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Abstract

Review Article
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Abstract
Review Article
IntroductIon
Oral health is dened as the state of being free from the mouth
and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infections and sores,
periodontal (gum) diseases, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other
diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in
biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and psychological well-
being” (WHO; 2012).
Oral health-related quality of life is an integral part of general
health and well-being, and is studied across three dimensions
such as physical, emotional, and social well-being.[1,2] Distress
of either of these three specters, can cause stress, which affects
oral health. Stress can produce an array of symptoms which
can be divided into [Figure 1]:
1. Cognitive symptoms – These include memory
problems, lack of concentration; judgment, and constant
anxiousness.[3,4]
2. Emotional Symptoms – These include moodiness,
irritability, short temper, inability to relax, sense of
loneliness and isolation, and depression.[3,4]
3. Physical symptoms These include aches and pains, diarrhea
and constipation, nausea, rapid heartbeat, and frequent cold.[3,4]
4. Behavioral symptoms – These include adequate
or inadequate consumption of food, insomnia or
hypersomnia, and isolating oneself.[3,4]
revIew of LIterature
The history of practicing wellness can be reviewed under the
following group of years.[5]
Ancient wellness
This includes Ayurveda which was practiced from 3000 to 1500
BC, Traditional Chinese Medicine from 3,000-2,000 BC. In
3.500 BC, Hippocrates declared disease as a product of diet,
lifestyle, and environmental factors. In 50 BC, Ancient Roman
Medicine developed a public health system.[5]
The 19th century
In the 1790s, Christian Hahnemann developed Homeopathy.
In the 1860s, Sebastian Kneipp promoted his “Kneipp
Cure,” combining hydrotherapy with herbalism, exercise,
and nutrition. In the 1870s, Mary Baker Eddy introduced
spiritual healing based on Christian Science. Furthermore,
Andrew Taylor Still developed Osteopathy, a holistic approach
grounded in manipulating muscles and joints. In the 1880s,
The spectrum of dental care is expanded across a wide approach including treatment measures involving the overall health care of the patient
without the extensive use of conventional medicines. At times, diseases constrain their response to methodical therapeutic measures. In the
course of relief, patients spend their fortune, and so, a need for excavating the root cause of a dental ailment is of utmost importance. Healing
does not necessarily occur on the sole basis of medicines. Various other factors in addition to the regular measures play a vital role in the dental
treatment modalities. Holistic dentistry is one such branch in which the dentist, practices to achieve comprehensive dental care by nding out
the root etiological factor of the disease and initiating therapy accordingly. Understanding the importance of a healthy mind, body, and soul to
successfully treat a patient with a dental ailment, ushering towards a better, successful, and efcient dental practice with utmost satisfaction
on the patient’s end. Holistic dentistry plays a key factor in unlocking the overall health care of the patient.
Keywords: Body, soul, holistic, mind, oral health-related quality of life, stress
Address for correspondence: Dr. Sandhya Tamgadge,
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Microbiology, D. Y. Patil
University, School of Dentistry, Sector 7, Nerul, Navi Mumbai ‑ 400 706,
Maharashtra, India.
E‑mail: sandhya.tamgadge@gmail.com
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How to cite this article: Nayak A, Tamgadge S. Holistic dentistry-tooth as
an anchor to mind, body, and soul. J Integr Health Sci 2021;9:94-8.
Received: 16-Jun-2021 Revised: 11-Jul-2021 Accepted: 09-Sep-2021 Available Online: 15-Mar-2022
Holistic Dentistry-Tooth as an Anchor to Mind, Body, and Soul
Amisha Nayak, Sandhya Tamgadge
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Microbiology, D. Y. Patil University, School of Dentistry, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
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Nayak and Tamgadge: Holistic Dentistry
Journal of Integrated Health Sciences ¦ Volume 9 ¦ Issue 2 ¦ July-December 2021 95
Maximilian Bircher-Benner pioneered nutritional research.
