Holistic Medicine

Holistic Medicine

What word comes to your mind immediately when you hear the word "health"? Many of you will say "not to be ill." But what exactly is "health"? According to the World Health Organization, "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." In other words, health is not the opposite of disease; it is the state of the body existing in balance.

Recently, the "holistic medicine" approach has been talked about more often. We, three physician friends, explained the holistic perspective on health six years ago. We published a book called "Yeni İnsan (A New Human)." At that time, a pandemic was something that occurred in the early 1900s. Health was simply not talked about very much. Now, I feel as if we wrote that book specifically for these recent days.

The aim of holistic medicine is to increase people's physical healing capacity and to prevent illness. Eating properly/nutritiously, sleeping regularly/adequately, engaging in sports, and drinking water are indispensable companions of this process. In addition, countless factors including the environment we live in to the air we breathe, joy in life, and personal motivation come together to affect one's health directly or indirectly.

Oral health maintains a key position in holistic medicine. The surrounding gum tissues and teeth may be referred to as "Holistic Dentistry." Sometimes, people say "Oh, it's just a tooth, I can get it extracted and get rid of it!" Yet, most of the time, even a single extraction should be considered a significant body part loss. As much as possible, optimally, one's original teeth should be kept in the mouth avoiding extraction unless absolutely necessary.  Teeth and surrounding tissues exist in harmony and balance; veins, nerves, the lymphatic system, and teeth communicate with the whole body. Any type of issue within the body may affect an organ or tissue in a seemingly unrelated area.

Protecting one's health must precede efforts to cure disease. Within the framework of oral and dental health, the awareness of one's dental health is known as "Preventive Dentistry." Everyone knows from an early age about the importance of brushing teeth regularly; yet today, please realize that brushing alone is not enough. One's toothbrush should be replaced every three months. Regularly flossing is a definite "must." See your dental professional at least every six months, even if you experience no dental issues. If gums are not healthy, neither do teeth remain healthy, nor is the entire body able to be healthy. For these reasons, it is imperative to schedule and attend regular check-ups?to prevent tooth decay and gum loss.

Similarly, if tartars exist, one's mouth and teeth are not healthy. One common misconception is that dental scaling damages the teeth; it does NOT! Scaling does not scratch the teeth. Gum diseases are the leading causes of tooth loss and are closely associated to one's diet.

Just because no pain exists in the teeth and gums does not mean one's dental health is optimal. For example, one may not experience pain or symptoms if a chronic infection at the root apex of a tooth occurs; such an infection may only be detected by an x-ray film. Some infections may remain dormant for years, unbeknownst to the patient. If one has complaints either with or without knowledge of an infection, sometimes the thought is "I don't care, it is not harmful." While it is difficult to predict where the impact of a dental infection may occur in the body, problems will likely occur; this is known as a "focal infection." Food consumption may cause joint, neck and back pain due to misaligned or missing teeth (a unilateral issue). Teeth clenching is an increasing problem for many people and impacts the entire body. Impacted teeth may remain dormant for years, causing multiple difficulties at some point; these should be examined regularly and extracted if a risk is posed. Old and mismatched fillings, veneers, bridges, and removable prostheses need to be regularly maintained and replaced in a timely manner. The body is a whole. When the balance of this whole is disturbed, recovery is challenging. Please take care of your body! Maintain your health, as it is much easier to sustain one's health than to recover from pain/injury/infection.

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