Holistic Dentistry A-Z: Your Complete Guide
Holistic dentistry is growing in popularity, but there are many questions and misconceptions about what this dental practice involves. This guide will explain everything you need to know about holistic dentistry and oral health with in-depth resources and learning materials.
What is Holistic Dentistry?
Holistic dentistry is an alternative approach to traditional dental treatment, offering natural remedies for preventing, diagnosing, and treating patients.
Your teeth, gums, and mouth are interconnected to the rest of your body. A holistic dentist focuses on this relationship and how your oral health affects the overall health of your body and vice versa.
Traditional dentists focus on treating symptoms, known as the “drill and fill” approach. However, a holistic dentist looks beyond symptoms to address the underlying causes of dental health conditions and related health issues. They consider lifestyle factors such as sleep patterns, hormones, diet, stress, and overall body health for treatment and recommendations.
What is a Biological Dentist?
In most cases, a biological dentist is just another name for a holistic dentist. The two terms are essentially interchangeable.
A biological dentist puts greater emphasis on proactive care to prevent oral and whole-body health problems. The International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine explains that biological dentistry is designed to improve the patient’s overall quality of life.
While biological dentistry takes a different approach to traditional oral care, it’s worth noting that all biological and holistic dentists are licensed. They have either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree.
Chemical-Free Dental Cleanings
Holistic dentists still provide traditional dental services, although their approach may be different. Every patient should receive two regular cleanings per year to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.
During a dental cleaning at a holistic dental practice, plaque is removed without the use of harmful chemicals. Natural solutions used for dental cleanings remove bacteria and plaque, while eliminating the stress on your body caused by processing harmful chemicals. Chemical-free dental cleanings promote lasting oral and full-body health.
Biocompatible Dental Restorations
Damaged teeth need to be repaired. A tooth that is cracked, broken, or missing can ultimately cause additional complications.
Rather than taking multiple trips to the dentist to receive a temporary crown, Green Dentistry offers same-day CEREC crowns. These custom crowns and veneers can be made in just a few hours from biocompatible porcelain materials. They are designed to last for decades, and you’ll never get a cavity in that tooth.
CEREC crowns are durable, non-metal, non-toxic, and look just like your natural teeth.
Fluoride-Free Dental Treatments
Fluoride is a chemical used to minimize tooth decay and prevent gum disease. It’s commonly added to toothpaste, mouthwash, and public water supplies. Fluoride is optional at Green Dentistry if you’re looking for a chemical-free cleaning.
Activated charcoal is an alternative solution to traditional fluoride treatments. In addition to superior detoxification properties, activated charcoal is particularly effective at whitening teeth.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing dozens or hundreds of times throughout the night. Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health complications and in rare cases, may lead to death. If you are seeking a holistic approach to sleep apnea prevention, you can benefit from non-surgical treatments at Green Dentistry.
The most common way to treat sleep apnea is with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). A CPAP machine features a customized mask connected to an air compressor worn over your face and mouth while you sleep. It provides constant air pressure to the throat, preventing it from narrowing during rest.
If you’re looking for something more discreet, you might want to consider a Daytime-Nighttime (DNA) Appliance for sleep apnea treatment. The appliance looks and fits like a retainer and simultaneously reduces TMJ symptoms and teeth alignment while opening the upper airway.
For hundreds of years, dentists have used amalgam fillings to repair teeth. This material contains mercury with a mix of silver, tin, or copper.
New research shows the dangers associated with mercury and its adverse effects on the human body. While the ADA says that these fillings are safe, mercury is known to be toxic. It has been banned for dental treatment in countries across the world.
A growing number of health-conscious individuals are choosing to have their mercury fillings removed. It’s important to work with a SMART-certified dentist. This ensures the removal of your fillings does not put you at additional risk for mercury exposure.
The Inflammatory Process
Inflammation is how the human body responds to injuries, illness, or disease and is often useful for healing. However, inflammation of oral tissues often the root cause of serious dental health conditions, like periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the result of untreated infection and inflammation of the gum tissue.
Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease. With gingivitis, the gums become inflamed, red, and bleed easily. More severe stages of periodontal disease can cause the gums to pull away from your teeth, often resulting in tooth loss.
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, more than 47% of adults over the age of 30 suffer from periodontal disease. A holistic dentist can help you learn how to reverse gingivitis and periodontal disease naturally.
The Inflammatory Process
Your body’s hormones play a critical role in maintaining proper dental health. They have a direct correlation to your body’s inflammatory response and can complicate many dental conditions. Some common hormone imbalances that cause oral health issues include pregnancy gingivitis, low testosterone, adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disorders.
Diet and Dental Health
Every dentist will tell you to brush your teeth, floss, and have bi-annual dental exams. But when was the last time your dentist talked to you about your diet?
Certain foods are damaging to your oral health, while other foods, vitamins, and minerals promote good dental health. Holistic dentistry helps you identify and understand which foods cause cavities and gum disease. Discuss your diet with your dentist and ask for personalized recommendations on foods to eat or avoid based on your clinical findings.
Find a Holistic Dentist Near You
Are you looking for a holistic dentist in the Bay Area?
Green Dentistry in San Francisco offers holistic care, cosmetic dental treatments, and traditional dental services from a whole-body health perspective.
Call us to schedule an appointment or book online today.
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