There are many elements that set a holistic dentistry practice apart from a regular dental practice, such as mercury-free dentistry, ozone, laser teeth cleanings and zirconia dental implants. But did you even know you have a holistic option when it came to your teeth cleaning? The choice is yours.
Why Holistic Teeth Cleanings?
Not all dental cleanings are created equal. Holistic teeth cleaning is a thorough process that cleans your teeth and the tissue surrounding your teeth. This means the bacteria in your mouth is addressed in a way that’s wholesome for your entire body. In addition to the revolutionary cleaning process, holistic dentistry practices often use a laser or ozone, which is a safer way to treat the gums while protecting against gum disease. Not only is this better for you, but patients even report a more pleasant and comfortable teeth cleaning experience.
Holistic teeth cleanings offer a greater level of protection for your oral health. The conventional method of cleaning teeth typically begins with scraping plaque from the teeth however, the holistic teeth cleaning process takes a different approach.
The Holistic Teeth Cleaning Process
Laser dental cleanings begin with a sterilizing laser that cleans and disinfects teeth around the sensitive gum tissue, killing bacteria without damaging the gums. This eliminates the creation of any pathways for unwanted microbes to enter the bloodstream. Dental ozone treats bacteria in the mouth with the use of an ozone tray, which reduces the oral bacteria in the mouth.
The next step in a holistic teeth cleaning involves the use of a scaler, which uses high-frequency sound waves to remove plaque build-up from the teeth. Finally, the teeth are carefully and gently polished and rinsed to produce that smooth, just-cleaned feeling that everyone loves after a teeth cleaning.
Maintaining Your Oral Health
No matter how well you take care of your teeth, no matter how often you floss and brush, it is still important to have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. There are plaque and bacteria that settle on your teeth that only dental-grade equipment can properly remove.
What is the relationship between oral health and overall health?
Oral health is crucial for overall health. The oral cavity is the starting point and portal for many microbial infections to enter the bloodstream. Oral health may be a risk factor for, indicate the presence of, or exacerbate the effects of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s. People with periodontal disease have more difficulty controlling their blood sugar and 95% of Americans with diabetes have gum disease.
The incidence of premature and low birth weight babies is linked to gum disease as well. Those with respiratory infections may have greater difficulty breathing when oral health is compromised.
Poor oral health and limited airway also contributes to depression, anxiety, snoring and can affect social interaction, intimacy, and contribute to low self-esteem.
How We Clean Teeth with Jaw Problems
When you have limited mouth openings, staying open to have your teeth cleaned can be difficult. In our office, we are sensitive to those needs by using a TENS unit to relax your jaw muscles so that opening your mouth for a dental cleaning can be a relaxing experience rather than straining on your jaw or muscles.
Anybody who has seen us for TMD/TMJ treatment is familiar with the TENS unit. TENS, which stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, is a type of therapy we use to help guests with chronic TMD pain. When we TENS a guest, we are trying to relieve the tightness in the muscles. Typically, the tighter the muscles the more pain a guest will feel in their face, shoulders or neck. By breaking the cycle of pain, we’re able to relax the muscles and achieve the ideal bite.
Have you ever felt tightness in your face? What about a tension headache or ringing in the ears? Using a TENS unit can help alleviate these symptoms. In neuromuscular dentistry, The TENS units are different from those used in chiropractic and other applications, because the goal is relieve the root cause of pain instead of blocking pain signals. TENS also stimulates the release of endorphins (“feel good” chemicals) from your brain. These endorphins are your body’s natural pain relieving chemicals that also work to alleviate the symptoms associated with TMJ.
During the TENS appointment, sticky muscle pads are placed on very specific parts of the face and shoulders. The TENS unit is then turned on, allowing a gentle current to stimulate the skin and the nerves underneath it. The current is not strong enough to cause pain, but is strong enough to trigger a gentle pulse in the muscles. This pulse allows us to retrain the signals the muscles send to your brain. It is not uncomfortable, but the feeling is often described as a unique sensation. After a couple of minutes, it can actually be enjoyable. After the visit, guests typically feel significant symptom relief for hours.
If you’re interested in using a TENS unit in between TMD appointments, just let us know! We can point you in the right direction.