What in the world is “functional this” or “functional that”?
The term “Functional Medicine” is being used throughout the alternative medicine community. What if functional medicine could uncover the causes of most chronic diseases.? And now, there is a new term on the block – “Functional Dentistry”. What if functional dentistry could identify the essential causes of dental diseases – once and for all?
The adjective “functional” in functional medicine and functional dentistry attempts to describe the intent of determining the most fundamental underlying causes of disease. Like peeling an onion – layer by layer – until the hidden core is revealed.
Functional Medicine and Functional Dentistry should be the “MO” for healthcare professionals. These doctors should be looking for the most basic factors, which could initiate disease on a cellular level. Their discovery could lead to thinking way out of the box. But currently, “functional” is outside the mainstream of our healthcare system.
Today, “functional medicine” is not recognized by the American Medical Association. And “functional dentistry” is not recognized by the American Dental Association. Organized medicine and organized dentistry have not embraced these concepts. Yet, functional medicine and functional dentistry will play significant roles in healthcare because they emphasize prevention of disease and attention to the cellular changes in the manifestation of disease.
Specifically, functional dentistry is starting to be embraced by a select number of dentists who are open-minded and see beyond conventional practice. The essence of functional dentistry is to look at lifestyle, diet, and the environment and in turn their effects on dental diseases. In fact, functional dentistry is starting to evaluate how specific dental procedures may have been a contributing factor in other diseases of the body. Examples are mercury fillings and inappropriately performed root canals.
Most dentists fix broken down teeth and treat infected mouths by repairing the damages resulting from dental diseases and trauma. They may touch on some of the conventionally accepted causes like dental plaque and bacteria in the mouth. Conventional dentists may tell you, “Brush harder”, or “Floss more often”, or “Don’t eat so much junk food or sugar”. But there isn’t much detail in those statements.
Functional dentists go much deeper in thought and examination. They still fix the damage done, but they also investigate eating habits, lifestyle habits, and breathing habits. Functional dentists look for airway obstruction, toxic substance exposure, and many other factors that contribute to the breakdown of the teeth, the jawbone, the soft tissues of the mouth and the gut, and the overall immune system. Functional dentists see the body as an integrated human machine, where anything affecting one part of the body will affect all the other parts eventually.
One of the factors I emphasize with my patients is their diet. First, I offer them a 3-Day Food Journal to complete so I can evaluate their food choices. Then, we go over nutritious foods to eat. Finally, I will suggest some healthier choices to replace unhealthy food choices I discovered in their Food Journal.
Also, I address their gut microbiome, sleeping and breathing habits, positions of their teeth and tongue, unhealthy biting forces, and toxic materials in their mouth and in the environment.
Before they leave my office, we discuss, and I demonstrate, efficient ways to clean their mouth.
My Offer to You
At this point in my life, I want to “give back” and “pay it forward”. I have written some important and well-researched documents, which I want to share with you and everyone who are interested. Email me at Dr.Danenberg@icloud.com and request my PDFs for my “30-Day Reset Diet” and “How to Clean Your Mouth”. I will send these documents to your email along with my belief that you will receive significant benefits from them.
Functional dentists look at the overall body and the environment. They understand the possible connections. They know that we do not live in a vacuum. Sometimes, a team of health professionals are brought together to properly treat the patient. Once the underlying causes are determined, then eliminating these core issues can improve dental health as well as the overall health outcome for the patient.
What if functional dentistry could identify the essential causes of dental diseases? This could change the future of dentistry forever!