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Pain in the tooth or the region surrounding teeth or jaw is usually referred to as toothache. It is generally caused by tooth decay, tooth fracture, improper filling of a tooth or inflammation in gums. Tooth pain can be sharp or dull and constant or intermittent and it worsens at night, especially while lying down. Consuming cold and hot foods or drinks may also worsen the pain

Toothache usually occurs as a result of inflammation of the pulp, which forms the inner layer of teeth. Dental caries is the most common cause of toothache. Periodontitis and gingivitis can also lead to pain in teeth and jaw.

Consult your dentist if you suffer from toothache for more than 2 days or have fever or swelling in the jaw. If left untreated such toothache may get worse, especially if the pulp gets infected and results in pus formation. A dentist will examine your mouth thoroughly and may take an x-ray to confirm the cause of toothache. Caries is usually treated by removing the decayed part of teeth and replacing it with a filling. However, if the decay is beyond repair, removal of teeth may be advised.

Homeopathic treatment is mainly useful as an adjunct in the field of dentistry for conditions ranging from mild pain as a result of a dental cavity to chronic conditions such as dental anxiety and recurrent dental caries. It can be used as a first aid painkiller for toothache before visiting the dentist. 

  1. Homeopathic medicines for toothache
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for toothache patients as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for toothache
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for toothache
  5. Takeaway
  6. Doctors for Homeopathic medicine, treatment and remedies for Toothache

Homeopathic medicines are prescribed in low, medium or high potency based on the signs and symptoms. Potency is also determined on the basis of dental problem, i.e. whether it is acute or chronic. Acute symptoms are treated with low potency medicines because of their short duration of action and chronic conditions are treated with higher potency medicines due to their longer duration of action. Here are a few of the homeopathic medicines that are used for treating toothache:

  • Atropa Belladonna
    Common name: Belladonna, Deadly nightshade
    Symptoms: Belladonna is an excellent remedy for toothache since it has a very soothing effect on nerves. Although it is a poisonous plant, belladonna is diluted to non-toxic doses when used as homeopathic medicine. Patients who benefit from this remedy tend to experience the following symptoms:
    • Dry mouth
    • Throbbing pain, especially if it is on the right side of mouth
    • Boil on gums
    • Redness of tongue
    • Stammering
    • Swollen tongue
    • Teeth grinding
    • Restlessness and moodiness
    • Personality shift
    • Sensitivity to stimuli – very angry
    • Symptoms worsen at 3 pm, at midnight, while lying down, with sudden movements, and on exposure to light, touch and noise
    • Symptoms improve by being still and lying propped up 

A comparative study indicated that belladonna is as effective as ibuprofen in controlling orthodontic pain and this homeopathic remedy does not have any side effects on the oral mucosa.

  • Matricaria Chamomilla
    Common name: Chamomilla, German chamomile
    Symptoms: Chamomilla is most commonly used for relieving mental and emotional symptoms. However, it is also an excellent medicine for treating pain during teething in babies and for severe unbearable tooth pain in children, which worsens on having warm drinks or food. This remedy reverses the effect of local anaesthesia after dental treatment. Patients who benefit from this remedy have some of the following symptoms:
    • Difficulty chewing, especially in children
    • Pain appears at nights and after drinking coffee
    • Jerking of facial muscles and tongue
    • Symptoms worsen with heat, open air, anger, wind and at night
    • Symptoms improve in  warm wet weather

It is available in the form of a topical cream, ointment, lotion, powder and oil as well. Coffee and narcotics lead to increased sensitivity to chamomilla.

