A Visit With New York’s Top Oral Health & Wellness Expert

By Patricia Canole | Photography by Neil J Tandy | Makeup by Amy Haller


The world is rapidly changing, and healthcare is one of the most significant areas of explosive growth and change. Technological advances in medicine and instant access to data make patients more aware of what’s going on with their bodies. There is an overwhelming demand for organic, natural, holistic, and sustainable services. With that, a new holistic approach in dentistry is emerging with the increasing demand for integrative health and wellness services. “Most people see their dentist more regularly than their medical doctor,” says renowned oral health and wellness expert Dr. Gerry Curatola.

There is a connection between oral health and systemic health. Yet, Curatola believes dental visits are a missed opportunity for checking in on people’s health beyond the state of their mouths, and dentists should be on the frontline for screening of significant health problems. “We need to bring dentistry, medicine, and wellness together to treat the whole patient and end the illogical divide that occurred between medicine and dentistry in education over 150 years ago.”

Dr. Curatola, who began his career as a celebrated restorative and cosmetic dentist in 1983 and embraced a biologic approach to dentistry in 1995, expanded the practice of dentistry to incorporate medicine and holistic care, an approach he detailed in his groundbreaking 2017 book, The Mouth-Body Connection.

The Curatola Care Program outlined in the book maintains the mouth acts as a mirror and a gateway to what is happening in the rest of your body. Curatola explains how your mouth’s health immensely affects the rest of your body. Chronic, low-grade oral disease is a significant source of inflammation throughout your body, sometimes resulting in serious systemic problems, including cardiovascular disease, Type-2 diabetes, obesity, premature birth, and even cancer. The 28-day Curatola Care Program outlined in his best-selling book fosters a healthy oral microbiome, which he considers a cornerstone for reducing inflammation and disease. It incorporates diet, supplements, exercise, and stress reduction. There are supplement schedules, workouts that only take minutes, relaxation techniques, and even yoga postures to fight inflammation.  

Dr. Curatola notes that nearly 90 percent of toxicity and inflammation in the body originates in the mouth and that gum disease is the body’s primary source of chronic low-grade inflammation. “Biologic dentistry and functional medicine need to work together,” he says. Biologic dentistry and functional medicine are based on a holistic philosophy and approach in healthcare that recognizes and respects the “vital force” in every living person to self-regulate and heal when the root causes of toxicity, inflammation, and systemic imbalances are found. 

Dr. Curatola is the founder and CEO of Rejuvenation Health, a new multi-disciplinary healthcare system bringing together biologic dentistry, functional medicine, and a broad range of wellness modalities, from acupuncture to sound healing. A dental director, medical director, and wellness director meet regularly to discuss a coordinated diagnosis and personalized treatment plan for each patient.

“Rejuvenation Health brings together dentistry, medicine, and wellness under one roof, leading the way with an integrative approach, not only focused on treating oral issues but healing the entire body.” Dr. Curatola launched his first Rejuvenation Health center in East Hampton, New York. “The Hamptons were a natural community for advanced health and wellness. We considered it a destination for holistic care. People are very attuned to health and fitness surrounded by the natural beauty of organic farms and the ocean.” The beautifully renovated state-of-the-art center opened just prior to the global pandemic with biologic dentistry, functional medicine, IV-vitamin infusions, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, innovative wellness therapies, nutritional counseling, and a well-curated apothecary of wellness-based products and supplements.  

“After Covid, the health and wellness industry, especially one focused on eliminating root causes of illness, was in high demand,” according to Dr. Curatola. Rejuvenation Health had regulatory hurdles requiring multiple directors in its various departments to work under one roof. Yet, surprisingly for the doctors and staff, the integrative environment was found to be very supportive of the total patient and have a lasting impact on long-term health and longevity. 

Now, after two years of planning and construction, Dr. Curatola has opened a new Rejuvenation Health flagship office at 860 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. With a spectacular ground-floor garden entrance and twelve picture windows facing Central Park, Dr. Curatola merges next-level healthcare and eco-friendly design with a personalized experience at his new Fifth Avenue headquarters, which he has dubbed “the healthiest healthcare environment on the planet.” Combining environmentally friendly and ultra-comfortable design, Rejuvenation Health offices cover 3,600 square feet of innovative healing modalities complementing expert medical treatment. Dr. Curatola has strived to transform the dreary healthcare visit into a transcendent wellness experience. 

We met with Dr. Curatola at his new Fifth Avenue office, who enlightened us on the importance of oral health.  

