Holistic dentists and alternative health professionals have a common ground: each sees the big picture. Holistic health practitioners see the human body as one giant puzzle. When disassembled, the puzzle is merely a pile of random pieces. When assembled, however, the puzzle creates a picture that is in itself greater than any one piece. In this way, holistic dentists and other alternative health professionals pay particular attention to patients’ mental, physical, and social needs, recognizing that each contributes to overall health.
Comments by Dr. Ted Herrmann:
Holistic health is all about the big picture. It asserts that human beings have certain needs, and these needs must be addressed with physical, mental, and social dimensions in mind.
Consider: If you wake up in the morning with a bad head cold, can you be absolutely certain that it is because of a physical ailment? Modern medicine has shown time and time again that sickness, like the common cold, can be caused by stress. Individuals with high stress levels show signs of weak immune systems, making them particularly vulnerable to sickness. Stress is the mental piece of the equation; sickness is the physical manifestation. In other words, certain mental conditions may cause physical things to happen.
Holistic dentistry varies from traditional dentistry in the attention it pays to patients’ mental and social needs, in addition to the physical. Traditional dentistry, on the other hand, focuses on the patients’ physical needs only. For example: a patient with a cavity needs a filling. Traditional dentistry stops here, reacting to the physical problem only.
Holistic dental practices focus on the comprehensive big picture. To illustrate, consider the same aforementioned patient with a cavity. Holistic dentists will absolutely note a physical need—the patient needs a filling. They go further, however, and dig into why the patient needs a filling. Why has this patient developed plaque that has been untouched for so long that it had a chance to eat away at the enamel of their tooth? More often than not, these questions are answered through the assessment of the patient’s mental and social needs.
Poor Oral Hygiene and Stress
One reason for poor oral hygiene may be stress. To illustrate, consider that individuals with high stress levels seek various different comforts to alleviate that stress. This can lead to excessive sugar intake, going to sleep without brushing and flossing, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching. These things slowly break down tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to cavities. Stress is just one example of a mental state that can alter a physical state. Anxiety, paranoia, fear, and different emotions can likewise affect the physical being of a person.
To care for your oral health in the best way possible, consider visiting a holistic dental professional. Holistic dental experiences are more comprehensive than traditional ones. Cleanings at Assure a Smile, for example, provide a thorough insight into your specific oral conditions, including jaw bone density, mouth acidity, and more. If you are interested in a more inclusive and insightful visit to the dentist, take advantage of our New Patient Cleaning Special and schedule a dental appointment online!