My overall approach to health is to try to approximate the environment that our genes are optimized for. For those of you into the paleo/primal lifestyle, this should sound familiar. For those of you not aware with what this means, let me give you an example. We did not encounter processed fermentable carbohydrate to any great extent in our pre-human and modern human evolution. Because of this, we would not have evolved the correct metabolism and systems to flourish on a diet containing too much foods containing fermentable carbohydrates (sugars, cookies, crackers, etc). The resulting health problems (tooth decay, gum disease, obesity etc) associated with a diet containing fermentable carbohydrates are not surprising. Another name for this issue is "genetic Mismatch". In short, we can't live under water and fish can't live out of it.
I have been attending the Ancestral Health Symposium for many years now, and last year I was honored to be part of a dental panel with doctors Kevin Boyd and Alvin Dannenberg. We all have different areas of expertise, but we are united in our understanding of the importance of addressing genetic mismatches in our quest to help our patients. Kevin spoke very powerfully about some of the environmental factors that affect facial development in children, and how mismatches have resulted in crooked teeth and obstructive sleep apnea. Al Dannenberg spoke of the genetic mismatch between our diets, our plaque, and the resulting problems that occur. I put out an appeal to fellow practitioners to consider adding the concepts of genetic mismatches to conversations they have with their patients as an additional pathway to better overall health. Enjoy the video!