oral health

  • Celiac disease is one of the most common chronic genetic autoimmune disorders in the world and can affect children and adults. Individuals with this disorder have permanent intolerance to gluten, which is a protein in wheat, rye, barley and related grains. The gluten leads to damage of the small intestine lining. Heredity plays a role in the onset of the condition with symptoms occurring through an autoimmune function.

    According to the National Institute of Health, in the United States, celiac disease affects an estimated two million individuals, or one in 133 people and occurs twice as often in females. The only treatment is a gluten-free diet. This disorder can start at any age when the diet first includes gluten.

    With celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine that eventually leads to inflammation and damage of the small intestine's lining. With this damage, food is not absorbed properly, called malabsorption. With malabsorption, vital nutrients cannot be delivered to the brain, nervous system, bone, liver and other organs.

    • Due to malabsorption, children with celiac disease can experience growth and developmental problems. There is no cure for celiac disease. Following a strict gluten-free diet helps management of symptoms. The common symptoms associated with celiac disease include the following, however, some people may have no symptoms.
    • Abdominal pain (especially after eating)
    • Bloating
    • Diarrhea
    • Weight loss
    • Dermatitis
    • Osteoporosis
    • Dental defects

    Oral Manifestation of Celiac Disease

    Celiac disease has particular signs that show up orally, and dentists can have an initial important role in recognizing and identifying it in people who may not know they have the disorder. It's estimated 90 percent of individuals in North America remain undiagnosed. Early referral to a gastroenterologist and treatment can help prevent complications of this gluten intolerance condition.

    If celiac disease appears before age seven, the outer surface of the teeth (enamel) can have an abnormal appearance. The permanent teeth will show the following defects:

    • Delayed eruption of teeth
    • Cream, yellow or brown spots on the surface
    • Rough surface with grooves and shallow pits
    • Shape of tooth may be dramatically changed

    These same oral symptoms can be caused by other dental conditions. In fact, dentists may diagnose the abnormal appearance of colored spots enamel to a condition caused by too much fluoride or that the mother took the antibiotic tetracycline during pregnancy.

    Other oral related conditions of celiac disease include:

    • Recurring mouth ulcers (canker sores also known as aphthous ulcers)
    • Dry mouth
    • Red, smooth, shiny tongue (atrophic glossitis)
    • Squamous cell carcinoma (cancer of the pharynx and mouth)

    Treatment of Oral Manifestations of Celiac Disease

    Unfortunately, tooth defects that result from celiac disease are permanent and don't improve with a gluten-free diet. However, there are treatments that your dentist can provide to help improve esthetics. These include:

    • Tooth bonding to improve slight defects
    • Veneers to improve the whole front surface of the tooth
    • Crowns for teeth that are damaged throughout

    Veneers and crowns are cosmetic solutions for older children and adults, while tooth bonding can also help with children's teeth.

    For dry mouth, avoid toothpaste with sodium lauryl sulfate. This harsh detergent can dry the tissues and exacerbate mouth sores. Mouthwash with alcohol also tends to worsen dry mouth.

    For canker sores, it's reported taking 500 mg of the amino acid L Lysine helps to reduce the occurrence and hasten healing.

    Proper oral hygiene is crucial towards maintaining oral health, especially if you notice dry mouth. Harmful bacteria thrive in a dry oral environment. To keep the bacteria from causing gum disease, practice proper oral hygiene on a daily bases. Of course, regular dental check ups are important to detect early potential problems.

  • About half of all Americans, no matter how healthy they are, are more likely to develop oral health problems.

    Women need to be aware that they are at higher risk for periodontal disease and gum disease during puberty, pregnancy, their menstrual cycle each month, and then menopause—let’s face it, we’re at risk most of our lives. We now also know there is a correlation between high hormone levels in the body and inflammation in the gums surrounding the teeth as well as in the epidemic numbers of the disorder fibromyalgia—which afflicts mostly women.

