I came across an article on MedScape, a news service for health professionals. It's authored by Sue Hughes from the UK. Bottom line, the healthier your mouth, the less likely you are to have heart problems. Brush your teeth less than once a day and you're twice as likely to have heart problems!
Ms Hughes' article cited a recent study published online in the British Medical Journal by Prof Richard Watt of University College London, UK. Prof Watt and his group noted that inflammation in the body (including mouth and gums) plays an important role in the buildup of atherosclerosis. The study investigated whether the number of times individuals brushes their teeth influences their risk for heart disease.
The article stated that researchers looked at over 11,000 adults. Individuals were asked about lifestyle choices such as smoking, physical activity, and their oral health habits. They were also asked how often they visited the dentist and how often they brushed their teeth. Medical history and family history of heart disease and blood pressure were then factored in. Blood samples were analyzed from some participants and levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and fibrinogen were determined. The data gathered from the interviews was then linked to hospitalizations and death.
(C-reactive protein is an indirect measurement of inflammation in your body, and fibrinogen is a building block for blood clots. Levels of both chemicals rise with your degree of inflammation.)
The study found generally good oral hygiene habits, with 62% of participants visiting the dentist every six months and 71% reporting that they brushed their teeth twice a day. After risk factors were accounted for, participants who brushed their teeth less than twice a day were found to have an increased risk of heart disease. Those who had poor oral hygiene had increased levels of CRP and fibrinogen.
Here are some of the research findings:
Hazard Ratio for Cardiovascular Events (Fatal and Nonfatal) Relative to How Often Teeth Are Brushed Each Day
Frequency of tooth brushing HR* (95% CI)
Twice a day 1.0
Once a day 1.3 (1.0–1.5)
Less than once a day 1.7 (1.3–2.3)
p for trend 0.001
*Adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic group, smoking, physical activity, visits to dentist, body-mass index, family history of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes
The researchers think that this is the first study linking toothbrushing and the rate of heart problems in adults who do not already have cardiovascular disease.
They feel this study suggests the role of poor oral hygiene in the risk of cardiovascular disease by raising systemic inflammation. Inflammation and clotting activity could be an underlying cause of periodontal disease and create an increased risk for heart disease.
More research is needed, but a body of evidence is pointing to oral health being a major factor in your overall health.
de Oliveira C, Watt R, and Hamer M. Toothbrushing, inflammation, and risk of cardiovascular disease: Results from Scottish Health Survey. BMJ 2010; DOI:10.1136/bmj.c2451. Available at: http://www.bmj.com.
While all other forms of cancer are becoming less frequent, the incidence of head and neck cancers is increasing. Some of these cancers, such as esophageal cancer, are both aggressive and usually fatal. Not only are head and neck cancers becoming more frequent, they are also affecting individuals who do not have classic risk factors for the disease (tobacco and/or alcohol consumption.) Most alarming, the group seeing the highest increase is men and women between the ages of 20-44.
Recent medical research has concluded that the rise in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is directly related to the spread of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This finding suggests that many cancers of the head and neck are “sexually acquired”.
The Human Papilloma Virus is thought to spread both orally and genitally. It is a prevalent cause for Cervical Carcinoma and cancers around the tonsils. One strain of the virus, HPV-16, is the most aggressive form and is responsible for the majority of HPV positive cancers.
The good news is that HPV-associated oral cancers respond much more favorable to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Also, HPV vaccines are being developed which should sharply decrease the rate of Cervical and HPV-associated Oral Cancer.
Another breakthrough in early detection of Oral Cancer is the development of better diagnostic tools. Pap Smears have long been the “gold standard” for detection of Cervical Cancers, but the equivalent method for detecting Oral Cancer is both complex and expensive. Recently, a new diagnostic tool has become available which reveals 98% of all early (Stage 1) Oral Cancers. Using a special rinse and light source, the test identifies suspicious areas. These areas are then stained with a dye to reveal any change in cellular structure. Questionable areas are then biopsied.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
If it’s been a while, get checked today!
