What the Tooth Fairy Didn't Tell You (Continued)

 

Dr. Fuster was very passionate about the need to change lifestyles to prevent disease rather than spending fortunes dealing with the disease's aftermath. He was very convincing about the need for proper weight-control, diet and exercise.

Dr. Fuster continued to tell us of his most surprising, incidental finding. He said that while collecting images of the heart, they happened also to get images of the rest of the body including the brain. His team found that the same process that occurs in the arteries of the heart goes on in the tiny blood vessels within the brain. He feels certain that this process is a significant contributing factor in Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia.

My Grandmother had what they called "dementia" in the 80s. Maybe it was Alzheimer's? In any case, it robbed her of her memory and of her dignity. As horrible as it was for her, I think it was worse for us, her family who had to watch the deterioration and degradation of the person we so loved. In the end, she refused to eat, was combative and died of malnutrition. What a terrible disease!

Could I as a dentist play a role in preventing such a disease? I came away from this lecture enthused at the prospect of being able to help others prevent suffering such as my grandmother experienced. I can detect often-hidden causes of "Inflammation." I may be able to help reverse it and certainly bring it to your physician's attention. In fact, in our office, we routinely report our findings to your other healthcare providers. This is not standard procedure but is part of our philosophy of comprehensive care and concern about the "Oral-Systemic Connection" that you'll hear more about later in the book.

In any case, caring for my dad has helped me care for my patients. My dad is doing just fine and I hope to help keep him that way for many years to come. Thanks Dad.

"Eh, what's up, doc?" - Bugs Bunny

We are just beginning to understand the complex nature of the more than 700 species of micro-organisms that populate our mouth. Remember, the mouth is the gateway to our digestive system and is an essential component of the digestion process.

The bacteria in our mouth (and elsewhere) form a biofilm that adhere to gums, teeth and mucous membranes. When it attaches to teeth, we call it plaque and it is that plaque that contributes to decay and gum disease.

The issue of biofilm, though critical to disease is complex because we are only just beginning to understand the interaction of these systems with our bodies. In plaque, we know that the older the biofilm, the more dangerous it is to your health. The exact make-up of the biofilm is mediated by many factors and has a significant role in the pathogenesis of decay and gum disease.

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Last Modified Date: April 22, 2014

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