In this instalment we look at some of the scientific, political and legal aspects that potentially flow from an acceptance that the Cybernetic Hypothesis of Periodontal Disease in Mammalian Carnivores may have some validity.
To that extent, validity was bestowed on the Hypothesis when first published as a Feature Article in the March 1994 Journal of Veterinary Dentistry. The Journal stated: “His innovative hypothesis was initially presented in December 1992.”
So to my mind, the most significant matter now arising is that despite initially having ‘validity’ the Hypothesis is and never has been scrutinised, discussed and debated. No one ever approaches me to discuss the matter and I think it’s a fair guess that there are no people out there in the universe having quiet discussion. No, it’s simply never considered; it’s lost, gone and forgotten.
However, in an attempt to resurrect the Hypothesis I list some potential implications here.
That the Hypothesis is a subtle system of interlocking actions heavily dependent on communication between those systems is in no doubt.
All aspects are shown to have co-evolved with the anaerobes being the first inhabitants of our planet and still in a key role, perhaps the main coordinating role, today.
A new opportunity presents. Instead of the linear, reductionist, uni-directional, cause and effect model of medical scientific enquiry, there’s an opportunity to employ computer technology to see a bigger picture; to explain and predict that which hitherto has been anomalous.
Death of cells, systems and organisms are seen as essential and on a par with the need for survival. It’s suggested that rancid breath odours potentially carry great ecological significance over significant distances, that the vomero-nasal organ potentially serves an important more immediate function enabling the carnivore to sense the health of its saliva.
The Hypothesis places great emphasis on the immune system and its interactions with connective tissue. It’s often noted by periodontists that gums do not heal by the deposition of collagen as in other damaged tissue. Once gums are destroyed they do not regenerate. Local autoimmunity is in part associated with the destruction of gum tissue. And autoimmunity affecting connective tissue is a notable aspect of several autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and lupus.
In numerous diseases inflammation and degeneration occurs in the capillary beds. A key pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis, is shown to be involved in various diseases including dementia. The Hypothesis predicts and explains why this should be so.
With each passing month the main-stream and scientific press talk about new connections and associations between systemic diseases and gum disease in humans. In our domestic carnivores there appears to be even tighter association, although due to the dead hand of the pet food industry research and survey data is never available. However, we should trust our intellect and ability to see patterns. If indeed the Cybernetic Hypothesis lives up to its promise, then a new paradigm of health and disease could be in the offing.
Given the apparent strength of the Hypothesis as an explanatory and predictive tool, then it ought to have considerable range of uses in the medical and veterinary research fields. Besides the scientific, such decisions have a significant political dimension.
The political will needs to be found such that human medical and dental research can thereby be enhanced. Nutritional science, biological and behavioural sciences should also get a boost.
In the veterinary domain, acceptance of the Hypothesis will inevitably put considerable pressure on the corrupt pet food/vet/fake animal welfare alliance. And this, most likely, is the reason that the veterinary profession so studiously avoids discussion of the Hypothesis.
For the future, for the Hypothesis to gain some ground, I believe that there will need to be legal actions against the faceless pet food companies and their network of veterinary puppets. Of course, there are many hypotheticals standing in the way. It could be many years before things receive proper scrutiny and acceptance – and then the Cybernetics idea’s time will come.