Lifestyle Choices Control 50% of Your Health Prognosis!
“Patients carry their own doctor inside them. They come to us not knowing that truth. We are at our best when we give the physician who resides within each patient a chance to go to work.”
- Albert Schweitzer
In 1975, Drs. John McCamy and James Priestly wrote a landmark book entitled, Human Life Styling. Though it’s been more than thirty years, the concepts promoted by these two MDs are the foundation of 21st Century Health care. Dr. McCamy wrote in his work about the “Four Horsemen of Health”:
Diet * Exercise * Stress Reduction * Your Environment (Ecology)
He expanded on the work of pioneers in the field of Health, Wellness, Longevity, and Life Style. People like Dr. Hans Selye, Dr. Linus Pauling, Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin, and Adele Davis.
Clinical disease is usually the last step of a decade or more of deterioration. Annual check-ups only lead to early detection of disease before it gets worse. This is not prevention. True prevention aims to prevent signs or symptoms of the disease from occurring in the first place.
“Every major disease is predictable and preventable in the first decade of its development.”
Human Life Styling focuses on changing lifestyle to achieve optimum health.
The keys to Human Life Styling (HLS) are the following:
1. There is a difference between good health and average health. A truly healthy person has no physical or mental complaints. He should feel good all the time, have a great deal of energy and vitality, and have no recognizable symptoms.
2. Disease takes a long time to develop. Symptoms appear long before the clinical disease is manifested, sometimes decades before a precise diagnosis of disease. Invariably, the patient reveals a deficiency in all three areas of nutrition, exercise, and stress response.
3. Susceptibility (risk) factors increase the likelihood of disease. Resistance factors decrease the likelihood of disease. HLS means building up resistance and lowering susceptibility. All factors of resistance must be present to stay healthy. Miss one and resistance is lowered.
Increase All Your Resistance Factors while Decreasing Your Susceptibility Factors
• Heart disease, stroke, cancer, periodontal disease, and most chronic diseases have similar risk factors (though maybe not in the same sequence of importance.)
• Smoking, alcohol, overeating, poor diet, refined foods with white flour and high sugar content, lack of vigorous exercise, bottled up emotions, and high stress are significant risk factors.
Human Life Styling concerns itself with “Quality of Life” factors: Aging slowly and gracefully – living with energy and a positive orientation towards life.
I'm excited to announce that our office is san official Center for Dental Medicine. As of today, we can offer treatment for gum disease in a way that eliminates infection and creates health. You may have heard that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer. In the past, the best we could do is accept this condition and try to manage its effect. Now, anyone suffering with periodontal infection can have healthy gums and also eliminate a lot of medical risk factors.
The Centers for Dental Medicine (CDM) protocol uses non-surgical laser decontamination of disease causing bacteria, non-surgical removal of bacterial debris, an advanced home care regimen including nutritional support, and state-of-the-art laboratory testing to establish your risk for systemic problems and to verify the success of your treatment.
All week we've been training to provide this advanced care. When we open after the holiday, we'll be outlining the possibilities for patients suffering with gum disease. If you have questions about ways to eliminate gum infection, or how this care might reduce your risk of medical complications, give us a call. If we've recommended that you see us every three or four months, just to slow down your gum disease, this may be a way to eliminate your disease and get back to a stable, healthy six month routine.
Have a great day,
Health Care vs Disease Management
It was the famous physician, William Osler, MD who stated: “You can tell the health of a person by observing the health of their mouth! The health of the mouth is the window to the health of the body.”
One of my central goals for each person I serve is to bring the doctor inside of them to life. I believe I best serve each patient when I can help them prevent the causes of dental disease.
- Factors Contributing to Your Health –
20% - Heredity
10% - Medical Care System (Quality and Availability)
20% - Environment
50% - Lifestyle Choices
Based on figures from the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control, and National Institute of Health.