    When hormone levels are very high, women can be more sensitive to a small amount of plaque or bacteria. For example, if you weren’t pregnant, and you forgot to floss for a couple of days, it probably wouldn’t be an issue. But if you’re pregnant and forget to floss, and plaque collects, you can develop swollen, painful growths in your gums that otherwise probably wouldn’t manifest as quickly.

    Being pregnant and having periodontal disease may also put your baby at risk. Studies show that pregnant women with periodontal disease have higher risk of premature labor and low birth weight. Scientists believe this occurs due to the inflammation and bacteria in the mouth that makes its way into the bloodstream. Author’s Note: A myth voiced by most dentists in years past is that pregnancy does not create more cavities; given the above data, that is not a correct assumption.

    A Timely Connection
    A few years ago I was honored to be invited to experience and consult with a globally-respected integrative medical hospital, medical and dental clinic and spa, located on the Pacific coast in Baja California.

    Having worked in the clinical and research dental field for eleven years myself, with my investigative “eye” continually searching to find a link between soft and connective tissue disorders like fibromyalgia and dental health, I was introduced to the director of the dental clinic, Walter De La O, DDS. The following are notes taken during discussions with Dr. De La O and his clinical experiences and methodologies for the potential connection of the oral cavity (mouth) to fibromyalgia, as discussed during my investigative visit and later validated in my clients’ experiences when their oral health issues were resolved.

    Fibromyalgia and Mercury… Dr. De LA O and I both agree that we have observed a strong relationship between fibromyalgia and the health and alignment of the oral cavity—as evidenced by clinical observation and research. There are many dental factors in play in disorders like fibromyalgia. This summary represents only a few “clues” as underlying contributing causes that my investigative work has uncovered.

    We KNOW the health-depleting effects of mercury amalgam fillings (silver fillings), which can be very toxic for the body— releasing mercury in the form of toxic vapors. This vapor release from mercury occurs every time the teeth make contact with one another (occlusion), when the pH of the saliva is altered, when friction is created on the teeth, or when the temperature inside the mouth is raised. This means that every time we are eating, swallowing (saliva or food), chewing, clenching/grinding, brushing our teeth or even smoking, we are potentially exposed to mercury vapors from our amalgam filling—which is most of the time.

    Toxic levels of mercury can cause or exacerbate the following, but definitely not limited to:

    • autoimmune diseases (i.e., lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, cancer etc.)
    • infections (i.e., chronic vaginal yeast in women, jock itch in men, sinus infection, swollen glands, thrush, etc.)
    • unexplained chronic fatigue
    • depression
    • nerve impairment
    • memory problems, decreased mental clarity, brain-fog
    • bowel disorders (chronic constipation, IBS, Crohn’s, etc.)
    • anxiety, panic disorders, ADD/ADHD, autism, Asperger’s syndrome
    • emotional outbursts and instability
    • soft and connective tissue pain (fibromyalgia, arthritis, rheumatism, etc.)
    • migraine headaches
    • insomnia and sleep disorders
    • autoimmune autoimmune disorders
    • sluggish lymphatic system and swollen/tender lymph nodes and;
    • many other disorders that are seemingly unrelated.

    When the mercury vapors enter our body, they get deposited in various organs. Once they are stored, they begin generating free-radicals—the accumulations of both have been known contributing factors in disorders like fibromyalgia.

    Fibromyalgia and TMJS…
    In addition, there is another contributing factor to consider if you have fibromyalgia—temporo-mandibular joint syndrome (TMJS).

    The following is a summary by Dr. Wesley Shankland, author of over 65 publications on TMJS and facial pain, and president of the American Academy of Head, Neck, and Facial Pain. His statement and methodologies about TMJS and fibromyalgia are important to consider:

    Fibromyalgia is a chronic, painful muscle and nerve condition characterized by pain in the skeletal muscles, tendons (which attach muscles to bone), ligaments (which attach bones to bones) and bursa (sac-like structures which are filled with synovial fluid and provide lubrication and nutrition to joints).

