What is Biological Dentistry?
So what is biological dentistry? There are many terms bandied around including holistic or physiologic dentistry among others, but what does it all really mean? Biological dentistry is the practice of the best elements of conventional dentistry with a focus on the implications oral health has on the entire body. Biological dentistry recognizes the link between oral health and general health. But it is much more than that. It is a state of mind. It encompasses many elements of care including the office environment, the way patients are treated and finally the therapeutic use of techniques, procedures and materials to manage a variety of dental and oral conditions. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) put it this way:
“Today, we can do better dentistry, in a less toxic, more individualized, more environmentally friendly way than ever. Biological Dentistry is a thought process, an attitude, and a guide for making choices in dental practice.”
The most comprehensive discussion of Biological Dentistry can be found at: iaomt.org/intro-articles-biological-dentistry
The aim of our website is to provide you, our patients or prospective patients, with information that can help you make appropriate decisions regarding you and your family’s oral health care. There are many sources of information, much of it misleading but much of it very good. We will provide links to information we feel is balanced. Feel free to contact us if you have specific questions about our practice.
The Oral Systemic Health Connection
Oral conditions affect the whole body and vice-versa. Period. I think everyone knows this is true and the scientific literature continues to accumulate supportive evidence. Search oral-systemic health on the web. A sample link: www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475
The concept of an oral-systemic connection is not new and, indeed, eastern medicine believes each tooth is on a channel or meridian that has effects throughout the body. The interactive tooth chart shows what eastern medicine believes these connections to be.
The Role of Nutrition
The key to systemic and oral health is the quality of our food. Good quality food not only provides for the needs of every cell in our bodies (and commensal microbiome) but also helps keep those cells healthy by eliminating toxins and waste products. In this day and age, it is more and more difficult to meet our needs and there is push for meeting these needs locally.
There is a substantial amount of available information, so much so that it makes your eyes roll back in your head. We like to keep it simple and prescribe predominately to the time honoured nutritional practices of Dr. Weston Price, which is basically eat excellent-quality organic food, available locally. His classic text, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, has been in continuous print for decades. A great resource!
We recommend that you link with a local Weston A. Price Chapter (ours is wapfkingston.org), which will have links to local food sources and can provide connections to like-minded folks. We also have a good library of resources at the office, which we loan out to our patients.
We are not big supporters of supplementation, preferring to meet our needs from real, nutrient-dense foods. However, there are times when nutritional supplements can help. We work with local naturopathic physicians and others in this supportive work (See section on ‘OurPartners’). Sue, RN and certified Holistic Nutritionist, provides some support to our patients and will be providing practical nutritional advice under the section ‘Nutrition Blog'. From time to time, she or others will host workshops at a local commercial kitchen. The art of cooking has largely been lost but is fundamental to getting the most out of our food, and is economical to boot. Like us on our Facebook page to get updates.
The Importance of Proper Breathing
Fundamental to life is proper oxygenation of our bodies. Indeed, many chronic diseases can be directly attributed to poor breathing habits. In addition, many dental conditions are created by improper breathing; particularly mouth breathing. Breathing through the mouth disrupts proper growth and development of the face and jaws, creating much of the malocclusion and need for braces seen today. Dr. Buteyko, a Russian physician, recognized this decades ago and developed techniques to assess and treat abnormal breathing patterns.
Indeed, part of our interceptive orthodontic protocol is to correct abnormal breathing patterns in our young patients. Stabilization of orthodontic work and proper growth and development of the face in growing children is dependent on nasal breathing. Learn more here: www.buteykochildren.com/mouth_breathing_and_facial_development
The father of one of my young patients read the book at my insistence, as a prerequisite for treating his daughter, and reported that the information in the book was “life altering”. He saw immediate improvement in his own athletic skills by following a few of the simple exercises.