What is holistic dentistry? Holistic dentistry is a subset of holistic healthcare as a whole. Holistic healthcare is the examination of the patient as a whole, not just his or her oral care. We believe that the body is one system that, in order to function properly, needs attention as a whole. For example, issues with your gums may be causing issues controlling your diabetes. Holistic care focuses on the benefits of treating the whole body.

Taking good care of your mouth does more than help you maintain that beautiful bright and white smile. Having a healthy mouth also means you can enjoy better overall health in Westchester, CA. Several studies have shown that people with good oral hygiene tend to also have good overall health, because they can lower their risk of developing systemic disease and other health problems that are a result of an oral infection.
Dr. Boyajian is committed to helping you achieve optimal oral health and offers a full range of holistic dental care services.

What is Preventive Dental Care?

Preventive dental care is an important element in maintaining good oral health. It includes practices that support teeth and gums such as brushing and flossing. This is done in conjunction with maintaining a healthy diet, and seeing a dentist regularly for checkups and routine cleanings.

The Basics of Preventative Dental Care

The most obvious, and no doubt the most important element of preventative dental care, is brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing helps to remove plaque from the surfaces and in between the teeth.

Some basic recommendations that can easily be followed at home include:

  • Brush twice a day
  • Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles (biodegradable toothbrushes are a good choice)
  • Use a gentle, circular motion
  • Brush the tongue or use a tongue scraper
  • Replace toothbrush every three or four months (sooner if the bristles begin to wear)
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner (wide floss is best)
  • Rinse using a fluoride and alcohol-free mouth wash such as Xylitol based rinses

Use a Natural Mouthwash

Using a natural mouthwash in combination with routine brushing and flossing is the best way to reduce oral bacteria and maintain (or achieve) optimal oral health and hygiene. In addition to being gentle, the essential oils and herbal extracts found in many natural oral rinses are also valued for their therapeutic properties. Natural preservative-free oral rinses that contain specific essential oils can offer antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. This goes beyond what you might typically expect to find in commercial mouthwash products.

Healthy Diet – Healthy Teeth

Good nutrition combined with a well-balanced diet is one of the best defenses against tooth decay and periodontal disease. Choosing the right combination of vitamins, minerals and supplements can help to support teeth and gums and also promote a healthy immune system – which in turn helps to ward off disease and decay. Eating foods high in sugar and carbohydrates all too often leave behind harmful acids and bacteria that linger in the mouth and lead to tooth decay and serious gum issues. The biggest culprits include carbonated beverages, sugary fruit juices and starchy foods such as pasta, bread and cereal.

Maintaining a healthy diet to support healthy bones, gums and teeth is paramount for maintaining optimal oral health. The best diet is low in sugar and refined carbohydrates, high in fresh ‘alive’ foods such as vegetables and fruits, as well as nuts and legumes and contains a healthy dose of natural probiotic-rich foods such as kimchi, kombucha tea, and kefir. An alkaline rich diet sourced naturally from dark green vegetables, root vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, etc.) is nutrient dense and offers important teeth and bone supporting elements such as; beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C, E, and K; folate; calcium and numerous other minerals.

Your doctor may also provide patients with an oral flora analysis which helps to determine what combination of supplements, homeopathy and probiotics will help a patient rebalance oral flora. An oral flora analysis helps patients to resolve gastrointestinal issues such as candida albicans overgrowth which can affect both the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. This process helps to reduce oral inflammation and eliminate oral pathogens by rebalancing the gut bacteria to support overall healthfulness.

Exercise Prevents Periodontal Disease

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Dentistry reported that people who exercise regularly are at a reduced risk of periodontitis (gum disease).  The study, conducted by Case Western Reserve University, involved more than 12,000 people. It identified three key factors that resulted in better oral health – with an average of 40 percent reduction in gum problems.

They included:

  • Regular exercise
  • Maintaining optimal weight
  • Healthy Diet (Low in Sugars)

Researchers concluded that engaging in the recommended level of exercise is associated with lower incidents of periodontitis (especially among never and former smokers).

How often should I see my dentist?

Poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems. These problems include inflammation, dementia, bone loss, heart disease, arthritis, strokes and more. Routine checkups and teeth cleanings can lower a persons’ risk of developing many chronic illnesses while helping to ensure a healthy oral environment.

The general rule of thumb for healthy people with a low risk of developing cavities or gum disease is to see their dentist about once a year. People with a high risk of dental disease such as smokers or diabetics might need to visit more frequently. Sometimes as frequently as every three or four months, or as recommended by the dentist. To schedule an appointment with Dr. A.J. Boyajian call 310-670-6944 or to learn more visit our website.


Who’s Afraid of a Little Dentistry?


It turns out that quite a few people are afraid of the dentist. Up to 75 percent of adults report that they experience some form of dental anxiety. For the vast majority of dental anxiety sufferers, it’s the more invasive procedures – such as oral surgery – that really sets them off, while more routine procedures are much easier to deal with and provoke only a mild sense of anxiety.


Up to 10 percent of those same adults lean towards phobic on the fear scale, to the point that they avoid dental work until it’s too late. This, of course can lead to more severe dental issues resulting in the necessity of more time in the dentist’s chair, which then results in … more fear of the dentist. A vicious cycle for anyone trying to avoid the dentist. What’s the alternative for someone who experiences anxiety when it comes to dentistry? One answer is; sedation dentistry.


What is sedation dentistry?


