Foreword Reviews

Mirror of the Body

Your Mouth Reflects the Health of Your Whole Body

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

This is an insightful look at dentistry, the dangers of mercury fillings, and holistic living.

Dr. James E. Rota’s Mirror of the Body: Your Mouth Reflects the Health of Your Whole Body is the first-person account of the evolution of a dentist and his profession.

Rota began practicing dentistry in the early 1960s and spent a few years in the Navy Dental Corps. He recalls having to extract all of a young recruit’s teeth because of rampant decay. For the young dentist, such experiences highlighted the intimate connection between poor oral health and poor diet, and the lesson spurred later interest in holistic approaches to dentistry.

That approach was further solidified in the late 1980s, when personal health problems led Rota to undertake a diet and exercise program designed to eliminate toxins from his body. Around that same time, tests revealed that Rota had extremely high levels of mercury in his body, built up from decades of working with the metal in his dental practice.

Already highly suspicious of the American Dental Association’s long-standing assertions of the safety of mercury amalgam fillings, which are fifty percent mercury, Rota became a crusader whose goal is to have mercury amalgam banned in the U.S. and around the world.

Mirror of the Body is at times a memoir, at others a holistic-living handbook, and all the while it functions as a critique of conventional stances on mercury amalgam fillings. These multiple focuses, however, become the book’s biggest problem.

Though the book is organized into three parts, topics seem to be introduced out of their ideal order. Mercury-based fillings, in particular, are critiqued throughout the work. Rota’s delivery might be more powerful if those criticisms flowed from his personal and professional experiences with mercury toxicity.

The book contains a serious thesis, is well-written, and clearly was thoroughly researched, all of which is bolstered by fifteen pages of references. These features pair oddly with the book’s off-putting packaging and lighthearted epilogue, though. The cover art, which features the disembodied head of a woman wearing vivid red lipstick and staring at a view of her internal organs in a hand mirror, is both spooky and overly literal.

What should be taken literally, though, are Rota’s arguments, which are supported by everything from a 60 Minutes story to current mercury amalgam bans in countries including Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.

Those concerned with the safety of mercury-based fillings, or who are interested in holistic living, are bound to draw valuable information from Rota’s insightful Mirror of the Body.

Reviewed by Charlene Oldham

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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