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Whole Body

Is Holistic Dentistry Safe?

We encounter this question a lot whenever we say Dr. Reese is a holistic dentist and we practice holistic dentistry at Indianapolis Dentistry. We can trace this uncertainty to common myths about holistic dentistry, some even going as far as acquainting it to "quack medicine". Indianapolis Holistic Dentistry

Holistic dentistry is a practice that uses safe, non toxic methods of caring for your oral health.  It covers the same areas as traditional dentistry but works with the entire body in order to ensure optimal health.

Holistic dentistry is viewing oral health in relationship towards overall health. We do not just treat the symptoms patients experience, we get down to the cause of that symptom and make proper recommendations.

Since we don’t just treat problems but identify causes, Holistic Dentistry is better for patients.

The goal of holistic dentistry (whole-body dentistry) is to provide thorough care, using biocompatible dental materials, minimally invasive procedures, and recommendations with the intention to prevent future disease, discomfort, and damage. A holistic dentist is often referred to as an organic dentist, a green dentist or an integrative dentist. A holistic dentist doesn’t really differ much from a traditional dentist except for a few points we have highlighted in this post.

Is holistic dentistry safe?

Yes, holistic dentistry is very safe.

You can even say it is safer than traditional dentistry because holistic dentists like Dr. Reese use state-of-the-art dental technology combined with the knowledge and concerns for your entire body health. You can read more about holistic dentistry services we provide at Indianapolis Dentistry:

Dr. Reese is a holistic dentist that provides a minimally invasive approach to dentistry that considers the whole body’s health. He is also a member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) whose goal is, “to always seek the safest, least toxic way to accomplish the mission of treatment.” An IAOMT dentist is knowledgeable in modern techniques of proper mercury removal, stays current with the latest research, and works in conjunction with physicians knowledgeable in testing for and detoxifying mercury.

You will find Indianapolis Dentistry to be a very comfortable place – it even feels like a spa! Call 317-882-0228 to schedule an appointment.

TMJ and Digestion Problems – Is There a Link?

Temporamandibular (TMJ) disorders are a group of conditions that cause pain in and around the jaw joint (the temporomandibular joint) and its nearby muscles. They affect a person’s ability to eat, chew, swallow, make facial expressions, speak and even breathe. Research says approximately 35 million people suffer from TMJ disorders in the US.

What is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?

Indianapolis TMJ Dentist
Indianapolis TMJ Dentist

Connecting the lower jaw to the temporal bone in the skull, the TMJ is a hinge joint made up of muscles, blood vessels, nerves and bones. Your TMJ is the most important joint in your body because an estimated 30-40% of all of your body’s nerve impulses run indirectly or directly through the TMJ. Any disorder affecting this joint will affect your whole body, from head to foot.

What Causes TMJ Disorders?

As of the moment, not all causes are known. There have been conditions identified that are somehow indicative of TMJ disorders: injuries to the jaw area, arthritis, infections and auto-immune diseases.

What are Signs that I Have a TMJ Disorder?

Symptoms vary but pain is the most common symptom. Pain associated with TMJ disorders is often described as a dull ache anywhere from the jaw, ears, neck, head, shoulders and back. Dizziness and vision problems are often encountered. Since symptoms are common, diagnosing might take a while. This is why most people suffering from TMJ disorders have chronic pain.

TMJ and Other Problems in the Body

Jaw disorders create health problems that don’t appear connected in the body. Since the TMJ is a very large nerve joint, you can imagine how large its influence is on the motor aspect of your nervous system.  Imagine your head weighs as much as a bowling ball. If you hold a bowling bowl in a starting position when you are playing bowling, you can only sustain that position for a while until your shoulders and arms become sore or irritated. Hold that position for a while longer and you will notice your back, hips and thighs start to hurt too. This is how TMJ disorders work – it affects the whole body.

TMJ and the Digestive Problems

TMJ disorders are most often rooted to a bad bite. If you can’t bite properly, the first step of digestion, mastication, is affected. This is why TMJ disorders are connected to digestive problems too, though the exact correlation remains unclear.

“Temporomandibular Disorder (Jaw Joint Disorder) is associated with 112% more digestive complaints on average (in terms of the cost of medical treatment) as compared to a normal group. “

Source: Hill L, An Introduction to Mastication Analysis in General Practice, Oral Health, March 2013, Vol 103, No 3, pg 20-26. Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

A Holistic View of TMJ

According to holistic experts, TMJ disorders disrupt the flow of energy in the body. When the flow of energy though the jaw is blocked because of stress or tension, all systems that flow through the jaw are affected as well. There are channels called meridians where energy flows. TMJ disorders affect six main energy meridians as they travel near or through the jaw. These meridians are the stomach, small intestine, adrenal gland, gall bladder, large intestine and bladder. As you can see, these meridians relate to digestive functions. You might notice that when you are stressed, you have trouble digesting food properly. One of the reasons is because your jaw is tensed or locked due to tension and stress.

TMJ Therapy and Treatment Options

Correcting TMJ disorders can correct a variety of system (nervous, digestive, immune, pulmonary) disorders as well.

Treatments of TMJ disorders are often short-term. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes  of Health, TMJ treatments should be reversible whenever possible. That means that the treatment should not cause permanent changes to the jaw or teeth. Pain medications, jaw exercises and stabilization splints are the most widely used treatments.

Patients can also opt to correct their bite to offer long-term solution to chronic pain associated with TMJ disorders. Make sure to make an appointment with a dentist who is a member of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain.  If you live in the Indianapolis area, you can call Dr. Ted Reese, an accredited dentist practicing dentistry for over 25 years, at 317-882-0228.

What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative Dentistry
Integrative Dentistry

According to Duke's School of Integrative Medicine, a state-of-the-art healing environment in Durham, North Carolina, integrative medicine is, " a new approach to medical care that brings patient and practitioner together in a dynamic partnership dedicated to optimizing the patient's health and healing. This approach focuses on the whole person, recognizing that the subtle interactions of mind, body, spirit and community have a direct impact on vitality and well-being." Integrative medicine can quite simply be described as, 'where traditional eastern medicine meets modern western medicine.' For example, Duke not only teaches nutrition, fitness, and yoga, but also tai chi, meditation, and other eastern medical practices that help people to live better. In other words, integrative medicine means treating the mind and spirit, not just the body. Doctors who practice integrative medicine are sometimes referred to has holistic doctors, which simply means they keep the whole body in mind when treating a patient.

How Does Integrative Medicine Apply to Dentistry?

Holistic dentists are often referred to as 'biological dentists', which means, like Dr. Reese, they respect that the mouth is an integral part of the entire body. A biological dentist knows that dental treatments can impact the rest of the body and so they make decisions that have as little impact to the body as possible. Biological dentists like Dr. Reese do this by using biocompatible materials that will not adversely affect a patient's immune system with an emphasis on building health and well being.

About Dr. Reese

Dr. Reese is a holistic and biological dentist located on the south side of Indianapolis along US 31, just south of 465. He is a dedicated, life long student - demonstrated by his long standing position as director of continuing education for the Indiana Academy of General Dentistry. He also represents the dentists of Indiana and Ohio as a trustee to the National AGD Board. experience the difference in our expertise, professionalism, and thorough care. Call our office at 317-882-0228.