Most healthcare professionals, including alternative as well as allopathic practitioners, would not regard dentistry as having a significant impact on overall health. Let’s examine that from a holistic perspective. Wouldn’t you agree that improving your smile has a great deal to do with self-confidence and feeling good emotionally? If you ever felt pain in a tooth or gum, your enjoyment of life is certainly diminished. Eating, kissing, smiling, and doing your best work is impaired. But restoring teeth and cleaning gums is just one piece of the health puzzle.
Health focused dentists, also known as holistic or biological dentists, look at the whole person and work with a team of holistic health professionals to help improve and maintain good overall health. Recognizing that dentistry can contribute to medical conditions, reducing inflammation in the mouth by eliminating oral infections can also reduce inflammation in the body. Restoring balance to the teeth, bones, and muscles can improve digestion, nutrition, strength and stability. Identifying and eliminating toxins from the oral cavity and the body which have a huge impact on the immune and endocrine system can turn serious health problems around.
Chronic Health Problems: What’s Dentistry Got to Do with It?
Many patients who are medically compromised or just feeling sick and tired and have not been controlled with medications or other interventions continue to research options that could help. It may come as a surprise that those who have addressed their dental condition have often experienced a reduction of symptoms and a general improvement in wellbeing.
The following are dentistry factors that can suppress overall good health.
- Dental materials such as fillings, crowns, cements, or appliances may contain ingredients that are toxic or may cause allergic reactions. What’s in or on your teeth and gums, or implanted in your bone stays there 24/7 right at the entrance to your digestive and respiratory systems and centimeters from your brain.
- Infections in teeth (abscesses), gums (gingivitis), bone sockets (periodontal disease), or jawbone can through circulation and lymphatics disperse microbes and toxic wastes to other parts of the body resulting in seemingly unrelated health symptoms.
- TMJ or bite imbalances may contribute to facial pain, headaches, and aching backs.
- Oral lesions can be signs of stress, poor nutrition, systemic infections, or cancer.
- Inflammation, decay, and pain can signal imbalances in body chemistry.
- Bacteria in the mouth (gingivitis or periodontitis) can be a likely cause of post-operative pneumonia
- Root canal-treated teeth may harbor pathogenic organisms inside microscopic tubules within the tooth roots. Toxic wastes can escape into the surrounding bone and get into the lymph system affecting all parts of the body.
What to do…
- Work with knowledgeable holistic healthcare practitioners for help to support health. Preventive dentistry like regular professional teeth and gum cleanings and attentive home care for oral hygiene is combined with encouraging a healthy diet, lifestyle changes (including smoking cessation and exercise), stress management, detoxification, and correcting deficiencie
- The body is all connected. Imbalances in the bite can be stabilized with mouth appliances, orthodontic movement, or selective adjustments of tooth interferences. This corrective dentistry works best when followed up with full body alignment addressed by chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, massage therapy, and other body work.
- Treat Infections in gums, teeth, and bone. Whenever possible, consider non-surgical treatment first. Although sometimes necessary in dentistry involving infections, antibiotics and pain medications may be appropriate. Alternatives could include homeopathics, herbal remedies, essential oils, acupuncture, and other non-conventional treatments.
- Know what’s being put into your teeth, gums, and bone. When medically compromised, prudent dentistry would include a bio-compatibility blood test. The would help determine an individual’s anti-body response to thousands of dental materials. Whenever getting fillings, crowns, dentures, or braces, it is advantageous for people with compromised immune systems, auto-immune diseases, allergies, diabetes, heart disease, and neurological symptoms to request this test.
- Get your teeth cleaned prior to surgery. It is not standard of care for surgeons or anesthesiologists to require a dental cleaning prior to being intubated for surgical procedures. This dentistry referral would help prevent post-operative pneumonia by not introducing oral bacteria into the lungs.
While it’s never one thing that causes a health problem and also never one thing that can be the cure, many things can contribute to the body moving towards or away from health. Dentistry is one of those things.