An introduction to holistic dentistry
Holistic dentistry is a branch of traditional medicine that traces the relationship between oral health and overall physical and mental well-being. There are various approaches to holistic dentistry, like traditional Chinese medicine, ayurvedic treatments, acupuncture, essential oil therapy, and so on.
Traditional Chinese medicine is particularly concerned with holistic dentistry. Chinese meridian charts are used for acupuncture, but they can also trace the relationship between each tooth and our overall health.
Let’s find out more about the Chinese meridian chart and how it can improve your oral health.
Traditional Chinese medicine, like conventional medicine systems from other cultures, believes in holistic well-being and interconnectedness of the mind and the body. For example, the concept of qi (or chi) is based on the idea that vital life energy flows through our bodies. This energy is called qi/chi, and it’s necessary to maintain health.
However, there can be blockages in the flow of qi/chi. Whenever there’s a blockage, our bodies become weak and sick. Traditional Chinese medicine aims to ensure the free flow of qi/chi. This life energy flows through ‘channels’ in our bodies, and these channels are called meridians.
Traditional Chinese medicine describes 12 primary meridians and many minor meridians. Teeth fall under the minor meridians category. A tooth meridian chart illustrates the relationship between our teeth and different parts of the body.
For example, the third molars on the lower and upper jaw are associated with the heart. At the same time, the premolars on the lower jaw connect to the stomach. Your liver is related to your canine teeth. Similarly, each tooth has a corresponding organ that it affects.
Teeth and your health
Many of us are already aware of the effect of oral health on our entire body. It’s primarily because everything we eat goes inside our body through our mouth. Like other organs, our teeth and gums are teeming with good and bad bacteria—the likelihood of having harmful bacteria increases if you don’t brush and floss daily. Imbalances in saliva flow can also cause diseases.
Some of the most common diseases associated with oral health are Endocarditis, Pneumonia, and heart attacks. Though the relationship between cardiovascular diseases and oral health is not fully understood, some sources claim that oral inflammatory bacteria can clog arteries.
Poor oral health is also connected to oral cancer, as documented in this 2018 study. While the leading causes of oral cancer are tobacco and alcohol consumption, poor oral health increases the likelihood of cancer.
Specific oral health conditions are also linked to dementia and cognitive impairment. According to a study, tooth extraction, edentulousness, dental cavities, and gingivitis increase the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment.
Holistic well-being is only possible with special attention to oral health. Both modern medicine and traditional medicine systems highlight the importance of oral health. Routine dental cleaning with a dentist is the easiest solution to a range of oral health problems. At the same time, at-home care with brushing and flossing is the foundation of good oral health.