The Importance of Holistic Dentistry
by Dr. Terry Victor
Dentists everywhere often hear from their patients, “How do my teeth impact on my health, since they are just teeth. Right?” A good dentist then begins an explanation of how all aspects and systems of the body are connected—we are truly holistic organisms.
Our mouth is such an integral part of our well-being. It is a major point of esthetics. Can you imagine someone you consider very attractive missing their two front teeth? That would decrease their attractiveness and for them it could also become a self-esteem issue. But our teeth and our mouth goes far beyond simply esthetics or attractiveness. Our mouth is the first stage of food digestion. If we do not break down food sufficiently so the gut can digest it, many problems can be created.
Incomplete digestion has been seen as contributing to leaky gut syndrome. This is where the gut tissue has spaces between it so food is able to pass through it and enter the bloodstream directly, rather than traveling through the intestines. This can cause significant issues with bowel diseases. Incomplete digestion can also cause many other digestive disorders.
Missing teeth is also something that can have major implications on our overall health. If we have missing teeth, we are not able to chew properly. This also does not allow the gut to receive, breakdown or digest food properly. Missing teeth also causes our existing teeth to shift and when this happens, it changes the way our teeth come together or our bite. If your bite is “off”, it can affect many aspects of our mouth. It can cause pain in our jaw joint, which can cause headaches as well as soreness in the muscles of our jaw. This can also effect the muscles in the neck and back. Even further, since all the muscles are connected, it could go as far as affecting the hip joint.
The mouth is also a great indicator of the health of the overall body. In Chinese medicine, a skilled practitioner can get information on many systems of the body by looking at the tongue. The mouth is also where genetic material of the body is stored. From a cheek swab, information can be gathered on ancestry, genetic makeup as well as the health status of the body.
The mouth is really connected to and is a doorway to the rest of the body. When seeing a holistic dentist, your overall health is taken into consideration when evaluating any findings from your bi-annual exams. It is recommended is to see your dentist and hygienist at least twice a year as preventive care is the best care.
So, tonight’s homework is to make an appointment for yourself and your family with your dental office, and be proactive for the year ahead.
Dr. Terry Victor, DDS, The DC Dentist, provides holistic, biological and eco-friendly general restorative and cosmetic dentistry. His practice is located at 509 11th Street SE on Capitol Hill. For more information, call 202-544-3626 or visit TheDCDentist.com.