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Do Holistic Dentists do Cosmetic Dentistry?

The short answer is yes! The concept of holistic dentistry is relatively new, but all holistic dentists start as traditional dentists. What does that mean exactly? That means they can provide a selection of services, including cosmetic dentistry. Mandanas Dental is a holistic dentistry who uses a very unique approach to different treatments and solutions. Read below to find out more.

Looking to perfect your smile with a holistic dentist? Call us today! 

How Holistic Cosmetic Dentistry Works 

In a couple previous blogs, we have had the chance to deep dive into what exactly a holistic dentist is and how they differ from a traditional dentist. The short answer is that a traditional dentist, just like a holistic dentist, is able to perform your basic checkups, x-rays, and any dental procedures you may need. The difference is that a holistic dentist looks at not only your mouth and teeth but they can also can examine your whole body to provide other treatments you may not even known you need. 

But how does this tie into cosmetic dentistry ? Well, a holistic dentist can do pretty much everything a traditional dentist does, but a holistic dentist just has a couple more benefits. At Mandanas Dental, we care about how you view your smile. If you are unhappy with your smile and are looking to enhance it, we will work to achieve only the best results, using the best practices. 

The Benefits of Holistic Cosmetic Dentistry 

There are endless benefits of cosmetic dentistry! Mandanas Dental is here to help you achieve the perfect smile and help you feel confident again. Check out the benefits of cosmetic dentistry below. 

A Confident Smile  

Holistic cosmetic dentistry can help you feel more confident in yourself by enhancing your smile. A smile is the first thing that other people notice when they are engaging with you. When you invest in holistic cosmetic dentistry at Mandanas Dental, we can provide you with a multitude of different services that work to fit your needs: 

  • In-Office Teeth Whitening 
  • Opalescence Take-Home Whitening
  • Porcelain Crowns
  • Veneers 
  • Tooth-Colored Fillings 
  • And more 

A More Youthful Appearance

That’s right! If you’re looking to look and feel more youthful, holistic cosmetic dentistry is the solution. We understand that your smile is the most important to you, that’s why at Mandanas Dental we take pride in helping you achieve the best results. 

Holistic cosmetic dentistry can help cover up any and all flaws that your previous set of teeth have endured throughout the years. Step into the spotlight and smile bright with cosmetic dentistry. 

Improved Dental Health & Pain Reduction 

Holistic cosmetic dentistry isn’t only meant to improve looks.  It can also help improve your overall dental health. For example, if you are interested in getting porcelain crowns or tooth-colored fillings, not only will this make your smile better, but it will also work to protect against any tooth decay, gum disease, and even support your jawbone! 

When your teeth are misaligned it can cause a plethora of issues for not only your mouth but can cause discomfort to the rest of your body such. For example, teeth misalignment may be an affect of sleep apnea. Holistic cosmetic dentistry works to properly align your teeth so you will not need to worry about pain or discomfort again. 

Ready to invest in your smile and gain back your confidence? Contact us! 

Smile Confidently Again with Mandanas Dental 

Mandanas Dental works hard and is determined to get you the smile of your dreams. Let’s face it, everyone wants to feel confident with a bright smile – and we can help get you right back on track with feeling beautiful and youthful. Whether you are looking to get your teeth whitened or are ready for a full set of polished veneers, we are here to achieve your desired results. 

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up and maintain your current set of teeth. For example, overtime, our teeth yellow or stain depending on the types of foods we eat no matter how many times we brush them. Our teeth chip and mishaps happen, but that is why our team of professional holistic experts are here to help you every step of the way. Show off your pearly whites and get your smile back today! 

Want to show off your pearly whites and get your smile back? Book an appointment today! 

Integrative Dentist in Alaska: What Services Are Included?

If you’re looking for a new and unique approach to dentistry services, you’ve come to the right place. Mandanas Dental is an integrative dentistry, also known as holistic dentistry, which is a dental practice located right in Alaska. Integrative dentistry is completely different than a traditional dentist and the services they provide. 

In this blog, we will be breaking down the differences between both types of dentistry, the services Mandanas Dental offers, and if integrative dentistry is the right fit for you! 

Ready to make the switch? Contact Mandanas Dental. 

Whats the Difference Between a Traditional and Integrative Dentistry? 

Traditional dental practices usually involve regular checkups, teeth cleanings, x-rays, cosmetic dentistry, preventive dentistry, repairing teeth, etc. Both types of dentistry will essentially fix and solve the issues you are experiencing with your teeth, but only one will focus on not only your teeth, but your whole body as well as your overall health. 