America is experiencing a disease-care crisis. This forces us to recognize several factors:
• People shift responsibility from themselves as agents of health, to the Medical Care System as agents to treat their disease. In reality, 50% of your own health status is a direct result of lifestyle choices.
• The Medical Care System contributes only 10% of the health care outcomes of individuals.
How does this translate to dentistry and dental health? Since we are dealing with all health, then certainly Oral Health must be included. Like the Medical Care System, the Dental Care System and insurance contribute to only 10% of the factors that determine if a person preserves their natural teeth for a lifetime or not.
Traditional medicine and traditional dentistry only react to disease. Consequently, disease treatment increases in cost every month, whereas preventing disease in the first place is the Proactive approach.
Because traditional dentistry is reactive, it focuses on repair and treating symptoms and effects of disease; but does not focus on prevention and true health, which is the absence of disease.
If you’re thinking how healthy can I be? How good can I feel? How much energy and vitality can I have in my life? Then, you’re thinking like I think and I want to become as healthy as I can become. I want the most out of the rest of the years in my life.
What about you?
If you’re tired of being the object of cure and disease treatment, perhaps you are ready for a different approach; an approach where HEALTH IS FIRST!
Different Kinds of Dentistry
Could you help? I'd appreciate having your opinions and insights. (Please comment below, or email me at DrSandlin@SandlinSmiles.com.)
A short survey:
These questions have rattled around my head all week. A trip to the Center got me thinking about how we're different, and why we're different from other offices. If you could give me feedback, it'd help resolve my questions and concerns. Thanks in advance.
Form and Function
A lot has been said about shaping things for a purpose. You don't race the Indy 500 in a dump truck. You don't drive to a five star restaurant expecting a drive-thru window. Consider that dental offices are that way. All share a function (dump truck/race car - transportation; restaurants - food, dental offices - teeth, gums, and jaws), but how they function leads to different outcomes. Some practices are designed to react to disease. I've tried to create a practice that supports health. Let me explain...
I started my practice, fresh out of Emory, thinking that everyone wanted to be healthy (free from disease). I soon realized that most come to my office because they wanted to be free of a disease. There is a difference, though it's subtle. Health is the absence of breakdown. You have it by preventing deterioration. Our Medical Model is essentially Disease Care as it repairs deterioration already caused by disease.
It's also a fine line. With the Medical Model being what it is, it's rare for someone not to expect a relationship other than "Dr. tells Patient bad news." Instead of helping someone become the strongest they can be, it's assumed that I all I do is repair damaged body parts.
When you enter a practice also differs according to your mindset. Depending on your previous dental experience (health-care vs disease-care), you might be at our door because:
You're feeling guilty - mom always told you to visit the dentist twice a year and you're overdue. Hope she doesn't find out!
(If that sounds cynical, I'm not griping. 95% of all dental offices operate on the disease-care model, and it can be very profitable. I practiced this way for almost 20 years, but found it impersonal and self-defeating. When all you do is treat damage caused by disease, it never goes away!)
Why am I saying all of this?
I want my patients to experience something different. I want them to be healthy instead of not-yet-needing-treatment. I want to create health crazed dental missionaries who share their success with anyone who'll listen. I want to be a part of the reason your life will be better tomorrow than it is today.
I want you to be whole.
50% of your health is related to personal choices. Only 10% is due to the availability and quality of your disease treatment (mislabeled as healthcare.) Let us help you choose to be healthy. Let us help you choose to be whole.
Now you know. Our office is designed to do things differently, and to do things you don't find in other offices. I realize that, at times, this can be frustrating. Some folks are so used to negotiating the Medical Model, that our way of practicing makes no sense. Please remember that we're working for a different outcome. Health vs Disease Recovery.
We try to educate and support. Ultimately, our goal is to put the decisions and responsibility for your health where they do the most good, with you. Only you can decide to be healthy. We'll work with you as you recover from pre-existing disease, and then we'll partner with you as you maintain your long term health.
That's the relationship I want to have, whole, healthy, and empowering.
1685 Duluth Highway, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, United States
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est. November 1984
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