What is Holistic Dentistry?Dec 30, 2020 09:35AM ● By Gina Edwards, CRDH
Your oral health is an integral component of physical, emotional and mental well-being. In holistic dentistry, they don’t look at the mouth as a separate entity and treat the problems as such, but rather as a gateway to the whole being.
As a biological dentist practicing holistic dentistry, Dr. Carlo Litano, Natural Smiles, Tampa, puts great emphasis on the mouth-body connection and prevention of oral and whole body health problems through diet, function and proactive care. When a patient visits his office with a cavity, it isn’t just filled and the patient sent on their way, but rather an examination of causative lifestyle factors and health history is performed. The patient’s diet is discussed in great detail. Is there excessive stress in their lives? Sleep issues? How is the airway? Is it preventing the patient from getting enough oxygen and causing them to clench and grind at night, in turn causing teeth to fracture? Structure, nutrition and reduction of toxicity are the tenets of biological dentistry.
Meridian connection. The term meridian identifies an invisible pathway or channel through which energy, also known as chi or qi, flows. It was discovered in the mid-20th century by Reinhold Voll, a German physician. His research led him to believe that 80 percent of energy disturbances are found in the oral cavity. Each tooth or set of teeth is connected to corresponding organs in the body to create balance. Every yin organ is paired with a yang organ: liver with gallbladder, lungs with large intestine, kidney with spleen, and so on. For example, it is not uncommon to hear when a patient has an infected root canal removed which was connected to the olfactory gland, their sense of smell improves. Additionally, a study that measured quality of life in relation to oral health found a link between oral health and well-being. Using a meridian tooth chart, the authors compiled a list of associations between teeth, organs and positive or negative mood states.
What is a holistic dental cleaning? During a holistic dental cleaning, no toxic materials, fluoride, dyes or gluten are used. Using high frequency sound waves, a machine called the cavitron removes plaque which has built up, around and in between the teeth. Scalers are then used to remove whatever the cavitron left behind. Next, the process of irrigation comfortably takes place using ozonated reverse osmosis water followed by a floss covered with ozonated oil. This holistic approach to flossing is something that patients continue at home. Ozone not only reduces the chances of pathogenic bacterial growth but also neutralizes the acidity of the mouth and saliva. The bacteria that cause inflammation and periodontal disease are anaerobic, meaning they do not like oxygen and consequently try to hide deep below the gum line. By putting ozonated oil on your floss and flossing in those hard-to-reach spaces, you are not only oxidizing that bacteria by destroying the bacterial wall, but also preventing new bacteria from attaching to your teeth (changing the biofilm).
Oral probiotics. Another valuable treatment used at Natural Smiles is oral probiotics. Unlike digestive probiotics, including yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi or kombucha, oral probiotics are designed specifically for oral health. Live bacteria identical to the beneficial microorganisms found naturally in the mouth, oral probiotics can restore the natural balance of beneficial bacteria which may have been depleted by diet, stress, medication, illness and other factors. Including probiotics in our daily regimen consistently reinforces the positive bacteria in the mouth.
Deep cleaning. This is something that is performed when tartar and bacteria build up below the gum line. Multiple visits are needed to remove this buildup and the mouth is worked on one section at a time, often with local anesthesia. This is not common and only in very advanced cases. After the initial cleaning, the patient comes back approximately six weeks later and, more often than not, with proper homecare, the gums have significantly improved.
At present, Dr. Litano is working with Dr. Joseph Mercola on hyperbaric oxygen and ozone protocols to address periodontal disease without the need for surgery or aggressive intervention. Although effective brushing and flossing can help in preventing plaque from hardening into tartar, if tartar has formed, it can only be safely removed at a dental office. Natural Smiles of Tampa Bay offers this procedure in an effective and gentle manner.
Natural Smiles is
located at 9087 Belcher Rd., Pinellas Park. For more information and
appointments, call 727-300-0044 and/or visit Natural-Smiles.com.
Gina Edwards has been working in the field of dentistry for more than 16 years. When she is not practicing holistic dentistry, she can be found in Gulfport at Beach house 5317, a magical little shop she co-owns, filled with local art.