Integrative dentistry may not be for everybody, but Dr. Mandanas believes it is the right approach to living healthier and fuller lives. People may want to get in and get out with their dental appointments, but some may want to know the root cause of why they are feeling a certain way that doesn’t pertain to their teeth, which is why we offer an extensive procedure. 

Integrative Dentistry Services Mandanas Dental Offers

General Dentistry 

Mandanas Dental offers General Dentistry, which gives us a chance to monitor the conditions that can affect your oral health (as well as your overall health and well-being. This includes: 

  • Examining your mouth for hidden dental problems
  • Looking for cavities and wear and tear on your teeth
  • Keeping an eye out for signs of gingivitis or gum disease
  • Recommending and performing the appropriate procedures

Cosmetic Dentistry 

Looking to perfect your smile? Looking to make a difference in the way you present your teeth? We have just the solution for you! Cosmetic Dentistry gives you the opportunity to feel confident and satisfied. Check out our treatments that will help enhance your teeth. 

  • In-office Teeth Whitening 
  • Opalescence Take Home Whitening
  • Porcelain Crown, Veneers, and Tooth-Colored Fillings

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) 

A major cause of sleep apnea is poor alignment in the anatomy of the jaw and tongue. If you think you are experiencing sleep apnea, our integrative dentists will look for these misalignments: 

  • Retrognathia: Poor Alignment of the Lower Jaw
  • A “High Tongue”
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Tongue Positioning 

Dentures & Dental Implants

We can help you to replace them. It’s about more than just your ability to eat properly – we know that missing teeth can also affect your appearance and harm your self-image. That’s  why we offer multiple options for rebuilding your smile.

  • Complete Dentures
  • Partial Dentures 

Implants replicate a missing front or back tooth. They can also be designed to work with crowns, bridges, dentures, and other dental devices. The best thing is that can be completely customized to permanently correct your smile.

Orthodontics 

Mandanas Dental has been straightening teeth for over 12 years! We help our patients achieve the smile they’ve always wanted with our affordable orthodontic solutions. Check out some of our alternatives.

Sedation Dentistry 

Dental anxiety is real and we want you to know that you are not alone. At Mandanas Dental, we make sure our patients our comfortable. Dr. Mandanas can administer nitrous oxide (laughing gas),local anesthesia, or monitored anesthesia care to ensure your procedure can be done in the most relaxed manner possible. Learn more about Sedation Dentistry here

Our Integrative Dentists Can Make a Difference! 

Before booking your next dental appointment with a traditional dentist, consider taking a holistic approach to our integrative dentistry services here at Mandanas Dental. Not only will our team of experienced professionals be able to assist and help fix your teeth, but we will be able to access your overall health and well-being and provide solutions for better oral care. 

Want to feel confident in the way you smile? Contact us today

What to Do About Snoring if You’ve Tried Everything?

Anthony Burgess is famous for two things: the book A Clockwork Orange and the quote, “Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.” Snoring isn’t just annoying. It can have serious impacts on your health, affecting everything from mood to metabolism. If you’ve tried everything, this Anchorage holistic dentist has the answers.

Looking for an alternative approach to general dentistry? Connect with Mandanas Dental.

What Exactly Causes Snoring? 

When you’re sleeping, the tissues on the roof of your mouth, tongue, and throat relax. At times, these soft tissues relax too much that they partially block your airway, especially if you are sleeping on your back. The air flows through the throat, which in turn causes a vibration or also known as the snoring sound. If your airway is blocked off more than usual, the snoring sound will gradually increase and get even louder. This could be a problem for not only you, but either the people you live with whether that’s your family, friends, roommates, or your significant other. Their sleep may also be disrupted by the constant snoring sound.

Why Am I Snoring So Often? 

Snoring can take place and occur at any given time and is surprisingly common in most people. But do not be discouraged. According to Sleep Education, about half of people snore at some point in their life. Snoring is more common in men. About 40 percent of adult men and 24 percent of adult women tend to snore more often.

