ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
CANCER
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
CAREGIVING
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Functional Foods Uncovered
The Best Diet? That Depends on You
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Heavy Traffic Can Be Heartbreaking
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
FITNESS
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Multivitamins Might Prolong Life
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
When It Comes to Toys, Shop Smart, Shop Safe
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
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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