Principles of the 7 Factors Transcript

Dr. Robert O. Nara

Let's take a look at the seven principles culled from this transcript...

  1. NUTRITION  Understanding the role nutrition plays in your good or bad oral health is at the top of the list.  We know that for healthy gums, you need Vitamin C in your diet.  We know that for healthy and strong teeth, we need Calcium and Phosphorus in the diet.  According to Adelle Davis, the 'nutrition guru' back in my day, the nutrition intake needed to be balanced.  In other words, loading up on tons of Vitamin C alone could create or manifest a deficiency in other vitamins, or the apparency thereof - you need a balance for it all to work properly and not cause problems someplace else.  It is not my place to tell you how to eat properly, where to derive your nutritional benefits or how to ... anything else, nutritionally.  This is an area the individual must make a study of and decide for oneself what will work best for him or her.  The overall purpose is to strengthen and keep strong the autoimmune system.  Why?  The autoimmune system is the body's first and best defense against the big bad world out there.  That includes chemical toxins, cancers, oral pathogens, etc.  This is why someone with a good immune system may have a better set of teeth and gums while maintaing a poorer hygiene regimine than someone who goes through all the hygiene motions dilligently day after day and still has problems do to dental caries or periodontal disease.  Am I saying that nutrition is all we need to be concerned about?  No.  It is an important 'factor'.
  2. FRAME OF REFERENCE  I suppose there are many ways to say this; 'frame of reference', 'point of view', etc.  The point is, Dr. Nara wants us to take a new and different look at the dental profession and it's role in our lives.  The profession is built on the mechanics of the repair of teeth and gums, basically.  While there are new advances taking place all of the time, they primarily deal with treating the symptoms of the process of decay - whether above or below the gumline.  That's about it.  Dentists train to treat symptoms.  Some specialize and treat periodontal or endodontic problems - but nobody cures your bad teeth.  All of the measures taken by dentists simply REPAIR damage done by decay.  There are not many, if you can find them, who will sit down with you after an exam and tell you how to go home, change your diet, spend more time on your teeth, gums, irrigate to help shrink a periodontal pocket and so on.  the hygienist is more prone to give you that talk, but they are so busy cramming patients in that they hardly have time.  The bottom line is that you have to take a good look at the profession and their motives - and you have to take a serious look at your own hygiene practices and decide that you will have to take responsibility for your OWN oral health (which ultimately affects your overall health), and stop putting it on the profession or your dental insurance plan to do it for you - because they won't.
  3. OPTIONS  What are yours?  Well, if you already have a mouthful of decayed teeth and gums, you might want to go to the repairman first and right away and get them fixed.  It's like having a broken leg and drinking mega-doses of minerals every day in hopes of it healing itself.  Well, it might, but you'd be better off getting to the doctor and letting him or her set the leg and put a cast on it - then make sure you  don't do the thing(s) that caused the broken leg.  Take a look at your other options.  In respect to your oral health, you have options open to you; you could brush longer and sooner after eating, you could actually floss, you could irrigate, you could actually change your diet, you could cut out sugars, quit smoking, cut back on the carbs...  You could DECIDE to make these changes to create the desired effect of a 'healthy oral environment.  One of the options you have is how much of the next stuff you want to get your hands on...
  4. KNOWLEDGE  You'll need to know WHAT you are going to do, HOW you are going to do it, WHY you are going to do it and so on.  If you research anything long enough, you'll be able to tell very quickly which information is valuable, which is fact, which is opinion, which is proven, etc.  Pretty soon common sense kicks in.  This sounds like a lot of work, but if you spent a few less hours a week on some reality TV show and spent that time on your own reality show, it'll pay off - plus, you'll be the one in charge of kicking off the players, in the form of erroneous information, habits, professionals...  You may come to the conclusion, "Hey, if I just do these few extra steps each day, not only will I save my teeth, I could prevent diabetes or heart disease!"  Many of us wait until we are stricken with some disease before we pay attention.  Probably most of us are guilty of that and probably because of the conviction in our early years that we will live forever and ailments like grandma had are really too far off to be concerned with right now.  Truth is, 'right now' is when it is happening, we just didn't feel the pain connected with it or notice the blood until it is very late in the game - then we scramble for the answers!  Most of the folks visiting the OraMedia site come looking for an alternative or a quick fix for a root canal, because they finally heard those words from the dentist.  So be it.  Maybe it's too late, maybe not.  Logic tells you, however, that just because you didn't save one tooth, doesn't mean you can't dig in and save the rest!  Logic also tells you that you'd BETTER dig in and save the rest.
  5. UNDERSTANDING THE BIOLOGIC BALANCE  When you know what is happening in your mouth, when you know if you've got little bacterial critters in there, which ones they are, how you got them and how you get rid of them it is almost a psycholigical survival sense which kicks in telling you to do the right thing!  Now an average person has around 500 species of bugs in the mouth and 50-75 of them aren't the kind you want in there.  You understand that they exist on a 'biofilm' in different areas of the mouth - normally the areas that are condusive to their survival, the dark anaerobic areas you keep missing with your brush, areas you can't reach, areas you don't floss...  Well, somehow all that food and sugar drink gets to them just fine and they thrive, they produce acid waste as a by-product rot the area and get on with life.  That's their job to survive!  It's your job to counter their survival or suffer the consequences; bad teeth, loose teeth, a mouth full of amalgam or other composites, sore, bleeding gums, foul breath, unbearable pain, lousy fitting caps, bridges, sore, sutured gums, yanked teeth and no teeth.  Sorry, it wasn't hereditary, but it IS easy to blame something else for our ignorance.
  6. TAKE ACTION  This is where the dental profession say we all screw up.  If fact, if we were to really do this, they say, well they wouldn't need to drill our teeth, lop off our crowns and fill them with gutta percha, cut open our gums in order to scrape our roots... or the hundreds of other procedures they have come up with to fix our teeth.  I think they're right - in part.  I think they are right that we do not take action, but I don't feel that they really want us to either!  I think they like it just as it is.  Hopefully you don't.  Hopefully, you care enough to take a little action to save your teeth.  Hopefully, you don't think it's no big deal if you don't.  No one will take care of you like you.  I'm sure you don't think the dentist lies in bed at night wondering how you are doing on your brushing and flossing...  so JUST DO IT.  It's kind of like working out.  You know that you are not going to have rock hard abs tomorrow morning, if you are just starting out, but if you get your attention on the realistic goal, you KNOW that you will have a much different body in a year if you keep at it.  And so it is with your teeth and gums:  You know what to do, now take action.  Keep your sites on a year or ten years from now when your friends are going in for their third or fourth root canals and you never give it a second thought...
  7. MONEY  Unfortunately, money plays a significant role throughout our lives.  Some people learn early on how to make a buck work for them and others never catch on - always letting it slip through their fingers.  If money is any motivation to you, consider a lifetime of having dental work done, from the first cavity right to the final fitting for your dentures.  Dr. Nara prepared the cost comparison chart (below) during his practice.  Bear in mind that these were 1970's for larger view

