“Doc, my tooth is killing me! I’ve been up all night from the pain!” What happens next in the dental chair is fairly straightforward. The severe pain seems to indicate an abscessing tooth. Usually an X-ray is taken, certain questions are asked, and perhaps certain tests are performed. Then a diagnosis is easily reached. Yet what happens when the X-ray, as well as all the other standard tests that would let the dentist reach a diagnosis, are negative?
Well, most often the dentist will attempt to alleviate the pain by performing a root canal. Sometimes this may help. But what happens when the pain is not alleviated? The dentist thinks the pain must be from an adjacent tooth and another root canal is done.
If the pain is still there? Now what?
As a “Whole-Body” or holistic dentist I often use alternative approaches to help my patients. In this scenario, when standard diagnostic tests fail at pinpointing the source of my patient’s pain; I find success with an alternative type of diagnostic testing called EAV (Electro-Acupuncture According to Voll). Using EAV it is possible to isolate if the pain the patient is experiencing is indeed a tooth problem. Once identified, EAV can determine if the nerve is too far-gone or if the situation is reversible. Here is where a homeopathic remedy can shine. A carefully chosen homeopathic remedy can often reverse the underlying complaint.
However, there are other dental complaints that are more nebulous. They aren’t about specific teeth and these types of complaints are much harder for a dentist who doesn’t practice whole-body dentistry to deal with. For instance, “my gums burn” or “I have a sensation like there is a hair on my tongue” or “I have a bubbly sensation in my gums.”
These types of patients go from doctor to doctor with no relief. Every test is negative – including general blood tests, MRI’s, vitamin and mineral levels, etc. I think it is imperative to view these symptoms as a part of something larger. It is part of all the other symptoms a patient is expressing and is just a reflection of the patients’ “dis-eased” state.
Below are a few cases to illustrate this.
Jill, age 32, came to see me a few years ago. Her chief complaint was a sensation in her mouth and gums that was “itchy, tingly” and her tongue felt numb with a coated feeling. Also her gums felt like they were separating from her teeth, like there was more room around the teeth. There was a pulsing sensation. Her dentist and her MD had no idea what it could be. Besides the mouth symptoms, which were really distressing her, Jill had extremely painful menses, PMS, poor sleep, no energy, lots of anxiety that sometimes led to panic attacks, and an inability concentrate. In general she was depressed, lethargic and was not enjoying life. I like to ask patients where they feel they are on a scale of 1 to 10. One equates with feeling so terrible they want to stay in bed all day and 10 equates with feeling “superific” – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Jill felt she was a 4-5. After careful consideration, I gave Jill a homeopathic remedy that I felt best covered her overall state. At her follow-up appointment four weeks later, Jill happily reported that her mouth symptoms were better, she was a little more relaxed and her last period was not quite as painful. Over the next few months, she continued to improve in all areas and reports that she is an “8” with the stresses of work and family being cited as keeping her from being a “10”.
Another illustrative case is that of Laura, age 46. She came to see me because she thought she had severe dental infections in the four back areas of her mouth where her wisdom teeth used to be. She had intermittent pain that would alternate from side to side. Also her gums alternated between itching and burning. In addition to her mouth problems, her other complaints were “severe digestive problems” with a lot of bloating and discomfort. After eating she sensed pain under her right shoulder blade, which she was told was due to gall bladder issues. She had pain in the lower right part of her abdomen that was a constant dull ache. Her sinuses felt blocked and she experienced an inward trembling like her body was plugged into an electrical outlet. She felt drowsy and was constantly fatigued. She stated that she was a “3” on a scale of 1-10. Even though Laura believed that she had severe dental infections, her dental examination and X-rays were negative. However, after a few months, thanks to homeopathy, Laura is now a “7” and continues to improve.
John came in for a hygiene appointment and mentioned that he was having pain in his gums on the tongue side of his upper right posterior teeth. There was some tenderness when pressing on this area. The gingiva appeared healthy, X-rays were negative and his teeth were fine. The gum pain would go from this area to the right side of his head and into his right eye. The pain would last from 1 to 2 days. This had been going on for several weeks. In addition, a few weeks prior to his hygiene appointment, he started experiencing palpitations and a pounding in his heart. A cardiac evaluation by his MD was negative. All symptoms were generally worse when lying down and with a deep breath. A homeopathic remedy was given. John called three weeks later to report that everything was back to normal.
I hope these cases illustrate how important it is to view symptoms as part of something larger. They are “nature’s voice” calling out to us. Even small, seemingly inconsequential annoyances are trying to tell us something. If ignored, the quiet voice may turn into a shout.
© 2016, Mark A. Breiner, DDS.
The information presented is for educational purposes only. You should consult a qualified health practitioner for diagnosis and treatment.