What is microbiome balance in the mouth? It’s also called microbial homeostasis, when the microbial flora, or the community of bacteria in the mouth called the oral microbiome, is balanced. The lack of education about bacteria in the mouth fuels the misunderstanding that gum disease—a condition that affects upwards of 80 percent of the U.S. population—is caused by harmful bacteria when it’s the result of a microbiome imbalance. So, harmful bacteria in the mouth are resident bacteria in an imbalanced terrain. They flip a switch and become bad bacteria, expressing themselves as pathogens.” Rather than eliminate harmful bacteria in the mouth, it’s essential to foster balance to maintain overall health. 

What does your daily routine look like when trying to maintain your best health? There are four cornerstones of oral health outlined in my book, The Mouth-Body Connection that I try to incorporate into a daily routine: • Meditation: Begin the day with a 20-minute meditation. It reduces stress and promotes the production of short-chain fatty acids that reduce inflammation. 

• Healthy Exercise: There are HIIT exercises that can be done in as little as 12-15 minutes with little equipment, such as resistance bands to keep inflammation down and a healthy microbiome. 

• Diet: I try to choose a “Triple A” diet: alkalizing, antioxidant-rich, and anti-inflammatory foods. I prefer to avoid foods that promote acidity or inflammation, like gluten or dairy. 

• Oral Care Products: I avoid harmful oral care products which disturb, denature, and even dehydrate the oral flora. It’s why I spent 15 years developing the world’s first prebiotic toothpaste, Revitin, which I use every morning and evening. 

Tell us more about the groundbreaking science behind the development of Revitin. The historical philosophy in oral care has been this ‘scorched earth policy’ of killing everything. With origins in the detergent industry, toothpaste was first developed by soap manufacturers, and fifty years ago, we thought it was a good idea to kill all bacteria. While alternative natural toothpastes have since proliferated on the market, they often contain sugar alcohols and essential oils, ingredients that also disrupt the balance of bacteria in the mouth. My frustration with the prevailing “killing all germs on contact” approach led to a prebiotic approach in toothpaste that nourishes and supports the indigenous microflora with vitamins, minerals, and prebiotic nutrients to help consumers maintain a balanced oral microbiome. We have more than four clinical studies, and our latest study, a randomized, double-blind clinical study, examined the changes in the microbiome when restored to a balanced state with Revitin.

You have sounded the alarm for years in oral care, speaking about the problems with fluoride. Can you elaborate? While once believed to be a good thing, water fluoridation has not only been shown to be ineffective in the reversal of dental decay, but it is also now considered one of the worst public health experiments of the past 75 years. Besides the fact that there are over 64 studies linking fluoride to decreased IQ in children, more than 60 percent of adolescent children have teeth and bones damaged by excessive exposure to fluoride, making teeth and bones more brittle and discolored. Some 97 percent of Western Europe has rejected fluoridation, and in 2001, a union of scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Headquarters Office in Washington D.C. stated that water fluoridation is an unreasonable risk. 

Interestingly, teeth have energetic connections to organ systems. Explain this concept you have discovered.Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture recognized this concept for thousands of years, which viewed these energetic pathways in the body as meridians. I often call the teeth the energetic “circuit breakers” for the rest of the body. For example, disease or heavy metals kept in a tooth can “trip the breaker” for energy flow to the associated organ on that meridian. It is a fascinating thing by which I am always amazed. Each tooth is related to an acupuncture meridian related to various organs, tissues, and glands in the body on a particular meridian “energy highway.” Often, we can assess your overall health and wellness by reviewing your dental condition. If a person has a weak internal organ, the condition of the associated meridian tooth could make it considerably more problematic.

How important is sleep in maintaining a healthy immune system?I often say there are three basic needs for human survival: nutrition, air, and sleep. Unfortunately, nearly a billion people on the planet suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and do not get adequate oxygen at night or adequate sleep, which is essential for the body to regenerate. OSA compromises and dysregulates the systemic immune system. Over 85 percent of patients with OSA have upper airways resistance, and the problem is in their mouth, ranging from a tongue-tie keeping a tongue more retruded in the mouth, thus blocking the airway, a high-vaulted palate restricting nasal breathing, or a mouth made too small by extractions during past orthodontic treatment.

The good news is that new advances in treating obstructive sleep apnea include non-invasive removable oral appliances that help expand the airways by generating more airway space in the mouth. 

Lastly, what do you recommend patients avoid? Avoid fads in dentistry like charcoal toothpaste, nanoparticle anything, and online and over-the-counter whitening products that are poorly regulated and have been shown to be harmful to the mouth and body with improper use.

For more information on Dr. Gerry Curatola's Manhattan and East Hampton locations,
visit rejuvdentist.com