It should first be mentioned that homeopathic medicines do not replace good dental care but complement it. Also, the medicines may be effective in relieving dental pain, but it is often necessary to discover what the source of the pain is in order to cure the underlying problem. If pain is occurring due to an abscess, it is not enough simply to reduce the pain. The abscess must be treated.
One dental problem that homeopaths report treating effectively is fear, anxiety, and anticipation of the dental visit. Whether these emotions be “rational” or not, homeopaths have found three medicines to be most commonly effective. Acon (monkshood) is a common medicine given to patients, usually children, for their fear of dentists. These people become furious, restless and angry (children tend to stamp their feet and kick), and tend to express extreme sensitivity to touch. Gelsemium (yellow jasmine) is indicated in those people who experience trepidation, feeling of weakness (especially a weak feeling in the stomach), drowsiness, loss of memory, and diarrhea. Those who need Gelsemium tend to be hypokinetic, whereas those who need Argenicum nitricum (silver nitrate) tend to be hyperkinetic.
Argenticum nitricum is useful for patients who experience tremor and trembling of the whole body, who tend to be particularly talkative and hurried in their actions, and who have an inner nervousness which affects the bladder and intestines.
In order to determine the appropriate homeopathic medicine for toothaches, it is helpful to learn what the source of the problem is. If it is the result of a dental abscess, the common medicines are Belladonna (deadly nightshade), Mercurius (mercury), Hepar sulph (Hahnemann’s calcium sulphur), and Silicea (silica). Belladonna is indicated at the initial formative stages where there isn’t much swelling, though there is much throbbing and redness. Mercurius is helpful when the person is salivating excessively, has foul breath, and experiences a pulsating pain which tends to be worse at night or from exposure to anything extremely hot or cold. Hepar sulph is valuable in the later stages of abscess when pus has formed. The tooth affected is hypersensitive to touch and to cold, and the gums bleed easily. Homeopaths have reported that this medicine helps drain pus from the abscess. Silicea is indicated after the pus has discharged; at this stage it hastens the resolution of the abscess.
For pain and inflammation around wisdom teeth, homeopaths and dentists have found that Belladonna is often given for throbbing pains and Hepar sulph to promote expulsion of pus. Mercurius is helpful in treating the pulsating pains that extend to the ears, especially at night. People who need Mercurius also tend to have noticeably increased salivation. Locally, mouthwashes with tincture of Salvia (sage) are sometimes helpful.
Neuralgic toothaches often yield to Chamomilla when the person is in such pain they can’t take it any more. People who need Chamomilla tend to be particularly sensitive to warm food and drink (especially coffee), and their symptoms are worse at night. For those who are so frantic with pain that they cannot sleep, whose pains are also relieved by holding cold water or ice in the mouth, and who are not relieved by Chamomilla, Coffea is indicated. Plantago (plantain) is one of the more common medicines indicated when there is a toothache with radiating pains to the ears. Accompanying these pains generally are salivation, facial neuralgia, and headache. Homeopaths usually use the tincture or low potencies for the best results from this medicine. Other medicines that homeopaths consider when dental pain extends to the ears are Mercurius and Sulphur, the prescription of which is determined by the totality of the person’s symptoms (these medicines however are never given in tincture).
Hypericum (St. John’s wort–the herb) is the prominent medicine given to people for neuralgic pains after tooth extractions. Recent double-blind research has confirmed its effectiveness. This study showed that when Hypericum was given in alternation with Arnica (mountain daisy) to people after tooth extraction, they experienced significantly less dental pain as compared to those given a placebo.
Homeopaths have also reported success in treating hemorrhage after extraction, surgery, or accidental dental trauma. Some homeopaths give Arnica to prevent hemorrhage or give it in the very initial stages of bleeding. If bleeding persists and is bright red, Phosphorus is commonly effective. In the rare instances when Phosphorus doesn’t act rapidly, Ipecacuanha (ipecac) is often indicated. Lachesis (venom of the bushmaster snake) is valuable if the blood is dark. And if a person commonly has bleeding problems, it is recommended they receive constitutional homeopathic care.
If a puncture wound in the gum is incurred from surgery is causing pain, Ledum (marsh tea) can relieve the pain and help it heal. If infection has already set in, Pyrogen (artificial sepsin) is indicated. Calendula (marigolds) in its tincture form is also helpful in conjunction with either of these medicines.
The tincture of Calendula is not only useful in speeding the healing of punctures, it is also valuable in healing trauma from injuries to the oral cavity. It is of use for kids whose braces irritate their gums or mouth and for the elderly whose dentures do not fit well (ultimately getting the braces or dentures adjusted will also be necessary). Burns from ingesting extremely hot food or drinks or from aspirin burns are alleviated byCalendula tincture as well. If the tincture isn’t readily available, making a tea of marigolds is as effective.
It is certainly encouraging that more and more dentists are utilizing homeopathic medicines. For those whose dentists have not yet made the transition to homeopathy, lay people can learn to use the medicines themselves with impressive success. Homeopathy can help keep you smiling. These are all potential remedies but always consult with a Registered Homeopath to determine the correct remedy and potency.