Most healthcare professionals – allopathic as well as alternative health practitioners- would most likely not regard your dental health as having much of an impact on your overall health. Think about it. When you go to your doctor or hospital, have you noticed that there are no dental questions on the health intake form? Asking about every other part of your body, the physician or nurse probably hasn’t asked about your gums, tooth problems, TMJ discomfort, procedures, or dental materials in your mouth. Ignoring this is a big mistake. Dental health and the connections to inflammation, pain, hormone balance, chronic health problems, and body chemistry is just not a subject studied in medical school. But to be fair, the overall health links to dental health are likewise limited in other holistic educational systems.
In Overall Health and Wellbeing, Your Emotional State as Well as Physical Health Responds to Your Dental Condition
Let’s examine how your dental health and overall health relate physically and emotionally. Wouldn’t you agree that improving your smile has a great deal to do with self-confidence and feeling good about yourself? Do you stress out going to the dentist and often cancel? Enjoyment of life is certainly diminished if kissing, smiling, and speaking is impaired. Even for a short time, think how you feel when you have numbness still present after a visit to the dentist.
You may at some point have experienced pain in a tooth or gum. That can certainly affect your ability to eat and get proper nutrition. But there is much more impact that your dental condition has on your overall health. It’s a fact that your health care providers don’t know much about dentistry. And your dentist concentrates on the health, function, aesthetics, and integrity of oral structures. So who can connect the dots of your overall health to your dental health?
Biological Dentistry: The Missing Link in Overall Health
Health focused dentists, also known as holistic or biological dentists, look at the whole person and are not just dental carpenters. They recognize the dental contribution to medical conditions and work with a team of holistic health professionals for the common goal of helping to improve and maintain good overall health. Getting to root cause of an overall health problem can sometimes be found in oral health. The oral environment with its teeth, filling materials, soft tissues, bones, and glands is at the entrance to the GI track and lungs, and just centimeters from the brain, ears, eyes, and sinuses. Inflammation can be readily seen in the mouth which is a signal that there is inflammation elsewhere. Eliminating oral infections can also reduce inflammation in the rest of the body. Restoring balance to the teeth, jaw bones, and muscles can eliminate pain, improve digestion, sleep, nutrition, strength, and stability. Identifying and removing toxins from the oral cavity and the body has a huge impact on the immune and endocrine system. Chronic and serious health problems have been seen to turn around.
7 Dental Factors You May Not Know that Affect Overall Health
Many medically compromised patients have experienced a reduction of symptoms and a general improvement in wellbeing when they addressed their dental condition. When it comes to assessing overall health, you must not ignore the following oral health factors.
- Dental materials such as fillings, crowns, cements, or appliances may contain heavy metals such as mercury or nickel or chemical 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, can drain toxic wastes into your lymphatics, and is right at the entrance to your digestive and respiratory systems.
- Infections in teeth (abscesses), gums (gingivitis), bone sockets (periodontal disease), or jawbone can through circulation and lymphatics scatter disease causing 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-especially if intubated for a procedure and can be a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
- Root canal-treated teeth may harbor disease causing germs inside miles of tiny tubules contained in the tooth roots. Toxic wastes from these microbes can escape into the surrounding bone and get into the lymph system.
What to do for Dental Health to Support Your Overall Health
- See your dentist and also team up with knowledgeable holistic or integrative healthcare practitioners. Professional teeth and gum cleanings and attentive home care for oral hygiene is combined with a healthy diet, lifestyle changes (including smoking cessation and exercise), stress management, detoxification, and correcting deficiencies.
- Pay attention to posture, body alignment, habits, and sleep. Imbalances in the bite can be stabilized with mouth appliances, orthodontic movement, or selective correction of tooth interferences. This works best when followed up with chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, massage therapy, and other body work.
- Treat Infections in gums, teeth, and bone. Whenever possible, consider non-surgical treatment first. Try to maintain gut health with probiotics when antibiotics are necessary. You may consider alternatives such as homeopathics, herbal remedies, essential oils, acupuncture, and other holistic treatments.
- Know what’s being put into your teeth, gums, and bone. A bio-compatibility blood test that determines an individual’s anti-body response to thousands of dental materials is advantageous for people with compromised immune systems, auto-immune diseases, allergies, diabetes, heart disease, and neurological symptoms.
- Get your teeth cleaned prior to surgery. This would help prevent post-operative pneumonia and not divert necessary healing to the surgical site.
While it’s never one thing that causes an overall 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. Your dental health is one of those things.
As holistic dentists, we've recommended products and services that supported our patients’ health for decades. In experiencing our own health challenges from mercury toxicity, we worked closely with many natural, alternative, and integrative health practitioners who aided our recovery as well as our patients’. We built this site to provide you with a simple-to-use, comprehensive, informational, and functional resource for your physical, emotional, and spiritual health & well-being.
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