    Symptoms of fibromyalgia are characterized by generalized muscle soreness and stiffness lasting more than three months, poor sleep with morning fatigue and stiffness, tenderness at 11 of 18 specific sites and ‘normal’ blood test results. The more common painful areas include the low cervical spine, the shoulders, the second rib, the arms, the buttocks and the knees.

    Many other physical conditions are also found frequently with fibromyalgia. Each of these can, and does occur separately; however, they are also quite commonly associated with fibromyalgia.

    Many patients suffering with TMJS also suffer with fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, many doctors don’t recognize either TMJS or fibromyalgia or fail to see the connection of these two pain syndromes. Fibromyalgia almost always intensifies the painful symptoms of TMJS and when one or both temporo-mandibular joints are dislocated, the pain of fibromyalgia in the neck and upper back is greatly magnified. Both TMJS and fibromyalgia produce similar painful symptoms in the muscles of the neck, shoulders, back, face and head as well as often causing dizziness.

    Fibromyalgia and Oral Health—The Biting Reality

    Body Balance and Alignment
    We are now aware that proper balancing of the body starts at your feet and how you actually take steps. Body balance and alignment will also depend on the length of your legs, position of your hips, deviation of the vertical spine and the balance of your shoulders.

    This balance doesn’t end in the shoulders; it ends in your head. Your head is supported and balanced by the vertical spine. This balancing, or alignment, also extends to the lower jaw, the mandible, being the only bone with mobility that is articulated/ hinged to the skull.

    The mandible has 3 pairs of muscles that elevate it: the masseter, the medial pterygoid and the temporalis. There are also four muscles that depress the mandible: the digastric, the geniohyoid, the mylohyoid and lateral pterygoid. In addition, there are other muscles that are active during the complex grinding actions of chewing.

    Important Muscles of the Head and Oral Cavity

    Masseter:
    A muscle in the cheek that moves the jaws during chewing. If you experience upper body pain and inflammation, be sure to have your biological dentist check your bite (occlusion) to see if the pain is originating from mal-aligned of the jaw.

    Masseter Muscle of the Jaw
    In humans, the masseter is the MOST powerful muscle of the body, with a record bite of 990 pounds observed in a man who suffered an epileptic seizure, which caused him to bite uncontrollably—shattering most of his teeth. Were the teeth of a human able to withstand the sufficient pressure, a human could bite a hole into an automobile tire inflated to 65 psi, chew up a cinder block, or bite through the rings or chain of a pair of handcuffs.

    The Biting Pain

    Muscles of the Head and Jaw
    Your masseter muscle is your primary chewing muscle, and it covers the sides of the jaw just behind the cheeks. It’s also the muscle that makes you clench your jaw and grind your teeth, unfortunately, and it may be the single most common location for trigger points (muscle or fibro knots) in the entire human body. It is an accomplice in pretty much every case of chronic jaw clenching, bruxism (that’s Latin for “grinding your teeth”), and temporo-mandibular joint syndrome (a painful condition of the jaw joint).

    The masseter muscle is often underestimated by the public and health care professionals alike (although I’m pleased to see a surprisingly strong interest in the subject among biological dentists and holistic practitioners). When irritated, the masseter’s muscle knots can cause and/or aggravate several problems including, but certainly not limited to:

    • Headaches, of course—this makes intuitive sense to most people.
    • Pain/Inflammation—especially felt in the neck, face, shoulders and upper back.
    • Earaches and Toothaches—which are much less obvious. A masseter trigger point can refer pain directly into a tooth, leading to disastrous results for an innocent tooth.
    • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and dizziness—both can be serious and complex problems, and are not necessarily caused by masseter trigger points. There are many other potential contributing factors—but the masseter is always a likely suspect that should be considered.
    • Bruxism—a grinding and cracking of molars.
    • Temporo-mandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)—a slow, painful failure of jaw joint function.

