The Relationship of Oral Health to Overall Health: What Everyone Needs to Know
"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."
The Relationship of Oral to Overall Health: What Every Patient Needs to Know
I wrote this for everyone who cares about their oral and overall health and wants to understand how oral infections and chronic mercury poisoning will have a devastating effect on overall health. I can assure you, that without this understanding, you - and your health practitioner - will not be able to resolve any existing health problems that are related to these harmful oral health issues!
Bridging the Gap between the Medical and Dental Professions
Once you understand the relationship between oral and overall health it's essential to know that you will need to enlist the help and support of a holistic, mercury safe dentist, and a health practitioner who is open minded enough to understand this critically important relationship.
I say this because a serious communication gap still exists between the dental and medical communities. It began over 175 years ago when dentistry split from medicine, and sadly continues today. The result of this gap is that most health professionals (and patients) are unaware of the effects that these oral health issues, particularly chronic mercury poisoning from amalgam fillings, gum disease, and other oral infections, can have on overall health.
Vital and necessary information regarding this is not being shared between the two professions and you are the one who suffers for it. For your health practitioner to not question/acknowledge your oral health status when diagnosing you for any systemic health condition you suffer from, he/she is effectively preventing you from knowing a possible source/contributor/cause of your health problems. If you don't know the cause of all of your health issues you will never be able to achieve the results you seek.
In summary, if your oral health problems are the source, or contributing source, of your general health problems - and your health practitioner isn't aware of the connection - he/she will be at a loss as to how to treat them. The ultimate result is that your health practitioner will only be able to treat your symptoms, not the cause. Most often this involves prescribing drugs to alleviate the symptoms. This is not the answer and, in many cases, will generate more problems than it solves.
Oral Health Issues Affecting Overall Health: What You Need to Know
Chronic Mercury Poisoning
I know you’d be concerned if you knew that you were suffering from chronic mercury poisoning. Most people know that mercury is a poison, even if they aren't aware of just how poisonous it really is. But sadly, most people are not aware that mercury comprises 50% of an amalgam/silver filling - let alone that highly toxic mercury vapor is released from it! If you are one of these people you aren't alone. According to a Zogby Poll, over 76% of those surveyed didn't even know that mercury was the main component of amalgam fillings.
I don't think it would make a difference to you whether the source of your toxic mercury exposure was occupational, environmental, or mercury amalgam (silver) dental fillings. Just knowing you were being exposed to toxic amounts, I believe you would want to know the extent of the poisoning and initiate steps to eliminate its source. The logical follow-up would be to effectively and safely remove the mercury that has accumulated in your body. I don't think you'd even be reading this if that wasn't the case….
Most people are aware that certain kinds of seafood are a significant source of mercury. But did you know that mercury amalgam fillings are - by far - the number one source of mercury exposure, far greater than any other source, including the combined exposure from 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 in my book, The Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam (Silver) Fillings . . . Hazardous to Your Health.
If you are interested in knowing more, but skeptical, I also encourage you to watch my YouTube Video: The Poison in Your Teeth. You will learn that more poisonous mercury vapor is released by brushing a single amalgam filling than is allowed in the work place by all government regulatory agencies. Click Here to view it. There is also a simple, inexpensive, and objective fecal metals test that will alleviate any skepticism you may have. Click Here to review the various tests for mercury.
The symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning are many and the health problems mercury can directly, or indirectly, cause, contribute to or make worse are extensive. You can review them in my book or go to /layperson/symptoms. Once you do you'll see just how many symptoms and diseases that mercury contributes to - and it will amaze you. The placement and removal of mercury amalgam/silver fillings is the responsibility of the dental profession. But as you will see, 99% of the symptoms related to Chronic Mercury Poisoning are medical, and not dental!
Silver Amalgam Fillings: A Major Source of Chronic Mercury Poisoning
I've studied this topic for over 40 years, and in my opinion, the oral health issue that is the most destructive to overall health is Chronic Mercury Poisoning. This is the direct result of mercury vapor being released from amalgam (silver) fillings 24/7. If you are unfamiliar, or unsure of mercury’s affect on overall health, my book explains how these toxic fillings damage the immune system, overall health, and the well being of everyone who has them and been exposed to mercury released by them.
