Functional Medicine and Craniofacial Functional Medicine
The etiology of malocclusion is multifactorial.
The etiology of sleep disorders is multifactorial.
The etiology of speech, breathing, and orofacial myofunctional disorders are also multifactorial.
So are all chronic diseases. This is makes sense if we step back and acknowledge that the human body is one inseparable organism.
But what is the next step?
How can we translate this information into the specialty that we have been practicing? We have to admit that what we see at a local level is just one manifestation of an impaired global system.
In western medicine, we have been taught to label a symptom and combat the symptom that we have identified, whether it is blood pressure, blood sugar level, cholesterol, breathing issues, sleep apnea, malocclusion, and so on. If we accept that these problems are related, then we have to find a global solution.
This is the value of interdisciplinary teamwork, but what name do we give a treatment that is delivered via functional teamwork?
If we put dentistry, OMT, ENT, and breathing re-education together and start treating life threatening problems (like OSA), this is no longer simply dentistry, OMT, ENT, or any singular specialty. This is going to be a new type of medicine, a medicine that looks for deeper roots of the problem that we recognize at a specialist level. However, we have to find an appropriate name for this new approach.
Thankfully, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There is already a type of medicine that has been treating its patients according to the principle of treat the cause, not the symptom. This is known as Functional Medicine. By embracing this approach, interdisciplinary craniofacial teamwork can become a part of larger umbrella of Functional Medicine. The human body is one inseparable organism. There is only one health, so consequently there is only one medicine. We functionally oriented dentists, ENTs, OMTs, and sleep specialists are an essential part of a functional medical breakthrough called:
Craniofacial Functional Medicine.