a mistake.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 36:41
It’s really gross.
I just started a couple of minutes and just say how you gotta do it into it.
Natalie K. Douglas 36:48
Yo, yo, I have to like I often tell people to like, do it in the shower, do it while you’re doing something else. So you’re distracting yourself. Otherwise, all you’re focusing on is the fact that there’s like so much saliva and oil in your mouth. And all you want to do is get rid of it.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 37:02
Yeah, plus 15 minutes is a long time. So I leave a later shower coconut oil in a split in my shower. So when I have my morning shower on by the time I’m drawn and dressed, it’s done.
Natalie K. Douglas 37:13
good tip. There you go. Alright, next question is, does having apple cider vinegar destroy your tooth enamel?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 37:23
The answer is yes. Because vinegars got to pay to about 2.2 and your enamel will start to degrade and break down anything lower than 5.5. And so if you’re having a kind of not diluted enough, and you’re not kind of diluting that acid, then you eventually wear away your enamel. So if you’re holding it in your mouth, that’s a big no no. If you’re doing it on diluted, I wouldn’t recommend it. And otherwise wait at least half an hour brushing your teeth. Because you can actually strip away your enamel so just be a little bit careful with that. I think you need to pop into your dentist something like really thin enamel and a more said water ocean. Understand that the gut is hugely important and getting that acid load is really important, but you know, definitely dilute it.
Natalie K. Douglas 38:18
Yeah. Okay, um, by dilute like, do you have a rough amount? Or just make sure you’re not shouting it from the from the bottle?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 38:27
Yeah, probably do like a 90%. Waters 10% 95 5% episode of eating and 95% water or naughty naughty 10
Natalie K. Douglas 38:37
and and is drinking it through a non plastic straw. Sorry, man, kinda old against the waist. But I’m drinking it through like a stainless steel store or something like that help at all?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 38:47
Yeah, hundred percent. And yes, plastics.
Natalie K. Douglas 38:52
Excellent. I’m glad we’re on the same page. Or I’m just also a note on that. So coffee is off the black is acidic to does that, that people shouldn’t brush their teeth, like 30 minutes after having their coffee. Should they wait a bit longer?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 39:06
Yeah, I think if they wait, yeah, at least 30 minutes. That’s always a good idea. And it depends also how they having a coffee like it people have no, I know that milk is kind of a controversial thing. Some people can’t really handle it. But if people are having milk in their coffee, that’s obviously better. From an A city standpoint, and a tooth perspective than having like a black coffee, which is doesn’t have any kind of casing or anything to neutralize it down a bit. So yeah, just give it a bit of time.
Natalie K. Douglas 39:36
Yeah. Okay, cool. good tip. Next one is what are your favorite foods for optimal dental health?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 39:43
So we know that foods high in vitamin ADNK, the fat soluble ones allow the uptake of water soluble vitamins like
Natalie K. Douglas 39:54
vitamin C. Yeah,
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 39:56
yeah. Yeah. And then also allow the uptake of things like that calcium and phosphorus, which are naturally occurring teeth and jaw bones, which actually add strength. So you can just google natural, healthy versions of foods high in vitamin ADMK. And then also make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C, which is really important for your, your gum tissue, and reducing inflammation, but also things like fiber stimulate, stimulate saliva production, and making sure you’re eating chewy, healthy foods and nuts, carrots, carrots, celery sticks, those sorts of things, as opposed to be skits and all that sort of stuff, which is sticky and maybe more susceptible to decay. That’s really important to promote saliva production. And also, everything that we do these days when everything that we eat seems to be soft. So there’s a lot of information out there about what to way but not how to eat. And we actually need to put out jaws on the tension, you know, by actually shooting hard food, what we’re naturally meant to do. And this can promote healthy jaw growth in kids, but also create strength in kids and adults. So there’s actually a higher incidence of your fractures this day and age than there was decades ago. And that’s because we’re just not putting our jaws under enough stress. So don’t chalk your food up into tiny little pieces all the time and actually put yours to work and drink smoothies and soups all there.
