* Suspect temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems if you:
- have pain or make clicking sounds anywhere in the jaw; pain in the face, neck or back of head; unexplained migraines or headaches
- cannot open your jaw fully (allowing the thickness of three fingers between your upper and lower teeth)
- gulp your food, swallowing it down almost whole
- feel a stuffiness, pressure or blockage in your ears, or produce too much earwax
- suffer from dizzy spells or vertigo
- suffer from asthma, spinal problems, leg pain, circulation problems, cold hands and feet, carpal tunnel syndrome, tinnitus (persistent ringing in the ear), chronic fatigue, snoring and sleep apnoea, low energy, allergies and gut disturbances.
* If you have amalgam fillings and want to minimise damage:
- eat a healthy diet. Low levels of micronutrients increase the toxic effects of metals (Environ Health Perspect, 1998; 106 [Suppl 1]: 203-16). Include plenty of high-fibre foods plus lots of garlic (a natural antibiotic)
- keep up your antioxidant levels with high doses of vitamins such as beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C and E
- supplement with selenium (but no more than 200 mcg/day). It detoxifies mercury by forming inactive selenium-mercury compounds (Am J Clin Nutr, 1995; 61 [3 Suppl]: 646S-50S)
- drink plenty of good-quality water
- look after your teeth and gums
- choose natural toothpastes that avoid sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), artificial colours and preservatives.
- make your own toothpaste from sea salt, baking soda and vitamin C
- keep your toothbrush clean by soaking it once a week in hydrogen peroxide
- use dental floss, or wooden (or waterjet) toothpicks
- supplement with coenzyme Q10 for healthy gums.