Naturopathy for Dental problems
There is an interdependent relationship between the health of the oral tissues and the rest of the body. For example compromised nutritional status (through low nutrient intake or gastrointestinal tract disease) can play a contributing factor in periodontitis, poor healing response to surgical procedures or recurrent oral disease. A Naturopath considers the health of the whole body and uses nutritional and herbal medicine, in conjunction with diet and lifestyle modifications to improve the patients overall health, including the mouth. Some typical examples of how a Naturopath can support patients undergoing dental care are –
- Conditions of the lips and mouth such as gingivitis and periodontal disease, mouth ulcers, dry mouth, angular stomatitis, herpes , halitosis, altered pH and associated tooth demineralisation as well as abnormal tongue coating, can all benefit from Naturopathic medicine aimed at improving a patients nutritional status and supporting digestive function. Some of the nutrients used to support oral health include Co enzyme Q10, Bioflavonoids, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Zinc and B vitamins.
- Patients undergoing amalgam removal can benefit from Naturopathic care to support the body’s natural detoxification pathways and improve the individual’s capacity to excrete, rather than store heavy metals. A Naturopath can request heavy metal and functional liver testing to determine an individual’s toxic load. Treatment then focuses on ensuring optimal nutrition to promote the release of stored metal from tissue and raise antioxidant status and supports liver, digestion and kidney detoxification pathways to encourage elimination.
- There are numerous herbal and nutritional medicines available that can benefit patients experiencing TMJ pain by decreasing the production of inflammatory cytokines and supporting nervous system function.
- Children who require braces or paediatric dental appliances who breathe through their mouth and have a narrow dental arch, venous pooling and compromised airways can benefit from food sensitivity testing and diet modification to help reduce airway inflammation, mucous production and improve breathing.
- Nutritional medicine can promote the healing processes for patients who have undergone dental extractions. Naturopathic medicine can also be used to support dental implant integration through improvements in nutritional status and immune function. For patients undergoing dental implants, it is beneficial to speak to a Naturopath first about metal allergy testing to the better understand how an individuals immune system may react to specific metals such as titanium.
- Patients with an abnormal fear of dentistry can benefit through the use of homeopathic, botanical and nutritional medicine to support the nervous system and reduce the fear around going to the dentist.
- Naturopathic care can be beneficial for sleep apnoea patients through weight loss programs, food sensitivity testing and improved immune function.
It is important to note that no two patients are ever the same and many natural medicines are contra indicated in certain cases and can interfere with the action pharmaceutical drugs. So, it is always recommended patients seek professional advice from a qualified Naturopath or Nutritionist when considering natural medicines. If you would like to know more please contact Sydney Naturopath Kathleen McFarlane.