Whole Health Connections

Oral-System Connection

The mouth is a main gateway to the rest of your body, which means the developmental importance of the mouth begins before birth, and will play a crucial role in your overall health throughout your life.

Within the oral environment, good and bad bacteria exist. It is the balance of these bacteria that is critical for optimal oral health. This is called the oral microbiome. When this balance is disrupted it can lead to not only tooth decay and periodontal disease, but also disruption in the gut microbiome, leading to chronic inflammation and illness. Within the last century, life threatening disease has changed. Acute disease is no longer the leading cause of death. It is actually chronic illness associated with stress and inflammation.

Bad bacteria can lead to tooth decay and gum disease if good oral health habits are neglected. Both of these dental diseases cause significant oral health issues, including tooth loss and gum and bone deterioration.

About Gum Disease

Gum disease is a chronic condition and the primary cause of adult tooth loss. Additionally, gum disease increases a person’s risk for:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cerebral vascular disease
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Dementia and cognitive decline
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • IBD
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Pregnancy complications (preterm birth, preeclampsia, low birth weight)

By partnering with patients to prevent the onset of gum disease, we help them establish, maintain, and enjoy excellent oral health and whole body health.

Call today to make an appointment with our office today to see how your health can be changed

Safe Amalgam Removal

Amalgam fillings have been used for decades in dentistry. Due to the growing concern of mercury exposure, Dr. Herod does not use amalgam fillings in his practice. He also utilizes a safe procedure for their removal. The “SMART” protocol (Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique) was developed by the IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology). It is designed to minimize or eliminate any mercury exposure during treatment.

Metal Free Dentistry

Metals are generally not biocompatible with the human body and can cause an underlying immune response. Dr. Herod takes care to avoid any metals in his treatment. He utilizes BPA-free ceramic based composite fillings, as well as ceramic crowns and zirconia implants. Dr. Herod also offers orthodontic clear aligners, such as Invisalign, instead of metal braces for orthodontic treatment.

Ceramic Implants

 If you are missing teeth, dental implants are a wonderful way to restore your smile and function. Traditionally, titanium dental implants have been the gold standard in dentistry. They are a successful tooth replacement option and can last for decades. But they do contain metal, therefore have the potential for corrosion and oxidation. In order to offer the most biocompatible health options to our patients, Dr. Herod provides zirconia dental implants as a treatment option. Zirconia implants are made of “zirconium oxide,” which is fully oxidized and does not degrade over time. Because zirconia implants are tooth colored and the gum tissue responds so favorably after their placement, ceramic implants offer a great esthetic and biocompatible option for patients.

Fluoride Free Dentistry

Fluoride has been commonplace in dentistry for years. Due to the potential negative system effects of fluoride, Dr. Herod offers treatment options free of fluoride. He believes that with a healthy, whole food diet and proper patient education, the risk of decay can be reduced or eliminated naturally.

Airway Focused Dentistry

Airway-focused dentistry recognizes that oxygen is the number-one nutrient your body needs for survival and understands that breathing is essential for overall good health. Whereas airway restricted breathing may lead to chronic disease. 

Since the introduction of the Western diet, we have seen poorly developed nasal, facial, and jaw structure starting to become more prevalent, all of which limit oxygen. Soft, processed foods do not provide fat soluble vitamins, nor turn on the genes that control healthy facial structure. Characteristics may include a long narrow face, slumped posture, and a narrow, high palate. All of which compromise the nasopharyngeal airspace.

At your dental visit, Dr. Herod will evaluate how your upper and lower teeth fit together, a relationship called dental occlusion. He will also look at your resting jaw position and airway. Both malocclusion and improper jaw position can cause significant complications in oral health and comfortable oral function.

As an airway-focused dentist, Dr. Herod can identify potential issues in children, before they lead to significant problems later in life. Identifying and treating an airway issue early can benefit a child’s overall health for the rest of his life.

Myofunctional therapy is also associated with a healthy airway. This type of therapy improves the function of muscles related to the mouth, such as those of the tongue and lips, and those around the jaw joints. Retraining muscles to perform properly can affect how the teeth are aligned, how a person speaks, sleep quality, snoring, mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, and how jaw joints function.

After evaluating risk factors, listening to each patient, and reviewing your clinical exam, Dr. Herod can determine whether you may suffer from airway issues. In addition to improving a patient’s airway for better breathing, Dr. Herod can help some patients overcome sleep issues caused by breathing inconsistencies.


Today, we understand the importance of the intestinal microbiome better than ever, as it relates to health and wellbeing. Even so, the oral microbiome is often ignored, though it is closely linked with gut health. Every strain of bacteria in the gut originates in the mouth. In addition, after the gut, the oral microbiome has the most diverse community of microbes.    

Our mouths initially evolved to function in a way that grinds down meat and fibrous vegetables. Before our modern diet evolved, humans rarely consumed sugar, except in the form of fruit. This connection was first made by an early 20th century dentist, Weston A. Price. He studied primitive cultures with no access to dental care, or even a toothbrush and noticed little to no incidence of tooth decay, periodontal disease, or crowding. It only took one generation to begin these disease processes following the introduction of Western diet.

To help our patients avoid dental diseases, our clinical team provides nutritional guidance, as well as advice on maximizing your oral home care routine. Making lifestyle and dietary changes can virtually eliminate the need for invasive dental treatment.

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

Are you ready to experience a new kind of dentistry, one that has a positive impact on your whole-body health? Call Dr. Brian Herod today at 804-492-1185 to reserve your consultation, checkup, or second-opinion visit with Dr. Herod. We look forward to seeing you smile.
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