Other Causes for Snoring May Include: 

  • Pay close attention to the position in which you sleep at night. Do you often find yourself falling asleep on your back? Sleeping on your back is one of the most common positions you’ll find people start their snoring pattern in. Perhaps, try sleeping on your side to promote better airflow. 
  • Some people are just naturally born with a narrow airway and that is nothing to be ashamed of. Snoring is quite a common thing. Your airway might be obstructed due to a low and thick palate, elongated uvula, or large tonsils. 
  • Feeling congested? This could also be another possibility as to why you’re snoring. If your nasal passage is congested, tight, and blocked with mucus, it makes it very hard for air to flow through properly, causing people to snore.

How Snoring Affects Your Dental Hygiene 

Dry Mouth

You’ve probably heard of snoring causing bad breath. That is correct. Have you ever wakened up with an extremely dry mouth and bad breath out of the ordinary? When you snore, your mouth is open for hours on end overnight. This causes to a change in the smell of your breath in the morning as well as a lack of saliva circulating through your mouth. 

Tooth Decay 

Since snoring leads to dry mouth, what does dry mouth lead to? Leaving your mouth open all night causes several oral health concerns such as bacteria build-up, tooth decay, and even infections and sores inside the mouth. Saliva plays a crucial factor in preventing dry mouth. Saliva is able to get rid of leftover food, bacteria from the tongue, gums, and cheeks. When saliva is not present, it increases the risk of potential tooth decay from the food not being able to decompose, leaving behind a funky smell. 

Holistic Dentistry Can Help! 

What sets aside a traditional dentist from a holistic dentist, also referred to as an integrative dentist, is that a traditional dentist will solely focus on the teeth and mouth, whereas a holistic dentist will focus on the whole body when considering different treatment options. 

If your snoring is causing issues for you, schedule an appointment today.

Holistic dentists can help if you're feeling nervous about visiting.

What to Do if You’re Nervous About Visiting the Dentist

It’s completely normal to feel a little nervous about an upcoming dentist appointment or procedure. However, anxiety can make your experience incredibly stressful. Fortunately, there are several ways we can help you relieve stress and make your visit as smooth as possible. From sedation dentistry to other tactics for natural stress relief, here’s how you can handle dental anxiety.

Ready to schedule a stress-free appointment? Call us today.

Addressing Dental Anxiety Is Important

Some people may feel little to no nervousness going into a dentist visit. Others may have difficulty even preparing for regular check-ups. Fear of pain or loss of control, a bad experience at the dentist as a child, and feeling self-conscious or embarrassed can all lead to dental anxiety. These feelings may even cause you to push back preventive care or the treatment you need to maintain a healthy mouth.

However, avoiding routine appointments can have severe effects on your oral health:

  • Tooth Decay: An important part of a dental cleaning is removing plaque from the teeth to prevent tooth decay. Missing dental appointments allows tartar and gingivitis to build up, creating even more significant problems, such as cavities, down the road. Severe decay can also lead to a root canal infection, which may require extraction.
  • Gum Disease: Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup along the gumline. When left undetected, the infection can damage gum tissues and surrounding structures of the mouth. With time, this can cause deterioration of the jawbone and widespread tooth loss.
  • Bad Breath and Yellow Teeth: Routine dental appointments help keep your whole mouth healthy. Stains can settle on your teeth due to your diet or bad dental habits, but a deep cleaning from a hygienist can help remove surface stains before they settle into the tooth.
  • Oral Cancer: The main way oral cancer is detected is during a routine dental appointment. During the examination phase, the dentist looks for any abnormalities, such as abscess or discolored patch, and can take tissue samples to catch any cancer early on.

How Sedation Dentistry Can Help

When anxiety gets in the way of your dental care, start a conversation with your holistic dentist about sedation dentistry. When performed by a trained professional, like our certified registered nurse anesthetist, sedation dentistry is safe and a suitable method for improving your dental care experience. This service can certainly be offered for dental surgeries and more invasive procedures. However, we can also use it for regular appointments and exams if necessary.

There are different levels of sedation that have varying effects. Local sedation is used to numb a particular area of the mouth and does not affect your consciousness during the procedure. For this type of sedation, medication is administered directly to the area that needs to be numbed.  Some options can help keep you calm and relaxed while still allowing you to stay awake.

General anesthesia causes you to lose consciousness for the entirety of the procedure. Our CRNA will insert a small IV needle to administer medication. The effects are almost immediate, calming your body and preventing pain. We’ll monitor your vitals, including your breathing, oxygen, heart rate, and blood pressure, the entire time.

