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How Integrative Medicine and Dentistry Can Work Together for Everyone’s Benefit

Posted By Eric Zaremski, DDS, Monday, June 20, 2016

As healthcare practitioners, our main goal is our patient’s well-being. In an integrative healthcare model, all practitioners, need to learn to work together for a common goal. Dental professionals need to educate themselves about different treatments and diagnoses that relate to the body as a whole. Medical practitioners need to educate themselves about oral conditions and diseases that affect the overall health of their patients.

Everyone needs to learn the potential effects of conditions and issues and how they interact to create dis-ease. There needs to be more sharing of information on the fine points of disease and conditions and the different treatments available.

From an oral perspective, dental practitioners must see their patients as a whole and realize that systemic issues and conditions can affect the health of the mouth and also that oral conditions can affect whole body health. We need to be more exacting in that relationship of how oral pathology can influence other organs and metabolic pathways, leading to systemic effects. We also need to learn to speak and communicate in ways that physicians and other medical providers can understand. One of the most beneficial things that dental professionals can do is to help inform and educate their medical, naturopathic, chiropractic and nursing colleagues in identifying and understanding oral diseases and conditions.

Medical professional also have a responsibility to help dental professionals understand systemic diseases and conditions. There are many ways that systemic illnesses can affect the health of the head and neck area.

For example, in considering the posture of a patient, the alignment of the body can affect how healthy and functional the mouth is. If the body is misaligned or canted, the occlusion or bite can be pathologic. This can affect the health of the tempromandibular joints. It can also affect the health and condition of the teeth, the musculature of the mouth and surrounding structures. Once the body is aligned, the mouth can be stabilized and vice versa.

We can also look at thermographic images of the body and see direct influence or connections between the mouth and body structures.

It is widely recognized in integrative medicine, that direct connections between certain teeth and body parts or organs exist. When a tooth is diseased, the corresponding body part can be affected as well.

When we look at the traditional training and education that we all acquired in dental and medical schools, we realize that we were all taught an amputation model of delivering care. We were taught that if we cut away disease, then health will appear.

As more open-minded professionals, we realize this model does not work well for most patients and only further prolongs their morbidity and possibly can cause a faster mortality.

It becomes incumbent on all health professionals to to educate ourselves and to find and help educate colleagues who are open-minded enough and willing to learn new modalities in order to work together towards common goals.

Tags:  dentistry  integrative medicine 

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Teeth-Whitening SCOTUS Decision Deals Blow to Monopolistic State Medical Boards

Posted By ANH-USA, Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Teeth-Whitening SCOTUS Decision Deals Blow to Monopolistic State Medical Boards

On February 25, the US Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina’s dental board violated antitrust laws by shutting down hair salons and day spas that offered teeth whitening services. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The decision preserves the power of antitrust enforcers to scrutinize professional licensing organizations, even if they are designated as state-government entities.”

The dental board had claimed they were exempt from antitrust law because they were a government body, but the court found that the board was acting without proper state supervision.Writing for the court, Justice Kennedy stated that antitrust law “does not authorize the states to abandon markets to the unsupervised control of active market participants, whether trade associations or hybrid agencies.”

This ruling is a clear message of caution to all state medical boards that use their power to protect their monopoly on the practice of medicine, typically to the detriment of CAM doctors.

Take, for instance, the state of Washington’s Medical Quality Assurance Commission (MQAC), a state board infamous for its malicious treatment of integrative physicians.

Consider MQAC’s ongoing attacks against integrative medical practitioner Dr. Jonathan Wright. In the most recent case, Dr. Wright’s Tahoma Clinic had hired a medical doctor who had been licensed in another state, under the condition that he apply for a Washington medical license. He did so, and the doctor’s Washington license was listed as “pending” on MQAC’s website. During this period, Dr. Wright followed the legal advice he had received and monitored him closely as required by Washington law.

Suddenly, MQAC charged Dr. Wright with “aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine” because the doctor’s out-of-state license had been revoked! To add insult to injury, it soon became known that at least four MQAC staff members knew from the beginning that the doctor’s out-of-state license had been revoked and that he could therefore not be licensed in Washington, but they never put that information on the MQAC website or made any effort to inform Dr. Wright. It seems apparent that the intent was to entrap Dr. Wright by denying him any information.

