Let’s start with an analogy.

Imagine a car with a nail in a tire. You can fix the tire and park it in your driveway. Then you come out to run an errand and there is another nail in your tire. 

What the heck happened?!

Turns out, you spilled some nails in your driveway during a recent home improvement project.

When you fixed the tire, what you did was treat the symptom, not the root cause. Had you removed the nails from the driveway, you’d have been able to keep your tire from getting a nail in it again and again.

Dentistry is a complex science, but at Neish Dentistry we try to keep things clear and simple. 

Our patients appreciate our science-based and informational approach. Today, we’re going to discuss a key aspect of our philosophy and approach to your care — the concept of going beyond treating symptoms and actually resolving the root cause of dental health issues.

Applying this philosophy to the practice of dentistry

Your body and dental health can be thought of as one connected system. If a dentist treats only the symptoms you’re currently experiencing, they may be missing the big picture and the underlying cause of the issue.

At Neish Dentistry, we focus on identifying and resolving the root cause of any issue you’re facing. There’s nothing more important to us than helping you achieve lasting health and happiness — and we can’t do that by only treating symptoms.

Let’s look at a few examples of dental health problems where it’s especially important to look beyond symptoms and to actually resolve the root cause of the issue.

Tooth grinding

Also known as bruxism, tooth grinding and jaw clenching during sleep are incredibly common. Too often, dentists rush to recommend an expensive and uncomfortable mouthguard because the mouthguard will prevent damage to the teeth when grinding does occur.

But here’s the problem: The mouthguard does nothing to resolve the root cause of grinding, which may be the result of:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Airway/breathing issues
  • Stress
  • Interrupted sleep

By addressing the root cause, we can prevent the symptom from recurring without the need to continue wearing a mouthguard forever.

Tooth decay

When a tooth is decayed, a filling, root canal, or other treatment is clearly required to halt the spread of decay and restore the function, appearance, and health of the tooth.

But decay is an issue that is fundamentally caused by an acid imbalance in the mouth. Chronic tooth decay can be reduced and possibly prevented by evaluating:

  • At-home care, including brushing with oral neutralizing gels and flossing
  • Diet, avoiding sugary and acidic foods
  • Proper hydration with water and non-acidic liquids

Gum disease

Deep pockets of gum tissue and bleeding gums are common, affecting as much as 70% of the population. The bacteria that infect the gums and cause periodontal disease can be released into the bloodstream. Your immune system will then destroy the bacteria quite quickly — in about 90 seconds. Unfortunately, the waste products released in those 90 seconds contribute significantly to increased risk for stroke and heart attack. 

Because of this, keeping your gums healthy directly impacts the root cause of many forms of heart disease and stroke. Treating the symptoms of gum disease alone isn’t enough. You must maintain excellent gum health and avoid infection. 

Learn more about our health-first approach to resolving gum disease.

Are you interested in a root-cause approach to optimizing your dental health?

See Dr. Scott Neish today!

Our scientific and evidence-based practice is designed with your lifelong health and whole-body wellness in mind. We take great pride in sharing our expertise, educating our patients, building trust, creating lasting relationships, and providing outstanding results.

Schedule your appointment at Neish Dentistry today and see for yourself.