Other Natural Stress Relief Options

There are several other all-natural options for stress relief that can help you ease nervousness:

  • Practice deep breathing and meditation
  • Consider taking natural stress-relief supplements and essential oils
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and sugary foods
  • Listen to calming music prior to and during the appointment
  • Do some light exercise before the appointment to help clear your mind

Most importantly, make sure to discuss your dental anxiety with your dentist. It completely normal for you to feel nervous about your appointment, and we are here to ease the process for you!

Ready to take the first step? Contact our office today.

Holistic dentist provides orthodontic treatment for child

Can Holistic Dentists Provide Orthodontic Treatments?

Many people dream of having a straight, picture-perfect smile. That’s why more than 4 million Americans choose to wear braces to straighten their teeth, with children being the most common orthodontics patient. Crooked teeth affect more than just your appearance. From your bite to your sleep quality at night, straightening your teeth has a positive overall effect on your health.

Seeing a holistic dentist to pursue orthodontic treatment can be a great option if you want an integrative solution that looks at your health, or your child’s health, as a whole. Curious how a holistic dentist can help with straighter teeth? Here are several integrative orthodontic alternatives to conventional braces to explore.

Want to learn how we can help? Schedule an appointment today.

What is a Holistic Dentist?

The key difference between a holistic dentist, also referred to as an integrative dentist, and a traditional dentist is that holistic dentists take an integrative approach to oral health care. A conventional dental professional, on the other hand, often focuses only on a patient’s dental health.

A holistic dentist considers the body a whole when recommending treatments and can discuss how nutrition, sleep, mental health, and other lifestyle factors are connected to common dental issues. Because of this, an integrative dentist can address a wide range of issues, including treatment for sleep apnea.

These dental professionals also avoid toxic chemicals, such as mercury, when administering treatments and exercise extreme caution when addressing root canal treatment or applying fillings. However, a holistic dentist can perform all the same procedures that a conventional dentist can provide, which includes surgery if that is the best course of action to meet your needs.

How Can a Holistic Dentist Help Straighten Teeth?

When it comes to orthodontics, a holistic dentist can offer several treatments that use less metal while effectively straightening and aligning the teeth. Many of these solutions look beyond just guiding the jaw and teeth into a more ideal position and address how a person’s tongue position, muscle composition, and swallowing methods all affect his or her bite.

Healthy Start®

Designed for children of various ages, Healthy Start® can help children achieve proper jaw alignment and straighter teeth at night while also addressing early sleep apnea. This treatment uses a rubber retainer worn during sleep. The Healthy Start® system utilizes various appliance types can protect the child’s mouth from certain harmful sleep habits, such as teeth grinding, and adjust the jaw to better accommodate emerging adult teeth.

For children with signs of Sleep Disordered Breathing, the retainer can help by keeping their airways open and moving their jaw forward to allow for proper airflow while asleep. Many children and parents notice drastic changes in their children’s sleep patterns and daytime behavior, including improvements to the following symptoms:

  • Daytime drowsiness and irritability
  • Bed wetting
  • ADHD and other attention disorders
  • Night terrors and mid-night awakenings
  • Asthmas and allergies
  • Snoring and gasping while asleep

Advanced Light Force Therapy

The Advanced Light Force therapy is primarily used for children, especially those under the age of 12. It is a good alternative for patients that need more than a mandibular advancement device to treat their sleep apnea.

ALF uses a wire appliance to straighten the teeth and align the jaw while also addressing the alignment of a child’s facial, cranial, and spinal bones with the use of light force. A holistic dentist can use this treatment to help children achieve more ideal tongue placement.

In additional to the cosmetic benefit of straightening children’s teeth, ALF can help address a variety of issues, including sleep apnea, speech impediments, TMJ disorders, issues with nervous system regulation, poor spinal alignment, and mandible underdevelopment.

If you want to explore healthy, integrative treatments for straightening teeth and achieving overall better health for you or your child, the best place to start is with a holistic dentist. From getting better sleep at night to having a smile you can be proud of, Dr. Mandanas in Anchorage, Alaska can discuss healthy treatment options that go beyond conventional orthodontics.

Ready to get the smile you’ve always dreamed of? Contact us today!

Holistic dentistry is perfect for families.

Holistic Dentists: Why We Do What We Do?

The slogan on the homepage of our website says: “Where Healthy Living, Healthy Breathing, Healthy Sleeping, and Dentistry Meet.” Mandanas Dental was founded by Dr. Owen Mandanas, who practiced as a general dentist for 17 years before looking for a better approach. The sentence on our website sums it up perfectly.

