Published on November 29th, 2016 | by Michael J. Goldberg0
Home Remedies Deserve Healthy Skepticism
Do-it-yourself (DIY) has become big business in healthcare. As costs rise and insurance becomes more confusing, frustrating and ineffective, people are looking for alternatives. Drugstore isles are packed with DIY solutions for headaches, arthritis, indigestion, reflux, grinding/clenching, teeth-whitening and even sleeping. Most of these solutions are drugs, supplements and poultices. Others are devices. Plus, the Internet is chock full of DIY videos.
There are DIY bite guards for grinding, straps to close the mouth for a better sleep, tongue-sucking devices to stop snoring and special pillows to relieve neck pain, but there’s a potential danger in all of this. Some have actually work, but others have dire consequences. Most of these products are aimed at symptoms, and just cover up an underlying problem that will only get worse or cause other potentially more dangerous or harmful issues.
A few homemade bite guards cause irreversible jaw shifting. DIY sleep solutions may solve snoring, but cause breathing issues that actually worsen and result in TMJ (jaw joint and muscle) problems. Uncovering causes before treating symptoms is the key to avoiding DIY and other healthcare disasters. And of course, this philosophy is not just for DIY solutions. It’s true for all issues. If we don’t deal with the cause, any solution is just a Band-Aid.
Uncovering causes is not popular because it’s not reimbursed at the same rates that solutions are. More money is made by selling pills, devices or performing treatments than by doing detective work. These diagnostics are the key to successful, long-term treatment success.
Dr. Michael J. Goldberg, DMD, FAGD, FIADFE, FACD, FNYAD, practices BioRational Dentistry at Manhattan Dental Health NJ, 117 Kinderkamack Rd., in River Edge, NJ, and Manhattan Dental Health at 635 Madison Ave., NY. For more information, call 201-881-0660 or 212-928-1000 or email MDH4NJ@gmail.com.