The oral-systemic disease connection has long been established (recall older recommendations for prophylactic antibiotics before dental work in individuals with endocarditis or joint implants), but with the emerging data on the oral microbiome, new attention is being paid to oral health and the prevention of diseases ranging from cardiovascular to autoimmune and more. A transient bacteremia is the normal course after brushing, but when there is a breakdown in oral health and alterations to the oral microbiome, this transient bacteremia leads to chronic, systemic inflammation, contributing to the course of systemic disease. There is much we can do to support our patients in correcting this inflammation, not the least of which includes a healthy, sugar-free diet; regular cleanings and appropriate brushing techniques. Ideally, the dentist is a part of the functional medicine team.
Disordered sleep breathing is a wide-spread, underappreciated problem in children and adults. Once thought to be primarily stress or trauma related, bruxism is now understood to be evidence of disordered breathing (see reference link below). Additionally, a scalloped or fissured tongue (macroglossia) also contribute to disordered sleep breathing.
In this clinical pearl-packed podcast, Dr. Burhenne covers:
KARA FITZGERALD, ND, received her doctorate of naturopathic medicine from National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She completed the first CNME (Council of Naturopathic Medical Education)-accredited post-doctorate position in nutritional biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix Clinical Laboratory (now Genova) under the direction of Richard Lord, Ph.D. Her residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center, a large, integrative medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Fitzgerald is a lead author and co-editor with J. Alexander Bralley, Ph.D. of The Metametrix Institute’s Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine, a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine’s updated Textbook for Functional Medicine. She has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. One of her most recent articles is a case report on the efficacy of the functional medicine in addressing diabetes which was written with Dr. Hyman and Kathie Swift and published July 2015 in the Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Research. Dr. Fitzgerald lectures globally on functional medicine, in India, Hong Kong and the UK. She is on faculty at the Institute for Functional Medicine and is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. She was formerly on faculty at University of Bridgeport in the School of Human Nutrition and the School of Naturopathic Medicine. She is a clinician researcher for The Institute for Therapeutic Discovery and maintains a private practice in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
Dr. Fitzgerald also shares her latest clinical pearls and insights for clinicians and patients in her monthly blog and podcast which can be found at drkarafitzgerald.com.