According to new data  from the California Health Care Foundation, Americans spent just under $120 billion on dental care in 2015.
That’s a lot of money – until you consider that it’s a measly 4% of the total spent on health care that year.
All told, Americans spent $3 trillion on all health care that year. That’s almost 20% of our country’s gross domestic product. Most of it went to hospital care and clinical services. And for all that was spent on prescription drugs, more than double that went to insurance-related costs.
It makes you wonder – or, at least, it makes us wonder – how much lower those numbers could be if our health care system were actually a health care system; if the focus was on wellness, prevention, and dealing with causes instead of merely alleviating damage and managing symptoms.
And how much lower than that could they be if even a fraction of that spending were directed toward dental care?
As the great physician Dr. Reinhold Voll taught, “80 to 90 percent of systemic problems are caused, or influenced by the oral cavity, tonsils, and sinuses.” The causes include oral infection, mercury amalgam fillings, toxic root canal teeth, osteonecrosis of the jaw (cavitations), malocclusion, and more.
The systemic manifestations are just as varied: heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disorders (MS, ALS, lupus, et al), fibromyaligia, chronic fatigue, multiple chemical sensitivities, and more.
Whether and how oral conditions affect overall health is, of course, guided by the health of the extracellular matrix, or biological terrain . When the terrain is healthy, the body is resilient. The individual’s dental concerns – mercury, root canals, cavitations, and such – can then be tended to more successfully, in a way that contributes to the restoration of overall health.
Even better? Avoiding those dental problems to begin with – maintaining a healthful lifestyle; practicing good hygiene; and working with a well-trained biological dentist who fully understands the relationship between oral and whole body health, conscious of the issues with mercury, root canals, and so on.
But as ever, the terrain comes first. The terrain is everything.