In the 1890s, Daniel David Palmer developed Chiropractic,
which focused on the body’s structure and functioning. In the
1900s;, John Harvey Kellogg (director of the Battle Creek,
Michigan Sanitorium) espoused a healthy diet, exercise,
fresh air, hydrotherapy, and “learning to stay well.” In 1910,
The Carnegie Foundation’s Flexner Report, questioned the
validity of all forms of medicine other than biomedicine,
resulting in setting the stage for our modern disease-oriented,
evidence-based medicine.[5]
The 20th century
In the 1950s, J. I. Rodale launched a Prevention magazine
that was a pioneered publication in promoting alternative/
preventative health. From the 1950s to 1960, Physician
Halbert L. Dunn presented his idea of “high-level wellness”
in 29 lectures and then published the same. In the 1970s,
Dr. John Travis opened the world’s rst wellness center
in California, and published a 12-dimension wellness
assessment tool, The Wellness Inventory (1975) and The
Wellness Workbook. In the 1980s to the 2000s, Workplace
wellness programs, the tness and spa industries, celebrity
wellness and self-help experts took off– bringing wellness
into the mainstream.[5]
The 21st century
In the year 2008, Bhutan embraced democracy and included
Gross National Happiness within their constitution, saying,
“The State shall strive to promote those conditions that
enabled the pursuit of Gross National Happiness. In 2011; The
UN General Assembly passed the” “Resolution Happiness:
Towards a holistic approach to development,” urging member
nations to follow the example of Bhutan and measure
happiness and wellbeing and call happiness a “fundamental
human goal.” From 2011 to 2018, there was a urry of new
laws taxing soda/sugary drinks in nations across the world.
2012; On April 1, 2012, the rst World Happiness Report was
released, with an annual publication of the United Nations
Sustainable Development Solutions Network. In 2014; The
Global Wellness Institute (GWI) launched and released
research nding that the global wellness industry was a
$3.4 trillion market or 3.4 times larger than the worldwide
pharmaceutical industry. In October 2017, the GWI, along
with Dr. Richard H. Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the
United States, announced The Wellness Moonshot: A World
Free of Preventable Disease; a call to action to eradicate the
chronic, avoidable disease worldwide by uniting the health
and wellness industries. In 2018, In January, the Global
Wellness Institute released Build Well to Live Well, the rst
in-depth research to analyze the $134 billion global wellness
real estate and community sector. In 2019, In January, The
Wellness Moonshot Calendar: A Year of Inspiration was
launched in support of The Wellness Moonshot: A World
Free of Preventable Disease.[5]
The changes occurring in the mind, body, and soul subsequently
affect oral health, that is, the changes that take place in oral
health are subject to the changes occurring in the mind, body,
and soul of the individual [Figure 2].
MInd affectIng oraL HeaLtH
The human mind encompasses cognitive aspects such as
consciousness, imagination, perception, thinking, intelligence,
judgment, language, and memory and noncognitive aspects
such as emotion and instinct.[6]
STRESS
COGNITIVE
SYMPTOMS
EMOTIONAL
SYMPTOMS
PHYSICAL
SYMPTOMS
BEHAVIORAL
SYMPTOMS
Figure 1: Effect of stress on the mind, body, and soul.
OVERALL
HEALTH OF THE
INDIVIDUAL
REQUISITES
HEALTHY
MIND
HEALTHY
BODY
HEALTHY
SOUL
Figure 2: Requisites for maintenance of overall health of the individual.
HOLISTIC
DENTISTRY
BASIC
COMPONENTS
BIOCOMPATIBILITY
BIO-ESTHETICS
BIOCHEMICAL
BALANCE
BIOMECHANICS
BIOENERGETICS
BIOETHICS
MAINTAINANCE OF–
1. HEALTHY MIND
2. HEALTHY BODY
3. HEALTHY SOUL
Figure 3: Various components of Holistic Dentistry
CONVENTIONAL DENTISTRYHOLISTIC DENTISTRY
• Practices dentistry without considering
the root ill cause of the oral problem
• The compatibility of the dental
materials to be used may or may
not be considered.
• The oral health of the patient is only
taken into account.
• Finds out the root cause of the oral
problem and plans treatment accordingly
• The compatibility of the dental materials
with the patients are taken into
prime consideration
• The overall health of the patient i.e. the
presence and maintainance of healthy
mind, body and soul during and post
dental treatment is taken into account.