Dentistry is about so much more than teeth – your oral health can impact every aspect of your well-being, which is why it’s important to treat each patient holistically.

Need an appointment? Click here to contact our team.

What is Holistic Dentistry?

That’s what holistic dentistry means, by the way. It’s a philosophy that acknowledges the impact the mouth has on whole-body health. The mouth affects the way we ingest food and drink, which is the fuel we need to survive and function at our best. It also affects the way we breathe, which brings our cells the oxygen they need to function. The mouth is also intrinsically linked to the quality of our sleep, because anatomical issues can cause serious problems like sleep apnea.

Holistic dentists are fully-qualified dentists. We can perform all the same check-ups and procedures as regular dentists, such as general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, dentures, dental implants, orthodontics, and even sedation dentistry (you can view our services page to learn more).

However, they take it a step further than just improving your smile and filling your cavities. For Dr. Mandanas, it began by successfully helping people correct sleep disorders with dental appliances. It started a journey of further education that means she now sees herself as being part of a patient’s health care team instead of just stepping in and out as their tooth doctor.

Through this lens, holistic dentists can also advise you on the link between oral health and things such as gut health, high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain or weight loss, and more.

Finding a Holistic Dentist in Anchorage

Dr. Mandanas was born in the Philippines but grew up in South Carolina. She completed her undergraduate education in English at Goucher College in Maryland before going to study dentistry at Northwestern University in Illinois. She has two decades of experience and is a self-described “dental geek,” who still love studying her craft. When she moved to Alaska, she spent time serving the Native Alaska community in Nome, before settling in Anchorage with her husband and two sons.

She’s affiliated with a number of key organizations, such as the American Academic of Dental Sleep Medicine, Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorder Disciplines, American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry, and International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. She’s also a member of the Holistic Dental Association, American Dental Association, and Alaska Dental Society.

Her main interest is in sleep breathing disorders and she loves studying craniofacial anatomy. In other words, she’s the person to see if you’re having trouble with things like snoring, difficulty breathing at night, and sleep apnea. She’ll talk to you about your symptoms, figure out exactly why you’re experiencing them, and discuss a range of treatment options with you.

What is the Future for Holistic Dentistry?

Holistic dentistry is constantly evolving. Like Dr. Mandanas, most practitioners are – well, we already know they’re geeks – and they’re always combing through new research to find better ways of doing things. Here at Mandanas Dental, the team is committed to having an open mind and considering natural, evidence-based approaches to oral health as well as traditional methods. That way, we can be sure to find the best option to suit each patient, based on their personal circumstances.

Holistic dentistry is known by a lot of names, including integrative dentistry, progressive dentistry, and biocompatible dentistry. It’s an evolution in dental practice that will help you achieve optimal health through a personalized treatment plan that favors natural treatments where possible. We believe it leads to the best possible patient outcomes – and as such, it’s the future of dentistry.

Ready to try holistic dentistry for yourself? Schedule an appointment today.

Holistic denstistry can help with sleep apnea

Can Holistic Dentistry Cure Sleep Apnea?

What’s one thing that can ruin your relationship and your health at the same time? The not-so-silent mood-ruiner, sleep apnea (surprise! It’s not bad reality TV). Around 22 million Americans are estimated to suffer from sleep apnea, which is a serious condition that can significantly impact your quality of life. The good news is there are many ways you can treat it naturally, while regaining your wellbeing and allowing your loved one to get the rest they deserve after a long day at work. Read on to learn more.

Worried about sleep apnea? Contact us to find a solution.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when breathing halts during sleep because the tongue or throat muscles are blocking the airways. It usually skates away by being labeled as loud snoring or trouble sleeping. This is because sometimes unknowingly, a person will wake up due to the panic response that the brain triggers from the lack of oxygen. The health implications caused by sleep apnea can be very serious, leading to long-term issues.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

The symptoms of sleep apnea could very easily slip on by, masked as either a bad night’s sleep or as a general feeling of being unwell or slightly under the weather. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 symptoms to look out for so you can combat early signs of sleep apnea:

  1. Daytime sleepiness
  2. Snoring
  3. Suddenly waking up by gasping or choking
  4. Dry mouth or throat
  5. Headaches in the morning
  6. Lack of focus/forgetfulness during the day
  7. Depression, irritability, or mood swings
  8. High blood pressure
  9. Insomnia
  10. Night-time sweating

Why Is Sleep Apnea So Serious?