Natalie K. Douglas 41:28
Yeah, no good point. And me and Kate, are very much advocates of eating your food, not drinking your food for the most part, because it also is really important from a digestive and satiety point of view. So there you go. Another reason to eat your food instead of drinking food. All right, next question is should people be using fluoride toothpaste or natural toothpaste?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 41:52
Yeah, very common question I get. It’s, it’s it’s case by case. So I mean, the average Australia consumes about 40 kilos of sugar a year, and I don’t consume that much. So someone’s having my share. And, you know, that’s the equivalent of about, you know, the weight of a 12 year old kid. So it’s a lot of sugar. Yeah. So, um, yeah, if you’re consuming the standard kind of Australian diet, then you know, a bit, some topical fluoride has been shown to be beneficial for your teeth and reduce the risk of decay. But again, tooth decay is a disease of diet more than anything, and poor oral hygiene. And so if you’re eating those natural healthy foods high in ADK, you don’t have a sweet tooth, the regular visitors to the dentist, then you know, and you don’t have a higher decay rate, then, you know, perhaps you can steer clear of it. But if you’ve got a diet that not so good, I would wouldn’t hurt you know, to use a fluoride fluoride toothpaste. Just make sure you’re not ingesting anything. Because it’s nasties in it. And don’t use a toothpaste that has like micro beads in it. That’s bad for the environment. And don’t, don’t choose one that has triclosan, which is got some cancer risk associated potentially. So you got to pick and choose Personally, I use a natural toothpaste. But when I’ve been a bit naughty around Easter time, or Christmas time with all my chocolates and things, I’ve got a chocolate problem that
Natalie K. Douglas 43:30
I got to speak about that after then.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 43:32
Yeah. Then you know, my throwing, you know, a week or two with a fluoride toothpaste you just going to be a bit pragmatic rather than dogmatic about it, I think. And, you know, there’s some people that were really poor saliva flow, have had, you know, cancer and radiation to the mouth. And obviously, they need some support other people not so much. So it’s case by case.
Natalie K. Douglas 43:52
Yep. So don’t snack on your toothpaste, everybody.
Good tip wrong.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 43:56
100% so many kids like swallowing.
Natalie K. Douglas 44:01
I’m not gonna lie. I used to do that because they had such delicious flavors like cream like strawberry flavor to spice and expect you not to eat it.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 44:08
Yeah, that’s a marketing strategy.
Natalie K. Douglas 44:11
Like that should change. I can’t buy it as an adult. Because you know, I might get on astrology can start eating toothpaste again. So I just stick to me. Yeah, not good. All right, moving right along. Um, the next question I have for you is what is tongue scraping? And do you recommend that people look into this?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 44:30
Yeah, so tongue scraping is basically scraping your tongue Who would have thought? But yeah, we we can accumulate Clark and some nasty bacteria in the fishes of our tongues and his little grooves in our tongue. And so very, very gentle scraping with a hard product so I’ve got like this little dr tongue stainless steel one. Yeah, that’s reusable. Gentle, like three or four stroke per day is enough. And you’d be surprised what comes off your tongue it’s pretty guys. But because your tongue is soft, you need something hard in the same way that your tooth is hard you need something soft to brush it with. So it’s kind of the opposite but using your toothbrushes is fine to you just probably won’t do such a good job and yes and a little thing to deal with some bad breath issues and just keep the mouth a little bit cleaner but don’t scrape too hard because you will know about it it’ll be very sore
Natalie K. Douglas 45:35
yeah guilty I’m a bit of lacquer all or nothing person when I first got out I was like right I’m gonna get all this stuff off yeah not recommended he’s serious when he says do it softly
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 45:45
Yeah, I learned the hard way
Natalie K. Douglas 45:48
Yeah, I was like oh my gosh my like my mouth is fighting and I was like Oh, right. Soft like actually made so it was like the first like is like when I started to be honest I could I didn’t fully my teeth for quite a while there when I was in my avoiding the dentist period and then when I started flossing again always the same in terms of like not doing it gently. So again, emphasizing that everyone learns from my mistakes and do do it gently like haha is not better.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 46:15
Simon brushing Yeah.
Natalie K. Douglas 46:17
Okay, now on the topic of brushing, manual all electric toothbrushes.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 46:23
Look on balance electrical Sonic toothbrushes. Probably a better removing clock than a manual but if you’re not brushing in a systematic or systematic way and continually Miss spots obviously make sense that it doesn’t matter what you use if you’re not brushing it away and get clean. So good technique is the first thing. The other thing is well is that from a environmental perspective, we basically 30 million plastic toothbrushes going landfill Wow. Every year in Australia, so you know, manual by degradable bamboo toothbrushes are probably a good option for your mouth and and the environment but on balance probably an electric or a sonic toothbrushes does a better job. So what I would say is if you have a electric toothbrush or a sonic toothbrush at home, then when you go on trips and you don’t want to you know lug it in your bag with you just choose a biodegradable wrap one rather than you know biodegradable manual toothbrush rather than getting another plastic one because you know every every little bit counts for the environment.
