What is biological dentistry

In using the term biological dentistry, we are not attempting to stake out a new specialty for dentistry but rather to describe a philosophy that can apply to all facets of dental practice and to health care in general: Always seek the safest, least toxic way to accomplish the mission of treatment and all the goals of modern dentistry, and do it while treading as lightly as possible on the patient’s biological terrain. A more biocompatible approach to oral health is the hallmark of biological dentistry.

By making distinctions – some obvious, and some subtle – among the available materials and procedures, we can reduce the impact on our patient’s biological responses. Our sense of duty to advocate for the well–being of our patients should make biocompatibility a high priority, and the fact that there are now so many new ways to make dentistry work better gives us the opportunity to do just that. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) is an organization for that group of dentists, physicians, and allied researchers who consider biocompatibility to be their first concern and who demand scientific evidence as their key criterion. Members of this group have, since 1984, examined, chronicled, and supported research into the distinctions that can make dental practice more biologically acceptable. This “biological dentistry” attitude can inform and intersect with all topics of conversation in health care where the well–being of the mouth is an integral part of the health of the whole person.

Nutritional status impacts all aspects of a patient’s ability to heal. Biological detoxification depends heavily on nutritional support, as does periodontal therapy or any wound healing.

The importance of detoxification

Your body produces toxins during normal body functions. It is also exposed to pollutants, or toxicants, in the air, drinking water, and food. In Functional Medicine, detoxification or “detox” refers to the body’s process of making toxins, toxicants and hormones less harmful.This process is also referred to as “metabolic detoxification”.

Studies on how drugs are broken down and cleared from the body have helped us to understand the detox processes.There are well-defined pathways in the body that are responsible for changing toxicants into chemical compounds that are easier for the body to eliminate.This happens primarily through the urine or stools.

Our society is becoming more and more toxic. The constant exposure is resulting in an ever-increasing body burden, or toxic load, of chemicals. One of the most common exposures is too toxic farm chemicals: pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Other sources of toxicants include materials used in new construction, carpet chemicals that can off-gas into the air, paint, household cleaners, mixed metals used in dental repairs, synthetic materials found in dental products, and even personal hygiene products applied to face, skin, and hair. Air pollutants are found in regional or work industrial areas, primary or second-hand smoke exposure, and auto exhaust. On a daily basis, your liver, kidneys, large intestine, lymphatic system, and sweat glands work to reduce the body burden, or buildup, of these environmental contaminants.

Scientists estimate that the average adult carries within her or his body at least 700 toxins. A newborn’s body can contain over 200 toxins.

Your toxic body burden is a result of three main factors:

  • The number of toxicant exposures from both internal and external sources.
  • Your ability to produce detox enzymes for processing these compounds. This is based on your unique genetics and familial influence.
  • The amount of detox-supporting nutrients consumed in your diet. Specific foods support the processes of changing toxic chemicals and waste products to less harmful forms and assist in their elimination.

Toxic symptoms may occur when you reach your personal limit of accumulated toxins and are not able to clear them quickly or efficiently enough. Researchers are recognizing the following symptoms related to the buildup of toxins:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Fatigue
  • Infertility
  • Allergies
  • Behavior and mood disorder
  • Neurological conditions such as tremors, headaches, and cognitive difficulties
  • Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases

The goal of a clinically-directed metabolic detox protocol is to provide nutritional support for the pathways involved in the processing and elimination of toxins. A detox program results in improved symptoms and an increased sense of well-being for most individuals. Many who participate in a personalized detox program describe improvement in pain and fatigue levels, enhanced cognitive function and moods, more effective and satisfying sleep cycles, and weight loss.


  1. Sears ME, Genuis SJ. Environmental determinants of chronic disease and medical approaches: Recognition,avoidance, supportive therapy, and detoxification. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:356798.doi:10.1155/2012/356798.

Do you think you have high toxin exposure? Fill out the questionnaire below and call our office to discuss your treatment options?

Toxin Exposure Questionnaire

Detox resources

Avoiding toxins in oral care products

  • The Role of the Liver in Detoxification
  • Fish and Toxins: Safe Food Guidelines
  1. Exposure to potentially harmful chemicals on a daily basis is virtually unavoidable. The majority of the 85,000 chemicals registered for production under the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act(TSCA) were grandfathered in with little or no health and safety testing.1. Medical conditions linked to toxic chemicals include obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, cancers, and multi-system complaints such as fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities.