Figure 4: Difference between Conventional Dentistry and Holistic Dentistry
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Nayak and Tamgadge: Holistic Dentistry
Journal of Integrated Health Sciences ¦ Volume 9 ¦ Issue 2 ¦ July-December 2021
96
According to a study conducted at the Institute of Heart Math in
California, it is said, that emotions affect the individual’s DNA
and that the nature of the effect depends on the nature of the
emotion felt. For instance, when gratitude, love, compassion,
appreciation is felt, the DNA responds by relaxing and
unwinding its strands, with the length of the DNA extending
enhancing the immune response. Similarly, when anger,
jealousy, fear, frustration, stress, etc., is felt; DNA responds
by contracting/tightening/becoming shorter, with depletion
of immune response and many DNA codes are switched off.
Thus, both of these effects are reversible on switching to a
different (opposite) feeling state.[7,8]
HuMan Body affectIng oraL HeaLtH
The different changes which occur concerning the cognitive
and non-cognitive aspects of the human brain are linked
cordially with the changes in the body. In accordance with
multiple conducted studies, it is proven that improper pH.
Balance severely impacts life. Also, shortening the lifespan
of the individual. Emotional stress tremendously alters
ph. of the interstitial uid which subsequently impacts the
intercellular molecular events of all systems. When the blood
starts becoming too acidic, and there is inadequate supply
of alkaline buffers in the blood to neutralize the acidity, the
blood automatically seeks out other courses of action to reach
Ph balance. Since calcium is an alkalizing mineral, the body
begins drawing calcium from the bones and teeth to balance
the blood’s ph. levels. If left unchecked over a long period,
demineralization of bones and teeth occurs which eventually
gives rise to osteoporosis, porous enamel, and dentin.[9-11]
Soul Affecting Oral Health
The changes that transpire in the mind, body play a vital role
in the psychological balance of human life. The relationship
between emotions and the Oral Health-Related Quality of
Life (OHRQoL), which differs across age is described in the
following hypotheses.[1]
1. Poor OHRQoL is linked not only to anxiety and
depression but also to other mood states[1]
2. In different life stages, there are different OHRQoL
degrees and different emotions[ 1]
3. Different OHRQoL degrees produce different expressions
of emotions, until psychopathology.[1]
Sustained stress can produce high blood pressure, heart disease,
and cancer in addition to nausea or a sleepless night and often
have their roots in stress as it impacts the hormonal and nervous
systems, among others. Furthermore, these psychological
changes can vitally affect emotions.
oraL ManIfestatIons caused By tHe dIstress
Various oral manifestations corresponding to physical, mental,
and emotional distress are described as under.
1. Mental stress-associated manifestations (mind) – Caries,
Parafunctional habits leading to attrition of teeth,
Bruxism, Aphthous ulcers[1 2,13]
2. Physical stress-associated manifestations (body)
Myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome, vomiting leading
to dental erosion, oral lichen planus, xerostomia, Burning
mouth syndrome[12,13]
3. The changes occurring physically and mentally affect the
overall comfort, which leads to the deterioration of the
person’s morals and condence.[12,13]
HoLIstIc dentIstry
Considering these issues, a branch of dentistry that focuses not
only on clinical care but also mental, physical, and emotional
care is developed; which is termed holistic dentistry. Holistic
Dentistry is the diagnosis, treatment, and care for the whole
patient rather than just the patient’s teeth and gums. The
holistic dentist applies a broad outlook; including the patient’s
physical, mental/emotional, spiritual aspects, and all other
external inuences affecting the patient. A holistic dentist
strongly believes that dental health is an integral part of overall
well-being and vice-a-versa.[14,15] The basic components of
Holistic Dentistry includes [Figure 3]:
1. Biocompatibility – Materials used should not have
toxic or harmful effects on biological systems.