Mercury exposure is even more destructive to the fetus, nursing baby, and young child - and every mother and mother to be, should be VERY concerned about this. Chronic Mercury Poisoning affects every single cell and system of the body, but it is particularly devastating to the immune system. In addition, 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.
If you aren't aware of the extent of your exposure to mercury, in all forms, I recommend you take my Mercury Risk Evaluation Test. You can access it by linking to: http://www.mercurysafedentists.com/layperson/mercuryriskevaluation
Gum Disease: A Serious Infection of the Body
Chronic Mercury Exposure is serious enough but are you aware that gum disease can also have a very serious effect on your 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 very 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 be very destructive to the immune system and 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 has been shown to 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. This is a scientific fact! If you have any symptoms of the above health conditions you owe it to yourself to find a holistic dentist who can diagnose and properly treat these oral health problems.
This article should make you aware that any infection, especially such a serious and long lasting one as gum disease (and other chronic oral infections), 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 on your body, the infected area in a mild form of gum disease would be the size of a postcard. In moderate-to-severe gum disease, the total infected area would cover an area the size of a standard 8 x 11 1/2 sheet of paper.
Don't be fooled! Gum disease is a very, very serious infection of the body, one that not only involves the skin and soft tissue of the mouth, but the underlying bone as well. I am certain that if the area of infection described above from moderate to severe gum disease were transferred to your head, or neck, or any other part of your body, you would consider this to be an emergency situation and seek immediate treatment. Yet this condition exists in tens of millions of Americans, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I think the most important question to ask yourself is this: Do you actually know the status of your oral health? Do you know the condition of your gums? Do you have amalgam fillings? Do you have other oral infections? If you don't know the answer to those questions you will need to find out.
Sources of Information
Everything you need to know about these subjects can be found in my books, Healthy Teeth—Healthy Body: How to Improve Your Oral and Overall Health and The Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam (Silver) Fillings: Hazardous to Your Health. Additional information is available on my website, www.mercurysafedentistscom.
Other Oral Health Issues of Concern
Along with mercury from amalgam fillings and gum disease, there are other oral health issues that can negatively affect systemic (overall) health, including:
- Infected root canals
- Cavitations (infected extraction sites)
- Excessive Exposure to Fluoride
- Non-biocompatible dental materials
- 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 at the same time.
There is a strong statistical possibility that you could be affected by most, or all, of the above oral health problems. For example, you could have periodontal disease (the most serious form of gum disease), suffer from chronic mercury poisoning from your amalgam fillings, have an infection from a failed root canal/s, have other jaw infections, be allergic to certain dental materials, and even have fluoride poisoning—all present at the same time.
Every one of these oral health issues is directly related to many degenerative diseases and all can have a devastating effect on your immune system. There is no doubt, and scientific studies support me, that each of these oral health problems are contributing to, or are even the cause of, many of your existing health problems.
Diagnosing and eliminating the source of all oral health problems should always be a priority when treating any illness, dental or medical. Not doing so would jeopardize the success of any recommended medical treatment and, if not included, defeat the desired outcome. Bottom line: you will need to take a whole body/holistic approach to your overall health or you may never get the results you seek.
This is a very logical and accepted approach to healing. But as I stated in the beginning of my article, dentists aren't required to communicate with health practitioners (traditional or alternative) - and health practitioners aren't required to communicate with dentists. The result of this lack of communication is that there is no bridge between the two professions. And guess who suffers for it? I knew you knew the answer to that question - YOU!
While there is no legal responsibility for health professionals to consider the state of a patient's oral health as part of his/her medical health assessment, I believe there is an ethical and moral one. If your health practitioner isn't aware of this relationship, it means only one thing - that you will be the one responsible for telling him or her about the state of your oral health. That will shift some of the responsibility to your health practitioner and, once the contributing oral health problems have been identified and resolved, your health practitioner will no longer have to prescribe drugs that only treat the medical symptoms directly, and indirectly, related to your oral health! You will now be able to prevent them.
But make no mistake - it is not enough to know that your oral health issues are contributing to your overall health - you will have to find a mercury safe/holistic dentist you can work with to treat and eliminate your oral health issues.