Do Lyme Patients Need a Holistic Dentist?

My husband was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease. I remember reading way back somewhere that Yolanda Hadid (the Real Housewives gal) had to go to a holistic dentist in order to get better from her Lyme. Does my husband need to switch dentists?

Carol L.

Dear Carol,

Yolanda Hadid Foster

I remember the article you mentioned. Some of the information was accurate and some wasn’t. Her thinking was her amalgam fillings, which has a main ingredient of mercury, was preventing her immune system to work efficiently because it was so busy dealing with the effects of mercury poisoning. If she got rid of her amalgam fillings, she’d have a better shot at fighting her Lyme disease.

First, I have to say that the American Dental Association still considers amalgam fillings completely safe. Though, it’s understandable patients aren’t as confident about putting a known toxin, both medically and neurologically in their bodies. Because of that, more and more dentists are switching to white composite fillings.

Holistic Dentistry and Lyme Disease

The key to treating Lyme is to be as healthy as possible because unless caught immediately, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to treat. So, in addition to eating healthy and getting a reasonable amount of exercise, you’ll want to be certain your immune system isn’t forced to divide its energies.

One way to do that is to get rid of your amalgam fillings. The danger with that is the toxicity of mercury. Your dentist absolutely must do what is known as a sanitary amalgam removal. Without that procedure, you’re very likely to end up inhaling mercury.

Holistic dentists know how to perform sanitary amalgam removals. Their whole philosophy is about caring for the whole patient and not just their teeth. However, not every city has a holistic dentist. Depending on the size of the area where you and your husband live, you may not be able to locate one.

Your next option is to find a mercury-free dentist. Many of them also know how to safely remove your old silver fillings and replace them with the healthier composite counterparts. I’d recommend that before traveling a huge distance for a holistic dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Invisalign and Wisdom Teeth

I was told when I was 17 if I removed my wisdom teeth I’d never need braces because there’d be plenty of room for my teeth. I did. Now I’m in my 30s and my front teeth are crowding. Have I done something or was my dentist not honest? Can this be fixed without braces? I’m a little old for a mouth full of metal, even with the cool new colored bands the kids are wearing these days.

Angie

Angie,

A woman inserting her Invisalign aligners onto her teeth

I wouldn’t say your dentist was dishonest. I think he probably meant you’d definitely have crowding if you didn’t get your wisdom teeth out, but there’d be room if you did. However, teeth move and shift throughout our lives. You asked if you did anything wrong. It’s hard to know. There are a few patient-related reasons we’ll go into in a moment.

Some Reasons for Crowding

  • You were made that way: For some, their narrow palates or smaller jaws can lead to misalignment through normal everyday biting forces.
  • Tooth Grinding: This is something that is patient related. Unfortunately, most patients don’t even realize they are grinding their teeth because it often takes place while they’re sleeping. The motion of your teeth causes them to shift and could cause the crowding you’re experiencing. Unfortunately, this type of thing often leads to TMJ Disorder.
  • Bad Dental Work: We’d like to think every dentist is as skilled as the next, but that is not always true. Sometimes there is a poorly fitted crown or another type of dental work which can throw off your bite.
  • Ignoring Dental Care: Sometimes people neglect their dental care and can develop gum disease. This can cause your teeth to shift. Without getting the care you need, your teeth will eventually become loose and you’ll lose them, requiring expensive tooth replacements.
  • Tumors: There are certain medical conditions which cause tumors that can throw off your bite. If you’re getting regular checkups your dentist will do regular examinations for things like that. So, it’s not something you should panic about if you’re diligent with your dental appointments.
  • Trauma: I’m assuming you’d know if you had an accident of some type which affected your bite. But that is another issue which can cause problems.

Invisalign Could Solve this for You

You won’t have to have a metal mouth, even a colorful one. Invisalign is a modern orthodontic system which allows adults and older teens to repair their smile without anyone having to know. The aligners, which are used instead of wires and brackets are completely invisible. Even at a conversational distance, people cannot tell you have them on.

My suggestion would be for you to see your dentist and find out the reason for your recent crowding. While Invisalign can straighten your teeth, if the problem is grinding, you’ll need a mouthguard to permanently protect them or you’ll be right back in the same position.

Additionally, if it’s something like gum disease causing the problem, Invisalign would be dangerous. You don’t want to be shifting around your teeth when they’re already loosening.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.