• Users Online: 143
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

Table of Contents
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-98

Holistic dentistry-tooth as an anchor to mind, body, and soul

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Microbiology, D. Y. Patil University, School of Dentistry, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission16-Jun-2021
Date of Decision11-Jul-2021
Date of Acceptance09-Sep-2021
Date of Web Publication15-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
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
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jihs.jihs_19_21

Rights and Permissions

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 finding 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 efficient 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

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

How to cite this URL:
Nayak A, Tamgadge S. Holistic dentistry-tooth as an anchor to mind, body, and soul. J Integr Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Mar 29];9:94-8. Available from: https://www.jihs.in/text.asp?2021/9/2/94/339646

  Introduction Top

Oral health is defined 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]:
Figure 1: Effect of stress on the mind, body, and soul.

Click here to view

  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 Top

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, 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 first 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 fitness 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 flurry of new laws taxing soda/sugary drinks in nations across the world. 2012; On April 1, 2012, the first 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 finding 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 first 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].
Figure 2: Requisites for maintenance of overall health of the individual.

Click here to view

  Mind Affecting Oral Health Top

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]

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 Top

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 fluid 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],[10],[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 Top

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[12],[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 confidence.[12],[13]

  Holistic Dentistry Top

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 influences 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]:
Figure 3: Various components of Holistic Dentistry

Click here to view

  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 Top

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 Top

Along with dentistry, there is the incorporation of Ayurveda, Hypnosis, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Nutrition, Neural Therapy, Hematology, Immunology, Electro-Acupuncture, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Sound Therapy, Hydrotherapy, and Laughter Therapy.[14]

  Various Holistic Dental Care Therapies Top

Microlight Therapy

The face contains regions that corresponds to each body zone and organ. The organs are generated and affected by one of the five 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 flushed 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 fluoride exposure with reduced IQ in children are reported. Fluoride toothpaste used during childhood is a paramount risk factor for dental fluorosis, particularly for children who brush before the age of three and who live in areas with fluoridated water. Excessive fluoride exposure may also cause skeletal fluorosis. In addition to this, Fluoride ingestion may give rise to osteomalacia. Although research suggests adult-strength fluoride toothpaste can reduce tooth decay, this potential benefit comes with the risk of disfigured teeth. It is reported that 1 g of fluoride toothpaste (a full strip of paste on a regular-sized brush) is adequate to cause acute fluoride toxicity in a 2-year-old child. Hence, fluoride-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 beneficial 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 Top

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 modifications 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 deficiency can significantly cause alterations in the gut bacteria. K2 is carboxylation osteocalcin which prevents the formation of calculus by aversion of soft tissue calcification and also transports minerals from the blood into bone
  3. Serratia proteolytic enzymes help in the breakdown of the biofilm barriers and thereby cleans up plaque.[22],[23]

  Difference between Conventional and Holistic Dentistry Top

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 fixing 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 office in a state of continuingly boosted balanced health [Figure 4].[24]
Figure 4: Difference between Conventional Dentistry and Holistic Dentistry

Click here to view

  Holistic Clinical Management Top

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 health by performing excessive physical exercises, taking excessive stress of maintaining body weight, and many more. Instead, ingestion of supplements with Vitamin A, D, C, zinc, selenium, melatonin, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), herbs, iodine, colloidal silver, ozone, UV light (30 sacs.), diet, detox are helpful.
  3. Spiritual aspect (to cure the soul ) – The only way to find 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 Top

The patient is unaware of this emerging field 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 identification 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 Top

Holistic Dentistry is a primeval technique, also an emerging field 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 field 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


