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Potential side effects of orthodontic treatment

Increased risk of tooth decay and mouth sores

Braces or their component parts can irritate the mucosa of the mouth and lead to mouth sores. Particularly with fixed braces, it is difficult to remove the food residues and resultant plaque building up in and around these appliances. To prevent tooth decay and decalcification as well as possible colour changes in the enamel, great care must be taken. An excellent option is the use of xylitol for dental hygiene purposes, see Xylitol, a dental miracle sugar and Xylitol sugar: more valuable uses for dental hygiene and other purposes.

Root resorption with subsequent loss of teeth

As the orthodontic device (braces) displaces teeth, it will typically trigger some degree of root resorption and occasionally cause real clinical damage to the teeth resulting in minor or major tooth loss (see Braces testimonial: massive loss of healthy teeth and jawbone after wearing dental retainers for 3+ years).

While the routine taking of X-rays can help detect any damages at an early stage, dental x-rays are not to be trifled with since they are known to increase the risk of thyroid (as well as other) cancer.

Metal poisoning from orthodontic brackets / retainers

Whether due to nickel, interaction with other metals already in the mouth, or to other reasons such as the braces interacting with things such as Wifi and mobile phones or helping to set up "pseudogeopathic stress"1, some very serious side effects have been reported from stainless steel braces. In fact, these effects range from mental derangement to death and show that metals in orthodontic devices can indeed poison body and/or brain.

The following is a summary of the complications, both local and/or systemic, encountered after implantation of Ni-containing braces / a gold retainer and reported by various people at http://forums.bettermedicine.com/showthread.php/17972-metal-poisoning-from-braces. It is clear that this list is not necessarily complete considering the small sample of people testifying. These symptoms can appear near-instantaneously (when it's easiest to trace them to the braces) or develop gradually over the course of several weeks or months.

  • mental confusion, amnesia, serious memory loss, both short- and long-term
  • ADHD
  • severe acne 
  • loss of appetite leading to extreme weight loss
  • fatigue, chronic
  • headaches 
  • anger, rage, character change from calm to angry
  • depression
  • suicidal thoughts
  • body numbness
  • sore throat, coughs, colds, gradually worsening
  • chronic neck and back pain (not relieved by chiropractic or physiotherapist care)
  • chronic nausea, vomitting
  • diarrhea, ruined intestinal health, digestive complications, irritable bowel syndrome
  • blurred vision
  • facial flushes
  • bad taste in mouth
  • dizziness
  • sleeplessness
  • dermatitis
  • joint pain
  • seizures "out of the blue", grand mal seizures (while MRI and EEG show everything is fine)
  • ruptured appendix 
  • gradually declining health
  • pneumonia
  • sinus and tooth infections
  • tumors in jaw and sinuses
  • death (A case from the early 1990s when braces apparently had higher levels of nickel than nowadays involving a girl of 9 who had braces inserted one afternoon and was dead late the following evening. Early that day she started to show impaired thinking, weakness, vomiting, growing steadily worse. Taken to the ER after losing consciousness in the evening with accelerated heart rate, unrelenting vomiting and finally liver dysfunction, she died three hours later from cardiac arrest. Autopsies revealed elevated blood levels of nickel.)

Conversely, after removal of the braces / retainer symptoms vanished, health improved and/or returned to normal, either gradually or near-instantaneously.

Not everyone of course will notice clearcut symptoms after having braces or a retainer fitted (i. e. has a clear so-called hypersensitivity to metal). This doesn't mean however that there isn't subtle damage occurring in their body as well.2

TMJ injury

Judging by dental negligence (malpractice) cases brought in the USA, actual damage to the temporomandibular joint is a possible consequence of orthodontic treatment.

Cavitation infections

Orthodontic treatment can start an infection in your jawbone called a cavitation.

Loss of enamel

A person who wore retainers in her twenties for 2 to 3 years (only at nighttime) and subsequently fasted for two weeks under very stressful conditions lost the enamel on her front teeth from the gumline down to the line where formerly the upper edge of the device had pressed on her teeth (a width of c. 2 mm). The enamel had become so weak that it was simply brushed off (she noticed it only when the damage was already done).

Extraction of permanent teeth

To make room in an "overcrowded" mouth, frequently several (typically two to four) permanent teeth are extracted prior to orthodontic treatment. To read about general health hazards related to tooth extractions (they include ... death), see Tooth extractions/pulling teeth: potential health risks and dangers (and for risks specifically applying to orthodontic extractions, scroll to "Potential complications from orthodontic tooth extractions" on that page).