Sleep apnea is more than just snoring or hitting the snooze button a few extra times in the morning. This is something that has real long-term effects if not addressed. These are some of the high-risk dangers to look out for:

Heart disease: Untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of heart failure but 140% and the risk of stroke by 60%, according to the Comprehensive Sleep Care Center.

High blood pressure: When the airways are blocked due to sleep apnea, stress hormones are released which leads to an increase in blood pressure. Over a long course of time, this can make high blood pressure a risk factor. 

Stroke: People who suffer from sleep apnea have a higher chance of having a stroke due to common high blood pressure. Strokes are also much more difficult to recover from sleep apnea.

Cognitive impairment: Sleep apnea causes a lack of oxygen that can impair the brain and cause many issues such as memory, learning, functionality, dementia, and delayed attention, over time.

How Can You Cure Sleep Apnea Naturally?

Finding help for sleep apnea from the right doctor is always a good solution. Depending on your lifestyle and situation, you could also benefit from natural solutions to sleep apnea. Here are some of the ways you can naturally combat sleep apnea.

See a holistic dentist: A holistic dentist will provide a range of treatment options that may be able to help you catch the extra sleep you need. Keep reading, because we’ll dive into this in a moment.

Manage your weight: Having extra weight around your neck can be a big factor in sleep apnea symptoms, especially snoring. Even losing 10% of body weight could effectively help sleep apnea symptoms.

Exercise regularly: Being active regularly can help strengthen your heart, energy levels, and sleep. Yoga has also been known to help because it increases oxygen levels.

Alter your sleep position: In more than half of all sleep apnea cases, the condition arises because of sleeping position, according to a 2006 hospital study. Sleeping on your back or with your head propped up can be especially helpful because it opens the airways. 

Use a humidifier: A humidifier adds more moisture to the air, which can help congested airways and make breathing easier. 

Use oral appliances: A CPAP machine is a mask you use when you sleep that increases air pressure in your throat so the airways can’t close and suffocate you. A sleep apnea mouthguard has a strap that pushes the lower jaw and tongue forward, keeping your airway open. Both options lead to a better night’s sleep which can reduce many of the harmful symptoms.

Why You Should See a Holistic Dentist First

Seeing an integrative or holistic dentist for sleep apnea can make all the difference for you. Unlike regular dentists who only focus on oral health, Integrative dentistry looks at the big picture. They are founded on the belief that oral health and the health of your entire body are tied together.

When you see a dentist who practices holistic dentistry for sleep apnea, they will look for the causes of sleep apnea, not just the obvious symptoms. Their focus is much more on how your sleep apnea is affecting the health of your entire body, not just your loss of sleep. They target root problems that may go unnoticed such as poor jaw or tongue alignment, mental stimulation, or breathing problems.

Seeing a holistic dentist like Dr. Mandanas can help you assess your sleep apnea and find solutions that would best first your lifestyle, naturally. If you (or your loved one) are suffering from sleep apnea, there is still hope to get a good night’s sleep. We will work with you to find a solution.

Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us today!

Link between oral health and gut health

Your Diet Can Have a Big Impact on Your Teeth

Our bodies are amazing, in that when we are well, every part works together in perfect harmony. This is the foundation of holistic dentistry, because it’s about much more than just fixing your teeth. It takes the view that your mouth, as the gateway by which food enters your body, can have an impact on things like gut health and mental health as well as your oral health.

Diet is really important, because good nutrition gives our bodies the fuel it needs to operate at its best. In a perfect world, our mouths and bodies should be at a neutral pH, but it’s very common for modern diets (which typically include a lot of sugar) to cause a bacterial imbalance of the mouth microbiome. In addition to causing things like weight gain, and mood swings that come with sugar-induced highs and lows, it can also cause erosion of the teeth.

Want to learn more about protecting your teeth through nutrition? Schedule an appointment!

Link Between Oral Health and Gut Health

The gut microbiome can influence things like mood, weight, and your general sense of health and wellbeing. The oral microbiome is very closely linked, because every time you swallow, you’re sending thousands of good bacteria from your mouth to your digestive system.

These bacteria are essential to your oral health, because they can prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. However, they’re also really important when it comes to gut health, because good bacteria in your mouth can stop bad bacteria from making its way to your stomach. This can prevent things like inflammation and even some diseases! The same works in reverse – bad bacteria in your mouth can trigger an immune response when it reaches your gut, which can cause things like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and endocarditis.

