May: Holistic Oral Care
Your mouth is with you all the time, but you may not give it much attention beyond eating, brushing, and flossing. This month, let's look at a few holistic approaches to caring for our teeth, tongue, and gums!
Dental appointments are often met with feelings of dread, stress, and fear. What would it take to change those emotions into something easier and more comfortable? Possibly a little Trager?
Imagine you arrive at your dental professional's office a day or two before a major dental procedure. You are met by a Trager practitioner, who walks you back to a room with a chair exactly like the one your procedure will be preformed in tomorrow. Your practitioner asks you to relax in the chair and shares with you exactly what you can
expect, then begins a 30 minute stress-relieving Trager session. Communication is wordless and the language of touch conveys ease and peace to the tissues of your hand, arm, shoulder, neck, and face. As subtle, positive information from the Trager practitioner's touch is conveyed to your body, you feel a sense of softness and freedom. And this process requires no effort on your part. Simply rest and take it in.
This feeling of deep relaxation can be recalled at anytime, and will be especially helpful to you tomorrow during your dental procedure. The Trager practitioner will be in the room with you, their familiar touch aiding you in recalling the deep relaxation that was experienced today. While a Trager practitioner in every dental office is certainly not the norm, it is so in Dr. Stuart Nunnally’s office in Marble Falls, Texas. Dr. Nunnally has reported his patients have faster healing and use less medication. He says that Jane, his resident Trager practitioner, makes his patients happier and his job easier!
As there are only eleven certified Trager practitioners in the state of Texas, unless you live in the area of Marble Falls it is unlikely you'll have a Trager practitioner in your dental office. However, if you would like to have the support of a Trager practitioner for your dental visits, please call the office of Texas Biological Medicine and book an appointment with our resident Trager practitioner, Tricia Wade, LMT, CFMW. Your Trager session can be booked around the dental appointment for your optimum benefit.
Call our office at 972.233.8339 to schedule your session today!
Interested in adding a few alternative mouth care practices to your wellness routine, but not sure where to begin? The system of Ayurveda, a powerful mind-body healthcare philosophy developed in India, has very beneficial techniques for oral care. The two we will examine here are oil pulling and tongue scraping. Both can be employed daily for enhanced cleanliness and internal balance. Let's begin by looking at oil pulling, a practice that has deep roots in Ayurvedic practice.
Oil pulling is, very simply, the act of chewing and swishing a mouthful of oil for a specific
length of time. The oil is not to be swallowed or gargled, but vigorously pulled through the teeth and over the gums, effectively massaging and cleansing both. This action is a great way to remove bacteria and promote healthy teeth and gums. In fact, it’s said be more effective than flossing, and it’s one of the best ways to naturally whiten your teeth.
According to Dr. Josh Axe, oil pulling benefits include: treating tooth decay; killing bad breath; healing bleeding gums; preventing heart disease; reducing inflammation; whitening teeth; soothing throat dryness; preventing cavities; healing cracked lips; boosting the immune system; improving acne; and strengthening gums and jaws. Not bad for a simple and inexpensive exercise! But if oil pulling isn't of interest to you, you can always do a simple salt water rinse. This type of rinse is beneficial for oral hygiene because it alkalinizes the mouth, killing acid-producing bacteria that can cause dental disease and tooth decay.
Tongue scraping is another option for keeping the mouth healthy. Daily tongue scraping can remove build-up of bacteria on the tongue, which is known as ama in Ayurveda. Ama may result from improper eating, poor digestion, or a reflection of an imbalance somewhere in the gastrointestinal system. And some say that by removing this coating, they are able to better taste (and enjoy!) their food. Since the tongue is at the very start of food digestion, it pays to have it as healthy as possible.
How to begin a practice of tongue scraping? Simply use a metal scraper (there are many out there to choose from) to gently scrape from back to front for about a dozen strokes. If you find you have a lot of accumulated ama on the scraper, feel free to rinse between strokes. There is no need to be aggressive with this practice. Always be gentle and take it easy - even a few scrapes can be beneficial.