Anecdotal report: "Orthodontic braces and a mercury filling destroyed my life"

The following is a comment I found in some forum around 2012 which has since vanished from the internet. If it is authentic (which I think it is), it serves to illustrate some of the above-cited potential side effects of metal poisoning.

(quoted verbatim) "I sincerely believe that orthodontic braces and a mercury filling destroyed my life. My parents got braces put on my teeth, and since I was just a kid, of course I just went along with it. Immediately, my performance in school got worse, and I began having emotional problems and becoming depressed. In hindsight, I can see that it strongly correlated with getting my braces. I'm sensitive to nickel on my skin, so I probably reacted badly to having metal constantly in my mouth. Then I got a metal filling, and my life got even worse.
I have a high IQ and was in the gifted classes and everyone thought I would do well in life, but unfortunately, I've been chemical sensitive since I was an infant, and if it wasn't the metals in my mouth or the flea and roach sprays around the house or the paint fumes, it was some other chemical - and everything together made me so sick and exhausted and miserable all the time that I could not study and dropped out of college."

If you "must" have braces:
at least test for metal allergies and sensitivity and find a "non-extraction" orthodontist

Inform yourself about heavy metal toxicity/poisoning by visiting specialist sites such as www.melisa.org and www.ccrlab.com and have yourself tested for hypersensitivity to metals prior to any device being fitted.

When testing for heavy metals, generally be aware that blood and hair follicle tests can (but not necessarily will) reliably detect high metal levels (eg blood tests can show everything within the normal range).

Use non-metal braces (although the materials used are likely to also have unwanted effects2).

There are a number of orthodontists who practice nonextraction orthodontic treatment which aims at developing the arches to create more room for the existing teeth, i.e. normalizing the underdeveloped arch rather than pulling "surplus" teeth.

Generally, before considering braces, read "Two alternatives to braces" below.

Two alternatives to braces: straightening teeth naturally

1) See the testimonial furnished by Dr. Herbert Shelton featured under Dental health prerequisite number 6: proper mastication - exercise your teeth and gums by chewing well.

2) According to the book "Die Heilkunst von Morgen" [The Healing Arts of Tomorrow], malposition of the jaw can be caused by pelvic obliquity (asymmetry), itself frequently caused right after birth by the obstetrician holding the baby upside down by one leg and slapping it on the bottom with the other. The body's own weight is enough to pull the baby's pelvis out of proper alignment. An instrument called pelvimeter will measure even slight imbalances in pelvic symmetry and specialised exercises are required to correct them (in German-speaking countries, such treatment is offered eg by www.cross-therapy.com and a system of postural exercises called Ismakogie [created by Anne Seidel]). If such pelvic obliquity is properly corrected at an early enough age, many children will not develop malposition of the jaw requiring orthodontic treatment. Simultaneously, they will also be spared a variety of other pains or symptoms which might otherwise develop at a later age due to their asymmetrically positioned pelvis and the resultant incorrect posture.
Dentist and Ismakogie lecturer Dr. Martha Podleschak enlarges upon this idea in her book Ismakogie : schön - geschmeidig - lebensfroh durch Befreiung von Haltungsschäden where she writes, "jaws can become misaligned by bad posture, so many children could be spared orthodontic treatment and years of wearing braces. It is cheaper and much less effort to improve posture at a young age."

3) And a third "alternative" - do "nothing" - has been hinted at by J.R., a mother who wrote to me: "I do believe that braces, like so much of dental work, are often prescribed unnecessarily. This was true in my son's case. When he was younger, a dentist insisted he needed braces. We didn't have the money, luckily. He never got them and his teeth are fine." I have seen a picture of her grown son and his teeth indeed look amazing. It must be added here that he was fed a healthy diet growing up.

4) Last but far from least, one person actually reported (on a public forum) that oil pulling with olive oil actually straightened his teeth!.Oil swishing (which can also be done using plain water) in any case is a DIY health and healing practice that can't be recommended highly enough.

Footnotes

1 Compare Geopathic Stress & Cancer: Background and Remedies.

2 Compare Dr. Klinghardt on dental toxicity.

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Miscellaneous Risks Related to Conventional Dental Treatment

 
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