Did you know that your oral health reveals important clues about your overall health? Holistic dentistry acknowledges these connections between your mouth and your whole-body wellness. Simply put, it’s a “whole-istic” approach to your dental treatment.
Holistic dentistry practitioners realize that your teeth and mouth are part of the same blood, nervous, and lymph system that affects every other part of your body. And the treatment recommendations they offer reflect this understanding.
Oral care and whole-body wellness
Your mouth is the portal by which a number of bacteria enter the bloodstream. Normally, the body can fight off these invaders. But when these bacteria are strengthened by the presence of inflammation caused by periodontal infection (gum disease), it can result in serious illness for your body.
A Mayo Clinic article outlined some of the potentially dangerous conditions that have been connected with the bacteria spread through oral disease.
It’s easy to see that protecting your oral health is vital to your whole-body health. Dentists practicing holistic dentistry will educate patients on the importance of overall health and how dentistry can play a role in this.
What’s different about a holistic dentist?
A holistic dentist does all the same things as a traditional dentist. They clean teeth, fill cavities, create bridges and implants. But, their approach to patient treatment differs somewhat. They believe that treating a patient’s teeth goes beyond just what’s going on in their mouth. They need to consider the entire body – diet, lifestyle habits, and even the mental and emotional health of their patient.
Holistic dentists perform dentistry that is good for the body as well as the teeth and gums.
They will often advise or even offer programs for preventative care that goes beyond just encouraging good dental hygiene, such as programs that emphasize better nutrition or how to stop smoking.
What does holistic dentistry include?
While there is no specific definition of standards for holistic dentistry, generally, holistic dentistry will offer treatments that may include some of the following options:
- Emphasis on prevention and conservative treatment.
- Metal-free options for restorative materials.
- Use of digital x-rays.
- May use homeopathic treatment in conjunction with conventional treatments.
- Often offer alternative methods for management of pain other than traditional medications.
Holistic dentistry encourages patients to be responsible caretakers of their health and also active participants in their treatment. It provides a dentist and team who are interested in YOU, and every aspect of your health. Their goal is to give you thoughtful, conservative and complete care that will give you a healthy mouth and a healthy body you can enjoy for a lifetime.