Holistic dentistry is a field in dentistry that focuses on the root cause of problems in the oral cavity. The oral cavity is closely interconnected with the body.
Holistic dentistry is very similar to biological dentistry . Both fields of dentistry are based on the diagnosis and treatment of the root cause instead of symptomatic treatment. There is less emphasis on symptomatic treatment.
Dental issues are often not limited to the oral cavity, but can have a holistic effect on the health of various organs.
This article will give and insight into the connection between teeth and organs.
In our practice, our dentists work holistically and have the goal of improving patients’ health and quality of life.
Each holistic dentist has their own core competence, so that all areas of biological dentistry is covered. This enables the patients to have the best treatment results.
Tooth-organ connection – The meridian system
Teeth and organs are connected via the meridian system. Meridians (energetic pathways) connect acupuncture points – small points which can be stimulated by needles, punctual pressure or heat.
If there is a problem on a meridian, all organs located on that meridian can be negatively affected or become diseased. For example, a diseased upper molar can affect the thyroid gland. Conversely, a problem with the thyroid gland can affect the upper molar.
Generally, the descending stress on the organs from the teeth is greater and more common. Teeth are very vulnerable to the consumption of sugar and poor oral flora. Caries, periodontitis, old fillings and inflammation in the jawbone destroy the tooth, which affects the corresponding meridian.
Effective prophylaxis concept
In our practice we have an effective prophylaxis concept, which is based on improving the bacterial flora of the oral cavity.
This is done without aggressive and painful dental hygiene/cleaning. Instead, we use ozone, plasma and oxygen.
Caries, gingivitis and bad breath are effectively reduced.
Periodontitis is the inflammation of the periodontium – connective tissue that stabilises the teeth in the jawbone. Periodontitis is also known as gum disease. If the inflammation is limited only to the gums, it is called gingivitis – inflammation of the gums.
The main cause of periodontitis is bacterial destruction of the periodontium. When these anatomical structures are surrounded by pathogenic bacteria, the tissue reacts with signs of inflammation (e.g., bleeding, pain, warmth). These types of bacteria are called periodontopathic bacteria and are mainly anaerobic.
In the oral cavity, such inflammation of the periodontium results in continuous loosening of the teeth and gradual tooth loss. Bad breath or halitosis is also noticeable.
In addition, periodontitis can be a serious health risk and effect not only the mouth but also the entire body. Pathogenic periodontal germs can get into the jawbone and eventually the entire body via the open, inflamed periodontal apparatus. The bacteria then enters the bloodstream and can therefore have a systemic effect.
Studies have demonstrated the following correlations:
- Arteriosclerosis (calcification) of the coronary vessels, with heart attack as a late effect
- Arteriosclerosis of the blood vessels in the brain, with stroke as a late effect
- Inflammatory diseases of the joints such as arthritis andrheumatism
Permanent, chronic periodontitis leads to hyperacidity of the tissue. The body must counteract this and mobilises substances that buffer the acids. To do this, it makes use of its most important mineral depot – the bones. The consequence is Osteoporosis.
The area of inflammation of severe periodontitis adds up to the palm of an adult. This large inflammatory load, in combination with the bacterial penetration can have massive health consequences.
From a holistic point of view, a complete and thorough treatment of periodontal inflammation is of great importance. After treating periodontitis, an continious inflammation-free state of the oral cavity should ensured.
In our practice we offer a special prophylaxis concept which can effectively improve the bacterial flora of the oral cavity. This will lay the foundation for long-lasting dental health.
Misalignment of the jaw joints
The jaw joints are the most complex joints of the human body. They are connected to each other via the lower jaw and are exposed to the strong forces of the masticatory muscles.
The position of the temporomandibular joints is mainly determined by the tooth contacts (occlusion).
If the teeth are in properly aligned and the contacts between the upper and lower teeth are physiological, the temporomandibular joints are usually in a healthy and balanced position.
However, if the contacts are incorrect and the teeth are misaligned, this improper bite forces the jaw joints into the wrong position. As long as such a malocclusion or forced bite is present, the temporomandibular joints remain in this pathological position. In the long run, different TMJ symptoms can develop, which can have a massive effect on the entire body.
A misalignment of the jaw joints can have a negative effect on body statics, which can lead to a descending strain. This can cause pain and discomfort in other parts of the body. This can also lead to changes in body posture, abnormal joint loading, and muscle imbalances.
Among others, this can result in arthrosis, painful muscle tension or herniated discs.
Due to the proximity of the temporomandibular joints to the ears and eyes, tinnitus, dizziness, and visual disturbances are common manifestations of TMD.
The temporomandibular joints have a central, holistic significance and must not be neglected in dentistry. As long as a patient has an incorrect bite, the problems and discomfort will remain. Overall health can only be improved if the jaw joints are brought out of an unphysiological position and if the bite is corrected. This should be considered in all treatments with dental prosthetics.
Bite height and the brain
In the course of life, especially through grinding and clenching teeth, teeth continuously wear down. This leads to a loss of bite height since the upper jaw and lower jaw become continuously closer. As a result, the temporomandibular joint is compressed upward and pushed backward toward the ear.
