Biological Dentistry vs. Traditional Dentistry
Biological Dentistry. Your mouth is literally the gateway to the rest of your body. What you put in your mouth has a tremendous impact on your overall health and well-being. Of course, when I say “what you put in your mouth”, most people assume I am talking about nutrition. Sure, nutrition has a major impact on your overall health, but what I’m referring to here is dentistry.
Anybody who has followed even a portion of my healing journey knows that I am not disparaging of modern medicine. In fact, I feel just the opposite. However, I think it is important to use a healthy degree of skepticism and to consider ALL options of treatment for conditions. Our bodies are incredible at healing as long as we nourish them properly, and modern medicine doesn’t necessarily have all the answers. The same rule applies to dentistry as well. Modern dentistry has come a very long way from the dentistry of even 20 years ago. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
There is a shift in what we are looking for in dentists, and biodentistry as a result is a growing approach toward treating the whole person. In a 2012 paper, researchers studied the importance of biocompatible tools in patients. In the past, dental materials were tested for safety based on their inertness, or their lack of reaction. We realize today that this is an extremely naïve approach, and that biological response to foreign materials as well as potential problems can take years to manifest into visible symptoms. Yet that doesn’t mean the compounds and tools are safe.
The Biological Approach toward Dentistry
Biological dentistry, or bio-dentistry is an approach that considers the whole person and uses the most biologically efficient approach toward dental health and hygiene. There is that healthy skepticism of some of the methodology and compounds used in traditional dentistry—specifically towards the metals used in traditional dentistry and the use of root canals for treating deep cavities.
If this is the first time you are hearing about biological dentistry, you’re not alone. This was a completely new idea for me when I first learned about it, too. It acknowledges that your teeth are a part of your body and part of a whole. We know through years of science and research that oral health is linked to physical health. Biological dentists take this idea a step further. They realize that your oral and dental health can have an impact on disease processes in your body. What happens in the teeth and gums can have an impact on the rest of the body. Putting metal or other foreign materials in the mouth can lead to issues far beyond your tooth.
Ultimately, Bio-dentistry is not necessarily an emerging sub-specialty of dentistry. Rather it is a philosophy, much like holistic medicine. It aims to utilize your body’s natural defenses through good nutrition and prevention. When intervention is necessary, it is done in the most biologically similar way as your own body. Introducing metal or foreign substances into the mouth is done with extreme caution, and generally as a last resort.
I want to re-emphasize that I am not trying to disparage the work and specialty of traditional dental practices. What I really want to see is people learn more about the impact of the compounds used with abandon as well as traditional practices—specifically root canals and fillings.
Traditional dentistry uses metals in almost every stage of the process of both prevention and treatment. There is certainly a focus on prevention to a certain degree with traditional dentistry, though its primary focus is generally on treating dental conditions. Throughout the course of treatment, tools and materials are introduced to the mouth. Through the tooth, pathogens are also frequently introduced directly into the bloodstream. A 2007 study shows that even after root canals, a high amount of pathogenic bacteria still remained in the tooth after a root canal procedure.
Furthermore, in the prevention of dental problems, traditional dentistry focuses on the use of Fluoride to “strengthen” teeth. Fluoride has been shown to cause thyroid issues. We have known for a long time that heavy metals wreak havoc on the body. Fluoride is one that is consistently added to our drinking water and our toothpaste. A brand new February 2018 study shows empirical data that shows specifically an impact in T3 and T4 levels through consumption of Fluoride.
It seems like there is so much yet to learn. My journey has taken me so many different places. We all seem to be connected in an infinite number of ways, and the world around us and our environments seem to have more and more connections to our overall health and wellness. Our emotions, the food we nourish ourselves with, our unresolved angers, hurts or slights, even the people and attitudes we surround ourselves with—all of these things have a huge impact on the way our bodies act. It only makes sense that what we put in our mouths impacts our overall health. Yet few of us consider that same premise when taking care of our oral health. Our mouths are the gateways to our bodies. We nourish it from the outside in AND from the inside out. What we put into our mouths from the outside changes the way we work from the inside out.
For me, the entire journey has been extremely eye-opening, and I have found my own oral health has improved significantly with a whole, interconnected approach. The thyroid connection is certainly a big enough one to initially have me asking questions. The rest is certainly all coming into place as I consider my overall well-being including my mouth. I am not saying that traditional dentistry is a bad approach. However for me, traditional dentistry only tends to look at treating an immediate problem. It often fails to consider me as a person, my own biology, and my specific composition. In my journey I have learned more about the different approaches by listening to many doctors in the industry and reading books like The Toxic Tooth. It’s a really interesting read, I promise!