ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Go Healthy, Not Hungry for Holiday Eating
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Rainy Areas in U.S. Show Higher Autism Rates
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
EYE CARE, VISION
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
FITNESS
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Can You Talk Your Way to Happy?
Maximize Your Run
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
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Holistic Dentistry-My View

Accurate definitions are important prior to a discussion of any subject matter. The word “holistic” is defined in the Thorndike-Barnhart dictionary as, “concerned with all factors, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, that affect health, rather than treating isolated diseases and symptoms.”

A dentist with a holistic approach is not just checking your teeth and gums, looking for decay and periodontal (gum) disease, or wanting to sell you on the idea of an improved smile through the wonders of cosmetic dentistry. To me, holistic dentistry means first getting to know the whole person, their attitudes towards dentistry and their desires regarding prevention and treatment. True health requires patient education, but I believe that the holistic dentist’s first priority is to educate himself about the patient before recommending what they may need or should want.

Traditional dentists and physicians have been in a reactive mode when it comes to treating disease, i.e., dentists who only repair decay and replace missing teeth, and, for example, physicians who react to high blood pressure solely with symptom controlling medications. In both cases the cause of the disease is not addressed.

In dentistry, a holistic approach is based on an understanding of how a healthy and attractive mouth looks and functions, and how it influences and is influenced by the rest of the body. This understanding was brought about through careful research of people, some in their eighties and nineties who had exceptional oral health. Besides having attractive smiles, these people exhibited little, if any tooth wear or tooth loss, and most had no or very little dental treatment needs. In other words, the research was based on the study of health, not disease. By observing and measuring these fortunate individuals, it was found that, without exception, they had qualities in common that resulted in beauty, function, comfort, and longevity. It was discovered that their teeth arrangements not only resulted in a naturally attractive appearance, but were aligned in such a manner that there was harmony between the upper and lower teeth and their relation to the jaw joints (TMJ’s). This accounted for why they never experienced jaw joint noise or pain, head and neck discomfort, tooth loss, vertigo or migraines. The components of their oral systems were all working in harmony – TMJ’s muscles, ligaments, nerves, etc. - that precluded not only the above symptoms, but these people also had little or no decay or periodontal disease. The result: A model of oral health was discovered through careful observation of hundreds of healthy oral systems.
These qualities became the Bioesthetic Guidelines, directing the holistic dentist in his diagnostic, preventive and treatment efforts. This research has incalculable value, as any person with a compromised smile, or head and neck aches from an inharmonious bite relationship can be assessed and treated towards this model of health & beauty discovered through the research of Mother Nature’s success.

Within the last decade or so, many new technologies have sprung up in dentistry, such as bonding, life-like porcelain materials used in crowns and veneers, as well as implant teeth replacements. These new technologies have given birth to the field of “Cosmetic Dentistry,” and the predominant content of most all dental journals today has to do with their application. Although these technologies offer many new and wonderful treatment options, their applications prior to a proper oral diagnosis may result in unfavorable side effects. When applied within the Bioesthetic model of health, the results can be awesome!

Also, it is crucial to use materials that are non-toxic and that are designed properly to support the health of the entire oral system. It is interesting that those black fillings are called “silver amalgam” fillings when there is almost twice as much mercury in them as there is silver. Aside from the potential mercury toxicity, there are more durable and esthetic materials available that would alone point in the direction of a mercury free dental practice. Our Hippocratic oath says "First do no harm" and this is why it is important to be under the care of a dentist who has been trained in evaluating not only the oral system (relationship of the teeth, gums, muscles, ligaments, TMJ's), but how all bodily systems affect the health, and are affected by the health of the oral system - true holistic dentistry.

Of primary importance is developing optimum periodontal (gum) health for both its oral and systemic value, as continuing research shows that the health of the mouth affects and is affected by the state of one’s general health. Patients who have gone through individualized periodontal health programs routinely show systemic health improvements as evidenced by pre and post program blood testing, i.e. lowered blood glucose and cholesterol. The practice uses the latest technology, such as phase microscopy in evaluating periodontal (gum) disease, laser cavity detection, intra-oral cameras and jaw movement tracking devices.

Dr. McBride realizes that true oral health is a result of teamwork between doctor and patient based on the development of a high level of mutual trust. Time is devoted to relationship building, prevention and developing individualized plans towards a preferred dental future. This mode offers opportunity for clients to understand their dental problems, fostering high commitment as they become participants in their own health.

Probably the most important word for a holistic dentist is diagnosis. Not only for the dentist to learn the individual nature of the patient’s oral and general health status, but in so doing, he can then teach his patient the cause(s) of their problems and offer them solutions directed towards the healthy model.

Dr. McBride has been in private practice in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. He is one of only 171 dentists worldwide who have been accredited in all four training levels in Orognathic Bioesthetics. He is a published author and has been a featured speaker locally and nationwide. For more information: www.rpmdentistry.com 562-421-3747

Holistic Dentistry-My View

Dr. Robert P. McBride, DDS, MAGD