“Eat your carrots! They’re good for your eyes!” Parents and grandparents around the world use these words to try and encourage children to eat their vegetables. But carrots really can be good for your eyesight. While they can’t restore vision loss or make structural changes to the eye, carrots are good for vision health since they’re rich in vitamin A (deficiencies of which can lead to blindness, cataracts, and macular degeneration) and the antioxidant lutein. Carrots are also good for your teeth, acting as a natural abrasive to eliminate plaque, stimulate saliva production, and kill germs in your mouth. But when it comes to establishing a connection between eye health and oral health, a reality that holistic dentistry focuses on for the entire body, it’s necessary to go beyond Bugs Bunny’s favorite treat.
Seeing Is Believing: Oral Health Impacts Eye Health
Deterioration in vision not only comes from age or illness, it can also be exacerbated by tooth decay, gum disease, and mercury fillings. The incidence of age-related eye diseases are expected to increase from 28 million to 43 million by the year 2020, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. And the health of your teeth and gums will impact where you fit on that spectrum.
For those who are experiencing serious oral health problems or major vision problems, have you noticed that the issues coincide? Teeth become problematic at the same time the vision gets wonky. Many holistic dentists believe that toxic oral health repairs like mercury fillings and root canals can directly impact the health of the eyes, not to mention your brain and the rest of your body.
Solutions for Serious Oral Health Concerns
There are several things you can do if you’re concerned about how your oral health may be impacting your vision or the rest of your well-being:
- Have amalgam fillings removed and replaced with non-mercury fillings. Amalgam fillings are laced with toxic mercury. Over time, the vapors from mercury can penetrate the body, and the more silver fillings you have in your mouth the bigger a threat to your well-being the fillings pose. Safe removal of amalgam fillings is critical – you must see a holistic dentist who is trained in the proper removal and disposal of these fillings – and having tooth-colored, composite fillings put in their place is a wise solution. Though, depending on the health of your tooth after the removal of the fillings, you may need a different type of restorative dentistry solution, like a porcelain crown or even a dental implant.
- Avoid root canals. Fungal and bacterial oral infections can result from root canals, which can affect vision and brain function. Many experts suspect oral infections from root canals to be behind many chronic and degenerative eye conditions. Root canals are branded as a way to save the natural tooth without having to pull it. Of course, no one wants a hole in their mouth where a tooth was, but modern innovations like secure and permanent dental implants make root canals unnecessary, while stimulating the jawbone, looking natural, and eliminating the danger of any infected tissue being left behind in the canals of the teeth after a root canal treatment. (Read the true story: My Root Canal Nightmare)
- Get checked for periodontal disease. You should be maintaining your bi-annual visits to your holistic dentist for a professional teeth cleaning and dental exam. During this appointment, your dentist will look for signs of gum disease, addressing any early symptoms before they have a chance to develop into full-blown periodontitis. Any inflammatory condition in your mouth can cause serious health conditions throughout the rest of your body.
- Elect to have biocompatibility testing. Every person has a different genetic makeup, and this truth will affect how you react to certain oral health repairs or treatments. Biocompatibility testing allows your holistic dentist to better customize the treatment you receive, and also alerts you to health issues that may be festering elsewhere in your body. Through biocompatibility testing, you can find out how certain chemicals, substances, pharmaceutical compounds, and even foods affect and interact with your system.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, if you’re embarrassed about the condition of your teeth, or if you have anxiety about the dentist, a holistic dentistry practice is one of the best dental practices you can choose. A holistic dentist is interested in your total well-being, not only the health of your teeth. And you’re in good hands with a patient, interested, and wholly observant dentist like Dr. Yolanda Cintron at the International Center for Dental Excellence in Fort Lauderddale. Make an appointment today to discuss your oral health concerns.