I wrote this post several years ago. I'm back on track and grateful for it, but last week, I had the chance to speak to the Icons of Dentistry, women who have been trailblazers in their field.I also had the opportunity to meet one of my heroes, Dr. Dan Fischer. Dr. Fischer is the founder of Ultradent, an inventor, entrepreneur and modern day abolitionist. His work heals and literally sets the captive free. Read about him and ask yourself what else you can do. In the meantime, let's all take better care of the only self we have.
Okay boys and girls, remember two things; you can’t shoot the messenger and the messenger had to take the first hit.
Wellness begins in your mouth; not just with the things you say, but also rather literally with your mouth.
Last week, I did something that I had neglected for a rather long time. It had been 3 years since my last “visit” to the dentist. Prior to then I went more than regularly with 6-8 visits and cleanings a year.I have been blessed with great teeth. At 52 I’ve never had a cavity. A great deal of that is because of the care I had given my teeth, but let’s face it, the other part is pure genetics.
My genetic juice also blessed with me gums that require a deep cleaning every 6 years, but that too had been neglected.
So last week when I broke down and made an appointment (which only happened because my daughter needed to go,) I was embarrassed by the state of my oral health.
Wellness truly starts in the mouth. Your physician probably won’t tell you, because quite frankly, they don’t know, but the lack of oral health is related to heart disease, strokes, joint pain and diabetes. The bacteria of gum disease can get into your blood stream causing a slow and painful death.(Read more about the oral systemic connection)
If your mouth is not well, your body will not be either.
As my mouth put Michele and Dr. Breitberg through a workout, I cried out in pain. When Michelle, the hygienist asked if I was okay, I told her that everything hurt. She was about to call the doctor in for more Novocain when I stopped her and managed to say that the pain came from the realization that I had been caring for my mother, my children, family, dogs and friends, but I had forgotten to take care of my own mouth.As I cried, I vowed to not let it happen again. I had another appointment with the dentist but I moved it up and got back in sooner.
The gum cleaning not only made my teeth look better; it made my body feel better too. The aches and pains I had been feeling in my back and knees have miraculously gone away.I find most dentists to be a humble lot. They don’t tend to make big bold claims of miracle drugs and treatments, but what they know about the connection between the nerves in your mouth and those in your body will astonish you.
If I told you that there was a way to avoid a heart attack or stroke would you listen?There is and I’m telling you---get to the dentist.
Before you buy another pair of shoes, a dress or even a cup of coffee, put your money where your mouth is and see a dentist.
Be you, be well, be smiling.
Bertice Berry, PhD.