The teeth and jaws are a vital part of your health and well being. You need them to eat healthy foods to maintain a healthy body for life. People are living longer and better as through science, we discover optimal ways to eat, exercise, live and prevent the development of disease.
Fifty years ago, the average life span was 65 years old and people had approximately 7 teeth left. Now, people are living well into their 80's and have about 17 teeth as they pass on. In the future, most people in the upcoming generations will keep all their teeth their whole long life.
Although teeth are many times thought of in a cosmetic way, they are really the cogs that support our upper and lower jaws in relation to one and the other. There is evidence and science emerging as we are discovering how the bite might affect blood flow to the brain, activity in the brain, the TMJ's and all the way down throught the neck and back posture.
As technology advances at an astronomical rate, we are able to see things in the human body we have never seen before. Now dentistry is looking past the teeth and gums and into the airway, nasal cavities, head, neck and back. Dentistry and medicine are merging together and we are now looking at each other's literature to find answers to questions emerging in our clinical practices.
Dr. Heit is a general dentist that collaborates with medical doctors and specialists in a multi-disciplinary approach to help people in chronic pain. There are differing opinions among health professionals on how to help people with TMD or chronic pain so it is important you are comfortable with your doctor and choices of treatment.
The new challenge for dentistry is to try to be as conservative as possible with restorative work and use materials and techniques that are more conservative and last longer than before. We need to carefully think about our treatment plan options in a way that preserves the teeth for the lifetime of the individual. That individual could live 100 years! We try to optimize the growth and development of the children so an optimal foundation is laid out for the teeth which support the jaws and can act as the top block of the stomatognathic system. The science and technology is advancing so fast that it makes the profession of dentistry very stimulating and exciting.
Dr. Heit's tips on what you can do to optimize your health
1. Eat a healthy diet. The Canada Food Guide is an excellent reference and can be found in our office as well as on line, in medical clinics, hospitals and nutritionists offices.
Health Canada Link: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/index-eng.php
2. Maintain a healthy weight. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularily is great for your health and longevity.
3. Enjoy and appreciate your healthy relationships. Find those positive people you know and surround yourself with them. Do the things you love. Laugh a lot. Teach a young person something valuable and make a difference in someone else's life.
4. Engage in preventative medicine and dentistry. Regular preventative check ups in both areas will provide you with information about your health to help guide your life in a healthy way. Don't wait for a law to wear seatbelts or to not use your cellphone while driving to make you use common sense about how you live your life with safety. Teach our next generation by example.
5. Take the time to get the proper sleep and rest. Normal sleep allows the body and mind to rest and repair itself so it can function optimally each day. If you lay in bed and don't sleep- figure out why. Think about how much caffiene or other drugs you take in. If you can't figure it out then ask your doctor. If you are so busy that you do not allow your body the proper rest it needs, consider a lifestyle change. Try to get the deep sleep you need by engaging in activities you may not have tried-like yoga, meditation and such. If you or your loved ones stop breathing during sleep-tell your doctor or dentist.p
6. Inform yourself.
Life is precious and limited. A high quality of life is priceless.
Remember your health.