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Ask the Herbalist - Dental Problems

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ANSWERS FROM CARLOS:
QUESTION
: My daughter is having an impacted wisdom tooth out.  The oral surgeon is recommending a topical antibiotic and Tylenol and ibuprofen. What could we do herbally instead?  Could spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia) be used topically on the  incision on the gum?  We use it on infected cuts with great result but didn't know if it could be used in small amounts in the mouth.  Any pain killers or natural anti-inflammatories that won't fight the  inflammation but just help the healing to take down inflammation?

ANSWER: Years of experience have taught me what my mother, who by the way was an oral surgeon, always said: in the case of teeth you need a dentist.

The only product I would even suggest is a TCM formula named Watermelon Frost which will help temporarily, besides that, I would suggest that following your dentist's suggestion would more than likely serve you best.

ANSWERS FROM KAREN MALLINGER
PAINFUL TOOTH
QUESTION:
Hi there,
About 6 months ago I had a tooth #3 upper right side crack and eventually break off.  When the dentist looked at it he said it needed a root canal because the tooth was broken off at the gum line and also there was decay down in the roots.  So he did his thing and did a root canal which I might say was very, very painful and then he said he needed to stop but said he had cleaned out all three of the root canals and he was going to put a cover over the tooth and wait until the next treatment.  Well, it has been three weeks and I had to go in once and have three more shots in the mouth in order to survive.  I was taking pain killers and also antibiotics.  I have been expecting the tooth to have no more pain, but I am wrong.  I am still having some aching and the tooth has not quieted down like they expected.   What do you recommend????  Do you think that it is a problem with the tooth and the root canal not working????  Or do you think that it is simply trying to calm down from the work that was done on the tooth???  I would appreciate any help as to what to take, or what to use as gargling or   what do you think is going on with this tooth?


ANSWER: I'm not a dentist and cannot even venture a guess. I'd get myself back to the dentist and tell him you want it fixed properly or you will speak with your insurance company about not paying the bill! In the meantime, you can try oil of clove, but it will only provide temporary relief.
 

QUESTION: I have been having extremely bad wisdom tooth pain & I am waiting to be seen by a specialist. Is there something you can recommend as a pain relief in the meantime? I am taking painkillers but I thought there may be another remedy. Please help as I am in agony.

ANSWER: The best instant pain relief I can offer is cloves. Yep. The kind you buy in the baking section of the grocery store. Take a whole clove and place it on the gum or tooth that's causing you pain and it will numb it for you temporarily. But you really do need to have them removed if your wisdom teeth are to the point of causing you that much pain.


QUESTION:
Is something available to help tighten loose teeth and help to heal gum problems?

ANSWER: Well, proper dental hygiene is always a move in the right direction. Flossing every day, brushing at least twice a day and avoiding sweets. Apart from that, if you have an infection, fresh plantain leaves chewed up and placed between the cheek and gum can be helpful. Whole cloves will provide temporary relief from the pain. If it's serious, please see a dentist.

QUESTION: Hi, I am suffering from gum disease, all my gums are swollen, they bleed and hurt, and now my teeth have started to erode as I am getting gaps between my teeth. please help I am only 21 years of age.

ANSWER: Good dental hygiene is the first place to start. You MUST avoid sugar. Brush and floss at least 2 times every day to remove trapped food particles. You can brush with baking soda which is natural and will leave your breath sweet smelling and also has a mild abrasive quality to it. Plantain leaves, chewed and then used as a poultice against the gum can help swelling and draw out infections. Whole cloves will help alleviate pain temporarily. But you only have one set of teeth. Once they're gone, that's it, so see a dentist immediately and let him help you.

INFECTED TOOTH
QUESTION:
I have an infection in my mouth . I have been taking garlic and echinacea.  It   goes away but then come back hurting more . I don't  have money to go to the dentist is there anything else I can take?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, the best you can do is alleviate the pain if it is indeed a tooth that is infected. But it is going to have to be dealt with or you'll lose it. If it is your mouth, there are some other things you can do. To alleviate the pain, get some essential oil of clove. Make sure it is pure. Putting this on the tooth or around it will deaden the nerves, but if it is infected, it will have to be filled or come out. There are low-cost clinics available. I would try to find someone who will work with you. If it is an infection in the mouth, get some Tea Tree Oil and mix one dropper full in a cup of water. Use this as a mouth wash/rinse 3 times a day until the infection disappears. Don't swallow it! Just swish it in your mouth paying particular attention to the area where you are experiencing pain and it should take care of it. Tea Tree oil is anti-fungal and anti-septic. I have also used hydrogen peroxide as a rinse for infections in the mouth with good results.


