You go to the dentist to prevent cavities and keep your teeth healthy. This lesson has been impressed on most of us since we were children. But did you know that what happens in your mouth can be linked to what happens in the rest of your body? To that end, a new form of dentistry has developed to focus on the relationship between oral health and overall health. Here’s what you need to know about your holistic dentist in Austin and how they protect more than just your smile.
WHAT IS A HOLISTIC DENTIST?
A holistic dentist has a “whole-body” treatment philosophy that considers the connection between the body and the mouth. They don’t just identify oral health problems; they try and determine the underlying reason for why these problems occurred. Not only does this allow them to figure out how to make these issues less likely to occur again in the future, but it also lets them suggest practices that can enhance your overall health.
HOW DOES A HOLISTIC DENTIST TREAT ORAL HEALTH PROBLEMS?
In addition to an examination, a holistic dentist will ask questions about diet, lifestyle, and overall health. This allows them to develop a treatment plan that gets to the root of the issue.
For example, bruxism – grinding teeth while asleep – can happen for many different reasons. It may be due to a misaligned bite, stress and anxiety, or damaged jaws. In most cases, bruxism is simply treated with a mouthguard, but a holistic dentist would go a step further to identify the cause and figure out how it can be treated in addition to stopping the damage from grinding.
HOW DOES HOLISTIC DENTISTRY PROTECT OVERALL HEALTH?
By developing treatments and making suggestions that address underlying causes, holistic dentists can help improve the health of your whole body. Cavities, for instance, could be a result of eating too much sugar. In this situation, your dentist would likely recommend changes to your diet, which will also improve your overall nutrition. Other times, a cavity may occur due to poor oral hygiene, so you might change your brushing habits or start using additional oral hygiene products such as mouthwash; this will help kill the bacteria that can cause problems throughout the body.
If you’re unclear about the approach your dentist in Austin takes to oral care, be sure to ask questions and voice any concerns you might have; you should also feel free to volunteer health information that you feel is relevant. Remember: the key word with holistic dentistry is “prevention.” Most modern dentists focus on stopping cavities and gum disease before they start; holistic dentistry is simply taking that idea to its natural conclusion by expanding it to include your overall health.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Candace Bruno has undergone hundreds of hours of continuing education dedicated to learning how to take care of the mouth as a whole; her approach to holistic dentistry is to evaluate every system that’s involved with the oral cavity. She offers a wide range of restorative and cosmetic treatments as well. To schedule an appointment at her practice, Bruno Integrative Dentistry, visit her website or call (512) 372-8484.