There are two ways to approach Dental Health.
- The first is just fixing a problem and then waiting for the next problem to come along, and totally just focused on teeth.
- The other is to look at the mouth as a chewing system, understanding that there are three reasons that people lose their teeth. They are: tooth decay, gum disease, and bad bite.
Now tooth decay and gum disease are both diseases of choice. You don’t have to have them if you don’t want them. You just need to know the cause and what you need to do to be effective at eliminating the cause. The cause is Plaque. It is an acid that eats away at everything that it sits on. The last reason that people lose teeth, bad bite, needs intervention to eliminate the cause.
Looking at this in terms of Holistic, what do you need teeth for anyway? Yes to make you look good but what are they really for? The mouth is the first stage of the digestive process. Furthermore if the mouth is not healthy the rest of the body is not as well. Gum disease is a chronic degenerative disease that causes the bone that holds the teeth in place to be eaten away. The process that bone is eaten away is called the Inflammatory Process. The same process can be attributed to the reason people have Coronary Artery Disease. This inflammatory process is designed to rid the body of unwanted bacteria and viruses. Now think of this, if you have infection in one area of your body, like your mouth, the Immune System is called into action and it lowers the body’s resistance to other things that may invade. The Immune System only has so much energy to fight off these invaders. Therefore it behooves you to make sure that you keep the Immune System in the best condition it can be in.
Disease Care is just eliminating symptoms. It is problem solving. All problem solving does is get you more problems.
Health Centered, Holistic, or Functional Medicine is looking at the cause of the problems. It is a creative approach that allows the patient to get beyond disease by not only getting to the cause of the problem, but also when attaining health, supporting the patient to stay that way long term. Disease Care is a short term fix. It does not get people to long-term health. Remember that when I look at the whole person you can see things that are occurring in the mouth and understand more completely why they are occurring.
For example, let’s say that the person is wearing their teeth away, bruxism or grinding. Understanding the stress level of the patient would be important systemically, and this same stress that is wearing teeth away is also affecting other organs in the body like the heart. Just looking at wear on teeth will not help the patient with their overall health, we also look to helping the patient get a global perspective. We may recommend:
- exercise programs
- diet etc
and not just a mouth guard. Also wearing away teeth also effects the chewing efficiency so if food is not being prepared for digestion, then this affects the gastro-intestinal system as well. It also affects the muscles and joints of the chewing system so head, ear, neck, and back aches can occur. Joints can pop and click, or lock.
Can you see how just looking at symptoms without getting to the cause just allows you to continue to spin around in this disease cycle? It is just kicking the can down the road. The nice thing is, now you are informed and you can make the choice in what kind of care you want. In most doctors’ offices you are not given a choice. Doctors who pay attention to the whole system give people choices. What kind of doctor do you want? A pill pusher, or product pusher, or someone concerned about you as a whole person to help you gain control of your own health.