Episode 15 of my collaborative project with Rory Linehan of The Paleo PI and Petra Chambers-Sinclair of BiohackU – two of my favourite peeps in this corner of the health caper world – is up and running!
The three of us all hail from different corners of the globe, and have very different life experiences, but we share both a friendship and passion for seeking health through an holistic approach. The intention behind our podcast is to seek out and interview others who share the same goal – and hopefully impart what we learn and have a little fun along the way. We hope you’ll join us!
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Dr Steven Lin is a board-registered dentist, writer, and speaker who practices dentistry in Sydney, Australia. Having discovered the work of Weston A Price, during a gap year in Europe, Steven immediately started incorporating Dr Price’s work into his own practice. In this episode, Dr Lin debunks popular myths about dental health, including on toothpaste and mouthwash, and shares advice how you can protect your family’s dental health.
Be on the lookout for his new book, “The Dental Diet” in January 2018!
If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a positive review in iTunes or Stitcher. It would help us spread the word and it would mean the world to us.
Introduction to the Healing Protocols: The Global Edition
Jo: Before we start today’s episode, we want to advise you that Petra has got some family stuff going on over in Canada. Petra, we miss you, and we look forward to having you back on our next episode. It’s not the same without you.
Rory: Welcome to Episode 15: Interview with Steven Lin
Jo: Let’s begin by learning a little bit more about you and your history, Steven. What healing protocols have you tried? When did you start using nutrition, lifestyle, mindset to optimize your health? What was the catalyst for you?
- I always had a broad view of health. I had a sporting background, but I trained in biomedical science with some background in nutrition before I did a dental degree. I was always interested in sports nutrition and [00:03:30] all the different factors that would influence performance. Dental training took me a very long way from the kind of mindset and rationale that I sought.
- After a few years of practicing, I recognised that I had moved away from this idea of nutrition and lifestyle, how we influence our own health rather than just fixing things. That was really a light bulb moment for me.
Rory: Could you share a little bit more about what steps you took to get to an holistic approach?
- That was a challenge. Despite two expensive degrees, I realized that I was clueless. I became disillusioned. I took some time away from my practice to think about what I was going to do. I traveled to Europe, and stumbled across a book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price.
- I think it’s one of the most important human health books ever written. I began to see that there were a lot of answers out there. I began to jump into different healthcare professions that were getting to the root cause.
- Food shapes everything right through from the teeth, jaws, right through the body. That was really my inspiration for writing the Dental Diet.
Jo: While we’re on the subject of your book, why not tell us about it?
- The Dental Diet is my journey from discovering Price’s book to realizing that food can heal dental diseases and is key in preventing it, and also both guiding orthodontic growth of the jaw so the craniofacial development and dental development of the child is dictated by nutrition.
Rory: That’s fascinating because Petra and I were at the Ancestral Health Symposium earlier this year. The first panel they ever had was on dentistry was there, too. One of the things that struck me was if you get a patient with an anomaly within their jaw, he doesn’t want to try surgery, he wants to try nutritional therapy to fix that and to shape that. Then after the age of four, it’s a lot more challenging to come along and fix these things through nutrition. Is that what you’ve found through your research and your practice, too?
- There’s a really detailed story in there, in the preventative orthodontic space now. With preventative and myofunctional orthodontics, we can actually intervene. There’s a functional aspect of tooth growth, where if we expand the jaws and we guide breathing. If we get to a child early enough.
Rory: For our listeners who are new parents, what things should they be focusing on getting in their child’s diet?
- The foods that Price talked about – fat-soluble, vitamin-rich foods. Foods like organ meats, like grass-fed butter, like fermented foods like sauerkrauts with vitamin K2, cheeses, these are the foods that you need to integrate into your everyday life in order to get these fat-soluble vitamins.
Jo: For all your patients who come along and say, “Okay, I’m not a kid anymore. I’m over 12, so the patterns have been set. What practical steps can I take now to mitigate my dental health?”
- The mouth is one-to-one best signposts for what’s happening in the rest of the body. The idea that periodontal disease sits alongside nearly every other chronic disease is no coincidence. Periodontal disease is chronic inflammation. It’s where the body basically eats away part of itself. In a way is an autoimmune disease, isn’t it? We can nearly characterize the immune reaction to the body. The progression of, for instance, pocket depth and bone loss.
Jo: And, digestion starts in the mouth?
- Completely. We know so much about the gut now, but we’re not treating it alongside the mouth. Why aren’t we treating the whole digestive system together? You put the foods in, you heal the gut lining, and you reset your oral microbiome at the same time.
- This is really where I think we need to have a big conversation in the functional medicine movement about, integrating the mouth alongside all this, because we just missed it because dentists have been a bit slow in catching up to the conversation.
Jo: What steps would an average person take?
- You need to investigate your gut health. The three prongs that I find in the practice are are that they are low in vitamin D. Without that, you’re not going to be managing calcium in your body.
- Then the big one that people don’t realize is that many people have sleep issues. The jaw and teeth are great signs. Many people grind their teeth and they grind their teeth because they’re moving their jaw forward. Their brain is opening up their airway. This is a syndrome called upper airway resistance syndrome. What this is is basically they’re not getting to those deep levels of sleep. People with gum disease will often have breathing dysfunction. Oxygen is our number one nutrient. If we don’t address that, then we’re causing all types of inflammation, and these are really underlying processes that if you don’t heal first, then you’re just fighting against the stream.
- On top of that is the microbiome. The microbiome is then the key
Rory: We’re interested in your own personal experience if spirituality’s played a part in your health, your healing, and the health and healing of your patients?
- I do feel that that moment back in Turkey, it was a bit of a tap on the shoulder of some sort, because I was feeling quite lost. I didn’t know if I could be a dentist all my life. I didn’t feel satisfied. I had all this training, I didn’t know what I would do. I had a very specific skill set. I really felt that my mind was pushed whatever it was, whether it was maybe I felt I put out energy or something that caught some other field to maybe look at their bookshelf or whatever. I believe there was something there that opened me up to this, and it really was a mind opening. Once I was open to that, then everything started to flood.
- It’s funny. Every person that’s gone on, they have this light bulb moment, whether it’s their own healing, or whether it was something that really shoved them. When I look at myself, I was completely shut off to all this. My mind was more or less closed to anything like this. Now, as you just said, then, because I’ve gone down this road, I can see that if I tell my patients to exercise, get out and get some oxygen, get dirty-
Jo: Committing to any sort of healing protocol [00:34:30] takes effort and work. What is your very best advice to somebody just starting out on their dental regime?
- In the Dental Diet, I provide a step-by-step process. One of the big challenges and we haven’t even really got to talk about the obvious is sugar. It’s a big issue. That was something I battled with for years.
- For a week, what we do is try and reduce their added sugar down to five to nine teaspoons where they’re only eating fruit. Then for two weeks, we really aim to go zero sugar. That’s not doable for everyone, so we really need to understand that there’s a certain level, and yeah, we should be aiming for that, and different people are different with certain gut imbalances and all these thyroid issues we see.
Rory: We like to ask all of our guests is who the most influential person has been as you pursued your career?
- I just spent [00:39:30] some time with John and Mike Mew. They run an orthotropic system which is actually a facial growth guide program in London. John Mew has been talking about the face and the jaw, and it’s a structure for decades, and that braces aren’t the answer.
Where to find Steven online.
To learn more about Steven, check out his website at Dr Steven Linwhere you can learn more about his story.
If you’d like to learn more about the Weston A. Price foundation, check out our interview with Sally Fallon Morell – Episode 8 of our podcast