Finally, it's self-evident
July 7th 2008, 12:57 | Bryan Hubbard
One of my favourite philosophers used to be that arch pessimist Arthur Schopenhauer. Put it down to a troubled adolescence. Although he said many significant things, everyone today seems to quote this one saying of his:"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
I was reminded of it when I was researching the work of the pioneering dentist Weston A. Price (1870-1948) for the latest special report for 'What Doctors Don't Tell You'. He certainly withstood a great deal of ridicule in his lifetime even though he held the prestigious position of research director of the American Dental Association.
After studying the diet and health of various indigenous peoples, he argued that our diet directly affects the health of our teeth and gums (periodontal health). Worse, he even mooted that the health of our teeth and gums could also cause chronic disease in our body.
For many years, his own organisation, along with other dentist groups around the world, violently opposed his theories.
Then, only as recently as 2005, researchers from the University of Minnesota discovered a direct link between the bacteria associated with periodontal disease and atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries (Circulation, 2005; 111: 576-82).
Opponents have argued that gum health is merely symptomatic of overall health, and is not a cause. But this isn't so. A meta-analysis by Harvard researchers found that an association (between periodontal disease and chronic, systemic conditions) persists after all lifestyle and other factors are eliminated (Cancer Causes Control, 2008; e-pub May 14, 2008 ahead of print).
As Dr Robert Genco, professor of oral biology at the State University of New York in Buffalo, has said: "Patients think of gum disease in terms of their health, but they don't think about the fact that gum disease is a serious infection that can release bacteria into the bloodstream. The end results could mean additional health risks for patients whose health is already affected by other diseases, or lead to serious complications such as heart disease."
See, it's self-evident really.
(If you'd like to read the full report as a subscriber to 'What Doctors Don't Tell You', please click here.)