Natalie K. Douglas 47:42
Yeah, a great good tip. What about professional teeth whitening? Sorry, is it safe in your experience or opinion?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 47:51
Yes, everyone should be assessed for tooth whitening Everyone has their own whitening potential. Some people have very thin enamel some have existing sensitivity and all these factors need to be assessed beforehand. But in moderation, it is safe particularly if it’s done by health professional, it hasn’t been shown to cause any long term damage as long as you’re not obsessed with it. And you know, we’ve got a couple of sort of younger more vain patients that unfortunately get you know, just want wider and wider and wider and they just keep using it day in day out and you just have to not literally but knock some sense into them. And actually
Natalie K. Douglas 48:36
I’m glad you precise that we
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 48:40
are already skin to the dentist. That Yeah, you know that that’s going to cause irreversible damage if you’re doing it too much. But you know, if you do it once a year and you using a gentle home sort of kid or yet you ensure winding down every couple of years. I’m not overly concerned by that, particularly if you die it’s really good and the other aspects of your health and oral health a good but yeah, there’s also a lot of gimmicks out there as well that are promising the world and delivering so little ultimately, I think you need to be guided by your health professional and your dental health professional and don’t take matters into your own hands because it is at the end of the day a chemical and you shouldn’t be just using it willy nilly.
Natalie K. Douglas 49:21
good tip now on the note of teeth whitening. What about charcoal so we have a lot of wellness warriors that listen to this and I know that that that question would pop up so is using like charcoal to whiten your teeth safe and or effective.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 49:39
Yeah, this is a funny, really funny one because there’s not a lot of studies on it. So it’s just all kind of anecdotal. A couple of concerns I have is that it depends on the abrasiveness of the charcoal so some of the some of the charcoal stuff has like really big sea grass grinds you can feel it when you try it and that’s going to be abrasive and where are you today MY was on and like I said there’s just not the long term studies on safety. So I’d say exercise caution again, get assessed by your dental professional. I’ve seen it work anecdotally well but I’ve also seen it do some damage to take long term. And I’ve also seen it do the complete opposite which you know particularly if you’ve got fillings on your front teeth I’ve had a couple of patients that have come in with gray teeth because it’s gotten into the the joint in between the feeling and the tooth is always a little microscopic gap and then they’ve just got these gray lines on their teeth and I’ve spent like an hour an hour and a half trying to get it off because it freaked out going I cannot go outside looking like these metallic gray which which is obviously a bit disturbing for them but you know funny at the same time in hindsight but but so yeah, it’s I just think you need to be guided by by people in the know because you know you take is so important for your self esteem and they’re so important for the rest of your health you know if he’s going around smiling with gray teeth what what favors Have you done yourself
Natalie K. Douglas 51:09
or anyone else
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 51:10
your Anyone else?
So just exercise caution when it comes to that, and
I was going to mention something else about the choco it’s
Natalie K. Douglas 51:25
how do you like besides just feeling like the the abrasiveness or like the texture of the taco on your teeth? Is there any other way that you can tell? If If one of them has like, a small particle size or a big particle size? Or is it just literally, you’ve, you’ve kind of got to feel it? Yeah, I’m just asking for the people who alive? Yeah, I’m just gonna do it anyway.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 51:47
It’s a good question. I think it is more of a fail thing. But I guess if it’s, if you’re making your own, just try and crush it into the smallest little bits possible. You know, if there’s added ingredients in the toothpaste that you’re using, that’s probably a good thing. So it’s less charcoal. But the other thing that I also think about charcoal toothpaste is that everyone goes, Oh, my God, look at these results that I’ve got. And I’m not sure if it’s actually because you’ve put something black on your teeth. Yeah, then you’ve washed it away. And then all of a sudden, it’s you know, it’s that kind of thing. You know, like, if you go into a dark room, and then you come out into broad daylight. Everything just seems so much brighter. Yeah. So I’m not sure if that’s apply to and you know, we’re getting sucked into a bit of marketing. But again, there’s just not that long. I like to be a bit cynical at times. But I don’t know if I just getting sucked into some marketing or whether it actually works Time will tell. But I think just there’s some tried and tested methods. And I don’t know, be guided by your health, your dental health professional.
