The Role of the Health Professional
It is very likely that your health practitioner - when you ask about the relationship of oral to overall health - may say, “Isn't dental disease and its treatment a problem that should be handled by the dentist?” I’d wholeheartedly agree with that conclusion - if the harmful effects of oral disease were restricted just to the teeth. But, as you have read, most oral health issues can have a negative effect on the entire body.
This means your health practitioner must be open to practicing Whole-Body Medicine. But for them to truly practice whole-body medicine they must understand that certain oral health issues could be contributing to, or even causing, some of their medical problems you are being treated for.
If he or she doesn't then your practitioner will only be able to treat your symptoms, and not the cause of your health problems. This is not to say that your health practitioner is responsible for treating dental disease. But I firmly believe that your health practitioner be open-minded enough to at least look at the role of dental disease in relationship to your overall health. He or she must also be willing to recommend that a patient see a mercury safe/holistic dentist. This is really no different than sending them to another medical specialist. And in many cases even more important.
If you educate your health practitioner about this critically important relationship and he or she isn't willing to take it into consideration when treating you for any medical condition then I recommend you find one who does. (I've written a variation of this article for the health practitioner. It is available on my website http://dentalwellness4u.com/healthpro.html. If you want your health practitioner to be aware of this topic you can refer him or her to the article. Easier than trying to explain it all to them.)
I have long believed that opinions without solutions do not have much practical value. Thus, I offer solutions that I believe will help address health problems created by oral health conditions. There are three important steps in this process. Following them will not only ensure you are doing what you can to resolve your oral and medical issues but continue on the path to restoring optimal health.
• regularly see a dentist?
• now have, or had, amalgam (silver) fillings?
• now have gum disease?
If you don't see a dentist regularly, or don’t know whether you have amalgam fillings and/or gum disease, you will need to be willing to see a mercury safe/holistic dentist. (I say mercury-safe because while some dentists no longer put in amalgam fillings and call themselves mercury-free, most don’t believe these fillings are a health hazard and don’t remove them in a safe way. My website has a large and comprehensive directory of mercury safe dentists. You can access the search page by linking to www.dentalwellness4u.hostasaurus.com/freeservices/find_dentists.html. Be sure to tell your family and friends about it.
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Tell your dentist that you want a copy of the current evaluation of you oral health, including whether you have gum disease, its severity, and how many amalgam fillings are present. This should also include the results of a complete soft tissue examination for signs of oral cancer, or other diseases whose signs and symptoms are first seen in the mouth, of which there are over 20. This information will allow you to either exclude or include these factors as a contributor to your existing health problems. You will want to provide this information to your health practitioner.
If the information you receive from your dentist shows that you:
1. Have no mercury amalgam fillings;
2. Are free of gum disease and other oral infections; and
3. Are free from oral cancer, or any other diseases whose early signs and symptoms can show up in the oral cavity;
you can tell your health practitioner and be confident in the knowledge that oral health problems are not a contributing factor to any of your medical symptoms or systemic diseases. (The exception is patients who had amalgam fillings, had them removed, but are still mercury toxic. These patients should still be tested for mercury. Link here for more information on the various tests for mercury toxicity, www.dentalwellness4u.hostasaurus.com/mercurydetox/testformercury.html)
If your dental examination shows that you have gum disease or amalgam fillings, or both, I encourage you to work with your dentist to eliminate all of your oral health issues.
I believe it is vitally important to your oral and overall health to be fully aware of how these oral health issues can contribute to your systemic/overall health problems and negatively affect any effort to achieve optimal health, extend longevity, and improve the quality of your life.
If you are one who questions everything (a good thing) I suggest reviewing the references in the books and on my website. I have spent thousands of hours researching and writing about this subject and you can take advantage of my efforts in this critically important area of health.
In closing, I believe it is long past time to bridge the communication gap between the dental and medical professions and bring whole-body health and healing into the 21st century. The mouth is an integral part of the body and what happens there will affect your entire body. I suggest that you fully evaluate the available information I've presented. Once you do you'll know consider that “Total Health Must Include Oral Health.”
Dr. Tom McGuire