If you’ve taken a look around our website, you’ve likely seen the “Interactive Tooth Chart” page. This portion of our website is dedicated to the Meridian Tooth Chart, and this makes our practice a bit different from the other dental practices in Jacksonville, Florida. The meridian tooth chart is based on the teachings of acupuncture, and informs us of how the teeth are the gateway to the entire body. This tooth chart relates each tooth to a different organ or tissue in the body. Dr. Shields believes that the connection between the teeth and whole-body wellness is so strong that through precise and dedicated dentistry, she can help her patients improve their overall health and wellness.
Meridians are an important part of Chinese medicine, particularly acupuncture and acupressure. Meridians are the “energy highways” of the human body. These pathways are thought to transfer energies, or Qi, throughout the body and can be manipulated with various therapies, such as acupuncture. Knowledge of these meridians are as important to Eastern medicine as the knowledge of anatomy is to a Western medicine. The belief that 25these energy pathways can be studied and tapped into is what makes acupuncture such a mysterious and effective practice. According to Chinese medicine, there are twelve main meridians in the body, they are expressed as Yin and Yang – or symbiotic opposites. Beginning in the chest then traveling through the arms then up into the head, and finally to the digestive system and legs, it is believed that the energy flowing through the meridians can inform a practitioner much about a patient’s health.
Meridians and Teeth
Meridian tooth charts aim to shed light on the fact that our entire bodies are interconnected. It must be said that there is no concrete scientific proof that meridian tooth charts are accurate depictions of how the body is interconnected. At this Jacksonville, Florida dental practice, however, it serves as a reminder that everything that you do to your body will have far reaching effects. Dr. Shields cannot see decay in your upper left canine, and diagnoses you with a thyroid disorder, however she can see how decay in that tooth – if left untreated – can set off a domino effect that can cause ripples of pain throughout your body. Decay can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, gingival tissue inflammation and recession. The inflammation from the bacteria that caused the tooth decay have been linked to serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. It has also been proven that those who suffer from ailments of the oral tissues also experience malnourishment due to the loss of function of their teeth, tongue, and gums. Meridian tooth charts are a great reminder that our bodies are highly functioning machines, and that any deviance from health can increase the risk of potentially harmful effects.
A Case for Wellness Dentistry
The practice of dentistry is much like Chinese medicine in that it has been practiced for thousands upon thousands of years. With the technology available today due to the advances of Western medicine it is imperative that dentists seek the whole picture. By marrying the ancient wisdom with modern technology dentists like Dr. Shields are able to treat dental maladies with scientifically proven methods while educating her patients on the importance of whole-body wellness and how living healthfully can positively affect the teeth. The point of wellness dentistry is just that. To remind ourselves that our bodies work best when we’re taking care of every part of them. To teach our patients that by brushing for two minutes twice daily, flossing correctly, and making multiple visits to their Jacksonville, Florida dentist they are doing much more than just preventing cavities – they are maintaining whole-body wellness.