Holistic Dentistry For Total Health
by Idelle S. Brand, DDS • New York, NY
There is a new field of dentistry that is creating a whole new way of looking at your dental health. It is progressive, proactive and it harmonizes patients’ dental wellness with their overall physical well-being. Holistic dentistry – a new paradigm of oral health care.
While traditional dentistry focuses only on the areas above the neck, holistic dentistry looks at the patient as a whole system and how the mouth relates to the rest of the body. It stresses prevention over intervention. A holistic dentist can read your tongue and tell you the health of your liver. He or she can easily see vitamin deficiencies by looking at your teeth and gums. Holistic dentistry employs an approach that avoids unnecessary procedures and performs only those that are necessary in the least invasive manner. In essence, less is more. Using only those materials that are known to be safe and non-toxic, a comprehensive treatment plan is created and attuned to individual lifestyles, recognizing patients’ medical histories, concerns and needs.
One of the major concerns that may bring you to the holistic dentist is the worry over silver mercury amalgam fillings. Mercury is a known poison. It is the second most toxic of all the elements known on this planet and it is in every one of those shiny silver fillings in your mouth.
In fact mercury is fully one-half of the mass of the filling you see when you look at any “silver” filling. Mercury constantly vaporizes from these fillings in the mouth; it is inhaled, and is directly absorbed into the body. This mercury then travels to all body tissues, creates free radicals, destroys nerve cells, creates DNA damage and concentrates in fat cells, especially of the brain tissues where it does damage. Is it no wonder that neurological, autoimmune diseases and autism are on the rise?
Mercury is a substance designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be a hazardous waste. Legally, it cannot be thrown in the trash, buried in the ground, or put in a landfill. However the American Dental Association (ADA) says that it’s just fine to put it in people’s mouths. That just doesn’t make any sense.
There is an alternative. White composite or porcelain fillings are now the new choice for dental restorations. Not only are they more bio compatible, but they are cosmetically pleasing, and they are strong when bonded in place. If you are thinking of replacing your mercury silver fillings or about to fill new cavities, then bonded white fillings would be an excellent choice for health reasons, as well as esthetics.
However you need to be cautious when removing old mercury fillings, as there is the potential for high mercury exposure if they are removed incorrectly. Speak to your holistic dentist and be sure that he/she is practicing proper mercury removal protocol so that you are fully protected. There are many organizations that are actively trying to ban mercury filling usage in this country. Mercury dental filling material is already banned in most of Europe.
The other aspect of holistic dentistry that deserves some consideration is periodontal disease. Periodontal or gum disease is a silent infection affecting the support system of your teeth. This disease is present in more than 75 per cent of the adult population. It is a marker for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and
premature deliveries in pregnant women. It is perhaps the most overlooked chronic infection known to mankind.
The symptoms of periodontal disease can be elusive. You may notice that your gums bleed when you brush, or find blood on your pillowcase in the morning. Maybe someone says you have bad breath or you notice a bad taste in your mouth. Maybe your gums just look a little puffy or red. Or maybe you notice nothing unusual at all.
There is only one-way to be sure if you are periodontal disease free. Regular dental checkups by your dentist or hygienist are imperative. Treatment methods depend upon how far the condition has progressed. The holistic dentist knows that long term antibiotics, surgery or extractions aren’t always necessary. Excellent success can be had with some simple methods of oral hygiene. Such techniques would include deep cleanings, herbal products, nutritional supplementation, use of a magnetic irrigator, laser therapy as well as some basic repetitive home care.
Your smile is important. It is the most basic of all social expressions. Restore it to health with holistic dentistry. Complement your dental wellness with your overall physical well-being. You deserve a healthy smile for a lifetime.
Dr. Idelle S. Brand practices Enlightened Dentistry™, an integrative approach to holistic dental care. For more information, please see her website www.enlighteneddentistry.net or contact her at 212 947-0073 at her Manhattan office.