Most people are quite familiar with how conventional dentistry works. You get a cavity and you have it filled—most often with a mercury amalgam. Your wisdom teeth come in and you have them removed so they don’t crowd the rest of your teeth. You develop a tooth infection or injury and the pulp underneath is removed to stop the pain. And while there is certainly tremendous benefit to stopping tooth decay and pain in its tracks, conventional dentistry tends to focus solely on fixing the immediate problem, without giving much thought to possible overarching causes or how your teeth are connected to the long-term health of the rest of your body.

Biological dentistry, on the other hand, looks at the teeth in relation to the body as a whole. Chinese Medicine mapped out acupuncture meridians related to each tooth millennia ago, and these relationships have been expanded upon by practitioners that work in holistic western traditions. Biological dentists recognize the connection between the teeth and the immune, nervous and circulatory systems and therefore play a crucial role in helping to heal chronic illnesses by correcting the dental procedures that may have caused or aggravated them.

Let’s take a look at the three most common dental procedures—root canals, cavity fillings, and tooth extractions—to see how they may contribute to chronic illness if not performed correctly.

After a root canal procedure—when the pulp of a tooth is removed—a dead tooth remains. Unfortunately, studies have proven that a localized infection always remains in the tooth, regardless as to which disinfectant treatment is used during the procedure or the type of antibiotic given afterward. This infection can negatively impact the body’s entire immune system. Many chronic degenerative conditions, including neurological disorders, arthritis, and even cancer are attributed to localized dental infections from root canals. For more information on the detriment of root canals to overall health, click this link: The Root Canal Cover-Up

How are mercury amalgams harmful? You might think that once the filling is in your tooth it remains solid and causes no harm, but medical studies have proven otherwise. Over time, mercury amalgams can corrode and release mercury vapors into the brain and nervous system. Mercury is considered a toxic waste by the Environmental Protection Agency and has been known to contribute to numerous illnesses. It must be treated with special care when being removed from your mouth.

Finally, how can a tooth extraction adversely affect your overall health? If the extraction site of the tooth is not cleaned properly—or is done while a patient is ill—the cavitation (the cavity in the jawbone where the tooth was) can become a breeding ground for bacteria that leads to infection. Jaw and gum infections have been linked to heart disease, stroke and other serious illnesses.

As you can see, what might seem like harmless dental procedures may end up having serious detrimental effects on your overall health if not handled correctly. That’s why holistic western physicians, such as Dr. Klinghardt, MD, understand the importance of exploring a patient’s dental history. With this knowledge in hand, they can better diagnose and treat disease. Biological dentists, as well, take into consideration a patient’s overall health and may recommend proper nutrition and other preventative measures to keep their teeth and body healthy.

Conversely, conventional medical treatment is dominated by linear thinking and acute problem solving, which although appropriate within the context of emergencies and life-threatening situations, fails to serve the patient’s long-term health. Conventional dentistry is no exception. Acute treatment often eclipses the understanding of long-term consequences that contribute to chronic illness.