There have been two times in my life where I was told that I needed a root canal. The first time was when I told a conventional dentist my symptoms over the phone and the second time it was advice from a reluctant, but well meaning biological dentist.
The first time it happened, I started with a toothache very late at night that hurt so freakin’ bad I was ready to take myself to the hospital because I wanted nothing more in that moment than to have my tooth ripped out…..I rocked back in forth in bed like a crazy women in a straight jacket while my husband coached me to breathe myself back to sleep (thank god, b/c who knows what path I would have taken had I arrived in emergency that night). So by focusing on my breath I somehow fell asleep during the most physically painful experience that I have ever had in my life (and yes, this is after giving birth….I’d take birth over a toothache like that anyday).
So the next morning soon after getting up, I discovered that if I held cold water in my mouth, there was no pain. So I proceeded to try to work like that until I couldn’t take it any longer and finally called a dentist, who insisted that I come in Monday morning for a root canal.
Well, I kind of flipped out internally thinking it was too odd to be diagnosed over the phone and scheduled for surgery, when no one had even looked at my tooth! I figured that since I still had a day and a half ahead of me, that I better get to the drugstore and get some advil. Once the painkillers set in and I could think clearly again, I logically concluded that if I was experiencing pain and inflammation then clearly I must have an infection, so why not work to clear the infection like I would any other? So I simply gargled with water and unrefined sea salt, took colloidal silver and applied tea trea oil to the tooth and clove oil, each at least three times a day, while taking calcium flouride tissue salt ( a homeopathic mineral salt). By monday, I didn’t need to take the advil anymore and that is in fact the end of the story. The tooth has not given me one bit of grief since. That was 9 years ago.
Fast forward 5 years later, I am in a very stressful time in my life (we are moving AGAIN half way across the country), I am in the middle of a liver gall bladder cleanse and suddenly one of my top molars starts aching….I look and I see this blister forming on my gum above the tooth. Oh shit, here we go again!
And just to add to my stress, my son and my roomates daughter both have huge cavities and gum boils at the same time as I have mine! What the?
My roommate follows the conventional advice. Her daughters tooth gets pulled and she need some other thousand dollar contraption to keep her teeth from moving inward toward the new hole.
I drive an hour and half to the closest city at the time to see a biological dentist for myself and my son. I am just not a conventional route kind a gal. By this time I’ve already treated myself the exact same way that I did to recover my tooth the first time and the pain is gone already, but the blister still there. But without pain, I assume I must be on the mend. Yet I need to know what the heck is going on with us and I seek out the most holistic dentist I can find.
We get there and this dentist is absolutely amazing in terms of the personalized service and genuine care that she exudes..I am expecting to be in and out, but she’s so lovely she’s starts by focusing her energy on developing a relationship with us-to the point that I am worried that my car is gonna get towed! So after all the fun and games, she recommends that my son and I start swishing with H2O2, that he gets a filling and that I get myself on some antibiotics and be on my way to a good old fashioned root canal. She is sure that since I can’t feel the pain anymore, my tooth must be dead!
I guess even holistic dentists don’t believe that a tooth infection can heal….I dunno. I really don’t get why every other part of the body can heal, except for the teeth (even though they are a living matrix)…it just doesn’t make sense. But still, she’s a dentist… she has got to know something about teeth that I don’t and she carries a holistic worldview. If there is any dentist I would trust, after the whole experience in her office, it would be her…..but my gut said no.
It said no to the filling for Isaiah’s gaping cavity and no for antibiotics and no to a root canal (FYI- biological dentists in general, do not recommend root canals because they can harbour infections that can later cause other health problems down the road…..but she said since I was so young and healthy, she thought I could personally handle it…she didn’t want to see me with a missing tooth).
Now listen, it is not as though I went forward in complete confidence….her strong urgings to get me on antibiotics definately rattled me…I did my research and saw all the warnings about tooth infections…..so while I was nervous about the possibility that she could be right and that I could be walking around with a dead tooth with the potential at any minute to harbour a dangerous infection, I did what any person who equally feared death, as much as they had a strong distaste for the misuse of modern medicine would do…..I bought the antibiotics and I put them way up high on the back of the shelf in the bathroon, just in case… and then I carried on with my hippy ways.
