Sick lady

Are your teeth causing your medical condition?

Have you ever stared in the mirror and asked yourself, “Why do I look and feel 10 years older than I really am?” Are you afraid that if you visit your doctor they’ll advise you to take a cocktail of drugs to regain your health? They have a drug for every medical condition on the planet: depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, diabetes, insomnia… Are you feeling frustrated? You’re not alone.

A recent national survey of 5000 adults conducted by Medicines Australia found that more than half where taking at least one medication on prescription. Our biggest fears were the fear of getting cancer followed by the obesity epidemic plaguing our children.

In the 2014 financial year, just over AU$9.1 billion dollars was spent on prescription medicines. Australians by Western standards are health conscious, however, and there has been a significant rise in the use of natural and complementary medicines over the past few years. We spent in total AU$3.5 billion dollars on natural (non-prescription) supplements in the past 12 months and this is estimated to grow by a further AU$1 billion dollars in the next 12 months.

A pill for every ill

I have always had a passion for helping people but never fancied the mindset dogma of needing a “pill for every ill”. Ask any practising doctor if he or she would gladly swallow the cocktail of drugs they prescribe to the sick and elderly for their medical conditions and, if they are genuine, they would be reluctant to do so. Today’s doctors have a duty of care to prescribe whatever drugs are necessary to bring their patients bodies “back to normal” based often on a set of blood and pathology tests. While many doctors would love to play “medical sleuth” and find the underlying cause of many of the symptoms patients complain about, practically speaking this is not always possible.

I have found over the past two decades that your teeth and jaw play a significant role in your overall health and wellbeing. Many of the chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, heart disease and chronic pain have their origins right here: between the top of your head and your shoulders. I  felt this discovery was so significant and profound that I began looking for others in the field of integrative medicine who concurred with my findings.

The links between your teeth and general health

I began to find links between chronic reflux disease and poor breathing, links between sleep apnea and high blood pressure and even links between poor body posture and a poor dental bite!

There is now a strong body of evidence that confirms the many health links that our teeth and jaw have with the rest of our body. In 1989, two Scandinavian reports proved a strong association between high rates of dental and gum infections with the higher risk of suffering a heart attack. It was a result of these studies and others that followed that the entire medical profession started to ensure that all patients got screened for dental decay and other infections prior to elective medical procedures! The “so-called” dental clearance became an essential component of assessing a patient prior to any general anaesthetic procedure.

Source: Al Fonder, Best of basal facts

On a different note, a dentist way back in October of 1968 (nearly 50 years ago) treated a 16-year-old boy with worn-down teeth and a crooked spinal deformity called a “scoliosis”.  The dentist built up the boy’s teeth and took a follow-up chest x-ray one week later. To the amazement of the dentist and parents of the boy, his scoliosis had completely disappeared and this spine had straightened up! A picture of this boy’s spine is shown here.

If these findings have been known for nearly 50 years, then why have they not become mainstream? Sadly, so many people have suffered unnecessarily in our society because these and other findings between the teeth and body have not been publicised and promoted.

Since making these discoveries, I have taken a keen and passionate interest in understanding what medical conditions my patients were dealing with. Why? Because I wanted to know whether there was any possibility that their teeth or jaws were responsible for making their medical conditions worse or even if they were the cause of their chronic disease in the first place.

There was one time when an elderly lady came in to see me for a new set of false teeth. She had been suffering with upper body tremors and slurred speech for the past decade (similar to someone suffering with Parkinson’s disease). She had been treated for the past decade with strong medications that did little to improve her condition.

I had discovered from my research at the time that, for some people suffering with involuntary and disturbing muscle movement disorders, an instability of the jaw was the main culprit. Being eager to check if I could help this lady with her tremors, I provided her with a properly fitting set of dentures that balanced her jaw and allowed her to chew well. To my amazement, as soon as I asked her to place the dentures in her mouth her tremors stopped! I relayed my findings to her doctor and the patient was delighted that I had given her new teeth and also the first glimmer of hope that there was a solution to her medical problem.

The road to recovery starts now!

Today, I urge you all to educate yourself about your health and wellbeing. Many of you have suffered for too long with ill-health, fatigue and chronic pain and have spent a fortune on medication and treatments that have simply not worked. I challenge you to consider that the answers to your health problems may lie in the health of your teeth and jaw.

Since new-found knowledge has the potential to make a life-changing impact on people’s health, I personally feel a moral obligation to share it with you so that it can impact all of us in a positive way. And on this note I quote the inspirational words of the late Nelson Mandela, who once said: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Dr Nader Malik

Dr Nader Malik

Dr Nader Malik is a cosmetic and integrative dentist whose core treatment philosophy is to make a visible difference to the lives of his patients so that they can be inspired to laugh, smile and share the same experience with others! As a whole-body dentist, he focuses on understanding and treating the strong links between the teeth and the rest of the body. He also enjoys working with medical doctors and allied health professionals to ensure the best outcomes for his patients. Dr Malik practises at Our Medical Dental in Penrith, NSW Australia.

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