You may think that your teeth are independent of what happens inside the body. We only need to keep them brushed and flossed, right? Well, the truth is that this separatist view is missing a key feature of your body - everything is connected. As students of Traditional Chinese Medicine know well, each of your teeth corresponds to a specific acupuncture meridian, which is connected to organs, tissues, and glands within the body. Energy flows between the teeth and organs when these meridians are open. But when energy is blocked, issues with the teeth can arise that may indicate issues with internal bodily operations.
When viewing a Tooth Meridian Chart, you will note that the teeth and body are intricately connected. Note that while you may have a painful tooth, it doesn't necessarily mean its corresponding organ is in trouble. Consultation of the chart may help shed light on a bothersome tooth, leading to safe dental solutions for you or your family.
Dental Herbalism: Natural Therapies for the Mouth, Leslie Alexander, Ph.D., RH (AHG) and Linda Straub-Bruce BS Ed, RDH
Oral health is ultimately linked to our overall health and well-being. The guide to herbal dental care by herbalist Leslie Alexander and dental hygienist Linda Straub-Bruce details dozens of safe and effective herbs to improve oral health. Herbal remedies abound!
Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums, Nadine Artemis
Taking readers on a tour of the ecology of the mouth, dental health expert and author Nadine Artemis describes the physiology of the teeth and the sources of bacteria and decay. Revealing the truth about the artificial chemicals in many toothpastes and mouthwashes, Artemis also discusses the harmful effects of mercury fillings and the much safer ceramic filling options that are available. Covering topics that include healthy nutrition, oral care for children, and the benefits of botanical substances and plant extracts for maintaining oral health, Artemis introduces a comprehensive eight-step self-dentistry protocol that offers an effective way to prevent decay, illness, acidic saliva, plaque build-up, gum bleeding, inflammation, and more.
Whole Body Dentistry, Mark A. Brenner, D.D.S.
It is a relatively new concept in the dental world: your mouth is connected to the rest of your body! Therefore, the procedures, materials, and problems in your mouth quite naturally have an effect on your whole body health. Renowned German physician and researcher, Dr. Reinhard Voll, estimated that, "Nearly 80% of all illness is related entirely or partially to problems in the mouth!" This book is unique in both its coverage and approach, offering simple, clear and concise information thereby enabling readers to become knowledgeable participants in their health care decisions. Among the many topics presented, readers will find answers to questions such as; What are the cautions you need to know before attempting "safe" removal of amalgam (mercury) fillings? How can dental treatments such as root canals and extractions have far reaching affects on your health? What is an energetic connection? What common dental procedure can contribute to fatigue, depression and insomnia? Dr. Breiner is a Fellow of The Academy of General Dentistry and a Fellow of The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.
As long as you are eating a diet rich with fresh vegetables and fruits and avoiding processed foods, you are on the path to whole body wellness - mouth included! Whole foods are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that benefit your bones, teeth, and gums in amazing ways. And this refreshing Apple and Strawberry Salad is no exception. Strawberries contain malic acid, which is a natural tooth whitener. In fact, eating strawberries will actually help keep your teeth free of stains. And though apples are acidic, the natural sugars they contained help neutralize these acids in the mouth. Plus, chewing apples is a great way to boost saliva production. Both fruits are full of vitamins to keep your whole body healthy. Enjoy!
For the salad:
6 packed cups baby spinach
1 ½ cup English cucumbers, sliced
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 medium sweet apple, cored and chopped into cubes
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup toasted walnuts
For the vinaigrette:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp dijon mustard
Sea salt and pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients until well combined. Taste and adjust the dressing to your preference. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients, then drizzle the desired amount of vinaigrette on top. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Taken from Yay! For Food @ https://www.yayforfood.com/