Let's face it, we live in a toxic world; so you don't want to add to your toxic load or create more stress for your immune system through your dentistry. Studies indicate that at some point at least twenty per cent of dental patients develop sensitivity to dental material. Your holistic dentist will have different forms of testing available to ascertain which materials are suitable for you.
In dentistry, the only condition that can strictly speaking be called a disease is periodontal (gum) disease. The media has drawn a lot of attention recently to research showing that bacteria causing gum disease is not only found in the mouth. The same bacteria can be found in the blood stream when a patient has gum disease and may also be present in instances of heart disease. The mouth is the gateway to the body and a sound oral environment is a necessary support for a strong heart in a healthy body.
Your gums are the foundation for any dental treatment. A holistic dentist will always try to implement a balanced and progressive program for preserving your gums before recommending a more aggressive approach to your periodontal care.
It is vital that a strict protocol be followed whenever metal fillings need to be replaced. This includes tooth isolation so that no metal particles find themselves in your mouth or, worse yet, are swallowed. Clean air and oxygen should be provided for you to breathe, along with any special filtration and a custom high speed vacuum unit. Ideally your holistic dentist will also have a filter that will prevent the metal that has been removed from getting into the public water system. In our oceans, fourteen per cent of the pollution is caused by dental metals. Bay Area dentists are actually required to implement this type of filtration to protect the waters of San Francisco Bay.
Your holistic dentist knows that your mouth is the gateway to your body, not just internally but structurally as well. The patient's bite alignment must always be factored into the total picture of dental treatment, along with specific concerns like problems with the jaw joint (TMJ). Bite assessment is important for treatment, not just for the head and jaw but for the structure of the body as a whole.
Measures to take for bite correction include use of splints designed with state of the art materials, as well as muscular adjustments within the mouth. Sometimes your holistic dentist may coordinate treatment directly with a chiropractor in order to give you the most positive results.
Your bite must be at its best for the successful outcome to your dental treatment: a relaxed and happy smile.
Traditionally, dentists have always stressed the importance of regular brushing and flossing, particularly after eating sweets, for the maintenance of dental health. Your holistic dentist may put even more emphasis on the importance of good dietary habits.
For example, an alkaline, sugar-free diet is an important adjunct to preventive oral health. It is well known that sugar contributes to tooth decay. This is because the bacteria that cause decay easily feed and grow on intake of sugar. An alkaline diet is also helpful in that the stresses of our world tend to cause acidity of the saliva, which affects the health of both teeth and gums. An alkaline diet keeps the ph of saliva at the proper balance so that the digestive processes beginning with the mouth will function optimally. Following some simple dietary guidelines can minimize and actually eliminate sugar cravings.
Your holistic dentist may also use aids like homeopathics, which are a powerful support to oral health and dental treatment. Homeopathic pellets of Aconitum Napellus can be administered to calm anxiety before treatment. Homeopathic gels can be used topically after procedures to dissipate the effects of anesthetics. Others, such as Arnica and Traumeel, can be applied topically to sore gum tissue.
Metal fillings that are 15-20 years old can create cracks in your teeth that eventually grow to become fractures. It is not uncommon to have old fillings stay intact while the tooth structure crumbles around it. In addition to metal fillings weakening tooth structure, they stain the underlying tooth black. It is best to remove old fillings before the tooth breaks, risking root canals or crowns and caps.
Through bonding techniques caps or crowns are sometimes unnecessary, since bonding helps to hold the tooth together rather than wedge it apart. This strengthening through bonding allows us to be more conservative and remove less tooth structure. There are many durable tooth-colored filling materials available today that support the tooth and look natural and beautiful.
Today limiting the damage caused by toxicity is a hidden determinant to good health. Limiting toxicity may present as big a challenge as getting proper nutrition. Your body has the wisdom to convert whatever you feed it into nutrients it can use, but over time the immune system and organs of the body may respond to cumulative toxicity by breaking down. It is important for patients to know about the ingredients to avoid in toothpaste and mouthwash. There is more and more availability of organic, effective, good-tasting alternatives for home dental care. Your holistic dentist can educate you in the many ways that toxic ingredients can be found in personal care and cleaning products and even food and medicine.
Learning which ingredients are best avoided and taking the time to read labels are two ways that we can empower ourselves and our families to strive for good oral health and overall well being.
Educating and influencing patients to have a more balanced lifestyle is another of the reasons why your holistic dentist provides important service to your community.
Copyright 2006 Carey O'Rielly, DDS has over 20 years of experience in the dental field & specializes in the integration of cosmetic dentistry with holistic care. His practice, in Encinitas, CA, the Integrative Center for Holistic Dentistry, is affiliated with a local medical center. Victoria Klubok has over 20 years of experience in holistic care & is presently a Masters candidate in Integral Health. Download their new ebook at www.myholisticdentist.com.
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