QUESTION:
 
17years ago, I had a fall as a child and broke off my front tooth to the nerve. A tooth was build and only to the past 2years have I had some discomfort.  I developed an abscess on my gum and it has grown large over night.  I went to the dentist a few months ago and they made an opening in the tooth drained the infection and gave me some antibiotics for 10days. The problem has come back, I need some temporary relief until my appointment with the Doctor in a few days.  What home remedies do you suggest? Salt
water, Green tea bags. Please let me know some remedies to get some relief, I have a lot of facial
swelling. Light pain

ANSWER: For quick relief of the pain, take a whole clove and bite down on it or put it between your cheek and gum where the tooth is abscessed. I would think your doctor would get you in immediately for something like this.

QUESTION:
Could you please tell me if there are any herbs available in Sweden I can
use for a raging toothache.

ANSWER:  So sorry to hear you're in pain. the best natural remedy for a toothache that I know of is cloves. If you take a whole clove and place it on your gums where the pain is, it will almost immediately relieve the pain. I'm sure you can get cloves in Sweden in the spices section of your grocery store. A bad, continuing toothache is the sign of something much more serious, though. So you should get to a dentist as soon as possible. The cloves will help in the meantime.


ANSWERS FROM DAVID BRILL
PAIN RELIEF
QUESTION:
  I was wondering if you could inform me on any single herbs/or combos that work well for temporary pain relief/help clean inside the mouth.  This ailment is due to bacteria and or plaque under the gum line

ANSWER:  I would use Echinacea and Spilanthes both went by the name toothache plant in the past and are great at helping with infections.  Drop the tincture directly on the affected area.


INFECTED ROOT CANAL
QUESTION:
  I have an infected root canal - the root canal was done in the mid-90's. My dentist has referred me to an endodontist (appt is June 18), and I am taking Doxycycline 100 mg for 8 days, taking the last one June 11.  I have a fissure (not sure about spelling) which is growing beside the infected tooth.
A friend who is a homeopath said that the fissure should be opened, and recommended Hepar sulph in a low potency to help with this.  Do you recommend this remedy, and is it o.k. to take while I am taking the antiobiotic? Should I take the antibiotic until June 18, when the endodonist will open the root canal and clean out....I have not had much pain, just slight periodically. The tooth beside it also has a root canal.
I would appreciate your advise.

ANSWER:  Homeopathic remedies either work or do nothing, I am not a expert in their use but here is some basic information on Hepar sulph.

What is Hepar sulph?

Hepar sulph is mainly used in infections as it helps to expel pus. It can be very useful in boils and spots. People needing this remedy are extremely oversensitive, chilly and pale.

What is Hepar sulph. made from?

Calcium sulphide

What are its Key uses?

Infections especially where there is formation of pus
Sour smelling discharges
Rattling coughs and sore throats
Croup
Abscesses
Ear pain

Other supplements that are indicated:

I would increase use of Zinc, Vitamin C and use Ecchinacea and Spilanthes, all of which help boost immune system and the last two have a common name of tooth ache plant with the indigenous peoples who used them traditionally.

INFECTION
QUESTION:
I've been having pain with the last tooth on my bottom left side (my wisdom tooth has been taken out).  I think there's a infection deep within the gum or my tooth might be cracked ( I can't tell and the dentist is not really sure if it is).  My question is what can i do to try to get rid of the infection.  I've tried so many things. can you please help

ANSWER: If it were me I would use Echinacea and Spilanthes, both herbs should be taken in the form of an alcohol extract, dropped directly onto the affected tooth,  then  swallow the.  For the dose use the dosages suggested on the bottle, up to a teaspoon every several hours for a couple days if it does not clear in 3-7 days, go to the Dentist or you Primary Care Physician.

PERIODONTAL DISEASE
QUESTION: 
  What herbs would help with periodontal disease?

ANSWER:  These herbs could be used.

Spilanthes, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Oregon Grape or Barberry to fight any infection and Ginkgo, Garlic and Vitamin E to increase circulation to the affected area.

I would use the alcohol extract of these herbs and drop it directly into the mouth, we also have a great mouthwash we use and carry in the store.

DENTAL PROBLEMS
QUESTION:   
   I was eating and accidentally cracked one of my teeth and I want to know if anything herbally or alternatively could help.

ANSWER: For the pain I would use Kava or Spilanthes, drop the alcohol extract directly on the tooth.

For building teeth or bone I would use Horsetail, Oat Straw, Alflalfa, Nettles some people throw in organic egg shells.  It can be found as a tea, tincture or vinegar.

If making your own tea, after heating the tea allow it to sit overnight in the refrigerator to allow the water to extract as many minerals as it can.

We also carry a great herbal tooth and gum tonic and/or toothpaste that has done wonders for those who use them.  They were designed by an herbal dentist.