  • Hypericum Perforatum
    Common name: Perforate St John’s wort
    Symptoms: Hypericum Perforatum provides great relief from pain due to nerve injuries such as that from a root canal therapy. It is mostly used to treat a sharp-shooting type of pain, and for preventing lockjaw. This remedy reduces pain after operations and inflammation and pain due to abscesses. It is also used to relieve anxiety and depression. Patients who respond well to this remedy experience the following symptoms:
    • Facial neuralgia with pulling and tearing type of toothache along with sadness
    • Sensation of being lifted high in the air or anxiety about falling from heights
    • Nausea
    • Feeling of a mass in stomach
    • Pain in the nape of the neck
    • Symptoms worsen in cold, dampness, foggy weather, closed room, with touch and the least weather exposure
    • Symptoms improve on bending head backwards
  • Plantago Majus Tincture
    Common name: Plantain, white man’s footprint, fleawort
    Symptoms: Plantain has considerable use in the treatment of toothache, especially for pain which shifts between the teeth and ear. It is also known to cause aversion to tobacco. Patients who benefit from this remedy experience the following symptoms:
    • Toothache with an increased sensitivity of teeth 
    • Swelling of cheeks
    • Increased salivation
    • Feeling that the teeth have become too long
    • Symptoms aggravated with cold air and touch and reduced while eating
    • Periodic painful episodes affecting the face along with flowing of tears which worsen from 7 am to 2 pm
  • Kreosotum
    Common name: Beechwood kreosote
    Symptoms: It is highly used for treating profuse bleeding from small wounds, pulsations throughout the body and excoriating and offensive discharge. Other symptoms that can be relieved by this remedy are: 
    • Severe pain during dentition with bleeding lips
    • Inability to sleep in children
    • Rapid tooth decay with spongy and bleeding gums
    • Dark, brittle teeth
    • Putrid odour and bitter taste in mouth
    • Symptoms get worse in open air, on lying down, during cold, with rest and in females after periods
    • Symptoms get better in warm environment, with warm food and movement 
  • Silicea Terra
    Common name: Silicea, silica, pure flint, rock crystal
    Symptoms: It is the medicine of choice in cases where inadequate absorption of nutrients leads to malnutrition. Furthermore, it is prescribed in neurasthenia characterised by exhaustion of the nervous system due to increased response to stimuli. Silica is mainly used in patients having the following symptoms:
    • Tooth abscesses with toothache
    • Toothaches due to cold
    • Sensation of hairy tongue
    • Boils over gums
    • Abscess at the root of a tooth
    • Sensitivity to cold water
    • Symptoms worsen during a new moon, in the morning, during periods, while lying on the left side and with exposure to cold
    • Symptoms improve in warm conditions, summer, wet or humid climate and by covering the head 
  • Hekla Lava
    Common name: Lava scoric from Mt. Hecla
    Symptoms: It has a significant role in treating problems related to jaws. Other symptoms that are relieved by this remedy are:
    • Toothache with a swollen jaw
    • Enlarged maxillary bone
    • Facial neuralgia as a result of decayed teeth 
    • Pain after extraction of a tooth
    • Abscess after extraction of a tooth
    • Difficult dentition in children
  • Calcarea Fluorata
    Common name: Calcarea fluorica, fluor spar
    Symptoms: Calcarea fluorica slows down the progression of caries by preventing the enamel from flaking off. It also strengthens the enamel. The following symptoms are relieved by this remedy:
    • Swelling on cheek and jaw along with toothache
    • Loose teeth
    • Teeth sensitive to touch
    • Indurated and cracked tongue
    • Gum boil with hard bony swelling on the jaw
    • Symptoms aggravate on rest and with changing the weather but improve with heat and warm applications 
  • Staphysagria
    Common name: Stavesacre
    Symptoms: Stavesacre acts well on teeth and periosteum (a layer covering the surface of bones). It is frequently used to treat toothache occurring due to plaque formation and unhealthy retracted gums. Individuals who benefit from this remedy usually have resentment towards most people and easily feel humiliated. The following symptoms respond well to this remedy:
    • Numbness and pain after tooth extraction
    • Increased pain in teeth during periods
    • Darkening and crumbling of teeth
    • Spongy gums and increased salivation
    • Increased emotional and physical sensitivity
    • Intolerance to tobacco smoke
    • Symptoms become worse with anger, mortification, fluid loss and tobacco use, but improve after having breakfast, with warmth and rest at night
  • Arnica Montana
    Common name: Leopard’s bane
    Symptoms: This remedy works well in people who have an aversion to touch. It is mostly used in injuries post trauma, such as post-surgical bleeding or bleeding after extraction. The following symptoms are relieved by this remedy: 
    • Sore gums after extraction of teeth
    • Bitter taste
    • Dry mouth, with increased thirst
    • Pain that occurs after filling a cavity
    • Symptoms worsen with slight touch, rest, motion, wine and in damp cold weather, but become better on lying down in a head low position 

Homeopathic system of medicine is based on the application of the smallest doses for treatment. The action of homeopathic remedies can easily get affected by medicinal foods and strong fragrances. Hence, anything in the diet that has medicinal properties should be eliminated to prevent exaggeration or suppression of the action of these medicines.

Do’s

  • In chronic cases, being physically active like regular exercises and taking appropriate non-medicinal foods can help with faster healing.
  • In acute cases, patients express a desire for certain foods and drinks. Gratifying these desires gives temporary relief and may only be a slight obstacle in the radical removal of disease. Hence, it is advised to fulfil these desires without any restrictions.

Don’ts

  • Do not use homeopathic preparations as a substitute to the conventional way of immunisation.
  • Avoid beverages like herbal tea, coffee and liquors or beer with medicinal spices.
  • Avoid spicy dishes, soups and sauces made with ingredients that have medicinal qualities such as onions, celery, meat and old cheese.
  • Homeopathic medicines must not be stored near perfumes, camphor, ether or other volatile products, as they neutralise the effect of these medicines.
  • Sedentary lifestyle and uncleanliness must be avoided.
  • Avoid staying in damp rooms or marshy districts for long.

