Biological Based Therapies

Biologically based therapies include special diets, herbal and other dietary supplements, which include herbs and other plant materials with potential health benefits As well as nutritionals, which are dietary supplements, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and metabolites. Dietary supplements of primary interest to dental professionals fall mainly into the categories of anticoagulants, anti-inflammatory agents, antimicrobial agents, immune stimulants, and metabolic stimulants. Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents have a direct application to oral health, whereas anticoagulants and stimulants that increase immune response or metabolic rate may interfere with dental treatment. It is important to know which medications, botanicals, or nutritional supplements, or combination of these, have potential cumulative effects. For instance, the primary anticoagulant dietary supplements that individuals may be taking are Gingko biliba, garlic, ginger, vitamin E in high doses, and omega-3 fatty acids such as alpha-linoleic acid, eicosapentaneoic acid, and docosahexaneoic acid. These all have the potential to enhance the effects of prescribed anticoagulants. Also, metabolic stimulants, such as ephedra, guarana, and mate, may enhance the effects of epinephrine that is used routinely in dentistry.