Sadly, this is just one example among many of MQAC harassing integrative doctors. Examples abound where infractions by conventional doctors are overlooked entirely or given a slap on the wrist by MQAC and other state medical boards. When integrative doctors engage in similar behavior, however, MQAC throws the book at them.

This Supreme Court ruling offers hope to consumers, practitioners of integrative medicine, and all who oppose monopolies in healthcare—monopolies that usually have nothing to do with protecting public health and everything to do with protecting turf. That is why various nurses’ groups opposed the NC medical board.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) has also been at this game for a while in its efforts to pass “scope-of-practice” laws whereby only Registered Dieticians (RDs) can offer nutrition services. This, of course, explicitly excludes other nutrition professionals, who are often better educated, more experienced, and better qualified than RDs.

We can only hope that this Supreme Court decision serves as a precedent— not only for monopolistic state medical boards across the country, but for state nutrition/dietetics boards as well. The recent victory of Steve Cooksey in North Carolina offers another glimmer of hope that governmental and legal bodies are starting to crack down on medical and nutritional monopolies, and we at ANH-USA applaud these actions.

Tags:  dentistry  medical boards  SCOTUS  Supreme Court  Teeth whitening 

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Why Is Integrative Dentistry So Important?

Posted By Liz Pullman, Monday, February 16, 2015
Updated: Thursday, March 5, 2015
There is a changing paradigm in dentistry, not completely new, but one that fits the time. Forward thinking dentists are redirecting their focus from the repair of teeth to oral health conditions effecting the entire body. These issues include chronic infections, mercury and other heavy metal toxicities, periodontal disease, TMJ and chronic pro-facial pain, and sleep disordered breathing. Increasing evidence links these conditions to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, anxiety and depression, poor performance and learning, dementia, and even cancer.

Dentists who are cognizant of this important medical/dental connection are seeking collaboration with integrative physicians to provide appropriate interdisciplinary medical/dental solutions. Removing toxic metals from the mouth requires medical support to detoxify the body. Airway/sleep disorders (ASD) is a hidden, ubiquitous problem affecting all parts of our society. ASD effects the brain, immune system, and ANS and other vital functions. ASD is often expressed in the form of one or more of the prevalent chronic diseases and syndromes today. Treatment of a manifestation of ASD can provide relief, but not necessarily long term benefits. Without recognition of the underlying problem, ASD will be present again in another form. Integrative dentists and healthcare practitioners of ACAM are the ideal collaborators in co-diagnosis and co-treatment.

For over 20 years our practice, the Hindin Center for Whole Health Dentistry had been located adjacent to Michael Schachter’s office. My son Jeff, his wife Jill, and I have utilized the resources available next door and from other complementary physicians in the area for the benefit of our patients and practice.

I am honored to be the first dentist elected to the ACAM Board. I have always promoted the medical/dental connection. I have done this in the past as president of the Foundation for Innovative Medicine, (FAIM) and as the Founder of the American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry (AAPMD), and now as a ACAM Board member. I look forward to the day where every integrative dentist will have a close working relationship with a complementary physician. Expanded programs for interdisciplinary education and training are needed to better understand the connections and develop protocols for co-diagnosis and co-treatment. I look forward to bringing our AAPMD resources to a collaborative relationship with ACAM for the benefit of our memberships and our patients.

Tags:  dentistry  howard hindin  integrative 

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Vitamin D Deficiency and Tooth Decay

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Updated: Friday, April 18, 2014

By Gina Nick, NMD

Here is yet another reason to consider getting tested for, and supplementing with Vitamin D3…I am re-printing a report released by the Orthomolecular Medical Society that discusses the connection between how much vitamin D3 you have in your body, and tooth decay, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory infections, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other ailments.  This is one of many essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly.   And it happens to be an inexpensive therapy that helps to prevent and  treat some of the most expensive diseases of our time like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Vitamin D3 works synergistically with vitamin K and calcium to increase bone mineral density in women with osteoporosis. Some whole food sources include organic egg yolks, raw, organic butter (preferably from goat rather then cow), and cod liver oil.

