focuses on the integral role that oral health plays in overall health. This is due to a strong body of research that shows a clear association between chronic disease and poor dental health. 

Although holistic dentists have recognized these links for many years, recent research has continued to emerge, confirming a relationship between dental disease and a wide variety of systemic conditions including neurological diseases, heart disease, diabetes, and even many cancers. This growing body of evidence on the importance of dental health in preventing systemic disease has forced many in the dental field to change their practices to include a more holistic approach that takes into account the patient’s overall health when diagnosing and treating dental disease.

Diagnosing Dental Disease

Traditionally, dentists have used a dental probe with millimeter marks to diagnose periodontal disease in patients. Although this is still a very effective tool for identifying the presence of the disease, many dentists now think that this alone is not enough when it comes to diagnosing periodontal disease. Instead, many dentists are taking the diagnosis a step further by utilizing new technologies to identify the specific groups of bacteria that are causing the infection in order to better fight the infection and prevent future recurrence.

Identifying microbes for a better diagnosis & treatment plan

When signs of periodontal disease are present, a saliva test capable of identifying which pathogenic bacteria are present in the patient’s mouth can serve as a valuable resource. This simple saliva test can improve our effectiveness in how we treat each patient’s individual case and also gives us the ability to retest after treatment and see if it has been effective in reducing or eliminating the bacteria species involved in the original infection.

Using CAT scan technology to identify failed root canals and necrotic teeth

In the past, many dentists have relied on traditional x-rays to identify dental abscesses, necrotic teeth, and failed root canals. However, new Cone Beam CT (CBCT) Scan machines now allow dentists to more accurately identify, diagnose, and treat these conditions.

Treating Periodontal Disease

Holistic dentistry has long recognized the important connection between oral health and overall health, aiming to diagnose and treat patients in a way that optimizes wellness and prevents chronic inflammation and disease. In recent years, technology and research have resulted in many updated treatment methods that can effectively eliminate chronic periodontitis.

Eliminating periodontal disease with emerging technology

When it comes to treating periodontal disease, the key steps include identifying the bacteria causing the infection, eliminating the pathogen, and healing the area of infection. “If it is discovered that you are experiencing a degree of periodontal disease, treatment is highly recommended,” says All-In-One-Dental. Research has also suggested that rebalancing the healthy bacteria in the infection site is another critical step to treating and preventing periodontal disease, and ozone therapy is thought to be one effective method of rebalancing and healing dental infection. There is also promising research on the effectiveness of oral probiotics supporting a healthier balance of oral bacteria.

Treating extensive decay without root canals

Holistic dentistry recognizes that there are many overall health risks associated with infected teeth and failed root canals, as this treatment option potentially does not eliminate the bacterial infection and can lead to chronic inflammation that is associated with many systemic diseases. “When you or your dentist think you may have an infection in your tooth, it’s time to head to the office,” says Dr. Chen – Roseville Cosmetic Dentist.

In recent years, many practitioners in traditional dentistry have increasingly joined holistic dentists in recognizing the dangers of infected teeth and abscessed root canal treated teeth, and research suggests that full extraction of the tooth is the most effective method to eliminate and prevent infection within the mouth, as well as chronic conditions associated with ongoing inflammation from chronic dental infections.

Looking for a whole-body, health-focused dentist in your area?

If you are looking for a holistic dentist that will consider the importance of dental health on your overall health when diagnosing, treating and preventing dental disease, Nashville Restorative Dentistry is here for you. Contact our dental office located in Franklin, TN today to learn more about how a healthy smile can lead to better overall health.