Holistic medicine is a form of medicine that recognizes the connection between the mind and the body and focuses on natural healing methods. Once seen as an alternative to standard medical care, holistic medicine has made its way into the practices of many doctors and dentists in complementation to standard treatments. Today, many patients seek out holistic treatments that are natural and non-invasive. At Ridge Crest Periodontics, we can put together a personalized periodontal care plan for each patient that combines the most effective holistic and conventional treatments for gum disease.
What Causes Gum Disease?
There are several factors that contribute to periodontal disease, some of which are easier to control than others. For example, one of the most obvious and common causes of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing protect the gums by removing plaque, a substance that contains harmful bacteria. Without regular brushing, the teeth can develop a film of plaque that hardens into tartar, making it more difficult to remove.
Tobacco use can worsen gum disease by restricting blood flow to the gums and preventing natural healing. Other contributing factors include genetics, some illnesses, hormonal changes, and some medications.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gum Disease?
Some of the most common signs of gum disease are soreness, redness, swelling, and bleeding in the gums. Patients may also experience problems with their teeth, such as sensitivity, a changing bite, and loose teeth. Persistent bad breath can be another symptom of inflamed or infected gum tissue. A dentist will diagnose gum disease by looking at the condition of the gums and by probing between the gum and the teeth. As bacteria wear away tooth enamel, pockets start to develop beneath the gumline. A small probe can painlessly measure the depth of these pockets.
What Are The Conventional Treatments For Gum Disease?
Gum disease treatment begins with a dental cleaning, often involving scaling and root planing, to completely remove all plaque and tartar from the teeth. These substances are the source of destructive bacteria, and once they are removed, the gums can begin to heal. In some cases, the dentist may recommend laser treatments to remove bacteria below the gumline. Some patients also need surgery to restore the gums where they have receded. Pinhole surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that can cover exposed roots by pulling down and stretching healthy tissue around the tooth.
What Is A Holistic Approach To Periodontal Disease?
While conventional dentistry focuses on solving a specific problem, holistic dentistry views problems in the context of overall health. Dentists who incorporate holistic medicine in gum disease treatment start by examining the patient as a whole, not just his or her teeth and gums. A holistic assessment considers the patient’s health history and any current issues that might be related to dental health. For example, poor nutrition can sometimes exacerbate gum and dental problems. Another thing to consider is the patient’s lifestyle and habits, because things such as tobacco use or drug use, can impact the health of the teeth and gums.
What Are Holistic Treatments For Gum Disease?
Holistic therapies for gum disease can include education and counseling, nutritional supplements, probiotics, essential oils, and natural antibacterial dental care products, to name a few. The goal of these treatments is to support the development of healthy bones, teeth, and gum tissue. Holistic therapies complement and enhance the effects of conventional treatments, and they can help lead to better long-term results.
How Can A Holistic Approach Enhance Standard Periodontal Treatment?
Holistic treatments do not replace conventional treatments for periodontal disease, especially when the disease is advanced. However, they can play an important role in strengthening and protecting the teeth and gums to help speed up the healing process. A personalized treatment plan that considers the patient’s overall health can lead to better outcomes and quicker healing.
At Ridge Crest Periodontics, you can get an individualized periodontal treatment plan tailored to your needs. We offer a range of conventional and holistic options including natural and minimally invasive treatments that yield excellent long-term results.