This compression in the temporomandibular joint leads to muscle tension in the head area, preventing the different skull bones from moving freely. These physiological, fine movements of the skull bones are detectable with every movement and even with every pulse.
Muscle tension, triggered by compression in the temporomandibular joint, causes blockage of these bone movements. As a result, the vessels of the head are not able able to dilate and constrict as well as they should.
Consequently, less oxygen-rich blood reaches the brain and, at the same time, the removal of oxygen-poor, “used” blood is reduced.
Because of this, patients tend to have symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, impaired thinking ability, and mental fatigue.
Since the breakdown products and accumulated toxins cannot be drained as well, the detoxification ability of the brain also decreases. This can strongly increase the risk of degenerative diseases of the brain, e.g. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The jaw joints are a very important part of dentistry and overall health and should not be neglected.
Effect of dental materials
There is no other field in medicine which uses as materials and substances as dentistry. Most of these materials have a chemical composition and can have adverse health effects on the body.
The biological effect of dental materials are of toxicological and allergological importance. Dental matierals and substances can be toxic and cause various types of allergies.
The toxicity caused by materials in dental treatments is usually chronic (permanent) and rarely acute.
Allergic reactions tend to be chronic, nonspecific, affect the entire body, and rarely show an immediate local reaction.
Some dental materials and substances that can have an effect on the entire body:
- Amalgam and other metals
- Materials used in root canal treatments (endodontics)
- Composites for fillings
- Resins in prosthetics
- Impression materials
- Cements used for inlays, crowns and bridges
In dentistry, there is a wide rage of materials that can be used. In order to minimize the impact on the patient’s health, the dentist should use materials that are the least harmful from a biological point of view. When choosing materials, aspects such as longevity, precision and stability should not be neglected.
Holistic and biological dentistry are based on treatments that have a minimal burden on the body. In every treatment, materials are chosen so that they have little to no effect on the patients’ health and body.
Chronic infections in the jaw
Jaw inflammations originating from a tooth are called granulomas, cysts or abscesses (acute) and are usually located at the root tip. The cause of these jaw inflammations are pathogenic bacteria, which penetrate the jawbone via caries or periodontitis and cause inflammatory degradation of the jawbone. The affected tooth usually dies and remains in the body but is no longer innervated.
Further chronic inflammation may remain in the jawbone, e.g. after tooth extraction. These types of inflammation are known as fatty degenerative osteonecrosis in the medullary spaces of the jawbone (FDOJ) or (neuralgia inducing cavitational osteonecrosis). A common location for this type of inflammation is the areas of extracted wisdom teeth. Therefore, when removing wisdom teeth, or teeth in general, you should pay attention to several points.
Since bone inflammation has a holistic effect and weakens the body, it should be treated and completely eliminated. Also, the cause of inflammation should be determined and treated accordingly. This is the only way to ensure that future inflammations do not develop in the jawbone.
FAQ about Holistic Dentistry
Which teeth are connected to which organs?
A canine is also referred to an aneye toothand a wisdom tooth is also referred to as an ear tooth. However, each tooth is associated with different organs and most organs are influenced by several teeth. See a detailed list of the tooth-organ connection below
What are the connections between teeth and organs?
- Upper incisors (tooth 12,11,21,22): kidney, bladder, reproductive organs, pineal gland (important for the carcadian rhythm), sense of smell
- Upper canines (tooth 13,23): liver, gallbladder, eyes
- Upper premolars (teeth 15,14,24,25): lung, stomach, sense of smell
- Upper molars (teeth 17,16,26,27): pancreas, large intestine, thyroid, sense of taste
- Upper wisdom teeth (tooth 18,28): small intestine (allergies), hear, sense of hearing
- Lower incisors (tooth 32,31,41,42): kidney, bladder, reproductive organs, sense of smell
- Lower canines (tooth 33,43): liver, gallbladder, eyes
- Lower premolars (tooth 35,34,44,45): pancreas, stomach, sense of taste
- Lower molars (tooth 37,36,46,47): lung, large intestine, sense of smell
- Lower wisdom teeth (tooth 38,48): small intestine (allergies), heart, sense of hearing
What causes receding gums?
Receding gums can be caused by various factors:
- Bad bacterial flora in the oral cavity
- Incorrect brushing technique with hard tooth brushes
- Chronic injury and displacement of the gums by using interdental brushes and dental floss
What causes periodontal pockets (gum pockets)?
Periodontal pockets are mainly caused by pathogenic periodontal bacteria.
What causes bleeding gums?
The main cause of bleeding gums is the colonization of pathogenic, disease-causing germs in the oral cavity.
Can jaw cracking/popping become a long-term issue?
When the jaw cracks or pops, there is always increased friction and compression of anatomical structures in the temporomandibular joint. This can be present long-term without any symptoms. However, this continuous overload can become noticeable and cause symptoms such as TMJ pain.
Are there any home remedies for inflammation in the oral cavity?
Inflammation in the mouth can cause pain and discomfort. Pure baking soda can be used as a remedy to mildly reduce pain and swelling. A teaspoon can be dissolved in a glass of warm water, then rinse and gargle. However, the effect is only symptomatic and proper treatment is necessary.
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