Views from a Holistic Dentist
We are speaking with Dr. Andrea Brockman, BSN, DDS, a nurse and dentist, on raising awareness of a part of the body necessary for overall health, yet often neglected by other health practitioners, due to lack of education.
7 Protocols Holistic Dentists Routinely Follow to Protect and Improve Your Overall Health
Most healthcare professionals, including allopathic as well as alternative practitioners, think of dentistry more for restoring decayed or broken teeth, relieving pain, keeping gums cleaned, or improving smiles. It’s not part of their training to learn about dentistry or oral health in the context of relating to overall health and wellbeing.
To fill this void, there are health focused dentists, also known as holistic or biological dentists, who in addition to their skills to restore the mouth to function, comfort, and aesthetics, have increased their knowledge of how dental health and interventions can affect one’s overall health.
The goal is to reduce inflammation in the body (first seen as gum, tooth, and jawbone infections), improve digestion (with functioning teeth), eliminate toxins (contributed by dental materials and infections), and restore balance to the teeth, bones, and muscles of the head. These all have a huge impact on the immune and endocrine system, heart health, nutritional balance, organs of elimination, allergies, chronic pain, posture, and many other conditions.
Chronic Health Problems? Holistic Dentists Look for Oral Conditions Not Picked Up By Other Practitioners
It’s possible that there may be toxic or allergic reactions to dental materials such as fillings, crowns, cements, or appliances. How would you find that out? Ask for a Biocompatibility Blood Test for degrees of systemic reactions to thousands of different dental materials.
Symptomatic or asymptomatic oral infections, painful or not, can have systemic reactions. Infected gums (gingivitis) and bone loss around teeth (periodontal disease) can be a marker for heart disease. Hidden jawbone infections (osteomyelitis) from old extraction sites or previously root canal- treated teeth can affect the entire body much in the same way as gangrene in a toe.
Facial pain, headaches, and neck and back pain may be sourcing from bite imbalances, grinding, or TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction).
Oral lesions (canker sores, herpes, cysts, tumors, or cancer) certainly impact health and wellbeing.
7 Holistic Dental Protocols Addressing Overall Health
- An extensive health and dental history is taken. It’s never one thing that causes a health problem and no one thing will be the cure. Awareness and action plans to eliminate the stresses, physical or emotional, is a positive health choice.
- View oral health as a mirror reflecting what is going on in the body. Inflammation, decay, and pain can signal imbalances in body chemistry, alignment, organ health, and immune function. Referrals and working with a health team can help restore overall health and wellbeing.
- Professional teeth and gum cleanings and attentive home care for oral hygiene is more than a white smile. This has a huge impact on heart health. The holistic practitioner must include the oral health component and combine that with encouraging a healthy diet, lifestyle changes (including smoking cessation and exercise), stress management, detoxification, and correcting deficiencies. Again, working with other healthcare practitioners help to support overall health improvement.
- Addressing bite imbalances in teeth, bone, and muscles go way beyond oral health. This can show up as sleep disturbances, poor athletic performance, headaches, mood, digestion and comfort. The bite can be stabilized with mouth appliances, altered with orthodontic movement and dental restorations, or modified with selective correction of tooth interferences. This works best when followed up with full body alignment addressed by chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, massage therapy, and other body work. It’s all connected.
- Infections in gums, teeth, and bone should be eliminated. Whenever possible, non-surgical treatment is considered. Alternatives to antibiotics and pain medications may be appropriate. This could include homeopathics, herbal remedies, essential oils, acupuncture, and other alternative treatments. Avoiding sugar and addressing stress allows the body to heal more quickly.
- Restorations should be non-toxic to the individual and to the environment. 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. 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.
- Prevent post-operative pneumonia. Because of the bacteria in the mouth, it is recommended that patients undergoing surgical procedures that may require an intubation tube for general anesthesia, get their teeth professionally cleaned prior to surgery.
Whether your dentist is holistic or conventional, learn more, ask questions based on your knowledge and remember that you have choices for your own dental and overall health.
What Lessons Have Your Work and Professional Experiences Taught You and What Has Been the Affect on Your Lifestyle?
As both an Intensive Care Nurse and Dentist, I never looked at systemic health separate from oral health. My practice was taking care of the dental needs of medically compromised patients. The reality was that overall health improved when oral health was optimized. The affect has been to educate consumers as well as other health practitioners on the connections of oral and systemic health. Continuing on this path led me to disseminate this information on my educational website and provide access to holistic practitioners who are knowledgeable of body-mind-spirit health.
See About Dr. Andrea
If you are a provider of holistic, natural, integrative or alternative health services and/or products and would like to extend your reach and be more visible to health seekers, Contact Us to post an original guest blog on our educational site.
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.