Functional Oral Health

institute for functional medicine

I recently completed introductory courses in Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition through the Institute for Functional Medicine. Through the knowledge that I have gained, I truly believe that this is the approach that we need to adopt when approaching Oral Health as well. I plan on beginning training in the near future to become an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner  so that I can begin practicing Functional Oral Health as a branch of Functional Medicine.

Long disillusioned by my own journey with the allopathic, reductionist model of “disease management”, I have spent over 15 years searching for an approach that resonates with how I wish to be treated. Finally, after years of searching, I have found it.

What is Functional Medicine?

Taken directly from the institute’s website:

Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership”.

Why do we need to explore the Functional Medicine approach to all aspects of health?

Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine is ill equipped to address complex, chronic disease. In most cases, the model does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual and does not allow time for exploring the aspects of today’s lifestyle that have a direct influence on the rise in chronic disease in modern Western society; critical environmental factors such as stress, diet, and exposure to toxin”.

I no longer believe that oral disease is simply a result of not brushing, flossing, avoiding sugar and fluoride!

The research that I have done independently, coupled with the practical knowledge that I have accumulated from over 35 years in clinical practice have led me to believe that there is so much more going on here! As healthcare professionals, we owe it to the public to address the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.

I have seen the clients who in a six-month period developed six or more cavities and nothing in their homecare and diet had apparently changed. But something did and I now realize that given time, asking the right questions and doing a number of tests, together we can figure it out!

Since a Google Search did not bring up anything under “Functional Oral Health”, I suspect that few dental professionals have yet to go down this road. However, since “America’s Top Hospital”, the Cleveland Clinic has recently opened The Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, I suspect that this will change as healthcare continues to evolve and meet the needs of the 21st century.

The oral/systemic link involves so much more than we realize and once we have the courage to take the blinders off of our reductionist approach to oral health I believe that we will, in collaboration with our patients and other practitioners, find a new and exciting collaborative approach to helping our patients heal.

As always, I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time,

Kathleen

Cochrane Oral Health Group Concludes Fluoridation May Not Prevent Cavities

dental hygienist King City

The Cochrane Oral Health Group Evaluation of Water Fluoridation concludes: “Fluoridation May Not Prevent Cavities”. In a June 19, 2015 publication by the Cochrane Collaboration, researchers have concluded that: Continue reading

The Root Canal Cover-up and Informed Consent

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click to enlarge

For those of you who follow my blog and the many patients that I have the privilege of seeing here at Woodland Dental Hygiene, you are aware that I am very passionate about my stand on Root Canal Therapy and the need for Informed Consent”.

What is “Informed Consent”? Continue reading

Sugar Industry Shapes Public Health Policy

independent dental hygienist King CityA new report published on March 10, 2015 by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, (UCSF) reveals that the sugar industry heavily influenced federal research and subsequently public health policy and guidelines resulting from that research.

In 1969, The Caries Task Force Steering Committee was formed by the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) and met regularly to come up with research priorities. Continue reading

British Study Links Underactive Thyroid to High Fluoride Levels

dangers of fluoride in waterNew research from the University of Kent suggests that there is a spike in the number of cases of underactive thyroid in high fluoride areas such as the West Midlands and the North East of England, this British study says. Professor Stephen Peckham, lead author from the Centre for Health Services said: “I think it is concerning for people living in those areas”.

“The difference between the West Midlands, which fluoridates, and Manchester, which doesn’t was particularly striking.  There was nearly double the number of cases in the West Midlands.

“Underactive thyroid is a particularly nasty thing to have and it can lead to other long term health problems.  I do think councils need to think again about putting fluoride in the water.  There are far safer ways to improve dental health”. Continue reading

Can Teeth Be Healed?

Dr. Weston Price

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In my personal and professional pursuit of wellness, I have lately had cause to ponder the question; can teeth be healed? I have never doubted the possibility of the arrest and even the reversal of many diseases common to the human body as I have experienced this miracle in my own life. Given time, knowledge and the commitment to provide what the body truly needs for health and well-being, much is possible!

But what about teeth and specifically tooth decay? It would appear that in dentistry, when a tooth decays, the most common disease in the world presents itself – we are most often given a traditional surgical approach – a filling, to fix the problem. Continue reading

Can Mouth Breathing be Helped by Chiropractic?

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click image to enlarge

Can mouth breathing be helped by Chiropractic care? A recent opportunity to work for a wonderful dentist and friend, Dr. Eva Tobin, who practices in the small town of Thornton, Ontario, enabled me to work with a client who was a chronic mouth-breather; a condition that while increasingly common, is not optimum for overall health and well-being.

I had a discussion with this client as to:

  • What the reason might be for his inability to breathe through his nose,
  • What some of the resulting side-effects were in his mouth and possibly the rest of his body!

Continue reading

I Joined the Blue Dot Movement for a Healthy Environment

the blue dot movement

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I joined the Blue Dot Movement for a healthy environment! I wrote in a previous blog that I was still not sure that launching a legal battle was the direction to move with the water fluoridation issue. I have learned that patience is paramount when waiting for direction on key issues and this one is no exception. Thankfully, there is a solution that I have found, that addresses my personal, professional and planetary concerns about water fluoridation and the health of our environment that I feel I can support.

I have joined thousands of Canadians in a grassroots movement for change! I am beginning in my own community to ask for the right to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat healthy food. I am helping to grow a national movement aimed at having every Canadian’s right to a healthy environment recognized at all levels of government. Continue reading

Fluoride Lawsuit Launched in Peel Region

dangers of water fluoridationLast month’s blog weighed in on the necessity of a lawsuit to end fluoridation in Peel Region and I thank you for the comments that I received. It is evident, based on those comments, and the many people that I speak to, that a clear-cut division does indeed exist! No matter what side of the fence you currently sit on…get ready, because the legal challenge has begun!

Please see the following press release:

Peel Resident Launches Court Challenge Against Artificial Water Fluoridation Continue reading

Is Launching a Lawsuit The Way To End Water Fluoridation?

water fluoridation lawsuitOn Thursday, September 11th, I had the opportunity to sit in on a Peel Regional Council Meeting and listen to lawyer Nader Hassan, on behalf of Liesa Cianchino and Concerned Residents of Peel to End Water Fluoridation, advise Council, “that we will be launching a lawsuit in Superior Court, asking the Court to declare that Peel’s water fluoridation program is unconstitutional”. I couldn’t help but wonder if launching a lawsuit is the best way to end water fluoridation.

I have read the Summary and Opinion presented to Peel Council on June 23, 2014 by Hasan on the Legal Arguments Against Water Fluoridation and while I agree with everything I have read, I am worried! Continue reading