Now, we might safely say that you could probably double that cost of $965 for practicing OraMedics by 2004 dollars.  If that is true, you might also want to double that cost of having/not having teeth and NOT using the methods put forth by Dr. Nara and OraMedics.  I have had people call me and tell me that the cost of certain dental work required them to take out second mortgages on their homes.  Did that dental work cure their disease?  Of course not!  But the GP's, the Perio's and the Endo's will be more than happy to take your money nonetheless!  We don't have to beat this one to death, the point is made.

Now these are the seven factors, or principles, to good oral health.  However redundant this may seem, the point is the group of principles.  Personally, once I got a couple of these into the puzzle, the picture became much clearer to me.  Interesting to note that if you were interested in improving your skills at a certain job or hobby, say... building computers for example, you might change the wording in a couple of the principles above and insert those appropriate to your subject.  They seem to be valid for being successful in most any endeavor.  That's the bonus I was able to get out of the transcript and that is why I felt it important enough to make available at the OraMMedia site. 

As I wrote earlier, Dr. Nara is a pretty 'deep' guy and he's still very interested in seeing people beat tooth and gum disease the easy and affordable way - on their own.  If you don't own Dr. Nara's books, buy and read them.  If you already own them, get them back out and go over the material again.  Keep these principles in mind this time.

Success to you.
-Tom Cornwell

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