Functional Dentistry Connects Oral Health to Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease
The focus of functional medicine—whole person health care—easily expands to include dentists trained in oral systemic health. Currently embraced by a small percentage of today’s farsighted dentists and doctors, this relatively new field of prevention and wellness views the mouth as a key portal when considering the status of the whole body. Similar to the way doctors of Oriental medicine assess the heart’s pulse to help diagnose health issues throughout the body, these systemic health dentists consider the gums, tongue, teeth and throat to be key signals of overall health.
American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH) Executive Director Bobbie Delsasso was a periodontal hygienist for more than 30 years before becoming a consultant and public speaker on the larger perspective. “I taught patients about the importance of good nutrition and alerted them to consult their physician regarding what their mouth health might indicate about their body’s health,” she says. While the academy educates dental professionals to understand the internal workings of nutrition and what the mouth reveals about overall well-being, “Less than 6 percent of physicians even learn adequate basics of nutrition in medical schools,” she notes. READ MORE