Holistic Dentistry: What it means for your health


Meridian tooth chart

Screen shot from the interactive Meridian Tooth Chart, ©American Bio-Compatible Health Systems, Inc., 2009

Meridian Tooth Chart

The example above shows that the upper right first molar tooth is on the same meridian with the liver, kidneys, pancreas, stomach and breast. So, if this tooth has a problem it may affect energy flow through the meridian and the health of your liver, kidneys, pancreas, stomach or breast may be affected as well.

Holistic dentistry is a vital component of the "whole body" approach to medicine and optimum health which is being embraced by the medical community and health conscious patients today.

Holistic dentistry and its practitioners consider the health of your entire body and its relationship with your mouth and oral health. Holistic dentists believe that poor oral health leads to poor physical health and that your mouth is a key entry point to the rest of the body. Toxicity, disease or infection can spread through the bloodstream to every tissue, organ and cell in your body. In essence, holistic dentistry is a more complete and thorough approach to wellness than traditional dentistry.

Holistic dentists are passionate about their specialty and educating themselves and their patients about the importance of the mouth/body connection. They focus on mercury-safe, holistic, and biocompatible practices. Holistic dentistry is mercury safe-dentistry. We remove mercury fillings in a special way that protects both the practitioners and the patient. We follow a specific, strict protocol as outlined by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. For instance, we use a latex-free rubber dam and a high vacuum, mercury vapor suction unit along with mercury room ionizer to ensure a mercury-safe environment for everyone's protection. Additionally, the patient breathes pure oxygen during the procedure and the dentist uses a very specific technique to keep the mercury vapor exposure to a minimum.

The holistic dentist uses techniques and materials that are both safe and compatible with each patient's mouth and whole body. In contrast to mercury amalgam fillings, modern biocompatible dental materials that are highly cosmetic and mercury-free, such as, BPA-free composite resin and Diamond Crown poly-cerams. Ozone therapy, which utilizes ozone, an energized form of oxygen, to eradicate all anaerobes naturally in many ways, is the perfect medicine. It completely eradicates bacteria, viruses, mold, yeast and all oral anaerobes, while simultaneously stimulating the immune system for rapid healing. The results are remarkable.

There are numerous overall, whole body health benefits that can be obtained through holistic dentistry. Many patients who seek out a holistic dentist have an acute sensitivity or allergies to traditional dental materials. However, holistic dentists believe that mercury-safe dentistry can lead to improved health for people suffering from chronic conditions that they may not even realize could be related to their mouth. Poor oral health can affect every part of the body and general health. Many holistic dentists believe that certain teeth have a direct correlation to the health of specific parts of the body

Modern medicine is beginning to see a movement back toward total body wellness. There is a great deal of recent research, proving what has long been suspected, that your teeth can make you sick. In this way, holistic dentists are fast becoming a part of many people's overall wellness team.

Modern, holistic and safe . . . this is the dentistry you've been waiting for

Intuitively people have known it for thousands of years . . . poor oral health leads to poor physical health. Logically it makes perfect sense. Your mouth is a key entry point to the rest of the body. Toxicity, disease or infection can spread through the bloodstream to every tissue, organ and cell in your body.

Back in the day when dentistry and medicine were practiced side by side, it was common knowledge that your teeth could make you sick. In fact, there was a time when dentists were called dental physicians. Over time, dentistry became more about fixing teeth and less about fixing health . . . today, true dental physicians are rare indeed.

Slowly things are changing, and we are beginning to see a movement back toward total body wellness. We now have research proving what has long been suspected . . . your teeth can make you sick!

  • Amalgam fillings contain 50% mercury, one of the most toxic substances known. Not only does the mercury escape from the fillings but it ends up being stored in your body tissues causing disease.
  • Bleeding gums are infected gums . . . gum infection is a known risk factor for many serious diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, premature birth, low birth weight babies, cancer and Alzheimer's.
  • Root canalled teeth are proven reservoirs of toxic bacteria.
  • Improperly extracted teeth may form cavitations . . . areas of incompletely healed bone that are a breeding ground for bacteria and their toxins
  • You can be allergic to the materials used to fill your teeth . . . just like you can be allergic to food or other environmental substances.

My eye tooth can affect my vision . . . I'm all ears!

The concept of a Mind-Body connection has been all over the news lately, but have you heard about the Tooth-Body connection?

If you're familiar with Chinese Medicine or acupuncture, then you've heard about meridians . . . the channels through which energy flows in the body. Each organ, gland and body structure has an associated meridian . . . including the teeth. All the body structures on an individual meridian can be affected when energy flow through that meridian is altered or blocked. Energy flow can be altered in a meridian when an organ on that meridian is diseased or infected.

What does all this mean to you? Well, if you have a bad tooth, the energy flow through the meridian belonging to that tooth will be altered. This in turn can affect the health of all the other organs on that meridian.

Bio-Compatibility testing

I'm ready to replace my fillings . . . will the new materials be any better?

I've been a mercury-free dentist for a long time so I understand the process that people go through when deciding to replace their mercury fillings. Once the decision has been made to replace them, the next question is usually . . . what will you replace them with? The answer is . . . it depends on your immune system.

Environmental sensitivity or allergy is a well know immune system phenomenon that may cause problems throughout the body. You can be sensitive to food, you can be sensitive to chemicals in the environment, and you can be sensitive to the materials used to restore your teeth.

Most dentists believe that if a material carries an FDA "Seal of Approval" that it is safe and effective for everyone. However, the approval process for dental materials has very little to do with long-term safety. Rather, the process focuses on esthetics of the product, its strength and durability when placed in the mouth and its ease of use by the dentist.

When appropriate or when requested, we utilize the Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing (CMRT) to help identify which of the 6300 available dental products are best tolerated by your immune system. The Clifford Test may be useful for any patient who desires the peace of mind that comes from knowing the dental materials placed in their mouth will be well tolerated by their immune system. In addition, several groups of people may derive special benefits from the added safety of materials reactivity testing:

  • People with a history of dental material compatibility problems
  • People with severe immune system compromise
  • People with identified autoimmune diseases or conditions
  • People with endocrine, liver or kidney problems
  • People with environmental illness
  • People with severe allergies
  • People with known sensitivity to jewelry, watchbands, clothing fasteners
  • People who receive daily doses of numerous medications
  • People facing high-cost, complex dental restoration
  • People previously treated by multiple unrelated healthcare professionals

While Clifford testing can be useful, especially for the people listed above, we have studied the trends from the nearly 50,000 patients already tested and found that certain materials test suitable in the vast majority of people. These safe materials are the ones we routinely use in our practice and feel confident that they are well tolerated in people with normal body chemistry.

To find a holistic dentist in your area visit the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.

About the Author

Dr. Lori Cardellino

Dr. Cardellino has attended more than 3,000 hours of advanced education classes (in her 19 years practicing dentistry) since graduating from dental school including courses in biological-holistic dentistry, ozone therapy, homeopathy, acupuncture, biocompatible esthetics, orthodontics, implantology, oral surgery, with an extensive focus on Temporo-Mandibular Dysfunction and pain management.

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