Back to school usually means getting the kids to the dentist for a check up. Always a good day when you hear, “no cavities!” Whew! Happy kids, happy checkbook.
But every once in a while, the news is a little harsher. Maybe a filling is needed or a tooth has to be pulled. Whether you are a kid or an adult, visits to the dentist can often be very stressful, emotionally and physically. Recovery from local anesthesia, sore jaws, and the potential for nerve pain, with added anxiety or fears, can be slow. And first-time visits that require dental work can end up being traumatic for some.
Just last week, a reader wrote to ask what to do post-dental work. Her child had a tooth removed and the event left her quite shaken.
Here are some homeopathic suggestions and resources for visits to the dentists.
Before the Appointment
For many people, it is the anticipation of dental work that creates stress.
Aconite is great for sudden anxiety and anticipation of the visit to the dentist where all kinds of fears come up. Think of this remedy especially if you or your child wakes in the middle of the night, fearful of the appointment the next day. You can even give Aconite in the waiting room before you go in.
Gelsemium is also a remedy for anticipation of ‘ordeals.’ The symptom picture is one of weakness, jitteriness, needing to go pee frequently, and maybe even nervousness to the point of frequent diarrhea. There is a heaviness and feeling of dread with Gelsemium…which is why this is also a great remedy for public speakers who share the same symptom picture…weak in the knees, shaky, and a sense of dread.
Argentum nitricum is more excitable than Gelsemium and the thought of being ‘trapped with no way out’ is more the feeling for those needing Argentum nit.
After two or three doses (depending on the intensity of the fears), you will likely feel much more calm about the anticipated visit.
Post Dental Work
If dental work has left your child and/or you feeling shaky (sitting in a waiting room and hearing your child cry is a form of torture…hopefully you have a dentist who allows you to be near), take Aconite right away. A 30CH potency will work well, but a 200CH would be better if you have it, especially if the appointment has been quite traumatic emotionally. If you are using a 30CH, you can repeat a little more frequently. Sometimes you know that the remedy has helped the crisis when you hear a big sigh. That’s kind of like what happens after you have a really good cry…a big sigh and you just feel better.
The other remedy to start right away is Arnica, especially with swelling, pain, bruising, or inflammation. Again, a 30CH or 200CH is going to help speed healing, along with Aconite to help with the shock and trauma.
One other remedy that is very useful is Staphysagria. Two of the general symptoms of Staphysagria are “pain and nervousness after extraction of teeth. Sphincters lacerated or stretched.” Sphincters are simply body openings, of which the mouth is one.
True confession…this is the remedy I most need after dental work, especially if the dentist has had to use the mouth umbrella, stretching my mouth open for any amount of time. Staphysagria is also indicated post surgery…any surgery — especially if there has been an incision and/or IV. Both are part of this remedy picture.
Another confession…I hate the local anesthetic! Makes me feel weird for hours after…I get a big mixed-up and foggy feeling. So I take Phosphorous 30CH and the effects of the anesthetic are diminished greatly.
How will you know if you or your child needs Phosphorous? You might notice a craving for ice-cold water and, after taking a sip or two, the ice water heats up in the stomach and up it all comes. Or…you and or child might have a craving for ice cream, which is a well-known symptom of those needing Phosphorous. Even a sore throat that feels better for eating ice cream is a good symptom to indicate using Phosphorous.
If you or your child has shooting nerve pain in the face after dental work, then Hypericum is the go-to remedy. Again, a 30CH or a 200CH depending on the severity of the nerve pain.
As long as the symptoms are present, you can repeat the remedy. If the nerve pain persists, though, contact your homeopath and your dentist. Pain that becomes chronic will have to be addressed with a homeopathic consult and a visit to the dentist for evaluation.
Can you give more than one remedy?
Yes. In these kinds of acute situations you could. Start with the most intense symptoms first. If your child is emotionally shaky (and you, too), start the healing process with Aconite and/or Staphysagria. Then perhaps you will need to change to Arnica or Hypericum. Listen to the symptoms and choose your remedy accordingly. If you are not sure, ask your homeopath.
Anxiety Before – Aconite, Gelsemium, Argentum nitricum
Pain After – Arnica, Hypericum, Ledum, Staphysagria
Shock After -Aconite, Arnica, Staphysagria
Ill Effects from Anesthetic – Phosphorous
For a little bit of fun, check out the hippo getting his teeth and mouth brushed. He likes it!
Excellent and thorough article by homeopath Dana Ullman. He also covers amalgam fillings and dry rot, a possible complication of a pulled tooth.
Yours in health, healing, and happy teeth!
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