Summary: This is week four of our health check series and looks at what a health mouth looks like
This is week five of our Health Check series, and we’ve looked at a Healthy Body, Healthy Appetites and a Healthy Heart and so this week we are looking at “A Healthy Mouth”
It really isn’t fair! When I think of Doctors there are a whole slew in the media who come to mind. From my childhood it would have been Marcus Welby MD, as a teen it would be Hawkeye and Trapper John, in my twenties obviously Cliff Huxtable and now . . . I guess it would be House MD. All fine examples and nice people, with the exception of House. Not a nice person but he would be a great doctor, maybe. You ever notice that House and his team can kill their patient three or four times in the run of an hour?
But go looking for a dentist in the media and what do you get? Nothing zip, nada and in the movies the only one I can think of is the villain from the “Marathon Man”, Dr. Christian Szell, the Nazi Dr. Understand he is listed as one of the top ten movie bad guys of all time but still. . .
Through the years our concept of oral health has changed. Dentistry only began being seen as a serious medical practice in the last 150 years or so, before that if you needed a tooth tended to it was a barber or tooth drawer at the market who tended to you.
But things began to change in the early 1900’s Here is a quote from: Oral Hygiene volume 1, number 1 printed in January 1911 in an article by George Edwin Hunt entitled: What is the Best Way?. “Yesterday practitioners of the healing art said, Let us pray; today they are saying, Let us cure; tomorrow they will be saying, Let us prevent.” Years ago we never through of our teeth unless they were giving us problems. It wasn’t that long ago that it was recommended that you visit your dentist every two years, now it’s every six months and there are reasons for that.
People are more conscious than ever about how their teeth look, are they white enough, straight enough, too big or too small? And people spend a lot of money on their teeth, from check-ups and cleanings to whitening and straightenings. From root canals to caps and implants we are obsessed with how their mouths look. And if you visit the oral care section of your local supermarket or pharmacy you are overwhelmed with the plethora of toothpaste and toothbrushes, whitening kits and various types of floss, Listerine used to be the taste people hate twice a day now there are a half a dozen types of Listerine promising stronger teeth, whiter smiles and healthy gums.
And our teeth and our smiles aren’t’ something that people just started noticing. In the Song of Solomon, which if you have missed it is a love song written in the middle of the Bible, the author talks about how white and even his lovers teeth were. Three thousand years ago a person’s smile was considered an important attribute. And there is a lot of truth in what was said by Soupy Sales “Be true to your teeth and they won’t be false to you.”
But this morning we aren’t looking at the appearance of your mouth, as important as that might be, but the health of your mouth. New research is showing more correlations between oral health and the overall health of our bodies. As a matter of fact we now know that there are links between oral health and diabetes, respiratory illness, pre-term, low weight babies and cardiovascular disease. Then there are the direct results of neglecting your oral health, tooth pain, tooth loss and chronic bad breath. And whether you want to admit it or not society as a whole has a slightly lower impression of people with bad teeth.
But it’s not just our physical mouth that we are talking about this morning, let’s talk about the spiritual impact of your oral health, that is what comes out of your mouth. We are warned by Jesus in Matthew 15:11 It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”
And that isn’t the only place in the Bible that our tongues and mouths are spoken of. Listen to the words of Solomon in Proverbs 13:3 Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.
Our mouths will reveal as much or more about our Christian character or lack of Christian character then our actions will. The words of our mouth are the most powerful influence in the church and it is able to build people up or tear them down.