Holistic Oral Health Debunked: Part 4

“90% of all heart attacks are initially caused by oral pathogens.” This is the last and perhaps most audacious claim that is made by proponents of the “Holistic Oral Health Summit” that took place a few weeks ago that I will address in this series. While there is significant evidence that inflammation does contribute to heart disease, the 90% number is just plain unsubstantiated. And, …

Holistic Oral Health Debunked: Part 3

“Root canal procedures may increase your risk of cancer and other degenerative diseases.” This is the 3rd claim and a common one among the holistic, alternative and functional community.   In my estimation, this is one, along with the “bone cavitation” theories, present the greatest danger to good oral health care. These people maintain that it is impossible to clean out an infected root …

Holistic Oral Health Debunked: Part 2

The second claim being made by the Holistic Oral Health Summit docs is “Reversing gum disease can help with digestive problems”. This claim actually makes sense to me at a certain level, but is a gross and perhaps dangerous and misleading oversimplification. The mouth is the beginning of the digestive tract and hence, what happens there would logically have some …

Holistic Oral Health Claims Debunked: Part 1

It’s hard to know what’s true anymore.  I’m not talking about the “fake news.” I’m talking about health news.   The internet has overloaded us with both good and bad information.  Making sense of it all is getting more and more challenging. This week, there’s an online “summit” to discuss oral health issues.  It’s sponsored by members of the “alternative,” “holistic” or “integrative” healthcare world. Like …

The Changing Landscape of Healthcare

With Cold and Flu season upon us, many have resorted to getting care at places other than the traditional Doctor’s office.  Convenience and cost are 2 compelling reasons that these “Doc In The Box” clinics have become ubiquitous.  There’s one in every strip mall in suburbia and on many corners in the City. Seems harmless;  Go into CVS and get …

A Ban on Words

I want to thank everyone who sent kind messages of condolence to Laurie and me on my mother in-law’s passing. I want to thank the many of you who also made donations in her memory. Thank you so much. I’ve tried to stay apolitical in these blogs, but I’m frustrated, concerned, and dare I say, frightened at what’s happening. I …

The Health-Insurance-Finance ENIGMA

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” -Buddha As Health is indeed “The Greatest Gift,” regaining or maintaining it should be a matter of serious focus and attention. Using “taking my insurance” or finances as the sole criteria of choosing a dentist, physician or other health professional comes with risks and responsibilities. The attitude …

It’s not the quantity, but the quality!

I’m talking about sleep. After finishing a mini-residency in Dental Sleep Medicine at Tufts nearly 5 years ago, I have continued to monitor the latest developments in the field. I have a new appreciation of how important sleep is to overall health and wellbeing. Contrary to what seems to be common wisdom, people who sleep 6.5-7.5 hours night live longer …

Dental Residents at Columbia Presbyterian

When I started teaching Dental Residents at Columbia Presbyterian, “burnout” was a major topic of concern in the profession. It still is. Most dentists (and physicians) are unhappy at work. In order to help my residents, I would tell them that to be happy in their careers and lives, they would need to find their motivations and feed them while …

Do It Yourself Healthcare

There is now yet another entry into the market.  You can now order a kit to take a mold of your mouth, send it to a company who will give you clear aligners to straighten your teeth. This “club” promises straight teeth.  Sounds great!  Everyone wants straight teeth and a beautiful smile.  Right? Do it yourself (DIY) healthcare is a trend, …