If you can remember back to your basic chemistry class, acidity and alkalinity is measured by PH values. A PH value of 7.0 is neutral, values below 7.0 are acidic and PH values above 7.0 are alkaline or basic. What a great subject to start with, because what could be more basic to health than this (no pun intended).
PH balance is so fundamental to health that it is often overlooked. PH affects a myriad of functions and processes and when our system starts to move to a more acidic condition there is more inflammation, dysfunction and cell death. This can and often does lead to more opportunistic infections, organ stress and disease. One example is the PH of the blood and extracellular fluids, which are slightly alkaline at 7.4. If the PH of the blood drops under 7.0 and becomes even slightly acidic this is extremely serious and life threatening.
Any drop in the PH of the blood or extra- cellular fluid results in fatigue because more carbon dioxide and thus carbonic acid is being retained and less oxygen is making it to the cells. The usual causes of this are overwork, overeating – especially acidic forming foods- constipation or diarrhea, and kidney or liver problems. Some simple solutions to this include:
- Eating less and chewing more
- Eating plenty of salads and green leafy vegetables and
- Practicing breathing exercises (see Breath)
Acid forming foods include animal products, processed carbohydrates like sugar, white flour, pasta, and liquor or beer. We are not advocating a vegetarian diet per se. This is a personal choice, and some vegans don’t get enough protein. What we are advocating is a balanced diet. The Western diet is often top heavy with meat, chicken, milk products, etc. with not enough alkalinizing foods. It’s also important to know which foods might be inflammatory when there are issues of gluten intolerance or other food sensitivities.
Carey O’Rielly DDS has been a practicing dentist for 35 years. He went to USC Dental School and Duke University for his undergraduate degree. He grew up in Laguna Beach and now lives in La Costa with his wife Victoria, who runs his office.
He began his career by owning and operating a network of six offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presently he owns a private holistic practice in North County San Diego’s Encinitas.
Dr. O started looking for solutions to his health challenges that resulted from the stress and environmental toxicity that built up over a ten year period running his dental network. He has dedicated himself to learning about oral systemic problems and how dentistry can affect your health. He has applied what he has learned over the last twenty years to ensure he, his staff and his patients are protected from the chemicals and toxic materials found in most dental offices. He has produced an environmentally friendly office that is also peaceful and calm.
He is an expert on dental materials having looked at hundreds of biocompatibility lab tests over the years. He has identified the most bio-friendly materials to use in his practice and which dental materials can be used to replace metal fillings and crowns, including BPA free and fluoride free ‘white’ fillings. He also uses metal-free Zirconia or ceramic implants and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) grafting materials which come from the patient’s own blood.
Dr. O’Rielly teaches C.E. courses on the systemic effects of gum disease. He is an expert in using phase contrast microscopy for analyzing dental infections, where he shows patients what kind of microbes, i.e. bacteria, amoeba, and yeasts like candida are populating the mouth and affecting the body as a whole.
He has an educational blog and is writing a book on dental health called ‘Hidden Dental Infections: Healing Root Canals and Infected Teeth with the Erbium Laser’ where he discusses dental nutrition, toxic dental materials and the effects of old root canals on inflammation and overall health.