We Can Do Better Than Conventional Medicine’s Definition of Healthy
Modern medicine does a great job treating disease and injury.
But how about those of us who aren’t sick, but aren’t functioning at 100 percent either?
We can do so much better!
We accept lower energy levels, aches and pains, weight gain, and headaches as part of the aging process, but this does not have to be!
We Need to Stop the Attack on Bacteria
We’ve been taught to fear bacteria. The warnings come from everywhere — the dentist, TV, magazines.
Bacteria causes cavities, we’re told. Bacteria will cause cavities.
The truth is, our oral bacteria have an incredibly important role in keeping us healthy. We are each born with a delicate balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria and trying to indiscriminately kill all the bacteria throws off this balance and puts oral health in jeopardy.
Since the mouth is the opening to the digestive tract, whatever chemicals you put in your mouth by way of mouthwash or toothpaste can harm our magnificent microbiome, which keeps us healthy in so many different ways.
Rather than kill all the bacteria, there are natural things we can do to promote the “good” bacteria in our mouths and preserve this delicate balance of oral flora we are gifted with at birth.
Oral Health Impacts the Health of Your Whole Body
When I was in dental school, we learned about the mouth as if it were separate from the rest of the body.
But now we know this simply isn’t the case.
Guess which of these are impacted by oral health:
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy and birth
- Alzheimer’s disease
It’s all of these and many more!
The health of your mouth will affect the health of your entire body. Your dental health will affect how you age, how long you live, and your quality of life.
Doctors and dentists need to work together, along with other healthcare specialists, to understand how the health of one area impacts health elsewhere in the body.
Sleep Is Innate, But Not Guaranteed
The mouth is the opening to the human airway. This is why dentists are responsible for screening for interrupted sleep breathing.
If your breathing is interrupted, your sleep is interrupted. You cannot live your best life if you’re pulling the plug on healing, restorative sleep all night long.
Thanks to the changes that came with the modern diet and lifestyle, the human airway is now, at its most narrow point, the size of a straw. This makes interrupted sleep breathing one of the most common, yet under-diagnosed epidemics of today. We are sleeping our way to disease, fatigue, and unhappiness.
Verifying your sleep ability is the foundation to all health.
Not sleeping well is a major contributor to tooth damage and loss. If I’m a dentist and want you to protect your teeth, I have to treat your sleep problems.
The Body Wants to Heal Itself
It’s up to healthcare professionals, including dentists, to help our patients prevent and reverse illness through lifestyle and diet changes, not just prescriptions.
Uninterrupted sleep and proper diet have shown time and time again to help the body heal itself of not only cavities but obesity, ADD symptoms, depression and anxiety, TMD symptoms, and more.
Root Causes, Not Symptoms
The average American is taking four different prescription drugs. Far too often, we doctors prescribe before getting to the root cause.
If there was a nail in your forehead, would you prefer painkillers or to just remove the nail? We must be asking ourselves, what is the cause of my symptoms? Not just, how can I get rid of or mask these symptoms?
Prescription drugs are an absolute last resort, after your doctor helps you make lifestyle or dietary changes to get healthy.
Health Should Be About Positivity, Not Shame
Lots of things make us feel ashamed when it comes to our health, which prevents us from taking care of ourselves.
I use a service dog in my dental office to make seeing the dentist a positive experience. Dogs stimulate oxytocin production in the human body, which kickstarts the healing process. They help us through anxiety and pain.
No Amount of Medicine Can Reverse the Effects of Poor Diet and Lifestyle
There’s no drug, no mouthwash, and no magic pill that can replace the basics of great oral health.
We think about how to make our teeth white before we think about how to make them healthy. In this “thin before we’re fit” culture, it’s important to remember that looking good is often a side effect of optimal health.
What You Can Expect from Ask the Dentist
You can expect that I will go much deeper than just helping you get a “pretty smile.” Our mouths offer so much more for our overall health and well-being.
In all my writing, you — my readers — come first.
Optimum health is never an accident. We live during a time where life is long, but quality of life can vary substantially. Our primal ancestors’ greatest struggle was to survive; our struggle will be to square our life curves so we can not only live long, but also prosper.
I promise to be your partner in helping you achieve your healthiest mouth for a longer, healthier life.
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To your health,