Sedation dentistry describes the use of medication to induce a sense of relaxation in patients during dental procedures. Most patients choose the mildest form of sedative, making it possible for them to be awake yet still very relaxed (Conscious Sedation Dentistry). The opposite end of that spectrum is general anesthesia which induces complete unconsciousness. The full range of options runs from minimal – awake and relaxed, moderate – more deeply relaxed (may not remember procedure), deep – still aware but on the edge of consciousness and can be easily awoken, to deep sleep under general anesthesia. Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who:


  • Have a low pain tolerance or very sensitive teeth
  • Require extensive dental work
  • Have anxiety associated with needles


Patients who chose to remain fully to somewhat conscious during the procedure are undergoing what is generally called ‘Conscious Sedation’. Although patients are not completely unconscious while undergoing Conscious Sedation Dentistry, many patients are so relaxed that they may nap through the dental appointment and very few associate any unpleasant memory following the experience. Some added benefits of sedation dentistry may include;


  • A shorter treatment time
  • Less jaw pain following procedure (particularly in people who suffer from TMJ)
  • More dental work can be done in a session
  • Less back/neck/shoulder strain (sometimes associated with sitting in a dental chair)


For sedation dentistry, a prescription medication is administered which induces a drowsy, relaxed feeling. This medication can be administered orally or intravenously (IV), depending on the desired results. The use of any sedation medication – with the exception of nitrous oxide – requires the patient to have someone available to drive them to and from the dental office, due to the relaxing effects of the medication that tend to linger after the procedure.  The patient’s vital signs are monitored throughout any procedure involving sedation.


Most Common Sedatives Used in Dentistry


Inhaled minimal sedation (just takes the edge off). This form of sedation uses nitrous oxide (laughing gas) mixed with oxygen which is inhaled through a mask over the nose. The dental practitioner is able to control the amount of sedation, and the effects of the gas usually wears off quickly.


Oral sedation (unreliable, but acceptable). The level of sedation achieved using oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. This involves the ingestion of a pill called Halcion, (related to Valium). This pill is usually taken about an hour before the procedure resulting in a drowsy wakefulness. A slightly larger dose produces a moderate level of sedation – the level most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. It is challenging to tell how much medication is needed the first time someone takes oral sedation. This is because everyone metabolizes medications at different rates. Therefore, the chance of oversedation and undersedation are higher. However, this is still a safe method.


IV moderate sedation (preferred). This requires the use of a sedative applied intravenously. It works quite rapidly and is readily adjustable by the dentist making it possible to regulate the dosage to a patients’ comfort level easier than some other sedation medications. Also, an additional dose can be given in small increments to get you the exact amount of sedation that you require.


Deep sedation and general anesthesia (not as common). Using the above method of application, medications are administered that result in near-to-total unconsciousness during the procedure. This is the stuff you would be given for big cases like heart surgery. While under general anesthesia the patient cannot be easily awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off, or until they are reversed with medication.


Who Should Avoid Sedation Dentistry?


As with any medication there is a risk in taking anesthesia. When administered by an experienced dentist who has pre-screened the patient for any potential complication, sedation dentistry is quite safe. Some high risk groups should talk to a doctor before undergoing any type of anesthesia, including those who have a known heart condition, are obese or who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Other known risk factors include;


  • High blood pressure
  • Recent heart health incident
  • Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism
  • Angina pectoris
  • People taking antidepressants, beta blockers or cocaine




American Dental Association: “Guidelines for the Use of Sedation and Anesthesia by Dentists.”

Reviewed by Michael Friedman, DDS on November 29, 2015

© 2015 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kleinknecht RA, Thorndike RM, McGlynn FD, Harkavy J (January 1984). “Factor analysis of the dental fear survey with cross-validation”. J Am Dent Assoc 108 (1): 59–61. PMID 6582116.


Treating Gum Recession with Dr. Chao’s Pinhole Surgical Technique (TM)


The traditional way gum recession is treated is by performing gum grafts. Gum grafts are essentially stitching extra gum tissue (taken from elsewhere in the patient’s mouth) to the affected area. The body heals and returns the patient to normal, by sewing everything up, and waiting several months for it to merge. This method is effective and dentists are trained to treat more severe cases of gum recession. However, gum grafting is slow, invasive, riskier, and generally  an expensive process that interferes with the patient’s daily life.

Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST)

That’s why we are so excited about the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST). If you saw the video I previously shared, you can see an illustration of the two methods compared side-by-side. The PST is a quick, simple, low-maintenance procedure with healthy and natural-looking results. I imagine patients would watch it and think, “Why on earth have dentists not come up with this sooner?” I agree.

PST is a method by which a tool is inserted directly into the gum tissue and is used to gently, partially separate the tissue from the underlying facial bones. The tool is like a hooked needle, which sounds awful, but it means nothing gets sliced up. The only mark left behind is — you guessed it — a little pinhole that heals up in a matter of hours.

After the insertion and loosening of the gum tissue, the gums are then pushed downward (or upward, depending on where we’re working) around sterile teeth. When the gums are nice and cozy up against the teeth again, treatment is finished. Collagen is then inserted behind the gums to stabilize them and speed up the healing process.

Essentially, the Pinhole Technique doesn’t only physically manipulates the gums so that they once again surround and envelop the teeth. But it also stimulates the surrounding area so the gums continue to grow and flourish and stay put in their proper place. A clean, disease-free environment is important, however, and this technique is not appropriate while gum disease is present.

Healing takes place in a matter of days, even overnight for some cases. The patient may not have to take time off work or interrupt his or her busy life. The pain and medical risks are minimal, if any. It is truly amazing, and I’m excited to incorporate it into my practice. I hope many future patients will benefit from this new technique.

Dr. Boyajian, Los Angeles