Bob Johnson DMD
Oral Health and Overall Health
As a Biologic and Natural Dentist I am always describing to my patients how their oral cavity affects their entire body. Their immediate question is always how the oral cavity affects the rest of the body when anatomically it is relatively small.
Although the oral cavity is relatively small it is the entry point for food, drink, communication and the immune battles waged by the rest of the body.
The oral cavity is in close proximity to the central nervous system (brain and autonomic nervous system), the hormone/ endocrine system (thyroid and pituitary or master gland), the immune system (tonsils) and one of the two points in the body which control the overall structural (base of the skull and first cervical vertebra) alignment.
Digestion Starts in the Mouth
Second, the oral cavity is the beginning of digestion both with the teeth and saliva production. If you are missing teeth digestion will be compromised and if you do not produce saliva digestion and absorption of nutrients will profoundly be compromised. If you do not digest and absorb well most functions in the body will be compromised due to lack of nutrients and energy from those nutrients.
The oral cavity is covered by the layer of skin called the oral mucosa which is amazingly absorptive. That is how medications or nutrients placed under the tongue enter the blood stream so easily. Unfortunately toxins are also quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.
Speaking of teeth, your pearly whites are critical for the beginning of digestion but it has been reported by Dr. Klinghardt that the pulps of teeth are one of the main stimulants for the production of brain neurotransmitters.
From the Mouth...and Into the Bloodstream
Many infections reside in the mouth including the gums (periodontal disease), the teeth (abcesses or root canals), the jaw bones (cavitations), tonsils as well as in the maxilliary sinus above the upper molar teeth and around their roots. These infections not only migrate around the oral cavity but can easily get into the bloodstream and are taken to other parts of the body where infections can begin far from their source. The infecting microorganisms can be particulary pathologic especially if they are anaerobic microbes directly surrounding root canals , the bottom of periodontal (gum) pockets and from the jaw infections called cavitations.
Chinese Medicine teaches us about the acupuncture meridians which are named for the primary organ the meridian traverses (eg heart, small intestine, stomach). These same meridians also pass through the teeth. If a tooth is dying or infected it will negatively impact every tissue and organ through which that meridian passes.
As important as anatomic alignment and the permeability of the oral mucosa, what is put in the mouth profoundly affects the entire body.
Dental Materials Should be Bio-compatible with the Body
Amalgam fillings (50% mercury) indisputably release this mercury which deposits and negatively impacts tissues elsewhere. Several other dental materials are known to be potentially harmful. These include nickel in many restorative materials and fluoride. Fluoride not only migrates into the thyroid and has been shown to displace Iodine to impair function (potential hypothyroidism) but binds to mercury pulling it into other tissues.
The oral cavity affects us all biochemically, emotionally, immunologically, structurally, nutritionally , hormonally, energetically and toxicologically. When developing a differential diagnosis and overall treatment for a patient at whatever state of health, the condition of the oral cavity must be a consideration and why your team of clinicians should include a biologic dentist.
Robert Johnson, DMD, is a biological dentist at National Integrated Health Associates. He specializes in the use of biocompatible dental materials for all aspects of biological dentistry, mercury amalgam removal, dental surgery, ceramic dental implants and orthodontics.