What is a holistic approach to dentistry?

I hate the idea of treating symptoms, it’s so superficial, and instead of helping, it merely creates a whole host of other problems. Sure, symptoms might be annoying, painful, and downright disruptive, but they just come back unless we can find and treat the root cause. It’s why I love working with a whole community of professionals who take your health as seriously as I feel about your teeth. These are the kind of people who won’t just prescribe you a pill for high blood pressure, they’ll actually look for the root cause and treat it through a nutritional, lifestyle, physical, or mental approach — whichever suits your condition.

Popping a pill to solve a problem can be really easy and convenient, but it usually throws off your system and causes other issues and imbalances that will need attention. It’s why I have a lot of respect for the methods of healing that I’ve encountered throughout my career and my travels. Here in the USA, we think that there is only one way to treat the human body. We look at what symptoms are being caused and try to treat the organ causing those symptoms with either medicine or surgery. That’s the approach that’s found in textbooks published in the West, and approved by drug companies and physicians associations. The reality is that throughout the world, there are so many different approaches to healthcare and dental care that meld East and West approaches instead of holding them on opposite ends of spectrum. Many of these treatments and approaches have been around for thousands of years.

What happens in your mouth can say volumes about what’s going on in the rest of your body (and I’m not just talking about complaining of a stomach ache). Take this for instance: in school we’re taught that sometimes the tongue just has a few spots, otherwise known as “Geographic Tongue.” They move around, go away, come back, and while you don’t see them that much or have much of a reason to notice them, when you come into my office, I can read them like a book. In Chinese medicine, those spots mean something. Generally, they point to a problem with digestion and if you don’t pay attention to them, you miss out on some pretty important cues as to how your body is really functioning. Cavities may mean that you aren’t brushing correctly. But it can also mean that you’re eating certain foods to cause decay. If I see a patient who doesn’t have any cavities, and all of a sudden gets a bunch, we have a conversation about their diet, and find the hidden sugar, processed foods, grains, or even frequency of their meals that are contributing to the cause.

Those pesky symptoms that are easy to ignore are telling you something. Those symptoms are a cry for help, and shutting them up by popping a pill isn’t going to make the problem go away. This is why I work with the holistic practitioners I do – we all listen, and will understand how your symptoms point to what’s really wrong, and how to fix it.  It takes a community of specialists who all respect each other and your body to make sure that you’re happy and healthy from your teeth to your toes, so thanks for being a part of our community that puts your whole body health front and center!

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