    Romancing the Masseter
    The therapy known as Perfect Spot No. 7 is extremely effective massage therapy for most jaw problems including bruxism, jaw clenching and TMJ syndrome. Fortunately, this procedure is extremely easy for the practitioner and just as much for the patient for self-therapy.

    The masseter muscle “hangs” from the underside of the cheekbone on the side of the face. The bottom of the muscle attaches to a broad area on the side of the jawbone.

    The Masseter Notch
    Perfect Spot No. 7 is conveniently located in a notch in the cheekbone, about one inch in front of your ears. The notch is on the underside of the cheekbone, it’s easy to find, and your thumb or fingertip will fit into it nicely, unless you have extremely large hands and fingers.

    If you press firmly inward and upwards with your thumb in this particular notch you will be rewarded with a sweet ache. The rest of the muscle, however, tends to feel like not much, or unpleasantly tender. Although the entire muscle can and should be rubbed gently, the Perfect Spot is definitely limited to that upper edge of the muscle.

    Note: The Perfect Spot Therapy is based primarily on the research and writing of Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons— pioneers of myofascial pain syndrome research. Dr. Travell expired in 1997 after decades of tireless efforts to educate her medical colleagues about trigger points and the benefit of massage.

    The existence and importance of trigger points is NOT scientifically controversial, but it is obscure—the challenge is to get the word out. Doctors and dentists are generally uninformed about musculoskeletal health care—it simply isn’t on their radar. According to Dr. Simons, “Muscle is an orphan organ. No medical specialty claims it.”

    Perfect Spot No. 7 is a sturdy piece of anatomy, so don’t be afraid to work steadily up to hard pressure—if that’s what it seems to want, listen to what it’s telling you! Either constant pressure or small, kneading circles are both appropriate. Since this spot is so tough, another good trick is to use a knuckle for extra pressure, or even a small wooden ball with a handle like the opposite end of a wood spiral honey-dipper.

    Fibromyalgia is a complex syndrome involving many triggers—some of them currently being discovered. What we do know in wholistic health is that when you begin to understand the connection to oral and intestinal health and overall body burden, we can then begin to solve the puzzle and regain quality of life…I did and so have the thousands of clients I’ve guided to wellness worldwide when everything else either didn’t provide relief or made them worse from toxic side-effects. Be informed; take charge of your health, Naturally.

  • I was POISONED by my TEETH —
    Connecting Oral Health and Overall Health
    Author: Gloria Gilbère, CDP, PhD, CWR
    ISBN: 978-0-9860477-3-2
    Available at: www.gloriagilbere.com
    Published by: IWR Press, Sandpoint, ID
    Full Color 8 ½ x 11: Paperback & eBook

    This book is much more than the odyssey of a doctor whose dental work became the saboteur to her health – it’s about Health thru Education©

  • Finding out you’re expecting is a joyous time for parents. Mothers, of course, have the most challenge in making sure they have a healthy pregnancy and problem-free childbirth. Many changes take place during pregnancy, and the health of the mouth is no exception. There are many myths that exist during pregnancy as far as dental care is concerned. Concerns include should you take x-rays and the harmful effects on the unborn, effects of ultrasonic cleanings or even what to do with a toothache. This article will help separate fact from myth.

  • Dr. Weston Price practiced dentistry over seventy years ago in Cleveland, Ohio. His techniques and knowledge of a whole approach to health were years ahead of his time not only as far as dentistry, but regarding medicine in general. Consequently, he became a popular and influential dentist as well as Chairman of the American Dental Association's Research Department. He is also known as the father of nutrition.

    Curious as to the exact cause of cavities and malformed dental arches that resulted in crooked, overcrowded teeth, Dr. Price began investigating a potential connection to diet and nutrition. Microscopes and laboratories were devoid of the answers he searched for. Dr Price felt that the most logical way to research was to observe different cultures. It was necessary to compare those societies that ate modern diets consisting mostly of processed and refined foods such as white flour products, sugar, white rice, canned foods, and fats with those that regularly consumed a more nutritious diet, and where most of the food was grown locally.

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