Holistic dentistry is an alternative approach to treating dental problems with non-toxic, metal-free materials. It begins with examining your overall health to determine how it affects your dental health.
The main belief of holistic dentistry is that illness in one part of the body is not confined to that part only and can negatively affect the other parts. However, holistic dentists believe prevention is necessary to avoid all dental complications and suggest their patients dietary and lifestyle changes, to maintain optimum health.
A holistic dentist is a medical practitioner that adopts a broader view of dental practices. They are general dentists who believe in holistic and traditional western medicine. They touch on environmental, nutritional, and physical elements that connect your life and influence your bodily health.
Holistic dentists believe that dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented with proper nutrition, and a person can avoid unnecessary treatments through self-care and education.
Why Choose Holistic Dentistry?
Although under research, there are several reasons why you should choose holistic dentistry for your dental problems. Some reasons are:
Mercury has been used in dentistry since old times. It is widely known as a toxic substance that is fatal for consumption. Conventional dentists have used mercury in dental procedures for the last 150 years. Mercury makes strong dental fillings. It gives fillings added strength and durability. Silver fillings and amalgam fillings contain more than 50% mercury. The weight of fillings increases with the addition of mercury too. This strength and durability come with a cost.
The practitioners of holistic dentistry know that mercury causes harm to the human body.
Some of the harmful effects of mercury on the body are:
- Weak immunity
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Autism Spectrum disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Mood Swings
Individuals have shown negative feedback to mercury in their mouths. People who have the habit of clenching their jaw and grinding teeth or interacting with chemicals in their jobs demonstrate adverse effects with mercury in their dental fillings. Avoiding mercury in their fillings is best for their health.
Holistic dentistry focuses on mercury-free dental treatment. Instead of mercury in dental fillings, holistic dentists use:
- Composite resin
- Glass Ionomer
These materials are safe for oral use, durable, and more discreet than amalgam fillings. Mercury-free dental fillings do not affect the health of the patients.
More and more people are getting this type of dental fillings as they are getting aware of their health.
Another conventional chemical that holistic dentistry does not use is fluoride.
Mainstream media have popularized fluoride as beneficial for teeth. It is said to strengthen the enamel layer and prevent cavities. Conventional dentists consider fluoride safe for oral use. They regularly prescribe fluoride treatments for their patients. Many places even distribute fluoridated tap water in their areas.
Despite these efforts, people are aware of the harmful effects of fluoride on the human body. Too much fluoride causes fluorosis.
The symptoms of fluorosis are:
- White specks or streaks on teeth.
- Brown discoloration on the enamel.
- Enamel that is difficult to clean.
- Teeth lose their shine.
- Flaky patches on teeth.
- Irregular tooth surface.
- Receding gums.
As fluorosis progresses, the patient can develop joint pain, reduced flexibility, stiff bones, and back pain.
Holistic dentistry recognizes the controversy behind fluoride. Although unnoticeable, everyone suffers from the harmful effects of fluoride. It discourages the use of fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities.
Hydroxyapatite is a promising alternative to fluoride. According to recent research, hydroxyapatite has remineralization effects. It is similar to fluoride but has none of its harmful effects.
This shows you do not need fluoride to treat and prevent cavities and tooth decay.
Ozone therapy treatment is the newest procedure to deal with dental issues. It is composed of three oxygen molecules (O3).
Ozone is an antibacterial agent that prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth. It also aids in disinfecting the mouth after tooth extraction and other oral procedures. Dentistry applies ozone as ozone gas, ozonated water, or ozonated oil.
The benefits of ozone therapy are:
Eliminate tooth decay– Ozone is the best treatment for mild tooth decay.
Remineralization– Ozone therapy is effective in remineralizing and repairing weakened tooth enamel.
Reduce tooth sensitivity– Thin enamel causes tooth sensitivity. Since ozone efficiently treats tooth enamel, it can also treat tooth sensitivity.
Treat canker sores– Ozone therapy gives relief from canker sores. Not treating them can cause you pain when you eat or drink.
Treat Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain– TMJ causes pain in your jaw joint. Ozone is a natural treatment for TMJ pain.
Safe & natural– Dental treatments use toxic metals for procedures like silver and amalgam fillings.
Quick procedure– As ozone therapy does not need numbing agents, there is no need to cure it with light or wait for it to set. The procedure gets done in seconds.
Ozone therapy has many benefits and potential use in many dental treatments. It is backed by scientific evidence with proven results.
Focus On Overall Health & Prevention
Traditional dentistry focuses only on dental health.
Holistic dentists focus on the whole body’s health. They care how your oral health affects the body’s health and vice-versa. The belief is that dental health is connected with overall health.
Let us take the example of gum disease. Some symptoms and effects of gum disease are far from the mouth area, like weight loss, fever, and, sometimes, even heart disease. Hence, holistic dentists are aware of this fact and thus suggest dietary changes to relieve the symptoms. So, they remind patients that they don’t care for their dental health, so it makes sense that their overall health is so bad.
Holistic dentists believe that any tooth-related problem can be prevented with the help of good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
The nutrition tips given by holistic dentists are;
- Avoid sugary and starchy foods
- Have fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, tuna, etc.
- Eat leafy greens like spinach, kale, lettuce, etc.
- Chew pieces of raw crunchy vegetables to promote saliva production.
- Limit carbonated drinks that are high in sugar.
- Avoid processed food, which is high in fat and causes heart disease.
This guide will help you ensure good gut health and reduce inflammation and bloating, improving your dental health.
Avoids Root Canals
Holistic dentistry avoids root canals unless they are absolutely necessary.
A conventional dentist will take an x-ray of your mouth and diagnose a root canal procedure if something looks wrong to them.
Holistic dentists believe that almost 50% of all root canal procedures are unnecessary and could be solved with other methods. They believe that a tooth could be left ‘alive.’
Root canal procedures give way to anaerobic bacteria in the gums. These bacteria do not need any oxygen to survive. Holistic dentists clean out the roots. This process is known as cavitation. The decay is cleaned out, and its place goes a mercury-free filling. This helps relieve pain and helps calm the exposed nerves of the tooth.
Some alternatives for root canal treatment are:
- Zirconia Implant
- Dental & Bonded Bridge
- Biometric Fillings
- Metal-free Partials
Most Natural & Least Invasive
Holistic dentists prefer natural treatments and non-invasive methods. They use materials that will not react badly to your health.
Products like mercury and fluoride are harmful to the body. It is best to avoid them if you want to follow an all-natural lifestyle. Sometimes, you may ingest these chemicals, as they are present in water and other dental products. Holistic dentists recommend detoxification. It cleanses your gut and gives you a boost of nutrition too.
Holistic dentistry frowns upon invasive dental procedures too. Treatments like tooth extractions, root canals, and gum manipulation are painful and take a long time to heal. They cause trauma to the patient and have unpredictable results too.
Holistic dentistry focuses on procedures like ozone therapy and laser treatment.
The Bottom Line
Holistic dentistry is backed by scientific evidence and has been in practice since the 1800s. Its care goes beyond teeth and gums. The dentists who practice holistic dentistry consider your overall health before focusing on your mouth. This field of dentistry is still being studied, and discoveries are being made from time to time. Be sure to contact a reputable and experienced holistic dentist if you seek this treatment.