In addition to all of the above supplements, I took a MANY prong approach (and I did this all for my son too) to finally heal the gum boils:
1) I took anti infection supplements ( oil of oregano, goldenseal and colloidal silver 1 Tbsp, 3 times per day for 10 days instead of antibiotics)
2) I took herbs and supplements to boost my immune system (echinacea, vit.c and probiotics)
3) I swished with sea salt, tea tree oil and H2O2
4) I took tooth builders (calcium/magnesium in homeopathic form, plus the 12 Tissue Salts with extra Calcium Flouride (this is the form of flouride that occurs in food naturally (ie: cabbage and cauliflower) as opposed to the sodium flouride the toxic waste industrial waste by product). Plus I took lots of silicea gel!
5) I took herbal and homeopathic blood cleansers.
6) We chewed Xylitol gum which suprisingly seemed to speed things a long (but be cautious as it can cause tummy aches if overdone).
7) I looked up the metaphysical cause of gum boils and tooth infections and it turned out to be in line with what was occuring for me at the time. I journalled all of it out of me.
What happened? Within 10 days, both of our gum boils started opening up and draining. Isaiah’s gum sealed up soon after, mine took about 3 months, maybe longer while I kept up with the supplements. The tooth has given me no trouble since, save that it would start acting up again…if I ate ice cream, I’d get a 8-12 hour toothache.
But this summer I dared once to have ice cream, and guess what? No toothache!
Think this kind of approach is for you?
One must be self responsible to do this….you can’t be half ass about these kinds of things, and you have to make sure you have all your bases covered….build up nutrition, increase immune system, fight infection and keep your blood clean….deal with your emotional stuff if that resonates…..as you can see it took quite a bit of self responsibility on my part and a committment to faithfully take the supplements consistently.
But I was highly motivated…hmm take supplements or suffer root canal….fear can sometimes be a great motivator! And yes, vanity too….who wants to lose a tooth?
It takes a lot of courage and committment to heal from something, when the world thinks you can’t. Address your health challenges from as many angles as you can. If it empowers you, buy the antibiotics and leave them on the shelf…..do whatever it takes to quell your anxiety so that you can relax and heal… thinking back, I am pretty sure that I did progressive relaxation, and I know that I took New Roots Herbal Chill Pills….it was a lot of stress for me to be handling both my own tooth challenge and my son’s at the same time….worry, worry, worry…..but in the end, my instincts outweighed my fears.
Since our family has upgraded from a whole foods vegetarian diet to a traditional foods diet over the past three years, our teeth have been good.
After my son’s tooth infection healed, even though he only had half a tooth left from his cavity….I kept him on both of the above mentioned tissue salts, and the tooth did not decay any further AND I watched it faithfully for about another 2 and half years. It fell out to reveal a healthy adult tooth underneath.
I only recommend this approach to parents who are seriously committed to making sure they are doing what needs to be done, to make sure that the tooth is not decaying further. One cannot be “sorta” doing self dentistry or self healing of any kind really.
For those interested in self dentistry, here are two sources that may reveal what you are looking for:
I am more than willing to answer any questions that you might have about this approach. Write your questions or comments below.
Update: November 12th. We just entered the winter season and a very busy time and my tooth started feeling “off” again (first time in just about over a year ….not painful, just this empty pulling sensitive feeling, like my tooth was a bit loose and a bit “long”, plus a sense of tension in my jaw. I started my usual regimen of silver and calcium magnesium. Since I was also getting shooting pains in my ears (that cleared up with homeopathic belladonna of course), but I started to wonder if there was a connection between my tooth and my ears, and if there was an infection starting. And then it occurred to me that we just entered Kidney season in Chinese Medicine. Kidney rules the teeth, adrenal glands and ears. So I had the thought to drink licorice tea for my adrenals and it took the sensation away in 5 minutes!! I went to bed, woke up fine….after a few hours felt it starting again, and then drank more tea and it went away officially. Throughout this week, when I have felt the sensation of that empty, deficient feeling in my jaw, I just drink the tea and feel good. Today, 5 days later I haven’t needed the tea at all and everything feels well and good.
So it seems that feeding and nourishing the adrenals is another excellent way to respond to tooth troubles…..and this weekend, I am getting some high vitamin butter/cod liver oil combination which has helped many heal their teeth from cavities and such (I am at the Weston A Price conference in Dallas, Texas)!
Check out these articles at The Healthy Home Economist: