The link between good oral health and overall wellbeing and longevity are becoming clearer every day. When a patient visits the dentist every six months for their ‘check up and clean’ we as a profession should feel privileged to be able to give a general dental and more important overall health appraisal. How often do you go to the GP if you don’t feel you have a problem?
As I have said before, ‘dentistry has always strived to be at the forefront of preventative medicine’.
It is now clearer than ever that we are no longer ‘just dentists’ but the future ‘oral physician’. The mouth is the window to the health of the body and dentists are the gatekeepers.
It is time for all dentists to have a holistic philosophy.
Back in the 1930’s a dentist called Dr Weston Price showed clearly that the key to optimal facial and jaw development and prevention of degeneration of the body including dental decay and gum disease was good nutrition that suited your original paleopithic diet. His theory of foci of infection was debunked by mainstream dentistry of the time but now today is being proven again and again with the help of modern scientific testing of oral bacteria via their DNA and confirming that an oral focus of infection from gum disease or an infected dead tooth can be linked to the bacteria being responsible for disease of distant organs.
So now, we as a profession are faced with the reality that effects from mercury amalgam fillings, jaw infections, poor function due to missing teeth or jaw joint dysfunction, airways, sleep and overall patient wellbeing are now our responsibility and we could do with a little help.
This is where, in my opinion, the dentist should work alongside a good naturopath.They are trained to help the patients with nutritional advice for optimal gut and liver health, hormone imbalances, stress and multiple forms of trauma.
Here are five reasons why the dentist of the future will need the help of a naturopath.
As confirmed with the work of Dr Weston Price, the development of the upper and lower jaw bones rely on good nutritional food intake to supply the full range of vitamins and minerals. Especially the fat soluble vitamins Vitamins A, D, E and K2.
The latter has been found to be the key to optimal A and D function. Vitamin K2 utilises minerals to protect against both tooth decay and support growth and development. It prevents calcification of our blood vessels which would otherwise lead to heart disease and a major contributor in the brain. It plays a crucial role in facial bone development.
Your naturopath is trained to look at our patients diets and advise to encourage optimal health for the patients and also their children from pregnancy onwards.
How often have patients asked their dentist if their silver amalgam fillings could effect their health? They are promptly told ‘there is no evidence to show that amalgams have any effect on the health of the body”. This is what we are taught to say at dental school.
Change the word ‘amalgams’ to ‘mercury releasing from amalgams’ and there are literally hundreds of scientific studies showing how harmful the heavy metal toxin is in its organic, inorganic, methyl and ethyl form.
The World Health Organisation stated over 26 years ago that there is no safe level at which mercury does not cause harm. In fact the United Nations Environmental Protection (UNEP) signed the Minamato Treaty consisting of 128 countries including Australia, committing to reduction of the impact of mercury on our planet and its inhabitants. One of the five focus groups was the use of mercury amalgam in dentistry.
Once a dentist accepts that amalgam is no good for anyone they must now learn some principles of toxicology, detoxification and elimination and introduce a SMART protocol ( Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique) to protect their loyal and trusting patient from harm from dental procedures. This is where it all gets a bit too hard to do on your own.
Your naturopath can help the dentists patients gain optimal strength and nutritional support prior to any amalgam removal and would also be available to support the possible negative side effects of such treatment even though SMART protocol was followed.
3. Implant Dentistry
When you have a tooth missing historically a removable denture or a fixed bridge were the only options to fill the space. The fixed bridge requires tooth destruction of adjacent teeth and often lead to problems dow the track. Implant dentistry solved this problem and for nearly 50 years dentists have been placing titanium implants in the space sparing any damage to the teeth next to it. Patients are advised not to smoke and the risk of implant failure is higher if you have an auto immune disorder. No nutritional support or guidance is ever given. A high percentage of titanium implants have an inflammatory reaction in the soft tissues at the neck of them called per-implantitis. This chronic pathology can lead to eventual loss of the implant. There are now all ceramic Zirconia dental implants that do not show this soft tissue reaction as they are an uncharged bio ceramic. Even these implants can fail if the bone metabolism is poor.
Isn’t it time we supported the health of the host, as in the patient prior to placement of any implant into the jawbone? Our friendly Naturopath would implement nutritional guidance and support with advanced nutrigenomic supplements that not only improve healthy bone metabolism but also down regulate the epigenetic inflammatory genes. The implants would have a better chance of success. When patents have lost or are about to lose all of their teeth there is normally a good reason for this tied to their genetic expression. Working together with naturopath and GP after blood tests, a plan of action to optimise boney metabolism and reduce the inflammatory markers should really be done before any placement of implants.
4. Anaesthetics and their effectiveness
If a patient has told the dentist that they have adrenal fatigue or a potential thyroid function problem the dentist is advised to use a local anaesthetic without any adrenaline in it. How often have you had a heart flutter and panic attack after a dental injection. This is the adrenaline that causes this reaction. This limitation can in acute dental painful situations lead to poor anaesthesia and inability to perform the dental procedure that is needed. If a patient has poor liver function they will also struggle to metabolise any local anaesthetic. Your naturopath could work with the patient to optimise their liver function and also support their adrenal and thyroid function. A calmer happy patient results.
5. Happy Gas
If you are a nervous patient you may ask to be sedated with ‘happy gas’ also known a Relative Analgesia. Unfortunately the Nitrous Oxide wipes out your reserves of Vitamin B12. If you patient is vegan than they may already be deficient in B12 as red meat is the main source. B12 is essential for the function of Methylation. This is a critical function of the body for things like thinking, repairing DNA, turning off and on important gene functions , fighting off infection and also getting rid of toxins, just to name a few. Some patients are under-methylators and some over-methylators already. So Happy gas has a major risk factor to your health. Your friendly naturopath would be able to support the patient with oral nano B12 sprays and other nutritional supplements to support the methylation, detoxification and elimination process before and after such a procedure.
As you can see there is a great deal that a great naturopath could help you support the dentistry that you are undertaking so that you can achieve your safer healthy beautiful smile.
It’s good for you!
David Cowhig – founder of Dental Wellness
Give us a call on 07 3511 1399 and discuss how we can help you create a safer, healthy, beautiful smile.