Biocompatibility can be tested with the help of blood
or energy testing[14,15]
2. Bio-esthetics – It includes synchronism between visual
attractiveness and dental function[14,15]
3. Biochemical balance – It encompasses the buffered pH
balance of saliva along with the bacterial balance to
promote healthy oral tissues[14,15]
4. Biomechanics Deals with occlusal force resulting
from biting teeth or grinding teeth which interfere
with sleep and can cause a breakdown in tissue
integrity[14,15 ]
5. Bioenergetics – A system of physical and psychological
therapy that is held to increase well-being by releasing
blocked physical and psychic energy[14,15]
6. Bioethics Treating patients with honesty and due
care.[14,15]
MerIdIan cHart
Holistic dentists commonly follow a Meridian Chart where
each tooth is related to an acupuncture meridian relating to
various organs, tissues, and glands in the body. This Meridian
chart is also known as the energy highway. When these
particular acupuncture areas are triggered, they can indicate
overall health and wellness by reviewing dental conditions. For
example, if a person has a weak internal organ, the condition
of the associated meridian tooth could make it considerably
more problematic.[1,16]
otHer fIeLds In addItIon to dentaL care
Along with dentistry, there is the incorporation of Ayurveda,
Hypnosis, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Nutrition, Neural
Therapy, Hematology, Immunology, Electro-Acupuncture,
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Nayak and Tamgadge: Holistic Dentistry
Journal of Integrated Health Sciences ¦ Volume 9 ¦ Issue 2 ¦ July-December 2021 97
Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Sound Therapy, Hydrotherapy,
and Laughter Therapy.[14]
varIous HoLIstIc dentaL care tHerapIes
Microlight Therapy
The face contains regions that corresponds to each body zone
and organ. The organs are generated and affected by one of the
ve major emotions: Anger, joy, worry, grief and fear. When
the patient’s face is treated with microlight therapy, all the
emotions that are targeted across different areas of the face can
be assessed. Microlight therapy applies a unique combination
of microcurrent, color light, and pure healing skincare products
to bring about internal balance for homeostasis. This decreases
the level of stress and boosts mood and reduces anxiety.
For example, treating the heart-corresponding part of the face
would result in relieving anxiety and depression by using
magenta, orange, and blue.[17]
Ozone Therapy
By incorporation of ozone therapy, periodontal disease can
be treated using ozonated water, which is ushed below the
gum line and/or ozone gas introduced into the gum tissue and
supporting tissues. Dental decay can be cured as ozone acts to
re-mineralize (harden) tooth structure, areas of the tooth that has
been treated with ozone are stronger than what was there before.
Sensitivity issues can be solved as ozone can harden weakened
tooth structure. Furthermore, if ozone is applied to the cavity and
crown preparations when completed; and before the placement
of the restoration, the degree of bacterial infection is reduced.
Therefore, there is reduction of the symptoms of postoperative
pain and the need for additional procedures. Viewing the safety
perspective, ozone does not have any contraindications with
other medications, and hence, cross-reactions are none.[18]
Fluoride Free Dentistry
As of February 2015, 43 studies associating uoride exposure
with reduced IQ in children are reported. Fluoride toothpaste
used during childhood is a paramount risk factor for dental
uorosis, particularly for children who brush before the age of
three and who live in areas with uoridated water. Excessive
uoride exposure may also cause skeletal uorosis. In addition
to this, Fluoride ingestion may give rise to osteomalacia.
Although research suggests adult-strength uoride toothpaste
can reduce tooth decay, this potential benet comes with
the risk of disgured teeth. It is reported that 1 g of uoride
toothpaste (a full strip of paste on a regular-sized brush) is
adequate to cause acute uoride toxicity in a 2-year-old child.
Hence, uoride-free dentistry is practiced.[19]
Mercury Free Dentistry
Due to the nature of various restorative cements being Non-Toxic,
Environmentally Friendly, Biocompatible, assists composites
bonding to the teeth, making tooth structure stronger and reduces
the risk for cracked and sensitive teeth; which is benecial than
the toxic nature of mercury containing restoration, mercury-free
dentistry is also a part of Holistic Therapy.[20,21]
acceptaBILIty of HoLIstIc tHerapIes By tHe HuMan
Body
Various diseases produce different degrees of symptoms
which vary depending upon the patients. The prevalence of
differences in the constitution of the human body can lead to
the production of these variable degree of symptoms which
may increase or decrease with subject to alteration in this
constitutional setup of the human body.
As diet consumption plays a vital role in these arrangements,
certain modications in the diet may affect oral health diseases
and thereby alter their aggressivity.
