Is Periodontal Disease A Professionally Perpetuated Prevarication?
Is Periodontal Disease A Professionally Perpetuated Prevarication?
It’s not an uncommon experience. Almost 20% of the worldwide adult population make up this epidemiology and it has important implications.
Is this prevalence a new story? Is it dental disinformation? Is it traceable to the Industrial Revolution as many health issues are?
Is it primarily diet, lifestyle or DNA related?
Periodontal disease is a disease of much dis-ease. And frankly, with all the available science and technology, the dedicated studies and the acute awareness of its global health impact, what makes it so challenging to cure? We successfully explore deep space. We cipher, flow and flummox global financial crises with cryptocurrency, and mess with humanness by craftily grafting a metaverse.
We are are unanimously and equally tantalised and terrified by nanotechnology, technoscience, and AI et al while our teeth are falling out of our heads.
It appears that there’s cancer, and there’s gum disease. Both prevalent, life-altering, life-shortening or life-ending with the general acceptance of really having no cure. Just expert mix-n-max menus for managing the malignant. A tyranny of treatments and timing. Transfuse, target, trust and take on; the misuse and manipulation of data the hardest of pills to swallow. Like an impractically-sized tablet routinely crushed and downed in grapefruit juice.
Periodontal disease is not new.
Unlike childhood obesity, or working out what percentage of Elon Musk is living technology and how many definitions a human can have of zieself. Gum disease has left a bad taste in the mouths of humans for at least the last four thousand years.
Its symptoms were first noted during the Bronze Age of early metal tools and wisdom, not the current bronze age of tans and wishdom from the I’m-not-dead-yet set.
Whether people are part of the fitness set, the coffee set, the yoga set, the chess set, the movie set or the recreational drug set, the incomplete clique for most of us after the age of 45 is our set of teeth. The removal or loss of any tooth increases the likelihood of some type of cosmetic dental procedure (and yes, whitening counts).
At 32, Hollywood icon Clark Gable effectively had a complete set of dentures as the legacy of gum disease in his younger years. Pyorrhoea, it was. A bacterial infection, and soooo 1933. It certainly sounds much worse than periodontal disease. Like an amoeba with diarrhoea squatting in the House of Augustus that is your mouth.
There’s one simple way of remembering the difference between pyorrhoea and periodontal disease is to know that there is no difference; same same. Pyorrhoea is the Kentucky Fried Chicken branding of KFC.
Try labelling gum issues as ‘pyorrhoea’ to see how that changes the whole idea of it. ‘Periodontal disease’ somehow sounds more clinically easier to treat, more stately to have, more able to talk about over coffee.
Or a few drinks depending on the news.
That gum disease is indiscriminate and that it comes in many colours is worth bearing in mind.
It can be completely asymptomatic – no bleeding, no tenderness – until an infection hits the pocket and the whole game is up.
There is irony and insult to the insidious injury by stealth of this sub-clinical version of cakehole disease. Without symptoms, there’s less reason to see your dentist. After all, you don’t go to the doctor to tell them you feel fine. Even a 6-monthly check-up won’t happen in the belief that things are pretty good in the dental department; it’ll be okay to delay that professional clean for a bit …
So diagnosis often comes at a much later, more complex treatment stage than for those who do experience something in the range of common symptoms.
Were we to be truly honest with ourselves, the mainstream attitude to dentists, and our oral health is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Or fix it, and don’t faint going broke.
Either way we’re not drilling it into ourselves that the two best and simplest places to target for better, easily maintained health, is your mouth and your gut.
It’s not hard. It’s not a grim thing like having to take care of piles or a boil on your back – both of which you are unlikely to have by just taking conscious care of those previous two things.
In doing that you’ll experience the effortless phenomenon of the human body being able to take care of itself.
There is a proven connection between the gut, the heart and the brain. Mythology has always known it. Hippocrates knew it because our bodies have always told it that way. Now that science knows it, it must be true …
And if gut feelings have little meaning, then let science talk.
Let science talk to the brain, history talk to the heart, and emotion can d&m deal with the gut. That way, like having good oral health everything’s pretty well covered.
With that in mind, when it comes to the importance of having a healthy mouth, consider yourself a time-travelling history buff, ruling the Roman Empire before it had fallen and couldn’t get up again.
Recognise your military force of 32 life-long soldiers, recruited when you were about seven and signed up to be there with your last breath.
Acknowledge the hard time you gave them with lollies for quite a while and that it’s not really been until now that you’re already grateful for their incredible biting, chewing, grinding force.
It’s an army, like Napoleon said, that marches on its stomach. Only apparently he didn’t say it according to records that aren’t there. So maybe it was Frederick the Great.
Who knows in this world of time travel and anti-matter.
Be skilled in this new, ancient administrative role you’re taking in the condition, strength and asset of your mouth – it’s a bureaucracy. Keep organised records, make appointments, follow treatments, make changes. Do your own research.
Own your mouth. Have a dentist you adore and tell them why.
