Submitted by David Overton, Natural Medicines & Family Practice
Did you know that dental problems are linked to health problems? Why is this and what can you do? Did you know the immune and circulation systems contribute to dental problems? It’s a two way street: if you have dental problems, you often have immune & circulation problems. Treating these often resolves dental problems.
Dental problems (bleeding gums, gum disease and dental infections) are highly correlated to:
- Strokes and mini-strokes
- Carotid (neck) artery disease
- Arteriosclerosis (capillary and artery damage)
- Heart diseases
- Lung diseases
- Kidney disease
- Diabetes and pre-diabetes
We have tests to find and manage these issues before a disease strikes you. Our CardioRisk carotid scan finds circulation problems. Cardiac CRP and kidney blood tests diagnose immune circulation and kidney problems. Spirometry tests diagnose lung problems. Glucose tolerance tests find and manage pre-diabetes.
People who brush their teeth infrequently usually have damaged but treatable neck artery damage. People with many teeth extracted often develop significant problems. My parents had all their teeth extracted, obtained dentures, but went on to suffer strokes, heart & kidney disease and diabetes.
Most people see their dentist but are not aware treatments exist to complement dental care. I’ve learned that supporting the immune system, supporting circulation and treating subtle infections (when needed) often helps resolve a dental problem.
A woman came needing a dental implant that was canceled because of “thinning bones” in her jaw. Her reports revealed osteonecrosis (dead bone due to infection). We used supplements and drugs to improve circulation (to get medicines into the bone), immune support and anti-infective medications to heal her bones and she had the implant done. We also diagnosed arteriosclerosis and kidney disease and have her chronic symptoms (dizziness, ringing in the ears) under much better control.
Many patients gum and dental problems resolve after we’ve treated chronic and subtle immune problems, viral or bacterial infections and circulation problems. Typically these patients have had bleeding gums or dental symptoms and did not want their teeth extracted.
One woman came in for other reasons but complained of two teeth needing extraction or root canals. I mentioned she might need medical care and a CT scan to sort things out. After having two root canals, then having the teeth extracted she came to see me for chronic dental pain, headaches and sinus symptoms. I ordered a CT scan which revealed a dental abscess eroding into her sinuses. She also had circulation and heart symptoms, kidney and bronchial problems. I recommended the dentists scrape out her infected pocket and begin a sequence of stronger medical (immune, circulation, anti-viral, antibacterial) treatments to get things under control.
If you have dental problems, work with your dentist but see a medical practitioner who can find out if you’re at risk for associated medical problems and work together to get them under control.
David Overton, PA-C owns Natural Medicines & Family Practice where he provides integrated conventional and alternative treatments under the supervision of Dr. Richard Faiola, MD, ABFM. 360-357-8054.