1. Fermented foods, rich in probiotics and minerals such
as magnesium, phosphorous, amino acids and vitamin
C must be included in the diet
2. Fat-soluble vitamins such as K2 and D3 deciency can
signicantly cause alterations in the gut bacteria. K2 is
carboxylation osteocalcin which prevents the formation
of calculus by aversion of soft tissue calcication and also
transports minerals from the blood into bone
3. Serratia proteolytic enzymes help in the breakdown of the
biolm barriers and thereby cleans up plaque.[22,23]
dIfference Between conventIonaL and HoLIstIc
dentIstry
A traditional dentist is the one who is skilled in and licensed
to practice the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of
diseases, injuries, and malformations of the teeth, jaws, and
mouth and who makes and inserts false teeth. The traditional
dentist focuses only on xing problems in the mouth without
addressing the problems potentially arising in the overall health
from problematic dental materials. Whereas, A holistic dentist
upholds the standards of quality and care of the traditional
dentistry profession along with considering the mouth and
materials in the mouth as an integral part of a patient’s
whole-body health. A skilled holistic dentist makes every
known effort to have the patient leave the ofce in a state of
continuingly boosted balanced health [Figure 4].[24]
HoLIstIc cLInIcaL ManageMent
The clinical management procedure includes:
1. Emotional aspect (to cure the mind) – To stop fear,
anxiety, confusion, despair and Preaching hope, peace,
victor vs. victim, forgiveness (yourself, others, and
situation), and love.
2. Physical aspect (to cure the body) – To stop unnecessary
stress to the body, such as being over conscious about
he alt h by pe r for m i ng exce s sive physical exercise s, taki n g
excessive stress of maintaining body weight, and many
more. Instead, ingestion of supplements with Vitamin A,
D, C, zi nc, sele niu m , mel ato n in, N- ace t yl cyste ine (N AC),
herbs, iodine, colloidal silver, ozone, UV light (30 sacs.),
diet, detox are helpful.
3. Spiritual aspect (to cure the soul ) – The only way to
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Nayak and Tamgadge: Holistic Dentistry
Journal of Integrated Health Sciences ¦ Volume 9 ¦ Issue 2 ¦ July-December 2021
98
nd spiritual sanity is to search for your purpose in
your life, align your will to God’s Will, even if balanced
physically-Ghosts, manipulative ghosts, and unholy
Angels still can attack you. Put on the whole armor of God;
practice spiritual connection, awareness, discernment,
and follow through with prayers and obedience to God
Discernment (not right from wrong) but Holy vs. unholy,
Light vs. Dark, Truth vs. Lies, God vs. Satan, and Love
vs. Fear. Pray for ourselves and others; Lord’s Prayer,
Deliverance prayers, Divine Decrees, Thanksgiving for
everything and everyone all the time, Open churches for
Eucharist, fellowship, love, be strong in humility, asking
God for guidance, obedience to God’s Will, prayer,
listening, and follow through on his will for us.
future scope
The patient is unaware of this emerging eld in dentistry and
thus, appropriate awareness of the importance of maintenance
of overall health and proper oral health, can lead to a better
understanding of the root cause of ill health and the subsequent
oral problems arising by the same and treated accordingly.
The students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies
must learn the identication of the root cause for successful
treatment and thus, the inclusion of Holistic Dentistry in the
curriculum and aid in better understanding of the subject and
its successful implementation in clinical practice.
These noninvasive techniques of clinical practice must be
executed in every clinical setup so that the dentists, as well as
the patient, become compatible with the treatment measures
incorporated and oral health issues can be tackled successfully.
concLusIon
Holistic Dentistry is a primeval technique, also an emerging
eld in dental science, considering both oral and overall health
of an individual. The outlook of Holistic Dentistry concerns
not only the patient’s oral health but also the mental, physical
and psychological balance that affects oral health. The patient
who is holistically treated develops a better mental, physical,
and spiritual sanity. This eld is not practiced extensively in
India and if practiced, can lead to a better living for both the
dentists as well as the individuals and the oral health as well
as the general health of the patients will be maintained.
Financial support and sponsorship
Nil.
Conflicts of interest
There are no conicts of interest.
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