Many might not be aware that most dental diseases are life style diseases. It might be related to lack of proper brushing, habits like smoking, stress, lack of sleep, sugary, sticky diet that are harmful for the teeth & gums etc. Thus, treatment of dental problems does not end with treating them, they have to be prevented. Sometimes the treatment becomes complex due to their multi-factorial nature & needs a special & elaborate approach too. To state this with an example, a patient had visited us with the problem of a pre-cancerous condition called Lichen planus. The chances of these lesions turning cancerous might be higher if left untreated. Due to constraints from the patients end, we had started only with the symptomatic treatment as against bringing about basic life-style changes. This approach worked to a limited extent but the problem kept recurring repeatedly.
The main reason for his issue was that he had a stressful job, added to that he used to have night shifts. We had told him an approach, which included eliminating stress & bringing about some basic life style changes. Though, he didn’t agree to this initially due to his constraints, after repeated recurrence over a period of 9 months, he agreed to bring about the necessary life-style changes that we had suggested.
The approach was simple & included 3 steps –
1. Eliminate stress using some simple & acclaimed meditation techniques – We offer this to all interested people free of cost & to all those patients who need them.
2. To change his night shift job to a regular job.
3. Get his teeth cleaning done annually & to maintain good oral hygiene as per our advice.
Once he started meditation, changed into a regular shift job, & initiated good oral hygiene practices, things helped him to successfully come out of his problem in the next 4-5 months period. He understood that adapting a positive life style was the key to have good oral health & thus a better overall health too.
To make this happen we cannot have a routine approach, where a doctor prescribes some medication & sends the patient off. It is the doctor’s duty to make sure that the patient’s problem is resolved & he stands by the patient till it is necessary. I believe, that a family doctor/dentist has such an attitude, approach & interest in his patients to see them in the best of their health.
Also, a family dentist works towards prevention of all the possible dental problems in his patients & works towards making it happen. The role of a good Family Dentist comes here, where he gets involved in counseling them, motivating them & helping them to develop the right attitude towards maintaining good oral health & preventing future problems. It involves a two pronged approach – First is controlling all the above said factors & second is developing a healthy lifestyle.
I am not only ‘A Family Dentist’ but a heartfulness international meditation trainer helping many a patients or general public to find peace & harmony within themselves. The heartfulness meditation services are offered free of cost to willing people of all backgrounds & this has been our way of giving back to the society whatever little that is possible. In the role of a dentist, I will give the prescription for prevention of oral health issues & in my role as heartfulness meditation trainer, I will help all the interested patients to reduce stress, improve lifestyle to take care of their oral health.