Holistic Dentistry and Disease Prevention for Oral Health

holistic dentist in Toronto examines bite and studies occlusion

At Archer Dental, we believe it’s just common sense to view the human body as a whole rather than the sum of its parts.  Instead of isolating each problem, we like to view the entirety of a patient’s health when coming up with a treatment plan.  With Alternative Healthcare now presenting so many viable options in so many different medical fields, it’s no surprise that Holistic dentistry, a popular dental buzz-word, has become a new ‘ideal’ in oral health care. But what is it exactly? And more importantly, is holistic dentistry the right medical choice for you?

What is Holistic Dentistry?

Holistic dentistry aims to promote a patient’s overall health and wellness as opposed to just focusing on the treatment of specific illnesses or diseases.  Holistic dentists factor every aspect of their patient’s health into their evaluation and eventual treatment plan. This means that a holistic dentist isn’t just evaluating mouths, teeth, tongues, jaws, and gums, but rather the patient’s entire medical history. Every aspect of a patient’s health will come into play when treatment options are discussed (both preventative and reactive).

Holistic dentist in Toronto listens to patient describing life conditions environment stress and toxins

Archer Dental hygienist listens as Patient describes their diet and life environment.

How is Holistic Dentistry different than Traditional Dentistry?

Holistic dentistry differs from traditional dentistry because it focuses on the whole body rather than just the mouth. Holistic dentistry relies on both a modern, scientific approach to healthcare and wellness as well as aspects of natural medicine and homeopathic healing techniques.

What does having a holistic approach mean?

A holistic approach to dentistry simply means that your dentist will want to know more about your overall health and medical background.  Here at Archer Dental, our experienced staff will use this information to try to figure out a treatment plan that works best for you as an individual.  Holistic dental practices will always suggest treatment options that limit a patient’s exposure to toxins, and will work with patients to ensure they’re getting enough nutrients in the foods they’re eating  – this is not to simply preserve their teeth, but rather to encourage a ‘whole body health’.

Why is holistic dentistry a better approach for patients?

While there’s nothing inherently lacking about traditional dentistry, the scope and scale of treatment options available to a patient are much narrower.  Where traditional dentistry focuses on the treatment of specific diseases and oral ailments, holistic dentistry aims to improve the health of the entire body by looking for links between your oral health and your overall health. Your oral health doesn’t exist inside a vacuum; any illnesses or diseases present in your mouth can often affect (or be affected by) other organs and tissues in your body.

Dental assistant uses i-teroscanner to to scan teeth alignment, occlusion (bite) before using computer processer to plot correct/alignment.

Dental assistant uses i-teroscanner  to to scan teeth to analyze current alignment, occlusion (bite) and using digital technology how to digitally correct/align and show patients at  Archer Dental in Toronto.

Which diseases or physical conditions have a direct link to poor oral hygiene?

Here’s a list of some common illnesses that have been linked to declining oral health:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis – well funded medical research now demonstrates a clear link between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Heart disease and stroke – bacteria from diseased gums can lead to the formation of artery-clogging plaque and, left untreated, could result in heart disease and stroke. Studies have even shown that patients with cavities and gum disease experienced strokes twice as often as those with good oral health.
  • Respiratory infections – micro-organisms inhaled from the mouth and throat into the lungs can result in respiratory infections and may even worsen existing lung conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
  • Diabetes – people with diabetes may suffer unexpected complications and difficulty controlling their condition due to bacterial infections in the mouth.
  • Pregnancy Complications – premature labour and delivery can be triggered by an inflammatory response resulting from gum disease bacteria in the mouth.
  • Alzheimer’s disease – Scientists also believe that there are links between periodontal bone loss and tooth loss as well as Alzheimer’s disease and worsening oral health

feeling for lumps on the neck and spine in smokerArcher Dental screens smokers and all patients routinely for Oral Cancer

Archer Dental is happy to provide patients who smoke cigarettes with oral cancer screenings by examining the neck and jaw bone for any abnormalities potentially caused by tobacco usage.

It’s important to remember that smoking increases your risk of developing oral cancer and other dental diseases as tobacco is extremely harmful to the gums and tissues of the mouth.

Are metal fillings still being used by dentists in Canada?

old mercury and silver filings in teeth hide cavitiesMetal fillings are still common in the Canadian dentistry and still deemed safe by conventional standards. That being said, Archer Dental does not use mercury (silver) fillings. We carefully remove old, failing mercury fillings that have begun to break down and corrode in our patients’ mouths. We believe that prevention is the best way forward and try to avoid any foreign metal objects that could eventually cause fractures, cracks and other types of harm to your teeth and mouth. At Archer Dental, we use filling material that is safer in the long term and is BPA free.

Low Confidence and Mental Anxiety

Poor oral health can be linked with low self-esteem, sleeping complications, and behavioural and developmental problems in children. Having an unsightly smile can put people of any age at a severe disadvantage in life which is why we firmly believe that the best solution is to treat the source of the problem. In this respect, we believe that things like cosmetic dentistry and teeth whitening are absolutely a part of holistic dentistry as they focus on strengthening the connection between a patient’s mind and body.  Whether that means removing extraneous teeth or fitting patients with braces or Invisalign, veneers, bridges, dentures or tooth implants, Archer Dental is proud to provide a wide array of resources to help you make over your smile. No matter what your budget, we can work with you to find a solution that fits your situation.

xray showing cancerous lesion on bone structure of the face - the lips and gums

Spotting mouth cancer using dental patient Xrays

Basic Principles of Holistic Dentistry at Archer Dental

Holistic dentistry at Archer Dental acknowledges the mind, body, and spirit of the patient rather than just their mouth, gums, and teeth.  Our practice relies on the following basic holistic dentistry principles to treat patients as effectively as possible:

  • Proper nutrition is a vital part of preventing (and reversing) degenerative dental disease
  • Archer Dental avoids and eliminates toxins in dental materials and takes great care to remove toxins or would-be toxins in patient’s mouths
  • We believe that dental malocclusion (bite problems) often result in a physical imbalance and as a result, our dentists focus on their prevention and treatment.
  • Gum disease is the root of many greater health problems (studies exist today that suggest a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s, for example) .

Fundamentally, holistic dentistry involves giving more care and offering patients a greater commitment by regularly scheduling checkups. Additionally, we use advanced procedures designed for early detection and to help prevent a myriad of diseases and oral-health related illnesses before they start.

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