Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

MCS is an abbreviation for multiple chemical sensitivities. This is an increasing condition that I have known about for years and we are accustomed to providing care according to the often varied needs of patients who have MCS. Unfortunately, this is not something all health care providers pay attention to. A patient who has MCS came in this past week for an appointment and she told me about a visit to a physician she had not been to before. She brought a pamphlet about MCS to her appointment to give the new doctor so he would understand her condition. She said he would not acknowledge her condition. She said after she left the office they called her and asked her to come and get the pamphlet as they did not want it in their office. My experience is that when a patient tells me they are sensitive to something, I need to listen. We do not diagnose MCS or mercury toxicity in the dental office. That is for physicians to figure out. However, we take many steps to avoid aggravating the wellbeing of our patients. Many people have told us they are sensitive to fragrances and other substances. We avoid using fragrances for this reason. Our team members do not wear perfume in the office and we use air and water filters to purify the air and water in our office. Non latex gloves and rubber dams can be used. Ozone is used to kill bacteria without using potentially toxic chemicals. We use 100% ceramic and other biocompatible materials and techniques when we restore the teeth. There are ways to test dental materials prior to use. Every person is different, so if you have special considerations please let us know.

When we are doing any dental procedure, we focus on enhancing the body’s natural healing abilities. One way we can do that is by increasing Nitric Oxide levels if they are less than ideal. Research into how this important factor aids in healing has been groundbreaking. UCLA pharmacologist Louis J. Ingarro even won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his findings and research on Nitric Oxide. Ensuring that nitric oxide levels are optimal prior to dental treatment can aid enhancement of healing and better long term outcomes, whether we are treating the tooth itself or the surrounding gum tissue.  

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the world and atherosclerosis is the number one cause of every form of cardiovascular disease. If you need a reminder, atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls, which can restrict blood flow and cause hardening of the arteries. This is an inflammatory problem. It has been said that we used to die from infection, now we die from inflammation.

What does periodontal disease have to do with atherosclerosis? Population studies have shown a statistical relationship between periodontal disease and heart attacks. Researchers have discovered just how infected gums can actually cause atherosclerosis. Infected gums started the activation of special immune cells called monocytes and macrophages. Researchers were able to follow these cells straight to the endothelial lining, the inner lining of the arteries. This attack by the macrophages immediately triggered inflammation. The researchers stated: “Our results suggest that periodontitis triggers the initial pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and inflammation of the vasculature through activating monocytes and macrophages.” (Miyajima, S., K. Naruse, Y. Kobayashi, et al. “Periodontitis-activated monocytes/macrophages cause aortic inflammation.”Sci Rep., 2014; 4: 5171)

Amalgam fillings are being removed by thousands of dentists around the world every day. Many of those dentists are unconcerned with the possibility of mercury exposure that can come out of a tooth while it is being drilled out. Unfortunately the dental establishment as a whole, believe amalgam to be a stable material that releases very little mercury into the body. Studies have shown though, that cutting amalgam with a bur causes small particles to become released and subject patients and dental staff to mercury exposure. In one experiment, research showed that after swallowing the same amount of amalgam during a removal procedure, volunteers had a 3-4 fold increase in plasma mercury the next day and a 50% rise in urine mercury for up to a month afterward in 10 subjects.