“To me, rejuvenation is about attaining and maintaining superior health,” says Dr. Michael Willock, a holistic dentist in Chapel Hill, “and one important part of that process is removing toxins—that is, poisons—from our bodies.”
A member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), he is relentless in his pursuit of the knowledge and skills which will support robust good health in his own life, and in the lives of family members and his patients.
Most recently, he completed an 83-hour post-graduate course in environmental medicine for the health care professional at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, in Scottsdale, Arizona, in classes made up equally of dentists and physicians.
“Our purpose was to study the natural history of environmental illnesses, chemical sensitivities, and the impact on our bodies of such heavy metals as mercury and nickel and cadmium—metals commonly used in dentistry. There was also emphasis on neurotoxicity, endocrine toxicity, the effect of specific compounds on the immune system, and—of great importance—effective methods to detoxify the body.”
Now Dr. Willock is off to Irving, Texas, to study with Dr. Jerry Tennant at the Tennant Institute for Integrative Medicine, whom he describes as “one of the great pioneering thinkers in the evolving field of integrative medicine. Dr. Tennant is in fact an ophthalmologist, who holds patents on surgical instruments, intraocular lenses, and other devices and has written books on cataract surgery as well as life-style management and integrative medicine. He was one of the key researcher-surgeons in the development of laser refractive surgery.”
In more recent years, Dr. Tennant has focused his attention on whole body health, and is doing creative and effective work in his Institute.
Teeth and Your Health
“Dr. Tennant was among the first researchers to make links between the health of the teeth and the health of other organs in the body,” notes Dr. Willock. “He points out that now all of medicine is beginning to recognize the effects of dental infections on the rest of the body. However, few physicians know that every tooth is wired into an acupuncture meridian, and whatever happens to each tooth will affect its meridian. For example, the lower left molars, teeth 17, 18, and 19 on the standard tooth numbering chart, have direct relationships to the sinuses, the lungs, the large intestines, and the heart and circulatory system.
“There are,” he points out, “critical issues about dental health and whole body health. Infections in teeth—which we call decay—cause canals and the bone around teeth to put out poisons called gliotoxins and thioethers that affect the meridian of the infection. Further, some dental materials are often toxic. Mercury, for example, is one of the most poisonous substances known. Nickel, common in crowns and braces, is toxic to the brain. And these substances continue to be used in many dental practices.
“In terms of dental health, Dr. Tennant makes the case that root canals are dead tissue—and dead tissue always gets infected, and is to be avoided.
“Further, it’s not unusual to find mixed metals in the mouth—for example, gold, silver, and mercury. Extensive research shows that the electro-magnetic frequency of metals differs from that of a healthy human frequency—and mixed metals in an acid or alkaline solution create what is in simple terms a battery effect. The consequence is a chemical reaction in the mouth that may be linked to deterioration of health.
“Now,” Dr. Willock points out, “we have superior materials to place in teeth, such as composite resins and ceramics that bond to the tooth and seal it much better. In terms of my own health, I believe it is greatly improved because all of the mercury contained in amalgam fillings has been removed from my mouth. Some people are more sensitive than others to the toxic effects of mercury leakage—and clearly I am one of those people. Many people have a genetic predisposition for sensitivity to mercury and other heavy metals.”
An Electrical System
Dr. Tennant in his writings makes a strong case that the body can be best understood—and treated—as an electrical system, notes Dr. Willock.
“He shares interest with other researchers and practitioners in the pH of the body—which is shorthand for potential for hydrogen ion concentration. It is a way of talking about the amount of acid and base in our bodies. And Dr. Tennant points out it is also a way of talking about the amount of voltage in our body.
“There is a growing consensus that healing of chronic illness takes place only when and if the blood is restored to a normal, slightly alkaline pH, which is about 7.3 on a scale of 0 to 14 where 0 is the most acidic and 14 is the most alkaline.
“Chronic disease and pain are almost always associated with an acidic pH which, in Dr. Tennant’s view, is the same as saying it is almost always associated with a loss of voltage. Measurement of salivary pH gives a good indication of cellular pH—and of how much voltage is stored in your cellular batteries. Dr. Tennant and other experts agree it should never be lower than 6.5. Frequent—even daily—testing with readily available pH strips is an excellent way to learn exactly the state of your acidic-alkaline balance at any point in time.”
Adds Dr. Willock, “I’m looking forward to studying and working with Dr. Tennant. I’m confident that time spent with him will be of benefit to me and to my patients.”