And drink more water. Honestly. Make water a favoured drink; water – not mineral water, not soda water. Naked water, without bubbles or flavours or added vitamins. Without venal bottles, and ad campaigns clearly showing health and vitality before they actually drink it.
No empty bottles are ever shown lest it immediately bring to mind the trashing of our oceans.
So be formidable in the engineering of your knowledge. Understand the level of comfort that makes processing new information easier for and work from there. Set parameters. Knowing nothing makes it hard; you can never know it all, and don’t become one. You are not a dentist, no matter that the Google bible tells you so.
Building and nurturing healthy and balanced mouth microbiome is a food-based solution. So it can only ever help in the oral duty of first stage digestion and absorption. It maintains the optimum communication and protection of the gut, from where the rest of body is its sprawling empire.
You are that ruling Roman. Known to have been gruesome. Or generous. Depending on the rampage.
Often the internal skirmishes are the worst.
The global oral health ship is basically the (RMS) Titanic. Even those with incredible measures of wealth are in the same boat with better meals and a more lofty height from which to fall.
Understand that even those truly set apart as the measure of the jet set are in the same oral health boat but with better meals and cabin stewards. Think Whitney Houston, Tom Cruise, Demi Moore: cosmetic dentistry beautifully done. Kudos to Lauren Hutton, Anna Paquin, Eddie Murphy for unapologetically veering away from veneers to highlight the charm of variance.
Madonna would have once been applauded and that’s challenging now. She seems to have bravely though inadvertently embody that unknown divergence of the old and the numbingly new. Desperately seeking significance in territory largely unknown.
In the realm of actors with an extra language their teeth talk, there is not one as astounding as John Turturro. He who convinces us every time of the complexities of the outcast of outcasts. Eyes that speak liquid and vulpine teeth that make characters seem profoundly broken.
I read somewhere once that Turturro has a benevolent interest in public dental healthcare. Something I didn’t expect that I really expected from this intriguing actor’s actor until I stumbled upon it.
Just like Napoleon, there was nothing verifiable.
So it’s a claim that will remain rumour. It adds to the endearing and unending possibilities of Turturro; the one who was there on the screen as Pino, while Barack and Michelle sat in the dark of their first date watching Spike Lee’s ‘Do The Right Thing’.
(Ahh, the oracles of retro-prophesies. A game the whole gender spectrum can play without fear or favour. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon but instead rewinding events and timelines, rather than the gluing, screwing and synchronistic queuing of people.)
You’d think great stories would come from when a President met a man of significance in his life, and a man of significance met a President.
I know who’s the luckiest in that scenario and he has a beautifully confident and wide, white-teeth smile.
Wanting beautiful teeth and ignoring the importance of gum health is as impossible a pretence as greed-and-war mongering not completely compromising the planet.
Again – a hard concept for some, it seems.
It appears to thrive in any land where reason and ridicule smoke behind the canteen and have a squawking baby later. It’s as tough a concept as so little being achieved in treating a worldwide oral disease that is definitively linked to either the onset but most certainly exacerbation, of a conga line of chronic disease.
Pyorrhoea, once Rigg’s disease aka periodontitis, affects the heart, the pancreas, the digestive and circulatory systems and the brain.
So taking you back to sometime before 1937 when the American Academy of Periodontology had a few brandies and decided the lexicon needed ‘periodontal disease’ to elbow and guffaw ‘pyorrhea’ out of the way.
No less fantastic, relatively speaking, than there being more focus, research and published results on the addictability of Doritos, than effective progress in the successful treatment and eradication of gum disease causing bacteria.
So is periodontal disease really a thing?
I once saw a convincing YouTube by a middle-aged Australian dentist on the curative effects a particular strength of Manuka honey had on eradicating periodontal disease causing bacteria below the gum line. (30 or 50+?)
I just happened across it one night sometime in 2016. I watched it once, bookmarked it and then it disappeared. That particular dentist had presaged the probability of his video being taken down.
It seems it was.
It also appeared that he’d proven his hypothesis that contemporary treatments compromise the very cells and structures you’re trying to clean and heal.
Is pyorrhea-perio simply the spin-the-wheel focus of the decade? Who really knows?
If the Manuka honey dentist was a fake, he was a very good one.
Could the diagnosis of periodontal disease be the oral equivalent of ‘80s Ritalin kids?
Most Ritalin kids didn’t have their diet, exercise, sleeping patterns, stress levels and periods of pleasure taken into consideration either. Nor did were the environmental aspects that matter explored, like boundaries and routines and the rhythm and flow (or not) of their daily lives.
For all that remains unresolved, a behaviour or symptom will manifest.
So there’s really no escape.
Leaving your oral health unresolved because of embarrassment or shame or needing help reviewing your finances means that having healthy gums and teeth is less of a dream than enjoying a lifetime of good nutrition.
You do know that eventually, not caring for your mouth leads to function falters and fails.
