Biological dentistry has a lot in common with naturopathic medicine – health care that emphasizes prevention and the use of nature-based remedies to treat the whole person. It encourages the body’s self-healing process through the use of natural therapies, drawing on both traditional healing methods and modern medical science.
No surprise, then, that we incorporate a wide variety of naturopathic therapies in caring for the mouth in particular, including nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture, and more.
This week marks the 4th Annual US Naturopathic Medicine Week – a great opportunity to take a closer look at the 6 foundational principles of naturopathic medicine and how they align with biological dentistry.
The Healing Power of Nature
This principle asks us to trust in the body’s inherent self-regulating and self-healing abilities. Ideally, we support it in this and then just stay out of its way. You don’t want to overload the body with things that impair its function and reduce its ability to heal.
Identify and Treat the Causes
Symptoms are signs that something is wrong. But if your tooth hurts, say, and all you do is take a pain pill or swab on a pain-relieving gel, you shut off the message your body is trying to send. If you have a fever and take something to lower it, your body is disabled from creating the heat it needs to destroy what ails you.
Similarly, where dental conditions – root canal teeth, say, or cavitations – are fueling ill health, we address those rather than the symptoms they may be generating or worsening.
First Do No Harm
This principle asks us to use the most natural, least invasive, and least toxic therapies we can. A great example is washing your hands with hot soapy water instead of using products with triclosan (now banned in soaps, but still allowed in toothpaste). Soap and water are just as effective and don’t disrupt your microbiome in the process.
This is why we don’t use mercury amalgam. There are safer alternatives that do the job just as well.
Doctor as Teacher
Biological dentists understand themselves to be teachers as much as healers, aiming to educate you in the steps necessary to achieve and maintain whole body health. Once you understand your specific health situation and options for treatment, you’re empowered to advocate for what you believe is the best option for the body you live in.
Treat the Whole Person
The body is an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions. You’re not a set of teeth attached to a body any more than you are a disease. You are – and you are seen – as a person of full dimension.
This principle combines with all the others and allows you to take home what you learn. From effective toothbrushing and flossing to dental material choice and homeopathic or supplement options, the goal is to prevent what ails and focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.