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Cancer, diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease; what do all these have in common? A connection to oral health. A common conception of dentists is that it’s their job to fix teeth, while it’s a doctor’s job to treat and cure people of illnesses, but as dentistry grows as a practice and research continues to be conducted, more and more people are realizing that oral health is entirely inseparable from systemic health.

As the founder of the Wellness Dentistry Network and owner of his own dental practice rightly named Integrative Oral Medicine, Dr. Doug Thompson has made it his life’s work to bring to the forefront of dentistry the ever-present and vitally important connections between oral and overall health. In his practice, he views each patient holistically in order to identify risk factors for other chronic diseases and collaborate with primary care physicians to provide them with the best possible outcomes. Through the Wellness Dentistry Network, he teaches other dentists the value of integrative oral medicine and provides them with access to the best resources for implementing holistic approaches in the treatment of their own patients.

Dr. Thompson offers informative, insightful contributions to the conversation today, touching on a range of topics including how to recognize diseases early on, the importance of tailoring his recommendations for good oral health to the individual needs of patients, how inflammation presents itself in the mouth and leads to the degradation of the body in numerous ways, and how a sick mouth contributes to the process of slow brain death seen in patients with dementia.

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