“Some tortures are physical
And some are mental,
But the one that is both
Is dental.” ~ Ogden Nash ~
The Pearly Whites
Teeth…you are born without them and suffer through babyhood cutting them only to start losing them in childhood. Then you get a second set that gets brushed, flossed, rinsed, braced, pulled, straightened, knocked out, cleaned, whitened, filled, and capped until you’re fitted for partial or possibly full dentures. You can only HOPE to have all your own teeth when you hit the senior years! And what about your gums? Those, too, are cause for concern as you age.
You do all the prevention recommended for healthy teeth and gums so, when you get the news from the dentist that you have a cavity or that your gums are receding…gulp! The news can hit hard – in the mind, in the mouth, and even in the pocketbook.
Get Me Out of Here!
While there are some folks who are really OK with visiting the dentist, there’s likely more of us who fear the whole event from the checkup and cleaning to the fillings. Personally, I dread it – especially if more than a cleaning is required. From the anticipation before the visit to the needles, whirring tools, antiseptic smell, bright lights, and plastic-covered, leather chair during, it is stimulation overload for the senses.
Homeopathy can be useful through all of the ‘tooth’ stages of life – from teething (that’s another issue) to trauma to treatment before and after dental work. And homeopathy is brilliant for all the emotional fears and anticipation of fillings or gum surgery. Sorry…nothing to help with the pocketbook damage, though!
For today, the focus will simply be on the appointment and the top four remedies to have on hand.
Let’s start right from the beginning…the day before the appointment. For those of us who get that sick feeling in the gut simply anticipating the ordeal, there are a couple of homeopathic remedies to consider.
For the person or child whose fears seem to go right to the bladder or bowel, Gelsemium may be of great help. (You know…any kind of anticipation before a scary event and you have to pee all the time, and you start trembling just thinking about what could happen.) It’s the same kind of feeling you get just before writing an exam, speaking in public, or any other situation where the main feeling is dread…plain and simple.
(Gelsemium is one of those remedies you will want to have on hand for any kind of anticipated ordeal AND it is an exceptional flu remedy when the symptom picture matches.)
For the person or child who has a feeling of being invaded by hands in their mouth and instruments poking and prodding their teeth, and for those who get anxious with the protective dam keeping their mouth open. The teeth can be very sensitive to air blowing (think of the tool that dries the tooth) and some people have teeth that feel very tender when being filled, even when frozen. When being cleaned, the gums can bleed easily. This remedy is also useful for any child or adult who is very sensitive to any kind of harsh word or look from the dentist.
(Sometimes Staphysagria can also be used successfully for insect bites…that same ‘invaded’ feeling.)
Now for the day of and the day after the appointment…
This is such a good remedy for so many situations where there is bruising, inflammation, bleeding, and a fear or aversion to being touched – especially if the child or adult says, ‘I’m OK,’ but you know they are really hurting. Arnica can also be great for the pain that comes with the swelling and bruising.
And bonus! You already have Arnica remedy in your home kit!
(Note: never use Arnica topically on an open wound or sore…the skin won’t heal! Use Calendula instead and ONLY if there is no infection.)
This remedy is from the same flower family as Arnica, the daisy family. All the plants in the daisy family have an affinity for the blood and for wounds. Calendula is sometimes preferred over Arnica, especially when surgery has been involved (i.e. skin grafts on the gums). Taken in potency (like a 30CH in granule form), Calendula will help promote healthy new skin to form and prevent infection in the blood. Once any possibility of infection is eliminated, Calendula in an herbal tincture (often sold as Calendula TM for Mother Tincture) can be used as a mouthrinse to support continued growth of healthy skin tissue.
(Again, please note: Calendula is SO effective at promoting tissue growth that, if there is infection still in the tooth, new skin can possibly grow over the infection and create problems. The same is true for any open cuts, scrapes, or broken tissue. Let it bleed, make sure the wound is very clean, and only then should you use Calendula as a cream, ointment, or tincture to heal.)
For those of you who want more, here is a HANDOUT with some other homeopathic remedies that can be helpful with ‘dental drama.’ The author, Dr. Luc de Schepper, has a great website with some excellent articles.
Couldn’t resist the joke…
Q: Why did the Guru refuse Novocaine when he went to the dentist?
A: He wanted to transcend dental medication!
Ba da boom…