Since the beginning of August, it’s been an honor to host Life Coaching with Sophie, a daily radio program on Martha Stewart Living Radio SiriusXM 110. Something I love about the show is interviewing experts from various lifestyle fields, such as health and wellness. In August, I interviewed Dr. Gerry Curatola, an internationally recognized aesthetic dentist, oral health expert, and wellness pioneer. I learned a lot from Dr. Curatola, including the fact that regular toothpaste may not be as safe as it seems.
Sadly, as I continue to learn, regulation about what goes into many toothpastes and cosmetics is far more lax than we’d like to believe. There’s no shortage of chemicals added to many of these products, such as potentially carcinogenic parabens in moisturizers and harmful sodium laurel sulfate in toothpaste. Googling some of those long, difficult-to-pronounce ingredients in a wide array of products can yield disturbing results.
Dr. Curatola is certainly passionate about two things:
First, inspiring doctors to get out of the pesticide business and, secondly, promoting something he calls “organic gardening of the mouth.” I was curious to learn more about what organic gardening of the mouth is and why it’s important for our overall well-being. Here’s what Dr. Curatola had to say:
“The development and promotion of toothpaste began over 100 years ago. Major soap companies marketed toothpaste as a detergent product to be 'safely' used in the mouth. In the 1960s, fluoride was added to prevent cavities and was touted as a major scientific breakthrough in oral health. However, today, the overexposure of patients to fluoride has resulted in an epidemic of fluorosis damage to teeth, paradoxically making them more prone to decay with 41 percent of adolescent children being affected.
Killing germs was also a major objective of oral care products, at a time when all bacteria were viewed as the enemy. As a result, the No. 1 selling toothpaste in America puts a known pesticide or antimicrobial known as triclosan copolymer in its toothpaste with the archaic aim of killing oral bacteria.
In addition to the problem of antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance, we now know that the bacteria in and on our bodies are communities of organisms known as biofilms that play an essential role in our ability to stay alive. In the mouth, the oral biofilm is essential to the salivary immune system, aids in digestion, and even helps produce vitamins. The beneficial nature of these bacterial communities has radically changed our understanding of disease and, hence, our approach to using better products to support total body wellness.”
So, what was Dr. Curatola’s answer? He joined forces with Dr. David Shuch and developed an organic toothpaste called Revitin. Their toothpaste is based on the incorporation of vital nutritional and antioxidant support, and micronized minerals in an all-natural formulation. In addition to having a very good, citrusy taste, it's demonstrated significant benefits for patients promoting stronger gums, whiter teeth, fresher breath, and relief from dry and burning mouth conditions such as when patients receive chemotherapy treatment for cancer. As I tested, Revitin is actually edible, making it safe for kids and adults to swallow, another major concern with conventional toothpaste. Unlike other natural toothpastes, this is the first one I’ve ever used that left my breath fresh and my teeth feeling crisp and clean.
You can buy Revitin here. Another reason not to neglect our teeth? A recent study by the Aetna company at Columbia University with 145,000 patients found that improving oral health resulted in up to a 21 percent reduction in the cost of healthcare related to patients with major systemic disease such as heart disease and diabetes. This study and others have made oral health a priority for achieving total body wellness.