Homeopathic treatment for toothache is an essential aid to dentistry. The World Health Organisation recognises homeopathy as one of the leading systems of medicine. A research study with 726 patients was conducted by 14 homeopathic dentists over a period of 6 months. Follow-up was possible for 496 cases, of which positive outcome was seen in 90.1%, negative outcomes in 1.8%, no change in 7.9% and no record for 0.2% of the study group. Dental problems like pericoronitis, reversible pulpitis, sensitive cementum and toothache with caries showed strong positive outcomes with homeopathic medicines. Thus, homeopathic treatment is considered very useful in managing symptoms related to the face and mouth. As more dentists realise the effectiveness of complementary treatment, homeopathy is increasingly being used to improve oral health and overall well-being of patients.

Homeopathy is a very safe and natural way of treating dental pain in all age groups. It is also used for improving the mental health of patients before and after dental treatment. Thus making dental treatments more comfortable. While toothache generally occurs due to inflammation of pulp, cracks in the outer layer of the tooth, exposed roots of teeth and viral infections like shingles can also lead to toothache. Homeopathy can be extremely helpful in such cases too.

Homeopathic treatment detoxifies the body, improves metabolism, stimulates immune system and strengthens blood circulation and connective tissue. This lets the body heal the condition itself. It does not replace the job of a dentist but helps a patient to be less apprehensive and shortens the duration of recovery.

There are no documented side effects of homeopathic treatment. Homeopathic remedies are considered to be perfectly safe as they are made from minute amounts of the active ingredients. It is not a replacement for the conventional line of treatment, but is considered as a complementary treatment modality. Homeopathic medicines are safe to use in pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and even in young babies, when taken under the guidance of a qualified homeopathic doctor. However, certain remedies are contraindicated in some health conditions. This includes: 

  • Chamomilla
  • Plantain:
    • It causes excessive bleeding in patients on blood thinners.
    • It affects the absorption of medicines like lithium and digoxin from the stomach.
    • It increases acidity and hence is avoided in patients with severe acid reflux.
    • Pregnant and lactating women may need a doctor’s consultation for its use.
  • Silicea:
    • It is not indicated in patients with dental implants as it is believed that silicea causes the foreign body to be expelled.

Toothache is a distressing symptom, which may occur due to an infection or injury to teeth. Gum inflammation and periodontitis are other causes of toothache. Homeopathy is an upcoming treatment option in dental medicine for the management of problems related to the face and mouth. Homeopathic medicines can be taken concurrently with conventional treatment and they have negligible side effects. These medicines are safe both for children and adults. Nevertheless, it is very important to bear in mind that self-medication with homeopathy cannot replace the treatment by a dentist.

Dr. Deepti Papanai

Dr. Deepti Papanai

होमियोपैथ

Dr. Minalben Mathurbhai Patel

Dr. Minalben Mathurbhai Patel

होमियोपैथ

Dr. Vinod Pawar

Dr. Vinod Pawar

होमियोपैथ

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References

  1. NHS Inform. Toothache. National health information service, Scotland. [internet].
  2. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Toothache
  3. Mathie RT, Farrer S. Outcomes from homeopathic prescribing in dental practice: a prospective, research-targeted, pilot study.. Homeopathy. 2007 Apr;96(2):74-81. PMID: 17437932
  4. Ujwala Rohan Newadkar et al. Homeopathy in Dentistry: Is There a Role?. Pharmacognosy Res. 2016 Jul-Sep; 8(3): 217. PMID: 27365994
  5. Chaitanya Dev Jain. Ethical Use of Homeopathy and How Can We Use It in Dentistry. Iran J Public Health. 2013 Dec; 42(12): 1476–1477. PMID: 26060651
  6. British Homeopathic Association. Dental homeopathy (2004). London; [Internet]
  7. National Center for Homeopathy. Toothaches. Mount Laurel; [Internet]
  8. University of Michigan Health System. Toothache and Gum Problems. Toothache and Gum Problems.
  9. British Homeopathic Association. Belladonna. London; [Internet]
  10. The School of Homeopathy. Get Well Soon. [Internet]
  11. Harshal Ashok Patil et al. Comparison of the efficacy of ibuprofen and belladonna in the control of orthodontic separator pain. Year : 2018 Volume : 12 Issue : 1 Page : 29-34
  12. William Boericke. Homoeopathic Materia Medica. Kessinger Publishing: Médi-T 1999, Volume 1
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