ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
CANCER
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
CAREGIVING
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
1976 Italian Dioxin Release Damaged Babies' Thyroids
Exhaust From Railroad Diesel Linked to Lung Ailments
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
FITNESS
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
More Single Women Are Having Babies
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Natural Therapies for Menopause
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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