Healthcare Versus Sickcare and the Mouth–Body Connection

Our current healthcare system should more aptly be named “ sick care.” It seems to me that the times are changing and we are at the beginning of a new kind of healthcare which might be called “Integrative Medicine.”

Integrative Medicine focuses on health and wellness rather than just the treatment of disease. Such “healthcare” is dependent on a different relationship between doctors and patients – including dentists. Patients are not just seen when treatment for illness is required. But, this kind of doctoring involves a closer relationship with each patient to determine the specifics of his or her current condition, risk factors, concerns, medical history, family history, nutrition, etc. In this way, the “whole person” is evaluated and using “alternative” medicine as well as traditional “evidence–based” medicine, appropriate personalized care can be provided. Wellness, rather than disease, is emphasized. Prevention rather than just treatment for illness is provided. Wellness and healing are the primary goals.

Did you know that a healthy mouth can add 7.5 years to your life?

From our dental perspective, you may notice some changes in the emphasis of our treatment. We’ll want to stay current with your overall health, the medicines which you are using and your goals for your desired level of well-being.

We hope provide you with adequate information so that you may better understand the interconnectedness of you your “oral” health and your “body” health. Such a relationship is referred to as the oral–systemic connection and explains the relationship between oral–dental health and various body systems’ health issues including:

  •         Heart disease
  •         Diabetes
  •          Pregnancy and childbirth issues
  •         Obstructive sleep apnea
  •         Oral cancer
  •         Inflammatory disease
  •          Nutrition and the ability to chew
  •         Chronic disease
  •         Emotional health and confidence
  •          Etc.

It is our intention to write a series of blog articles about the different connections between diseases of the various body systems and oral health. We will also ask your help by keeping us apprised of your current health and all medicines including non-–prescription supplements which you are taking. We will also, with your permission, keep your primary health professional abreast of your dental condition so that your overall wellness can better be served.

We will offer newer options for your care in our office including DNA testing to better determine your risks of developing chronic oral diseases which research has proven can have detrimental effects on your overall health. It is our goal to help you achieve a higher and more informed level of oral health that has been the norm during the first three decades of my practice of dentistry.

Feel free to ask us about anything “new” which you notice during your upcoming visits. We welcome your comments and thoughts on the subject. Feel free to call us at 908-359-6655 or via our website for questions and additional information.