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Fact Check: Does each tooth have a link to a different body part?

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Is it true that each tooth is associated with a distinct body organ?
Are there links between different body parts and each tooth?
Not exactly. The concept of each tooth directly linking to a specific organ in the body lacks scientific evidence. While certain medical conditions or treatments can impact oral health, not all organ abnormalities directly connect to oral problems. It's essential to consult with healthcare professionals to address specific concerns regarding oral health and potential connections to organ abnormalities or past treatments.

Quick Take

A section of a social media post claims that each tooth is believed to have connections to specific organs in the body. Additionally, it suggests that if an organ is functioning poorly, there might be a connection to a tooth abnormality or previous dental treatment. We fact-checked and found this claim to be Mostly False. 

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The Claim

In a Youtube Video, at the 1:04:20 mark, a formal naturopathic practitioner Barbara O’Neill claims that each tooth is linked to different body parts. Therefore, if a tooth with a connection to the kidney path undergoes a root canal, it could potentially affect kidney function.

Fact Check

Does each tooth have a link to a different body part?

No scientific evidence supports the claim that each tooth have a link to a different body part. This idea seems to be based on traditional Chinese medicine. Our research found that it is not a scientifically-based system of medicine. 

As per Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there is a tooth chart called meridian tooth chart. It is a diagram that shows the relationship between the teeth and the body’s meridians, or energy channels. In traditional Chinese medicine, meridians are channels that form a network in the body through which qi (vital energy) flows. According to it, blocked qi can cause pain or illness. The flow of qi is restored by using pressure, needles, suction, or heat at hundreds of specific points along the meridians.

This chart is based on the theory that meridians connect the body’s organs and tissues and that imbalances in these meridians can lead to health problems. However, this lacks any credible scientific evidence or research associated with it. Also, it can lead to misdiagnosis and delayed treatment, which can worsen your health problems. 

Similarly, another theory that goes around this concept is called the “Focal infection theory.” This is a historical concept that theorizes that chronic infections in one part of the body can cause systemic diseases in other parts of the body. There is some evidence to support the focal infection theory. For example, studies have shown that people with chronic gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke. However, there is also evidence that contradicts the theory. For example, studies have shown that treating chronic infections does not constantly improve the symptoms of systemic diseases.

The focal infection theory is controversial, and there is no scientific consensus on whether it is a valid theory. We need more research to determine whether the theory is correct and to identify the specific infections that are likely to cause systemic diseases.

Does any organ abnormality connect to an oral problem or past treatment?

Not necessarily. There is a lack of scientific research which proves that every organ abnormality is related to an oral problem or past dental treatment. It is true that, in some cases, a dental issue can exacerbate and cause a systemic problem. For example, gum disease, which is a common oral infection, can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. This is because the bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, where they can cause inflammation and infection.

Here are some other examples of how oral problems or dental treatments can cause problems in other organs:

In conclusion, certain alternative medicine theories suggest tooth-organ connections. However, the mainstream medicine does not accept it due to lack of enough scientific evidence. In conventional dentistry and medicine, oral health is primarily concerned with the well-being of the teeth, gums, and mouth. In contrast, systemic health involves the overall functioning of the body’s organs and systems.

Can any organ abnormality impact oral health?

Sometimes. There are some instances where certain medical conditions or treatments can have an impact on oral health. However, it is important to note that not all organ abnormalities or past treatments directly connect to oral problems. There are a few examples of such connections:

  1. Medications: Some medications can have oral side effects. For example, certain medications used for osteoporosis can affect the jawbone and potentially lead to a condition called medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ). Chemotherapy drugs may also cause oral complications such as mucositis or increased risk of infections.
  2. Diabetes: Uncontrolled diabetes can increase the risk of gum disease (periodontitis) and slow down the healing process after dental procedures. 
  3. Gastrointestinal Disorders: Conditions such as acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD) can cause stomach acid to reach the mouth, leading to tooth enamel erosion and oral problems.
  4. Liver disease: People with liver disease are more likely to develop oral thrush. This is because liver disease can impair the immune system, making it more difficult to fight off infection.

There are several claims such as Cayenne Pepper heals stomach ulcers claimed by Mrs. O’Neill that has been fact checked. Even a public statement has been released against her. The Health Care Complaints Commission alleged that she is an “unregistered practitioner” who “makes dubious and dangerous health claims regarding infant nutrition, causes and treatment of cancer, antibiotics and vaccinations that are not evidence-based or supported by mainstream medicine.”

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