Holistic Dentistry, Bio Dentistry, and the Systemic Connection are all terms that are being used more and more in today’s search for health and wellness. What do these terms mean and how do these terms relate to your health and your search for dental wellness?
Holistic dentists look beyond the small window of the mouth and look to heal the mouth and body as a whole. Holistic dentists look at how to improve overall health, rather than just repair a single tooth or infection.
They look for the cause, the root of why the mouth is in the state that it’s in and how that is affecting the entire body (the systemic connection). This means that the dentist is viewing the mouth in its entirety; in relation to the rest of the body.
The mouth is an intricate place that when balanced, healthy and protected will function beautifully over a lifetime. If the mouth is imbalanced and infected, it will be thrust into a downward spiral that if not caught in time can lead to severe destruction and pain.
Tooth aches, sensitive teeth, gum pain, bleeding gums, muscle tension, misalignment, headaches, head and neck pain, jaw pain, heart disease, and increased inflammation are indicators of imbalance and disease. These are all signs that the mouth is not well. If caught early enough, however, and properly diagnosed and treated appropriately, then long-term health and wellness can be achieved.
The mouth should be looked at as a whole, not as individual parts, such as the teeth, bone, gums, muscles, and joints. Everything in the mouth functions together. For example, when there are misaligned teeth, this can create imbalance in the bite, which can cause accelerated wear of the teeth and breakdown of the gums and bone. This will cause joint and muscle pain. When balance is properly restored, this chain of destruction is broken and stability is restored.
Often times what I find when analyzing different situations is that it comes down to the bite and the way the mouth is functioning within that bite. A balanced bite with aligned teeth allows for proper function. Pain, sensitivity and discomfort of the teeth and muscles in the head and neck are often related to a bite that is less than ideal.
An unbalanced bite means that your teeth are not meeting correctly and this can lead to bite issues or occlusal trauma. Signs that you have an unbalanced bite are: chipped or broken teeth, sensitive teeth, receding gums, periodontal disease, scarred tongue and cheeks, headaches and TMJ/TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).
When a bite is properly aligned and then protected, many dental and health problems can be solved and avoided in the future.
A common question I hear is, “What materials do you use?” This is such an important question because dental materials do become a part of your body, and thus should function harmoniously with the body without any toxic or destructive side effects.
However, equally important to the materials used in dentistry is the technique with which these materials are used to obtain health and balance within the mouth and body. Techniques that are conservative and minimally invasive are important, since they conserve as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. There are many new and innovative methods that can be used to achieve these goals.
Dr. Jeffry Kerbs is a holistic dentist who graduated from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in 1983. He has made it his practice to perform only conservative dentistry with bio-compatible materials, including safe mercury removal.
Dr. Kerbs has attended the Kois Institute for Advanced Dental Studies with emphasis on Occlusion (bite analysis) for health and function. He has also had formal orthodontic training as a general dentist. He practices all aspects of general dentistry with emphasis on natural esthetics.
Dr. Kerbs is an accredited dentist with the AACD. Dr. Kerbs office offers spa dentistry, which means a peaceful environment, promoting relaxation through massage, aroma therapy and music as well as may other spa amenities. Dr. Kerbs website is www.drjkerbs.com.