Apparently Cicero (106-43BC) had a version; and the Bible has the apostle Matthew alluding to it (verses 6:22-24). And while it seems Leonardo Da Vinci is equally responsible, it’s most commonly attributed to William Shakespeare.

Ask ChatGPT, and it hedges its bets with Leo as the originator which is exactly how rumours start, family feuds occur, and fake news get traction.

All we know is that someone, somewhere along the lines of history and its sometimes questionable notations, opined, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.”

US neoclassical sculptor Hiram Powers (1805-1873) furthered this observation, with the suggestion that although it’s in the eyes that will and intellect are seen, “…the mouth (is) the door” where emotions, sensibilities and affections are shown.

It’s up to interpretation as to whether they’re shown to that door, or seen through that door, or it’s a closed door behind which things happen that nobody knows about.

Talking Heads original and Atomic Bomb! Band creative genius David Byrne, maintains that body odour is the window to the soul; and you really can’t argue with him.

It is he who reminds us that the two biggest self-deceptions are that life has meaning and that each of us is unique; that science is to map our ignorance; and that having unlimited choices can paralyse you creatively.

A living example of just what that means is to stand in front of the Wall of Tuna in any large supermarket.

For English professor and author Talia Argondezzi, eyelids are the window shutters to the soul. Under-eye bags are the window-box planters, any faint moustache is the welcome mat, and marionette lines are the bannisters to the front stoop to the soul – which is the mouth.

Whatever the case, the mouth has a lot to answer for … and it answers for a lot.

Even without saying anything.

Certainly, there’s a strong, cybernetic loop between dental health, and mental health.

Research shows that each equally improves, or debilitates the other. It has long been proven that sufferers of mental health issues are commonly remiss with effective and routine oral hygiene.

Professional dental care is often out of mind and out of reach when psychological or emotional wellbeing are in jeopardy. One side effect of many prescribed antipsychotic and mood stabilising medications, is a reduction in saliva flow, which leads to mouth ulcers and tooth decay.

Add to that the strong possibility of self-soothing strategies that are dependent on any combination of tobacco, alcohol, illicit, or non-prescribed drugs. Oral microbiome becomes an imbalance of pathogens and destructive bacteria.

Eating disorders bring anguish of many kinds; part of which is the overproduction of stomach acid that in turn, erodes dental enamel.

Without this necessary coating, teeth become discoloured, fragile, and temperature sensitive. Maintaining good nutrition becomes much more difficult than the complex issue brought about by the initial affliction.

Obsessive-compulsive behaviour may include too-frequent, and harsh scrubbing of the teeth and gums. It can wear away dental structure to irrepairability. There’s high susceptability to cavities, as well as permanent gum injury.

This soft tissue damage ultimately results in chronic infection, and then periodontal disease.

Untreated gum disease not only destroys the supporting bone, but the resultant pocketing at the gum line is a direct entry point for microorganisms into the bloodstream.

Thus begins the unwanted journey into any number of systemic diseases and various cancers that affect the biology and functioning of the heart, circulation, digestion, brain, kidneys, pancreas and the musculoskeleton.

Screening for oral cancer is something all dentists do, during a six-monthly check-up. They examine the mouth for red or white lesions, soft tissue thickening and lumps, inflamed gums, and lesions that don’t heal.

They’ll see the early signs that you won’t.

Frequent bouts of gingivitis can indicate the need for a type-2 diabetes test; and proper treatment can prevent the onset of periodontitis and the long term health issues it causes.

Let your fingers do the walking, and call your dentist. Make the appointment that can positively alter the rest of your life.

All you have to do is relax into that dental chair, and open your mouth. You won’t have to say anything. Just let your dentist look into that window.

There’s a future there. You can invest in it, or continue building a fortress that’s preserving a regretful past.

Pitt St Dental Sydney | Fara

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