Good oral hygiene, which includes regular brushing and flossing, goes a long way to removing bad bacteria. However, the best way to protect the link between your oral health and your gut health is with a good diet. This means keeping sugar to a minimum, eating whole foods, ensuring you have plenty of dietary fiber, and chewing properly every time you have a meal.

Oral Health Can Also Affect Mental Health

The most obvious way that oral health can affect mental health is through pain. Things like tooth erosion, cavities, and periodontitis can be extremely uncomfortable if left untreated, and studies show that this can lead to things like anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

A comprehensive health survey of more than 10,000 people aged 20-75 living in the United States found that poor dental health increased the likelihood that a person would experience depression. Researchers found the more dental conditions a person had, the more severe their symptoms.

Just like gut health, the link between oral health and mental health is a two-way street. There is evidence to suggest that people who experience mental illness often suffer poor oral health – for example, if people experience dental anxiety, they may stop seeing their dentist regularly, which means the next time they visit they may have to get considerably more work done.

Again, diet can play a big part here. Felice Jacka, president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research, says: “A very large body of evidence now exists that suggests diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health… A healthy diet is protective and an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for depression and anxiety.”

Future Research Into Oral Health Links

The link between oral health, gut health, and mental health is already clear, and we know diet is key. However, there are still many things scientists don’t know, which makes this an exciting area.

For example, poor dental health is a known source of inflammation, but the link between dental health, inflammation, and mental health has not been researched extensively. More research is also required to explain exactly why multiple dental conditions increase the severity of depression.

The best way to optimize your oral health, and the impact it has on your gut health and mental health is to schedule an appointment with a holistic dentist. They look at all these issues together, instead of in isolation, and will be able to advise you about the best way forward. They will talk to you about essential hygiene, such as brushing and flossing, as well as advising you the ways your diet can improve your oral health, gut health, and mental health.

Ready to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mandanas? Call our team!

Does tongue position affect breathing?

Does Tongue Position Affect Breathing?

Do you most often breathe through your mouth? Do you suffer from sleep apnea? It’s possible that your tongue may be improperly positioned. The tongue is a strong muscle, and it has the power to shape the mouth over time, which means tongue position can seriously affect breathing.

During sleep, for example, your tongue relaxes and falls back. If it’s larger than usual, or set higher than normal, it can fully or partially block your airway. This means you’ll struggle to breathe when you’re asleep, diminishing the quality of your rest and causing a range of other oral health issues.

When we visit the dentist, most of us expect to talk about things related to teeth, like brushing, flossing, fillings, and braces. However, dentists specialize in everything going on inside your mouth, which includes your gums, cheeks, tongue, and much more. Holistic dentists take it a step further, because they view the mouth as being the gateway to your overall health and wellbeing.

When they are conducting an examination, they’ll ask questions about a range of lifestyle factors – including breathing and sleep – to ensure they can diagnose you correctly and recommend a course of treatment that will treat not just the symptoms of an issue, but the underlying cause as well.

Want to learn more? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Mandanas.

Is My Tongue in the Right Position?

Everyone’s mouth is a different shape, but generally speaking, your tongue should lie flat against the roof of your mouth and the tip should touch the back of your front teeth. It should remain this way whether you’re awake or asleep, however, there are lots of factors that can cause this to change.

If your jaw isn’t correctly aligned, for example, or you have issues with crowding, there may not be enough room for your tongue to sit in the right spot. In addition to restricting breathing, this can also affect things like speaking, eating, and sleeping, which can be very detrimental to your wellbeing.

Can I Retrain My Tongue?

The good news is most people can quickly correct tongue positioning issues with exercises. Your dentists may prescribe these in order to retrain your tongue, and teach it how to sit properly. They may also refer you to a speech therapist, which is someone who specializes in oral skills.

If your tongue position is cause by retrognathia, a condition in which the lower jaw is pulled back, pushing the tongue backwards as well, your dentist may also prescribe a mandibular advancement device (MAD). This is a very effective device that prevents the lower jaw from slipping back during sleep, which can help keep the tongue out of the way so your airways remain clear all night long.

Why Do Holistic Dentists Look at Tongues?

Holistic dentistry is about considering all the different factors at play and working naturally with the body to find a solution that optimizes your overall health and wellbeing. Holistic dentists also favor non-invasive treatments, which help your body adjust and repair itself as naturally as possible.

