The Echo Chamber of Holistic Medicine

Dr. David Bishop, DDS

Dr. David Bishop, DDS

Holistic medicine has made a place for itself with supplemental and medicinal options for our health. Accurate supplemental intake becomes the issue since regulatory entities allow vague concentration descriptions leading one to believe they are receiving something other than what is actually delivered.

Consequently, distrust develops from ineffectiveness. Vitamin C is a case in point; labels do not depict what is actually available from the supplement when ingested.

Which ones work? Be careful since science has quantified the placebo as 30% effective. Anyone might be satisfied with 30% effectiveness if they don’t really want to see it any other way. Are you familiar with “Echo chamber” support? Read internet dialog on any issue and just believe.

What about interesting dental products like charcoal toothpaste?

The cultures from India have used it for centuries? It works by absorbing stains like a poultice? I’m not sure it is abrasive but it might be. Can you convince yourself of some kind of effectiveness? These questions are out in the open since there is no research on it. Do you “want” research evidence? I’ve read money grubbing dentists don’t really want you to find out about it. Really? Fads work off the “echo chamber” momentum.

The intuitive notion that a plastic cutting board is more sanitary than a wooden one but science proves the opposite. Legitimate evaluation comes with trials using many subjects under many environments.


This public acceptance of putting charcoal material in the mouth and convincing themselves of either effectiveness or not is interesting since extremely effective tried and true tested materials in dentistry have been eliminated with public outcry.

This is really an opportunity for a holistic approach in dental hygiene to be tested without FDA intervention and courts to defend some reaction or side effect like stomach cancer, ulcers, tissue slough, or even diarrhea and vomiting. There isn’t any need for dentists to be held responsible or even remotely involved by unusual complications that could show up like needing gallbladder surgery 4 years later.

This new test spirit among people with this charcoal in their mouth are blazing a blind trail once visited by my grandmother when she thought gasoline would reverse the effects of my poison ivy and I at 10 years old was willing to try anything.

Internet dialog is a real good indicator of a successful product like this; right?

As a practicing dentist, I’m ready to accept a successful product as I have reviewed many over my career.

I’d like to review an evaluation using legitimate scientific method before I even discuss it among colleagues. I realize this dialog is like an internet entry. My 35 year practicing career, commitment to my patients and the integrity I exemplify to my long-term staff and colleagues that continue to work by my side should make this information more valuable to you.

Dr. David Bishop, DDS