Reducing dietary exposures

  • Choose organic and low-fat or no-fat animal products such as dairy, eggs, and meats (PAHs, OCs, OPs, dioxins, PCBs, PBDEs). Choose cooking methods that are low-char and that animal fats to drip away, such as steaming (PAHs, OCs, OPs, dioxins, PCBs, PBDEs).
  • Consult local wildlife agencies before eating freshwater fish (PCBs, dioxins,PBDEs).
  • Never eat farmed salmon (PCBs), avoid eating larger carnivorous fish (Hg,PBDEs, PCBs), and use the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Good Seafood Guide.3
  • Use glass, ceramic, or stainless steel containers for heating and storing hot food (phthalates).
  • Avoid plastic water bottles, travel mugs, and bladder-style hydration reservoirs, and do not wash plastic food or beverage containers under high heat(phthalates).
  • Avoid using vinyl cling wrap and only buy canned foods that are BPA-free(BPA).
  • Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and rice syrup (As) and processed foods containing BHT, BHA, benzoate, sulfites, artificial colorings, and sweeteners.
  • Choose local, seasonal, and organic produce whenever possible. Wash all fruits and vegetables using mild additive-free soap and clean water (OCs,OPs).
  • Choose organic versions of the EWG “Dirty Dozen” list of high-pesticide produce (OCs, OPs).4

Reducing Home & Office Exposures

  1. Consult the EWG Drinking Water Database5 and consider testing your water supply. Use an NSF-certified water filter if indicated(Pb,As, Cd, trihalomethane, atrazine, benzene, etc.).
  2. Clear water that has been standing overnight out of plumbing lines in your home or office by flushing the toilet or letting the tap run for several minutes before pouring out tap water for consumption (Pb, other metals).
  3. Filter shower water (chlorine, OCs), and avoid using new vinyl shower curtains (phthalates).
  4. Filter the air in your bedroom and office using filters, ionizers, or plants6(airborne toxins).
  5. Cover or replace older foam furniture and consider removing old carpets and padding (PBDEs).
  6. Remove shoes you’ve worn outside when entering your home (OPs).
  7. Clean up broken thermometers and fluorescent bulbs with gentle sweeping and wiping up with gloves and disposable materials. Do not vacuum (Hg).
  8. Choose fragrance-and solvent-free detergents and cleaning agents(phthalates) and consult the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning.7
  9. Avoid non-stick pots and pans and do not buy stain-resistant clothing, carpet, or furniture (PCBs).
  10. Avoid products made with particleboard or medium-density fiberboard (formaldehyde, solvents).
  11. Remove or paint over older pressure-treated wood (As). Use low-orno-VOC (volatile organic compound)paints, glues, sealants, etc. in new construction (solvents).8
  12. With new construction, consider“baking” out noxious fumes by vacating (people, plants, and animals) and setting the house heat at maximum for 24-hour cycles followed by ventilation and rechecking for fumes (solvents and other toxic chemicals)

Reducing Health Care & Personal Care Exposures

  1. For general wellness: Stay well hydrated and consume alcohol in moderation, if at all.
  2. Avoid acetaminophen for pain relief (especially after alcohol), and avoid taking multiple over-the-counter and prescription drugs simultaneously.
  3. Stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke (Cd, PAHs).
  4. Inquire about preservatives in flu shots and vaccines and chose ones without Thimerisol (Hg).
  5. Choose unscented, fragrance-free personal care products (phalates), avoid antiperspirants and antacids (Al), and use the EWG Cosmetics Database.9
  6. Choose composite over metallic dental fillings and be sure that your dentist follows all of the recommended IAOMT10 procedures when removing silver fillings (Hg).
  7. Avoid having two different metals (e.g., mercury and gold) in your mouth; this can create low-voltage electric currents, which accelerate metal degradation.

Take The First Step Towards

Optimal Dental Care

Do you have questions about our approach to more complete and holistic dental care? Our patient coordinator is standing by, happy to answer any questions you have to determine if we are right for you.

Copyright © 2022 Whole Health Dentistry • Desert Ridge Medical Plaza
20950 North Tatum Blvd, Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85050 • Phone: 480.563.4141
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