No part of the mouth operates in isolation. Correcting your tongue positioning isn’t just about stopping noisy snoring! It’s about helping you breathe easier, which will maximize the restfulness of your sleep, increase the amount of oxygen you inhale with every breath, and increase your energy levels. This can have a flow-on effect of improving your diet, generating the energy to exercise more, boosting your mood, and improving your mental health. Every part of the human body is interlinked.

How Can I Get Help with a Tongue Positioning Issue?

If anything we’ve mentioned in this blog post sounds familiar – for example, if you wake up every morning with a super dry mouth because you’ve breathed through it all night, you feel tired all the time, or you’ve been told you snore like a freight train – it’s best to raise the topic with your dentist.

Your dentist will be able to conduct a thorough examination at your next check-up, discuss any difficulties you’re experiencing, and let you know if they spot anything out of the ordinary. They’ll talk you through any issues and work with you to create a customized treatment plan that takes your specific needs into account so you can get back to breathing easily at night.

Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact our friendly team today!

Integrative dentistry

Integrative Dentistry Is About so Much More Than Teeth

A dentist is a type of doctor who specializes in oral health, which extends to much more than just teeth and gums. The American Dental Association notes dentists also look after things like the muscles of the head and neck, the jaw, the tongue, salivary glands, and the nervous system. Their role includes diagnosing oral disease, administering anesthetics, performing surgical procedures, screening for oral cancers, and much more. It’s all designed to promote good oral health and long-term wellbeing.

Integrative dentists take it a step further, and considers the way oral health impacts the health of the whole body. This practice has a lot of different names: integrative dentistry, holistic dentistry, and biological dentistry are just a few. It’s based on the idea that the health of the mouth and the health of the body are intrinsically linked – for example, oral health has a significant impact on functions eating, drinking, breathing, and sleeping. Oral health can also affect things like movement and mental health.

Want to learn more? Contact us today.

Two Ways Integrative Dentistry Is Practiced

Integrative dentists have all the same qualifications and training as regular dentists. In fact, most integrative dentists started as regular dentists and moved into a new direction when they started looking for better ways to practice dentistry, and become safer and more effective providers.

There are two main ways integrative dentistry is practiced.

The first is through the idea of the “mouth-body connection,” which is the understanding that the mouth and the body do not operate independently of each other. This means that rather than simply diving in and treating dental conditions, integrative dentists will ask their patients about other factors that may impact their health. This could include sleep, diet, exercise, and stress, for example. This helps the integrative dentists get a better picture of what’s going on in a person’s life to help create an individualized plan that will optimize their overall health and wellbeing.

The second way integrative dentistry is practiced is through the use of integrative methods. This takes all the great parts of conventional dentistry and blends them with alternative methods that are designed to deliver the best results possible. This will vary from dentist to dentist, depending on their own personal research and experience, as well as their interests. This could include things like low-dose x-rays and mercury-free fillings. The idea is to use safer, more natural materials, as much as possible.

Learn more about minimally-invasive options.

Conditions Integrative Dentistry Can Treat

Integrative dentists treat all the same things as regular dentists. This includes regular dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, dentures, dental implants, orthodontics, and all the normal things you’d expect. They can conduct clinical and radiographic examinations for hidden dental problems, inspect the mouth for cavities and any wear and tear, treat gingivitis and periodontal diseases, provide professional teeth cleaning, and treat dental emergencies such as broken teeth and severe toothaches.

However, they can do much more. Here at Mandanas Dental, for example, Dr. Mandanas has a special interest in sleep breathing disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, which stems from her research into craniofacial anatomy and development. This means she can help if you’re snoring excessively at night, sleeping restlessly, or waking up tired.

Sleep apnea can cause a range of serious health issues, from chronic exhaustion to heart strain, diabetes, metabolic issues, liver problems, and even death. It’s commonly treated with CPAP machines, but it doesn’t have to be. As an integrative dentist, Dr. Mandanas uses non-invasive treatments that consider all the relevant health factors at play to work naturally with the body to find a solution rather than working against it. For example, she can help patients with things like alignment of the jaw, tongue positioning, mouth breathing, which can all affect sleep quality.

Read more about integrative sleep apnea treatments.

Integrative Dentistry Is a Step Toward Whole-Body Health

Integrative dentistry is a great option for people who want to optimize their wellbeing. The goal is to help each patient live their healthiest, fullest life. Integrative dentists offer inviting, patient-focused environments, and deliver personalized dental care tailored to your health goals.

Ready to get started? Schedule an appointment today.