"The terms oral health and general health should not be interpreted as separate entities. Oral health is integral to general health: Oral health means more than healthy teeth and you cannot be healthy without oral health." Donna E. Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Resources. "Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General."
For the Health Professional
I wrote this for the many physicians and health care professionals who want to ensure they are diagnosing and treating their patients in the most holistic way possible. Because of the known effects of oral infections and mercury on the body, doing so will not be feasible unless you take your patients’ oral health into consideration at the same time you are treating them for any existing health problem.
Bridging the Gap between the Medical and Dental Professions
The communication gap between the dental and medical communities began over 150 years ago when dentistry split from medicine, and sadly continues today. The result of this gap is that most patients and health professionals are unaware of the effects that oral health issues, particularly chronic mercury poisoning from amalgam fillings, gum disease, and other oral problems can have on overall health. Vital and necessary information regarding this is not being shared between the two professions, and your patients are the ones who suffer. To not include the patient’s oral health status when examining and evaluating the patient’s health condition effectively prevents you from practicing whole-body medicine and achieving the results you seek.
Oral Health Issues Affecting Overall Health: What You Need to Know
Chronic Mercury Poisoning: What You Need to Know
As a health practitioner, I know you’d be concerned if you knew a patient was suffering from chronic mercury poisoning. It wouldn’t make a difference whether the source of mercury exposure was occupational, environmental, or mercury amalgam (silver) dental fillings. Given that information, I know you would want to determine the extent of the poisoning and initiate steps to eliminate its source and to effectively and safely remove the mercury that has accumulated.
Most health professionals are aware that certain seafood is a source of mercury. But did you know that mercury amalgam fillings are the number one source of mercury exposure, far greater than any other source, including seafood and the environment? If you’ve been under the illusion that mercury amalgam fillings don’t pose a health hazard, you'll see it in a far different light when you read my book, The Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam (Silver) Fillings . . . Hazardous to Your Health. As you’ll discover, there is a simple, inexpensive, and objective fecal metals test that will alleviate any skepticism you or a patient may have.
The symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning are many and the health problems mercury can directly, or indirectly, cause, contribute to or make worse is extensive. You can review them in my book or go to www.dentalwellness4u.com/layperson/symptoms.html.
Silver Amalgam Fillings: A Major Source of Chronic Mercury Poisoning
In my opinion, the most damaging oral health issue that affects overall health is chronic mercury poisoning resulting from the release of mercury vapor from amalgam (silver) fillings. If you are unfamiliar, or unsure of mercury’s affect on overall health, my book explains how these toxic fillings damage the health and well being of everyone who has them or has been exposed to mercury released by them, especially the fetus, nursing baby, and young child. It also explains how devastating mercury is to the immune system and how the secondary (indirect) effects of chronic mercury poisoning on the immune system can, over time, be even more destructive to one’s health than its direct effects.
Video Proving Mercury Vapor is Released from Amalgam Fillings
If you have any doubt that mercury vapor is released from amalgam fillings then I encourage you to view the my video, Mercury: The Poison in Your Teeth . This extraordinary video clear demonstrates how much mercury vapor is released from amalgam fillings by a common form of filling stimulation - Tooth Brushing.
As you'll see in the Video, brushing a medium sized amalgam filling will release more mercury vapor than allowed by governmental regulatory agencies at the workplace! The Video also compares the amount of mercury vapor released to other forms of stimulation, by the patient and at the dental office - and what you can do about it!
There are many scientific studies that prove this, but it's one thing to read about it and yet another to actually see how much mercury vapor being released from an amalgam filling by an EPA approved mercury vapor analyzer. The short video also offers evidence of the toxicity of mercury and is well worth the few minutes of your time it takes to view my YouTube Video: Mercury: The Poison in Your Teeth. Don't forget to tell your colleagues, friends and family about this video - or a dentist you'd like to help educate about this subject. You can also access the video by searching YouTube for either Tom McGuire, DDS or The Poison in Your Teeth.
Gum Disease: A Serious Infection of the Body
Are you aware that gum disease can have a serious affect on overall health? The long held belief that gum disease is a localized, minor disease of the teeth and gums has not withstood the test of time. It is actually a serious disease of the body. It may originate in the mouth, but left unchecked, the destruction it can cause is definitely not restricted to it. An increasing body of scientific evidence now proves that gum disease can increase the risk of:
• Heart attack by as much as 25%
• Stroke by a factor of 10
• Respiratory disease
• Pancreatic cancer
• Digestive disease
• Preterm low birth weights
Gum disease can also make it more difficult to control diabetes and is now considered a factor in osteoporosis. It can also severely stress the immune system, lowering the body's resistance to other diseases and can actually reduce life expectancy.
Contributing Factor in Systemic Disease
The role of gum disease as a contributing and even causative factor in systemic diseases is not debatable. You can’t afford to overlook this relationship when diagnosing and treating patients with any health problem.
I know you are aware that any infection, especially such a serious and long lasting one as gum disease, will negatively affect the entire body. But are you aware of just how damaging it is? It has been estimated that if laid out flat, the infected area in a mild form of gum disease would cover the size of a postcard. In moderate-to-severe gum disease, the total infected area would cover an area the size of a standard sheet of paper.
Gum disease is a very serious infection, one that not only involves the skin and soft tissue, but the underlying bone as well. I am certain that if the infection from moderate to severe gum disease were transferred to a patients head and neck, or any other part of the body, you would consider this to be an emergency situation and initiate immediate treatment. Yet this condition exists in tens of millions of Americans, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Do you know how many of your patients have the more serious form of gum disease, or the extent and severity of it? Everything you and your patients need to know about this subject can be found in my book, Healthy Teeth—Healthy Body: How to Improve Your Oral and Overall Health. Additional information is available on my website, www.dentalwellness4u.com.
Other Oral Health Issues of Concern
Along with amalgam fillings and gum disease, there are other oral health issues that can negatively affect systemic health, including:
1. Infected root canals
3. Cavitations (infected extraction sites)
5. Non-biocompatible dental materials
6. Other Diseases of the oral cavity
The impact of these oral health issues on overall health is determined by the seriousness and duration of each, and how many are present in the individual.
There is a strong possibility that a patient could be affected by most, or all of the above oral health problems. For example, a patient could have periodontal disease (the most serious form of gum disease), suffer from chronic mercury poisoning, have an infection from a failed root canal, a cavitation infection, an allergic reaction to dental materials, and even fluoride poisoning—all present at the same time.
How many of your patients are suffering from health issues related to degenerative diseases and a depleted immune system? I’d suggest many of them are and recommend you take appropriate measures to determine whether gum disease, amalgam fillings, or any of the other oral problems I've mentioned, are contributing to the cause or severity of their existing health problems.
Determining and eliminating the source of, or contributing factor to, any health problem should always be a priority when treating any illness, dental or medical. Not doing so would jeopardize the success of the patient’s treatment and preclude the desired outcome. While there is no legal responsibility for health professionals to include the state of a patient's oral health as part of his/her total health assessment, I believe there is an ethical and moral one.