Saline Dentist's Book Reveals Holistic Approach to Dental Health
In a gripping revelation of the interconnectedness of dental and overall health, Dr. Sheryl Pomerance DDS, a renowned local dentist, launched her new book “About Face” this week. The book offers a comprehensive exploration of her unique journey and groundbreaking insights into the dental field, emphasizing the holistic approach she passionately advocates. As Dr. Pomerance asserts, "Your teeth are a part of your face. It's not just the teeth; it's your entire well-being."
Dr. Pomerance's story is one of personal resilience, unwavering commitment to knowledge, and a mission to redefine dentistry as we know it. STN sat down with Dr. Pomerance and learned more. Graduating from dental school in 1980, she initially embarked on her career with a focus on creating beautiful smiles and ensuring good oral health. However, her life took an unexpected turn when she began experiencing excruciating pain in her jaw. The painful journey that followed became the foundation for her book.
Her quest for answers led her to consult an orthodontist, who recommended jaw surgery and tooth extractions for what appeared to be temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. However, the two years following the surgery brought little relief. "I could barely open my mouth," Dr. Pomerance recalled. She realized that her dental experiences were marred by her lack of knowledge as a patient. In her words, "I wondered how I was supposed to live like this."
Driven by her desire to find alternative solutions, Dr. Pomerance began attending courses and lectures led by non-specialists, eventually crossing paths with dentist John Woodson. Woodson's unconventional approach of expanding the upper jaw to create space for the lower jaw marked a turning point in her journey.
Her struggle continued, with persistent toothaches and numbness in her lower right jaw. It became evident that her initial diagnosis had been inaccurate. Her realization led to a deeper exploration of developmental orthodontic courses, ultimately revealing the importance of proper facial growth and development.
In the early 1990s, Dr. Pomerance encountered a dentist specializing in bite reconstruction. A device was provided to reshape her bite, and crowns were fitted to match her new bite. Dr. Pomerance's smile was restored, but the adjustments were not without challenges.
Her relentless pursuit of knowledge extended to exploring obstructive sleep apnea and sleep medicine, which faced resistance in the medical field. Throughout her journey, she faced upper respiratory tract issues, leading her to use remedies such as nebulizers and oral steroids to address her breathing problems.
A transformative moment occurred during a conference when she discovered a breathing technique that improved her nasal airflow. "After just half an hour of practice, I began to notice an improvement," Dr. Pomerance emphasized. This discovery marked a significant shift in her understanding.
In 2017, she trained with Dave Singh, who introduced her to adult appliance therapy. Her mission to educate others about proper facial development, the significance of respiratory health, and the lasting consequences of childhood dental treatments grew stronger.
In addition to sharing her journey, Dr. Pomerance addressed the changing landscape of dental care, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach. She remarked, "If your bite is off, your back's gonna be affected too." She pointed out the importance of understanding the vertical component in facial aging, which often results in lower back problems for many in their early 60s.
As she wrapped up the interview, Dr. Pomerance advocated for a standardized approach to evaluating people's faces. By offering patients crucial information about their facial development, she hopes to empower individuals to seek solutions tailored to their specific needs, highlighting the existence of adult appliances and other treatments.
The interview also touched on prevention, particularly for children. Dr. Pomerance stressed the importance of ensuring that babies are born with the ability to use their facial muscles, often tied to breastfeeding. Lip and tongue tie revisions with advanced tools like carbon dioxide layer lasers were recommended to enhance a baby's well-being without unnecessary bleeding or discomfort.
Dr. Pomerance's incredible journey and the insights she shares in her upcoming book tell a story about the transformative power of knowledge, holistic thinking, and the unwavering pursuit of excellence in the field of dentistry.