Is This Doctor Missing From Your Healthcare Team?
If a law were passed saying that a holistic doctor could only practice one “alternative” method, then I would keep my dentist! –Dr. Thomas Rau
We live in interesting times, especially when it comes to matters of health. Think about the things we have to worry about that weren’t even on our parents’ radar—GMOs, pesticides, bis-GMA from plastics, and electromagnetic pollution. My mom thinks I worry too much, but the truth is a McDonald’s meal during my childhood could probably be served in a health food restaurant today.
Today’s healthcare practitioners are faced with new challenges daily. Treatments and therapies that were highly effective all of a sudden stop working altogether. But in their quest to solve evermore complex health issues, practitioners often overlook one of the most common barriers to achieving better health: the oral cavity.
Dr. Thomas Rau, medical director of the Paracelsus Clinic, in Switzerland (widely regarded as the top integrative medical center in Europe), recently spoke at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, in Tempe. In his lecture, he talked about the large number of patients who travel to his clinic from all over the world, particularly from the United States. Despite arriving with “their suitcases full of lab tests,” he continues to be surprised that nobody had ever bothered to look in their mouths.
Two of the 10 doctors at the Paracelsus Clinic are dentists, and they are the first stop for any new patient arriving at his facility. In fact, every new patient’s consultation is done with a panoramic dental X-ray in hand.
Panoramic X-ray machines are common in dental offices, and you may have had one of these images taken during a past visit to the dentist. While not detailed enough to show decay in its earliest stage (like the X-rays usually taken at cleaning visits), this X-ray unit rotates around your head, and in a matter of 10 to 15 seconds, captures a wealth of information with very minimal radiation exposure.
Before even starting a comprehensive oral examination, much is known about the patient’s dental history and what conditions are present that may be affecting their oral and overall health.
Visible in this panoramic X-ray are the jaw joints (1), the sinuses (2), root canals (3), implants (4), missing teeth (5), and even the nerve running through the jaw bone (6). In many cases, we can also determine the presence of bone loss due to gum disease, dental lesions (due to an abscess, cyst or tumor) and location of metallic restorations.
In recent years, dentists have become much more aware of the oral-systemic connection. A close examination of the oral cavity and a quality panoramic X-ray should be an essential part of your path to achieving or maintaining good health.
By addressing toxins and infections in the mouth, Rau is able to help patients from all over the world. Find a good practitioner who is willing to consider what is going on in your oral cavity; after all, you shouldn’t have to go to Switzerland for someone to look in your mouth.
Dr. Ingo Mahn is a 1985 graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry. He is an accredited member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) and earned a doctorate in integrative medicine from Capital University, in Georgetown. He recently opened Natural Dental Partners, a high-tech, health-centered practice in North Phoenix. For more information, call 602-775-5120 or visit MyNaturalDentist.com (website includes a list of his upcoming live seminars).