And that’s across the board: cognitively, physically, spiritually. Any sense of general wellbeing loses its enticements and freedoms. Doesn’t matter which of those three is affected first – they ultimately bring each other down like three siblings who hate each other’s guts.
Instead of hating each other’s guts, they should each be loving their own. Feeding it, and weeding it of diabolical, balance-disturbing flora and fauna that’s as chronically destructive as introduced species.
If you really do want to have control of your moods, take control of your foods.
Maybe next time you think you want something ultra-processed ultra-packaged and ultra-convenient in either hot, warm, crunchy, squishy or cold, imagine an unstoppable introduced species about to ravage your natural and unique environment.
A cane toad.
A very ugly, very 1935, very quick fix cane toad.
One fossicked for and found amid an elapsing consideration for the greater good: your own robust health. That doesn’t rely on the advice and care of a collapsing public health system. Robust health, which alleviates the double-bonded stress of ailing and failing in a rapidly declining life devoid of contentment and independence.
All the unhealthy and pseudo-food conveniences are cane toads.
Cane toad beget more cane toads. There’s no sugar coating that. Ask Western Australia and the Territory about that because you sure can’t ask the native fauna. They won’t be there.
For the betterment of yourself, your country and the world, stop scoffing at the trough of indecently packaged, duplicitously digestible cane toads. Each one brought to you by the only people profiting from the gross invasion of people’s health. The more you eat of it, the more it will continue to exist, and the better their intentional targeting of each of us in identifying exactly when we’re not able or willing to feel uncomfortable by not self-service-soothing with junk food, because we’re already feeling uncomfortable enough.
It’s the kind of thinking that makes us avoid dental appointments. We judge ourselves harshly a lot of the time; so the last thing we want is to feel judged by a professional and successful guy who isn’t going to believe that I floss daily (because I don’t) and that I don’t drink as much black coffee as I do.
Maybe it’s time to relearn the joy of discomfort.
The sensation of being acutely aware of what you know you don’t know.
As kids it’s processed as a natural curiosity of mercurial flow. Somehow that becomes stealthily hardened and hammered and forged into something completely different, and somewhat unrecognisable.
A sort of cutting-edge Madonna Complex of the second age of the bronzed, maybe.
It doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter whether pyorrhoea is periodontal disease and that periodontal disease is the ADHD of dentistry.
Not caring for our own dental health based on cost and inconvenience is such false economy fluttering ridiculously false eyelashes: caring for and paying for our dental health is caring for and paying for our mental and physiological health as well.
That’s pretty convenient. Like a meal deal from the drive-thrus we’ve decided to not line up in anymore.
Hard when you have 32 soldiers on board; sobering if a few have already fallen.
Junk food used to at least be social. You actually went into the joint to eat, rather than scarfing it down while negotiating a red light and a right hand turn. Other than harried mothers bribing squabbling kids and overweight dad snacks before dinner, the drive-thru was only otherwise for teens whose classmate’s shift was at the window.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; until you’ve lived long enough to know it was the best of the best of times.
Before feeling naturally stupefied by artificial intelligence, there was the time of natural stupidity with the artful ploy of rarely applying intelligence: the common state of the average adolescent. A time when the only thing to watch out for was a manager – not a camera; not a computerised register.
Offloading buckets of food to your friends for the price of a large chips was considered a folly, not a felony of youth. It was viewed as a lark and not some corporate snark and the general consequence was an unceremonious firing.
No plaintiffs or defendants were ever harmed in the process.
Chickens? Definitely. Plenty of chickens were harmfully harmed in the process of all that processing.
If there’s any felony mentioned here, it is that accessible, affordable and complete oral care isn’t included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, despite its measurable advantage and long-term benefit. The crime is that the best public dental health models in the world aren’t adopted by countries that can replicate them.
And that effectively caring for the dental health of countries in crisis isn’t a global goal.
It’s the thinking that happens when in Rome, doing as the Roman master of their own oral empire – everything’s expansive.
To be able to truthfully tell such a melliferous tale well, requires that teeth be tightly tethered to the gums.
You need to be sure of that, and you can’t tell. Your dentist can so make an appointment. These are highly skilled people, trained in the early detection of many potential issues – some of which can be treated on the spot.
In the world of technobiology, the early bird that catches the worm finds out it’s a giant wormhole.
Which in terms of your dental health, is that quantum leap when timely interventions and opportunities for simpler treatments are too long in the tooth.
Reasoned and responsible change that commits to a new oral health self-narrative is a story worth telling.
It begins with a dedication. To the gratitude and appreciation of the immeasurable benefit of consciously investing in our own oral health.
Always, there will be stories of defeat. Ones that end under a deft-tale tarp defense that boils down to just another version of consumables – Cane Toad Of Cane Toad Hall To Inflammatory Diseases And Disappointments.
That’s never your story.
Yours is of Roman. Of formidable reputation, power and skill. Governing an inimitable enamel security force, protecting the future ancient empire.
Note: All content and media on the Bacchus Marsh Dental House website and social media channels are created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.
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