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Settineri S, Rizzo A, Liotta M, Mento C. Clinical psychology of oral health: The link between teeth and emotions. SAGE Open 2017;7:1-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Sischo L, Broder HL. Oral health-related quality of life: What, why, how, and future implications. J Dent Res 2011;90:1264-70.  Back to cited text no. 2
Yaribeygi H, Panahi Y, Sahraei H, Johnston TP, Sahebkar A. The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI J 2017;16:1057-72.  Back to cited text no. 3
Burn, J. H. (1961). Medical Pharmacology (Vol. 2). Br Med J. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.2.5260.1131.  Back to cited text no. 4
History of wellness - global wellness institute. (2018, April 11). Globalwellnessinstitute.org. https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/what-is-wellness/history-of-wellness/.  Back to cited text no. 5
Wikipedia contributors. (2021, April 15). Mind. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mind&oldid=1050854713.  Back to cited text no. 6
On the link between emotions, stress and caries (cavities) development [Internet]. Healingteethnaturally.com. [cited 2021 Apr 13]. Available from: https://www.healingteethnaturally.com/emotions-stress-and-caries-development.html.  Back to cited text no. 7
Mccraty, R. (2001). Local and non-local effects of coherent heart frequencies on conformational changes of DNA.  Back to cited text no. 8
Tamgadge S. Internal pH in health and disease. Iran J Pathol 2016;11:176-80.  Back to cited text no. 9
Sandhya, T. (2018). Emotional Stress and Acidic Intercellular PH is an Initial Event in the Etiopathogenesis of Oral Lesions-A Hypothesis. ACTA SCIENTIFIC DENTAL SCIENCES (ISSN: 2581-4893) , 3(1 January 2019).  Back to cited text no. 10
Young, R. O. (2017). Using Sodium and Potassium Bicarbonates in the Prevention and Treatment of all Sickness and Disease. International Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 9(6). https://doi.org/10.15406/ijcam.2017.09.00318.  Back to cited text no. 11
Kaur D, Behl A, Isher PS. Oral manifestations of stress-related disorders in the general population of Ludhiana. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2016;28:262.  Back to cited text no. 12
  [Full text]  
Makino M, Masaki C, Tomoeda K, Kharouf E, Nakamoto T, Hosokawa R. The relationship between sleep bruxism behavior and salivary stress biomarker level. Int J Prosthodont 2009;22:43-8.  Back to cited text no. 13
Kaka S, Hugar SS, Soneta S, Mundada M, Hugar SM, Gokhale NS. Holistic dentistry: “Your body hears what your mind says.” Ac ta Sci Dent Sci 2019;3:49-52.  Back to cited text no. 14
Srinivasan K. Holistic dentistry: Natural approaches to oral health. Saudi Sch Bull 2015;1:267-70.  Back to cited text no. 15
Gashinsky, V. (2015, April 15). The Meridian Tooth Chart. Holisticdentalcenternj.Com. https://holisticdentalcenternj.com/the-meridian-tooth-chart/.  Back to cited text no. 16
Microlight Therapy | East West Seminars; 2021. Available from: https://east-westseminars.com/microlight-therapy/.  Back to cited text no. 17
Ozone Therapy. Available from: https://www.saighfamilydental.com/ services/other-treatments/ozone-therapy [ last accessed on 2021 Apr 15].  Back to cited text no. 18
Gashinsky V. The Dangers of Fluoride in Dental Care; 2015. Available from: https://holisticdentalcenternj.com/the-dangers-of-fluoride-in-dental-care/. [Last accessed on 2021 Apr 15].  Back to cited text no. 19
Noble A, Noble A. The biocompatibility of various dental materials. Sci J Lander 2020;13:13-20.  Back to cited text no. 20
Larose P. Holistic dentistry. J Can Dent Assoc 1997;63:416-8.  Back to cited text no. 21
Rathee M, Vigarniya MM. A literature review on holistic dentistry. J Oral Health Community Dent 2018;12:106-10.  Back to cited text no. 22
K. Srinivasan DSC. Holistic Dentistry: Natural approaches to Oral Health. Scholars Bulletin. 2015 Dec;1(10).  Back to cited text no. 23
Traditional Dentist vs Holistic Dentist. Available from: https://www. studiozdental.com/blog/traditional-dentist-vs-holistic-dentist/. [Last acessed on 2021 Apr 14].  Back to cited text no. 24


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
Review of Literature
Mind Affecting O...
Human Body Affec...
Oral Manifestati...
Holistic Dentistry
Meridian Chart
Other Fields in ...
Various Holistic...
Acceptability of...
Difference betwe...
Holistic Clinica...
Future Scope
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded65    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal