Holistic dental care is an alternative approach to traditional dentistry. It’s also known as alternative, natural, unconventional, biocompatible, and Integrative dentistry. More people have recently been attracted to natural remedies and techniques over conventional treatments. While holistic dentistry primarily focuses on alternate remedies, sometimes holistic dentists can combine holistic dentistry with conventional methods.
Holistic oral care considers that your oral and overall health are connected. Your oral health can impact specific aspects of your body and vice versa. Thus, holistic dentists address various oral problems by reviewing all aspects of your health, including your emotional, spiritual, and physical health.
While holistic dentists use natural techniques, they are medical professionals and require dental practice licenses like other dental professionals. Like your general dentist, a holistic dentist can help prevent and treat oral problems like gum disease and decay. Holistic treatments are often minimally invasive and aim to improve your overall health.
While there are various aspects of how your mouth and body work together, diet is one of the significant aspects. What you eat can negatively or positively impact the health of your teeth, gums, bone, and mouth. Below are several ways how:
Many people know that eating sweets can cause cavities. But that’s not the entire story. Anything sugary, including healthy items like apples, can increase your risk of cavities. Your mouth consists of millions of bacteria that feed on the sugars and starch you eat.
A diet with high sugar and starch can cause these bacteria to overgrow and multiply. Over time, these bacteria release harmful toxins that erode your teeth’ enamel and irritate and infect the gum tissues. It can lead to mild to serious oral issues like teeth sensitivity, tooth decay, gum recession, bleeding gums, bad breath, bone loss, and tooth loss.
Your frequency of eating or drinking can also impact how oral bacteria behave. Every time you eat or drink anything, your mouth’s pH drops. If it drops below 5.5, the harmful oral bacteria thrive while the good bacteria die off. You must reduce the number of times you feed daily to lower your risk of bacterial infections. Also, avoid low-pH beverages like sports drinks, energy drinks, and soda.
Besides sugar, eating foods high in acidity can affect your dental health. For instance, highly acidic products like apple cider, limes, and wine break down the minerals in your teeth’ enamel, causing erosion. It can lead to tooth sensitivity, dental fractures, and tooth decay. The risk is higher if you brush your teeth immediately after consuming acidic items. Acids soften your teeth, making them more vulnerable to erosion, bacteria, and other damage.
Chewing raw nuts, seeds, ice, and your favorite hard candy might feel enjoyable until it causes your tooth to chip or break. Hard foods can cause significant pressure on the tooth, causing it to chip, crack, or break. While sticky items like caramel and chocolate won’t break your tooth, they get trapped on it and are harder to clean, encouraging bacteria and plaque build-up in the mouth.
A proper diet will strengthen your teeth and keep your mouth healthy and disease-free. Great foods for oral nutrition include:
Do you have more questions about holistic dental care and nutrition? Contact Steven F. Hinchey, DMD, to book your appointment today.