Natalie K. Douglas 52:55
Yeah. And it’s probably not something that anyone’s going to do a study on, because who’s going to get any money for that?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 53:00
Exactly. It’s not like we’re saving lives with chocolate ice,
Natalie K. Douglas 53:04
not just yet. Okay, well, we’ll take your advice on that. And steer clear of that, for the most part, or at least have a discussion with the dentist first. Now, all of that dental stuff has been very informative, and very interesting. And to wrap up, I want to ask you some questions that I ask all the guests that come on the show. The first one is, what is your morning routine, not relating to oral health, just generally.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 53:33
So I have recently
brought in meditation into my life. So I wake up at about six and I got taught by a Vedic meditation teachers, that’s a mantra based meditation. So I just do about 15 or 20 minutes of meditation in the morning. And doing that for about two months, you probably have to check in with me in a few months time to see if I’m still doing this stuff. Jaya, wake up, do some meditation. And then I, as previously mentioned, don’t eat any breakfast. So currently starving myself to nap. And
yeah, it’s a really great start.
And yeah, just a little bit of exercise, just try and move my body over just a little little walk or so getting up early and going and doing some, some gym work. And then yeah, get to work and start fixing teeth essentially.
Natalie K. Douglas 54:34
Nice. I like it very interesting morning routine. I am a lot of people that listen to meditate, also. But I totally feel your pain on the check in in a few months time to see whether it’s still happening. It’s funny that meditation often drops off when we need it the most. I know that that’s been the case. For me, when I was doing my yoga teacher training, I was meditating all of the time. And then I kind of was tired can add of that environment. And it was still there. But it was definitely less frequent and shorter. So I think, tip like the more you can keep in the habit of it and not get out of the habit, the easier it is to keep it going like anything, but I like that morning routine.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 55:17
Yeah, so far, so good.
Natalie K. Douglas 55:19
What about Is it the same on the weekends? Or does it change on the weekends?
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 55:22
I don’t get up that early. But yeah, I’m an early riser. These days, I’ve lost the ability to sleep in So yeah, I try and try and get off and maintain the routine waking up at the same time. It’s very important for you slay patterns.
Natalie K. Douglas 55:38
true true story. Good to all right. And last question to finish off is what are your three non negotiable is to lead your healthiest and happiest life.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 55:50
I think prioritizing your sleep is very important. Probably sounding like a broken record here. But I think sleeps the foundation for health and human. Really good, healthy decisions if you’re well rested. So prioritizing your sleep for sure. practicing good sleep, hygiene, getting off electronics, going to bed early, winding down before bed, you know having a bath, reading a book, meditating, whatever it is, that’s really important. I think taking control of your own health. You know, if you rely on other people, if the only thing you know about oral health is your dentist number, then you’re probably in trouble. So I think taking control of your own health, having a having an active interest in researching and accessing information and speaking to the right people is really important, because no one else is going to take control of your most important asset,
Natalie K. Douglas 56:44
your health, listening, good podcasts like this one would would that be included and getting good information
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 56:50
And then, I just think from a happiness standpoint, I think, you know, exercising some gratitude, we’re pretty lucky to live where we live in this day and age and just just trying to find some good gratitude every day is is really important for your mental health and, and you know, having good energy around people that you care about. So that would that would be my tips.
Natalie K. Douglas 57:23
I like it very good tips. And I totally agree with the number one being sleep and Kate and I often kind of try and emphasize that although we’re both nutritionists and dietitians. People often expect that will say what you eat is the most important thing, but we’re both of the opinion that kind of sleep and stress management are probably above nutrition to be honest. But anyway, that’s that. So thank you for joining us, Lewis. If you guys want to check out Lewis as many social media selfies, accompanied by very helpful practical inflammation, then I can highly recommend checking out his Instagram, which is Dr. Lewis. Is that right, Louis? It’s Dr. Don Lewis. Fancy Yeah.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 58:04
Yep. Cool. zidictor.la WIS Yeah. Okay,
Natalie K. Douglas 58:09
thank you. And he also has a website which is Dr. Lewis Condon. IU, but it’s just Dr. Not spelt out right for that one. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. People on their toes, right. All right. Or if you guys are in Sydney, and in need of a holistic dentist, then definitely check out Sydney holistic dental. Louis, thank you so much for joining us and providing us with lots of interesting information and hopefully you get an influx of patients.
Dr. Lewis Ehrlich 58:40
Thanks for tuning in to the holistic nutritionist podcast. Remember, we love to make the show relevant to you. So if you have any questions or topics you’d like discussed on the show, simply submit them to [email protected] or [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe rate and review the podcast on iTunes and share it with your friends and family to need more personalized nutrition advice. Why not invest in a consultation to accelerate your journey to optimal health. You can find that over at healthbyhealthfoods.com.au and [email protected] See you next time guys.
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