When one uses the term holistic dentist it can conjure up all sorts of visions about weird and wacky treatment options. That’s definitely not how we view the term holistic dentist!
‘Holistic’ is not the same as ‘alternative’ and so our vision of holistic dentistry is as follows:
- Seeing all people as a whole without classifying patients into groups, everyone is different and an individual.
- Identifying the habits and things people do that impact their oral health and helping with these habits etc for example, smoking.
- Explaining the links between dental health and overall health and helping patients with both.
- Taking a minimally invasive approach to all treatments and helping patients solve dental problems at home, wherever possible.
- Using ethically sourced materials.
- Using Continu cleaning materials, these are biologically safe and we have even sprayed them into our mouths to prove it!
- Conserving energy by switching off unnecessary lights and keeping air-conditioning to a minimum.
- Separating and recycling waste.
- Purchasing UK locally sourced, organic vegetables from farmers markets.
Our view is that we should then take these values, ideas and beliefs into our regular dental treatment.
How does a holistic dentist deal with gum disease?
Being a holistic dentist means understanding the whole body. Gum disease can progress painlessly on the whole and yet it can affect your whole body, here’s how:
Unfortunately, there really aren’t any home remedies to treat gum disease.
Holistic dental hygiene
The core of holistic dental hygiene is to ensure that you look after your teeth properly, here’s how:
- Clean your teeth twice per day with the fluoride containing toothpaste. Fluoride helps the outer layer of your tooth remineralisation and stay hard meaning it can counteract the effects of acid and tooth decay.
- Make sure you brush for 2 min each time.
- Use of fluoride mouthwash after meals and never immediately after brushing.
- Cean in between your teeth with an interental brush or floss.
There is of course no reason why you can’t use an environmentally friendly toothbrush which can be disposed of naturally. The only thing we would say is to ensure that the bristles are not too abrasive as they may cause damage to your gums.
Getting rid of dental pain the natural way
The most important point to remember is that if you’re in pain there is going to be an underlying cause. You may have a crack in your tooth, you may have erosion causing the more sensitive dentine to be exposed or you may have dental disease. We can therefore only recommend temporary relief whilst you are waiting to see your dentist.
Natural remedies for pain relief include
- An ice pack or cold compress applied to your cheek. This can constrict the blood vessels and dumb down the nerve endings resulting in a mild numbing effect.
- Rubbing clove oil onto the affected site. So long as you have no open wounds in your mouth then clove oil has been shown to be antiseptic and also provide a mild knowing effect. Simply dab a cotton ball into the clove oil and rub on the affected part.
- Teabags. Cold used teabags contain tannin, tannin has been shown to help reduce blood flow if you have an open wound in your mouth.
Natural remedies for toothache.
If you have toothache it’s important to know what the cause is, simply using natural home remedies may reduce the pain in the short term but if the cause isn’t treated then the pain can come back worse than it did before.
Common causes of toothache include:
- A dental cavity. If this is deep then the underlying nerve can sense feelings of hot and cold and cause pain.
- Gum disease. The information from the gum disease can cause pain around the tooth margin. Anti-inflammatory treatments work well here.
- Tooth abscess. This is an infection in the root of the tooth and pain can often be severe.
- Cracked tooth. If the tooth is cracked then as you eat it can flex causing sudden pain which is not there usually.
- Tooth erosion. Erosion of the tooth, particularly around the gum line can cause pain and sensitivity.
Natural remedies are therefore only good for removing pain in the short term, you will need to visit a dentist to find out what the cause of the pain is and ensure it is treated to prevent further painful episodes.
Natural treatments, solutions and remedies to take can include:
- Rinsing with salt water. This can help loosen food particles as well as the salt being a natural disinfectant. Salt water can also help in the reduction of inflammation and promote faster healing to any wounds in your mouth.
- Cold compress. This is particularly good if you have an injury or the toothache is caused by trauma. A cold compress will constrict the blood vessels which tends to make the pain feel less severe. It can also wok well to reduce swelling which exacerbates to take pain. The cold compressed should be applied over the area of pain against your cheek (on the outside of your mouth). Use a bag of frozen peas or crushed ice, moulded to the shape of your face and wrap in a soft tea towel to prevent the ice from touching your skin.
- Clove oil. Clove oil has been used in dentistry for many years in the form of eugenol. This is a natural antiseptic and can help to take. You should apply the clove oil using a cotton wall bud onto the area which is causing the pain in your mouth. If the taste is too strong you may wish to dilute it with some vegetable oil.
- Use tea bags. Teabags, particularly peppermint tea it seems can often reduce pain. Regular tea contains tannin which has been shown to reduce bleeding which may also be of use. Allow the teabag to cool but still be warm then place the teabag over the tooth which is causing the pain.
Finding an holistic dentist
The best way to find and holistic dentist near you is to search on Google, once you have found a few dental practices then check out their website. Look for their environmental policies on their about us page, check to see if they use amalgam and ask about their ethical standards. Everything should be transparent and on their website for you to view.
Natureza Dental Practice is an holistic dentist in Croydon, Surrey. “Natureza” means ‘nature’ or ‘environment’ in Portuguese, Portugal which is where the owners of the practice originate. They therefore named their practice after their philosophy of being a holistic and natural dentist.