You may have heard that tooth meridian charts can explain why you’re having specific health problems. It’s tempting to believe that a simple dental procedure could cure an ongoing chronic illness.
But is there any truth to the tooth meridian chart? And what is a meridian chart, anyway?
The tooth meridian chart derives from the marriage between Western dentistry and traditional Eastern medicine. It’s used to explain how the body’s energy may link problems in the mouth to other areas of the body.
Most people associate meridians with acupuncture, but some biological dentists believe they may be affecting your oral health, too.
There isn’t much scientific evidence that energy running through meridians in your teeth affects the rest of your body. However, some recent evidence suggests that acupuncture meridians may be related to connective tissue planes throughout the body.
In other words, there may be a physiological basis for some parts of the meridians.
We want to provide you with some basic information about tooth meridians to empower you to make your own decisions about your oral health.
What is a Meridian Tooth Chart?
What are meridians? According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), meridians are channels that carry vital energy, or qi, throughout the whole body. When your qi is blocked, it can keep your body’s organs from working properly.
Acupuncturists and energy healers work to unblock the qi so energy flows freely and your body can heal itself.
There are 12 primary meridians in TCM. They are:
- Large intestine
- Small intestine
Do teeth have meridians? According to traditional Chinese medicine, yes, certain teeth are associated with each of the body’s meridians. A tooth-organ relationship chart shows you which meridians are associated with each tooth and organ in the body.
Is the Meridian Tooth Chart real?
The meridian tooth chart isn’t supported by modern science, but many say that it has still helped their patients.
Holistic dentists who follow the chart say they’ve helped their patients overcome diseases and illnesses with proper dental care. Some even claim they’ve avoided giving root canals by addressing problems in the body first.
What is the purpose of the Meridian Tooth Chart?
The meridian tooth chart explains how toothaches and other dental problems can signify ailments somewhere else in the body.
For example, a toothache in the tooth associated with the intestine could be a sign of chronic digestive problems. Or, damage to one of the teeth connected to the kidneys could create kidney problems for that patient.
(Reminder: The evidence for tooth meridians is anecdotal, but if you’re worried about what’s going on in your mouth or body, book an appointment with Rejuvenation Dentistry.)
Which tooth corresponds to which organ?
What teeth are connected to what organs? Here are the teeth that are associated with some of the body’s major organs:
- Which tooth is associated with the heart? Wisdom teeth (third molars) on both the upper and lower jaws are associated with the heart.
- What is the significance of the tooth corresponding to the stomach? The molars on the upper jaw and premolars on the lower jaw are associated with the stomach meridian. A toothache or other problem with those teeth could indicate stomach issues, according to traditional Chinese medicine.
Other organs on the tooth-meridian chart:
- Lungs: upper premolars, lower first (front), and second (back) molars
- Large intestine: premolars
- Small intestine: wisdom teeth
- Liver: canine teeth
- Gallbladder: canine teeth
- Spleen: lower left premolars, upper left molars
- Kidney: upper first (inside) incisors, right lower second (outside) incisor
- Bladder: all incisors on both jaws
How Oral Health Influences Overall Health
Regardless of whether tooth meridians actually exist, your oral health absolutely influences your overall health.
Many studies have shown that problems with your teeth and gums can create chronic health conditions in the rest of the body. Harmful germs in your mouth release chemicals that promote inflammation throughout your body, which can cause many problems.
Damaged or missing teeth can also affect the quality of the food you eat. Many fiber- and nutrient-rich foods are crunchy or hard and take time to chew. If it’s difficult for you to eat, you’ll be more likely to eat low-fiber, nutrient-poor, high-sugar foods.
Your poor diet can then create even more problems and negatively affect your health.
Here are some chronic diseases that have been linked to poor oral health:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Premature birth and low birth weight
- Mental health
Having periodontal disease and gum inflammation increases your risk of getting cardiovascular disease by about 20%. If you’re not taking care of your mouth, you’re also at a higher risk of actually dying from cardiovascular disease.
Poor gum health can make you 3.9 times as likely to develop pneumonia. Proper oral care similarly lowers the risk of elderly patients getting pneumonia. So, brush and floss to protect your lungs.
You’re more likely to have gum inflammation and gum disease if you have diabetes. That inflammation can actually make your diabetes worse. Inflammation from diabetes can lead to other dental health problems, too.
High blood sugar caused by uncontrolled diabetes can cause tooth infections and lesions that lead to bone loss. Uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to tooth infections. If you’re a diabetic, you absolutely must take care of your mouth.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Recent research has shown a strong link between chronic gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Germs in the mouth cause inflammation throughout the body, leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
When you have osteoporosis, you lose bone density throughout your body, including in your jaw. Bone loss in the jaw brought on by osteoporosis can cause tooth loss and other dental problems.
Premature Birth and Low Birth Weight
Pregnant women with chronic gum disease are more likely to deliver their babies prematurely. Those babies are also more likely to have low birth weight (weighing less than 5.5 pounds).
The bacteria in the mother’s mouth release toxins, which make their way into the bloodstream. The body reacts to the toxins by making inflammatory chemicals to help fight the bacteria.
In the placenta, however, the inflammatory chemicals are toxic. Too many of these chemicals can cause the uterine membranes to rupture, leading to the premature birth of a smaller baby.
Poor oral health can have a significant impact on your mental health. If you’re not happy with your smile, it will completely change how you look at yourself. Having a cosmetic dental procedure done can raise your self-esteem.
Many people also experience dental anxiety. All the anxiety around dental procedures can absolutely harm your mental health. The fear and worry can build up over time, leading to depression and other serious mental health problems.
Your mental health can also affect your oral health. If you’re not well mentally, it’s hard to take care of your mouth and teeth. People with severe mental health problems are far more likely to lose all of their teeth than the general public. Specific mental illnesses like eating disorders can also cause direct damage to the teeth and mouth.
Rejuv Dentistry: Your #1 Biological Dentist
Your dental and oral health have a huge effect on your overall physical health. The doctors in our dental practice use biological dentistry, which focuses on the mouth-body connection.
Our founder, Dr. Gerry Curatola, DDS, is a pioneer in biological dentistry. He created Rejuvenation Dentistry to bring holistic dentistry to the people of New York and beyond.
We believe that many of the body’s problems can be corrected through proper dental care. For example, gum disease can cause inflammation throughout the body, leading to many chronic health issues.
We work with new patients (even anxious patients) to heal gum disease, remove toxic fillings, and care for the whole body by promoting oral health.
We would love to talk to you about biological dentistry and how it can help improve your health and wellness. Click here to get in touch with us and schedule your first visit.