by Ramanuj Basu
Our February meeting was on Leap Day, but what really made it special was our after dinner speaker, J. Bruce Johnson D.D.S. After a tasty and healthful potluck dinner (Thanks, everyone!) we moved upstairs as Dr. Johnson had a slide presentation to accompany his talk, “The Contribution of Weston A. Price to a Modern Paradigm for Dentistry and Health.”
What followed was a bit of a surprise: a talk by a dentist with hardly a mention of cavities, fillings, or even teeth. Dr. Johnson considers his patients and their treatment from a whole-person perspective, with the understanding that the dental system has an intimate relationship with, and direct effect on, other systems in the body. He spoke about the differences between the traditional paradigm of treating symptoms and the holistic paradigm, which he practices in partnership with chiropractors and osteopaths, focusing on skeletal components first and teeth last.
The big take-away from the evening (at least for me) was this: airway, airway, airway! An open airway is essential to allow oxygen to flow into and throughout our body. If our airway is compromised (by improper jaw position leading to improper tongue position and constriction of the nasal passages), our whole body can be dramatically affected as the entire skeleton adjusts in an attempt to keep the airway as open as possible. Who would have thought that an overbite could cause improper posture which, in turn, can lead to bed-wetting, chronic sore throat and fatigue, migraines, and even reduced cognitive ability?!
Dr. Johnson’s full presentation is available online here.