Comprehensive dentistry is an approach that takes into account the interconnectedness of your body. The health of your mouth, teeth, gums, and bite are linked with the rest of your body and should be treated as such. Things like periodontal disease (gum disease), TMJ disorder, decaying teeth, and sleep apnea directly affect the health of the rest of your body and brain and can be treated through dentistry.
Natural and Holistic Dentistry
Natural and holistic dentistry are two terms that are usually used interchangeably. Some dentists may consider them different, but in layman’s terms, they’re used to describe an approach to dentistry that uses biocompatible materials, choosing equipment, materials, and protocols that are safe for patients, the dental team, and the environment, and practicing comprehensive dentistry.
Your Body’s Natural Healing Mechanisms
Salvia: You may not know it, but your saliva helps to keep you healthy. Saliva is made mostly of water but it also contains mucus, proteins, mineral salts, and amylase. We know that saliva is the first step in digestion, but what else does it do?
- Keeps your mouth moist: Your saliva helps to regulate your body’s water content. When your start to become dehydrated, you produce less saliva which makes your mouth dry and prompts you to want to drink water. When your mouth is dry, other problems can arise. A dry mouth can cause your gums, tongue, and other soft tissues to swell—the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Besides being uncomfortable, a dry mouth that is full of germs results in bad breath.
- Flushes your mouth of debris: Another function of saliva is keeping your teeth free of food debris, dead cells, bacteria, and white blood cells. If these things are left to their own devices, you’ll form cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. These things may only seem like irritants or cosmetic concerns, but gum disease is known to be linked to deadly diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, and cancer.
- Repairs teeth: Your saliva also does the important job of keeping your teeth healthy because it contains minerals that make your tooth enamel strong. Due to these minerals, your saliva helps fight things like cavities and tooth decay.
Your saliva is a very important part of your oral health, and as you can see, your overall health. If you’re feeling like your mouth is constantly dry or you have chronic bad breath, try drinking more water, eating nutritious foods, and avoiding anything sugary. If that isn’t resolving the issue, it might be time to contact your San Jose holistic dentist. Your dentist and the power of healthy saliva can help to keep you free of cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and other deadly consequences.
Ozone Therapy: Ozone is a molecule similar to oxygen. Oxygen is a ‘diatomic molecule’ meaning it has two oxygen atoms held together by a covalent bond. Oxygen is stable, it has enough binding energy to hold its nucleus together permanently. Ozone is similar, except it’s made of three oxygen atoms. Ozone is unstable making it a reactive molecule. An unstable molecule wants to react with other organic molecules to try and become stable. When in your mouth, ozone will attack bacteria in an attempt to bring itself to stability, effectively killing the bacteria and sterilizing your mouth. So, what can ozone do for you?
- Reverse minor tooth decay: Tooth decay is caused by oral bacteria which turns glucose, fructose, and sucrose (sugar) into lactic acid through fermentation. If left to fester, this acid eats away at your tooth enamel, eventually resulting in tooth decay.
Ozone can reverse tooth decay. In the ozone’s attempt to become stable, it will begin to break down and lose atoms. When one oxygen atom is lost, the resulting molecule is oxygen. This is good news for you because while oxygen is great for us, it’s harmful to most bacteria. In addition, the broken down ozone molecule will bond with loose hydrogen atoms. On their own, hydrogen atoms are acidic, but when bonded with oxygen, they are neutralized. This leaves your mouth free of the acid that eats away at your enamel. When your teeth are no longer being attacked by acids, they are free to take in the minerals provided by your saliva which will repair minor tooth decay. With no tooth decay, there is no need for a filling.
- Help periodontal healing: Ozone helps periodontal healing (gum disease) the same way it helps prevent tooth decay. It will neutralize acids in your mouth that are harmful to your gums. Ozone therapy negates the need for surgery and doesn’t require you to take medication that could have side effects that cause discomfort to other body parts. Remember, gum disease isn’t only about your gums, it’s about the rest of your body, too.
Ozone therapy can be conducted by your holistic dentist to aid your body’s natural healing and illness prevention processes. This is just another way that your dentist and your body can work together to find better health.
DNA Appliance: Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that makes it hard or impossible to breathe at night due to the soft tissues of your throat closing off your airway. When you can’t fall asleep and stay asleep at night, there are numerous consequences. Migraines, headaches, anxiety, daytime sleepiness, forgetfulness, and irritability are only a few. Most neuromuscular dentists seek to improve sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. With holistic dentistry, the oral appliance used takes it a step further. Instead of simply holding the airway open at night, the DNA appliance fixes the problem by slowly reshaping your jaw so the airway is naturally open. With a larger airway, your soft tissues can’t collapse to the point of closure. You’ll be able to sleep and live free of the harmful sleep apnea symptoms and consequences. You won’t need to worry about sleeping with a CPAP or an oral appliance for the rest of your life.
Using the DNA appliance, your dentist and your body are working together, yet again, to improve your health.
Sedation: It’s not uncommon for people to be anxious about dental treatments. Whether you’re getting an invasive treatment or just a cleaning, it can be nerve-wracking to have someone’s hands in your mouth. There are several options for anxiety-free dentistry out there, but why use drugs when you can work with your body’s natural abilities to calm itself? There may still be times when heavier sedation is needed, but for general anxiety, NuCalm is the perfect solution. NuCalm is a drug-free system with four steps. First, you’ll get a dietary supplement that helps to block adrenaline. Next, your dentist will place stimulation patches behind your ears and you’ll wear headphones playing relaxing music that will drown out any unpleasant noises that you may hear during your procedure. Finally, you’ll be given eyewear to block out light. By allowing your senses to experience soothing things, you’ll be relaxed in minutes and feel as if you are about to fall asleep.
With the help of NuCalm, your body and your holistic dentist can help you relax so you don’t experience anxiety during your dental procedures.
Interested in allowing your body to aid in your dental treatment?
Your body is a masterful healer and with the help of Dr. Nancy at Top Down Dental in San Jose, CA, you’ll be able to fend off oral health conditions that will affect the rest of your body with natural solutions. If you’re interested in holistic dentistry, call (408) 354-5600 or request an appointment online. Dr. Nancy and her team are here to help you live a healthy life—starting with a healthy mouth.