Teeth Don’t Lie: A Different Perspective
Teeth Don’t Lie: A Different Perspective
Research shows a direct correlation between the acuity and capacity of a person’s memory, and the number of teeth they have.
It has long been demonstrated that the loss of teeth is troublesome. It’s an issue that influences the entire body because mastication impairment greatly alters nutrient intake.
Recent studies investigated the ability of learning and memory in relation to the parietal cortex (the touch, pain, temperature part of the brain) and the release of acetylcholine (ACh) – the chief neurotransmitter of the parasympathetic nervous system, that contracts smooth muscles, dilates blood vessels, increases bodily secretions, and slows heart rate.
Aged rats, their molars extracted, were fed powdered food, obtained by the successful navigation of a maze for 135 weeks.
The rats’ performance in the radial arm maze progressed with daily training. When compared to the control rats with intact teeth, it showed a notable increase in error numbers and a decrease in initial correct responses. It indicated spatial memory impairment in the teethless rats, suggesting that tooth loss may deteriorate the functionality of the cholinergic neuronal system.
This system is a branch of the central nervous system, where a population of cells have fundamental roles in the fine-tuning of the brain, while also controlling memory, heart rate, digestion, blood pressure and other autonomic functions.
Teeth belong to the trigeminal sensory pathway. Dental damage affects the inferior alveolar nerve – an important peripheral nerve for learning, memory behaviors and structural change. Cholinergic neuron degeneration from tooth loss causes an age-dependent reduction in the potassium chloride-evoked release of acetylcholine in the hippocampus, as well as being significantly diminished in the parietal cortex of elderly rats after tooth extraction.
Other studies have also confirmed reduced synthesis and release of acetylcholine – as well as dopamine – in the brain after molar extraction.
What these studies show is the possibility that losing teeth is one of the risk factors for senile dementia.
In 2022 it was confirmed that reduced mastication efficiency contributes to a measurable deterioration in cognitive function because of the jaw/brain connection. People with deteriorated chewing ability must be given additional attention to aid in the prevention of cognitive decline.
From the perspective of retired Danish holistic dentist Dorte Bredgaard there are spiritual aspects to dental health. As a health professional seeking answers to what instigates illness in some and not others, she discovered the influence feelings and emotions have in terms of disease occurrence – which includes the response by our teeth.
Acupuncture corresponds specific teeth to specific organs, and organs with emotions. The energy force (chi) between goes in both directions: an organ ailment may show in the mouth, or an oral issue may become apparent because of an organ response.
The idea of a cybernetic relationship isn’t new. And of course many health practitioners believe in the strong link between oral health and the wellbeing of the body as a whole.
Bredgaard’s interest in the connection between communication, emotions and dental diseases was piqued when two cavities of her own appeared without any changes her diet or oral health routine. An astrologist suggested that she had bad teeth because she ‘bit (her) tongue’ rather than biting back. That she was in a broken marriage at the time is what had her take note of this observation.
She refers to this connection as “the language of teeth” in which their messages are translated, and the by-product of utilising the wisdom and advice given is healing the mouth. In terms of tooth structure, enamel represents our defenses, dentine our emotional essence, dental pulp is life energy, the jawbone emotional support systems and the gum connects us to ourselves and the world around us.
Bredgaard maintains that teeth react to words not being spoken, and are affected by not speaking up for ourselves, and not expressing a truth. She holds the view that the core of all health imbalances is spiritual – that as quantum physics attests, mouth bacteria reacts to the thoughts and emotions of the soul, whereupon they react accordingly in a positive or negative manner.
Receding gums are the manifestation of excessive control, and any bleeding or infection is related to self-compromise and loss of identity.
Periodontal disease – the condition that destroys jawbone – is most often asymptomatic, and is discovered only by a dentist measuring gum pockets. Up to a 3mm depth is normal; 5mm marks the diagnosis of the disease. Without intervention teeth will loosen and fall out, or need extracting when they’re more bothersome than beneficial.
In accordance with Bredgaard’s psychological momentum, periodontal disease is the physical result of continually triggering old patterns of feeling exploited, disregarded, personally attacked and not being supported, without recognising their personal responsibility within it all.
Bredgaard’s therapy protocol is to face up to the personal responsibility in that. All oral issue treatments are to become conscious of the emotion and its source, and act on it. Call out the person who disrespects your boundaries. Understand all that is important to you, say what you mean, and really mean what you say.
Science often uses terms interchangeably when discussing and describing what it is aligning with and what it is not. Theory, hypothesis, knowledge, information, fact, results and findings are common terms that while similar in meaning, are not synonymous and can lead to misinterpretation.
Scientific knowledge is what is gained from science information, or through their own research. Science information is a collection of facts based on the evidence of peer-reviewed studies.
What is considered true and correct varies according to the extent of the research, when the papers were published, and the amount of supportive evidence. Included in this is information that may be considered true, but is yet to be methodically and clinically tested; some home remedies and alternative therapies fall into this category.
A statement of fact explains a phenomenon by the evidence proving it.
Hypotheses, theories and facts can later be disproved, as often happens with evolving processes, techniques and equipment. A theory can be validated, reframed, modified or rejected according to evidence. If it’s refuted it must be discarded and no longer referred to as a theory. Without proof, scientific information is merely assumption, while believing something with little or incomplete evidence, is just an opinion.
Opinions may or may not be true – but they are important in the development of new ideas and new hypotheses and they bring new science to be tested or rejected by research.
Deciphering the difference between a scientific opinion, an un-cited statement of fact and common knowledge (being that which is generally accepted without question) can be challenging.
Even moreso when certified professionals find connection with alternative healing paradigms. Questions about legitimacy in terms of treatment can arise with this human drive to unravel and understand the secrets of the body, mind and spirit.
That teeth don’t lie is less certain than the long-term evidence that people do: not always intentionally; also inadvertently, accidentally, and by omission.
The empirical evidence is that tooth loss interferes with memory function because of the vital neurological connection. To theorise a connection being present on other levels within a complex system with already proven interrelationships, may one day be supported by research and peer-reviewed documentation.
Both a mind and a mouth can be open, or closed. And that’s no lie.
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