-Dr. G

Vitamin Deficiency Underlies Tooth Decay
Malnutrition Causes Much More than Dental Disease

Cavities and gum diseases are not often regarded as serious diseases, yet they are epidemic throughout our society, from the youngest of children to the oldest of senior citizens. Research more than suggests that the same good nutrition that prevents cavities and gum diseases may also prevent other illnesses.

Dental caries and gum pathology are frequently associated with serious chronic health problems. Multiple independent studies published after 1990 document this. Cavities are associated with poor mental health [1-4]. Elderly individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease had an average of 7.8 teeth with fillings vs. an average of only 2.7 fillings for elderly individuals without dementia [1]. It is likely that the toxic heavy metal mercury, which makes up half of every amalgam filling, is a contributing factor.

A recent authoritative review showed a clear association between cavities and heart diseases [5]. More importantly, this same study showed that people with poor oral health, on average, lead shorter lives. The association between cavities and diabetes is also a subject of active, ongoing research [6-8]. Connections between heart disease, diabetes, and dental decay have been suspected for decades. Many of the scientists who called attention to this have proposed that diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates were the common cause of these diseases [9-15].

Dental diseases, mental diseases, heart disease, infectious respiratory diseases, and heart disease are all at least partially caused by common failures in metabolism. Such failures are inevitable when there is a deficiency of essential nutrients, particularly vitamins D, C, and niacin.

There is especially strong evidence for a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and cavities. Dozens of studies were conducted in the 1930’s and 1940’s [16-27]. More than 90% of the studies concluded that supplementing children with vitamin D prevents cavities. Particularly impressive was a study published in 1941 demonstrated the preventative affect of “massive” doses of vitamin D [28]. And yet no subsequent studies in the scientific literature suggested a need to follow up and repeat this work.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to respiratory infections, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other ailments [29]. The evidence for vitamin C was reviewed by Linus Pauling [15], and the evidence for niacin was reviewed by Abram Hoffer [30].

Obtaining vitamins in sufficient doses to help prevent dental disease is safe and easily accomplished. Between 5,000 and 15,000 IU of vitamin D may be obtained from modest exposure to sunshine in the middle of the day. Recommending that people regularly use the capacity of their skin to make vitamin D is common sense. Certainly 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D in supplemental form is safe. 2,000 milligrams per day of vitamin C, and hundreds of milligrams per day of niacin, help prevent tooth and mouth troubles. Sick individuals, and those who are prone to cavities, will typically benefit by starting with higher doses of vitamin D, vitamin C, and niacin under the supervision of an orthomolecular physician.

We believe that individuals taking these nutrients, along with good dental care, will have dramatically fewer cavities and gum operations than individuals just getting good dental care. This idea is easily tested, and the time has come to do so.

References:

[1] B Ellefsen; P Holm-Pedersen; D E Morse; M. Schroll; B. Andersen; G. Waldemar. Caries Prevalence in Older Persons with and without Dementia. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Volume 56, Number 1, January 2008, 59-67(9).
[2] J M Chalmers, K D Carter, A J Spencer. Caries incidence and increments in community-living older adults with and without dementia. Australian Research Center for Population Oral Health, Dental School, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, Australia. Gerodontology Volume 19 Issue 2, 80 - 94.
[3] Friedlander, A.H.; Mahler, M.E. Major depressive disorder psychopathology, medical management and dental implications. Graduate Medical Education, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (14), Los Angeles, CA, USA. Journal of the American Dental Association (2001), 132(5), 629-638.
[4] Stewart, R.; et. al. Oral Health and Cognitive Function in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), Psychosomatic Medicine 70:936-941 (2008).
[5] Meurman, J.H.; Sanz, M.;Janket, S. Oral infection and vascular disease. Institute of Dentistry, University of Helsinki, Finland. Vascular Disease Prevention (2007), 4(4), 260-267.
[6] Touger-Decker R, Sirois D A, Vernillo A T. Diabetes mellitus: Nutrition and oral health relationships. Department of Primary Care, School of Health-Related Professions, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, USA. Editor(s): Touger-Decker, Riva. Nutrition and Oral Medicine (2005), 185-204.
[7] Diaz-Romero, R.; Casanova-Roman, R.; Beltran-Zuniga, M; Belmont-Padilla, J.; Mendez, J.; Avila-Rosas, H.. Oral Infections and Glycemic Control in Pregnant Type 2 Diabetics. Instituto Nacional de Perinatologia, Mexico City, Mex. Archives of Medical Research (2005), 36(1), 42-48.
[8] Twetman, S.; Johansson, I.; Birkhed, D.; Nederfors, T. Caries incidence in young type 1 diabetes mellitus patients in relation to metabolic control and caries-associated risk factors. Caries Research (2002), 36(1), 31-35.
[9] Bommer, S. Diseases of civilization and nutrition. Ernaehrungsforschung (1963), 7 598-612.
[10] Miler-Sosnkowska, M. Role of dietary carbohydrates in relation to their metabolism. Inst. Zywienia Czlowieka, Akad. Roln., Warsaw, Pol. Postepy Higieny i Medycyny Doswiadczalnej (1975), 29(4), 537-55.
[11] Cremer, H.D.; Eyer, H. Carbohydrates. Inst. Ernaehrungswiss. I, Univ. Giessen, Giessen, Fed. Rep. Ger. Ernaehrungs-Umschau (1975), 22(10), 291-3.
[12] Newberne, P.M.. Nutrition: summary of evidence. Sweeteners: Issues, uncertainties. Acad. Forum, 4th (1975), 76-85, 252-3.
[13] Heraud, G. Sucrose and nutritional pathology. Sucrerie Francaise (1979), 120(24), 21-6.
[14] Nuttall, F.Q.; Gannon, M.C.. Sucrose and disease. Diabetes Care (1981), 4(2), 305-10.
[15] Pauling, L. “How to Live Longer and Feel Better.” W.H. Freeman and Company, 1986. Revised 2006, Oregon State University Press. http://oregonstate.edu/dept/press/g-h/LiveLonger.html
[16] Tisdall, F.F. The effect of nutrition on the primary teeth. Child Development (1937) 8(1), 102-4.
[17] McBeath, E.C. Nutrition and diet in relation to preventive dentistry. NY J. Dentistry (1938) 8; 17-21.
[17] McBeath, E.C.; Zucker, T.F. Role of vitamin D in the control of dental caries in children. Journal of Nutrition (1938) 15; 547-64.
[19] East, B. R. Nutrition and dental caries. American Journal of Public Health 1938. 28; 72-6.
[20] Mellanby, M. The role of nutrition as a factor in resistance to dental caries. British Dental Journal (1937), 62; 241-52.
[21] His Majesty’s Stationery Office, London. The influence of diet on caries in children’s teeth. Report of the Committee for the Investigation of Dental Disease (1936).
[22] McBeath, F.C. Vitamin D studies, 1933-1934. American Journal of Public Health (1934), 24 1028-30.
[23] Anderson, P. G.; Williams, C. H. M.; Halderson, H.; Summerfeldt, C.; Agnew, R. Influence of vitamin D in the prevention of dental caries. Journal of the American Dental Association (1934) 21; 1349-66.
[24] Day, C. D.; Sedwick, H. J. Fat-soluble vitamins and dental caries in children. Journal of Nutrition (1934) 8; 309-28.
[25] Agnew, M. C.; Agnew, R. G.; Tisdall, F. F. The production and prevention of dental caries. Journal of the American Dental Association, JADA (1933) 20; 193-212.
[26] Bennett, N. G.; et al. The influence of diet on caries in children’s teeth. Special Report Series - Medical Research Council, UK (1931) No. 159, 19.
[27] Mellanby, M.; Pattison, C. L. The influence of a cereal-free diet rich in vitamin D and calcium on dental caries in children. British Medical Journal (1932) I 507-10.
[28] Brodsky, R. H.; Schick, B.; Vollmer, H.. Prevention of dental caries by massive doses of vitamin D. American Journal of Diseases of Children (1941) 62; 1183-7.
[29] http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/
[30] Hoffer A, Saul AW. Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone. Laguna Beach, California, Basic Health Pub, 2008. http://www.doctoryourself.com/orthomolecular.html

Tags:  dentistry  vitamin D 

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