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Dental Care and Homoeopathy

Abstract: The oral health is now recognized as equally important in relation to general health. The oral cavity is the ‘mirror’ of general health. Various factors like nutritional status, tobacco smoking, alcohol, hygiene, stress etc. are linked to a wide range of oral diseases forming the fundamental basis of the common risk factor approach (WHO 2000) to prevent the oral diseases. Among these oral hygiene is the most significant factor when it comes to prevention of oral diseases and preservation of oral health. Homoeopathy offers good scope in dental problems like pyorrhea, gingivitis, halitosis, toothache, nutritional deficiencies associated with teeth.
INTRODUCTION
Though the oral health of children living in industrialized countries has improved remarkably over the last two decades, many children, especially in the developing countries, continue to suffer from oral diseases such as caries, gingival infection & malocclusion. Many studies report the risk factors associated with the development of oral disease in children but none provides a formula to determine accurately at birth the infant who will succumb to the pathogens of oral disease later in life. So early identification & management of contributing factors plays a pivotal role not only in prevention of oral disease but also contributes for the development of optimal health in children. (1)
The achievements in the field of oral healthcare in the world are many, yet oral health remains one of the major health problems both in developed as well as developing countries. The impact of the oral health problems is not limited to only pain and suffering but goes to extend of impairment of the function and affection on the quality of life of people affected. Also there is association of the some dental health problems with systemic diseases like non-communicable diseases which are increasing globally including in India. These dental problems also share common risk factors with such noncommunicable diseases. (2)

What causes a toothache?

While tooth decay is often the primary cause of a toothache, it’s important for you to have a complete oral examination to determine the cause. Other causes of a toothache can include the following:

  • Dental caries.
  • Gum disease (gingivitis)
  • Grinding teeth (bruxism)
  • Tooth trauma
  • An abnormal bite
  • Tooth eruption (in babies and school-age children)(3)

TMJ/TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), sinus or ear infections, and tension in the facial muscles can cause discomfort that resembles a toothache, but often these health problems are accompanied by a headache.
Pain around the teeth and the jaws can be symptoms of heart disease such as angina. If your dentist suspects a medical illness could be the cause of your toothache, he or she may refer you to a physician.
If you have a toothache, you may have a cavity or advanced gum disease. The first sign of decay may be the pain you feel when you eat something sweet, very cold or very hot. If the pulp – the inside of the tooth that has tissue and nerves – has become irritated, this can cause pain in your tooth.

What symptoms accompany a toothache?

Because the symptoms of a toothache may resemble other medical conditions or dental problems, it can be difficult to diagnose the cause without a complete evaluation by your dentist. If you notice pus near the source of the pain, your tooth may have become abscessed, causing the surrounding bone to become infected. Or the pus could indicate gum disease, which is usually characterized by inflammation of the soft tissue, bleeding gums and abnormal loss of bone surrounding the teeth.
Red flag symptoms in dentistry, if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling around the tooth area
  • Pain when you bite
  • A foul-tasting discharge
  • Continuous lasting pain

 
Differential diagnoses
 

Parameter Dentin hypersensitivity Reversible pulpitis Irreversible pulpitis Pulp necrosis Apical periodontitis Periodontal abscess Pericoronitis Myofascial pain Maxillary sinusitis
Site Poorly localized Poorly localized Variable; localized or diffuse No pain Well localized Usually well localized Well localized, associated with partially impacted tooth Diffuse, often over many muscles Back teeth top jaw
Onset Gradual Variable Variable From pain of reversible pulpitis to no pain in days Gradual, typically follows weeks of thermal pain in tooth Sudden, no episode of thermal sensitivity Sudden Very slow; weeks to months Sudden
Character Sharp, quickly reversible Sharp, shooting Dull, continuous pain. Can also be sharp No pain Dull, continuous throbbing pain Dull, continuous throbbing pain Sharp, with continuous dull Dull, aching Dull, aching, occasional thermal sensitivity in back top teeth
Radiation Does not cross midline Does not cross midline Does not cross midline N/A Does not cross midline Little, well localized Moderate, into jaw/neck Extensive, neck/temple Moderate, into other facial sinus areas
Associated symptoms Patient may complain of receding gums and/or toothbrush abrasion cavities Can follow restorative dental work or trauma Follows period of pain that does not linger Follows period of spontaneous pain Tooth may feel raised in socket May follow report of something getting “stuck” in gum Tooth eruption (“cutting”) or impacted tooth Tension headaches, neck pain, periods of stress or episode of mouth open for long period Symptoms of URTI
Time pattern Hypersensitivity as long as stimulus is applied; often worse in cold weather Pain as long as stimulus is applied Lingering pain to hot or cold or spontaneous pain Absence of pain following days or weeks of intense, well localized pain Pain on biting following constant dull, aching pain development Dull ache with acute increase in pain when tooth is moved, minimal thermal sensitivity Constant dull ache without stimulus Spontaneous, worse with eating, chewing, or movement of jaw Spontaneous, worse when head is tipped forward
Exacerbating and relieving factors Exacerbating: thermal, particularly cold Exacerbating: thermal, sweet Simple analgesics have little effect Prolonged heat may elicit pain Same as irreversible pulpitis, or no response to cold, lingering pain to hot, pain with biting or lying down Tapping tooth makes worse, cleansing area may improve pain Cleansing area can improve pain Rest or ice makes pain better, movement and chewing make it worse Tilting head forward, jarring movements (jumping) make pain worse
Severity Less severe than pulpitis Severe, for short periods Variable; pain dissipates until periapical tissue affected Severe Severe Severe Mild to severe Mild to moderate Mild to severe
Effect on sleep None None usually Disrupts sleep None Disrupts sleep Variable, can disrupt sleep If moderate to severe, will disrupt Unusual Unusual

 
 Homoeopathic management
Toothache is not something that can be ignored, it won’t let you.The almost nerve-wrecking pain does not let a person stay still. The medical term for toothache is odontalgia, which refers to pain in teeth. The main reasons behind toothache are decayed teeth, abscess and gum infection. At times, there is pain after dental work like tooth extraction and filling the teeth. The pain may get worse while eating or from cold or hot temperature, and from having sweets. Homeopathic treatment for toothache can be very effective in providing complete relief for toothache by treating the underlying causes. The natural Homeopathic remedies for toothache, which have zero side effects, are of great help in relieving pain in the teeth.
Top Natural Homeopathic Remedies for Toothache
Plantago:
Homeopathic medicine Plantago is a natural cure for toothache. Plantago is of help in all those cases where the teeth ache and are sensitive. Teeth show caries and most persons requiring Homeopathic remedy Plantago have increased salivation in their mouth with toothache. Plantago also gives good results when there isa swelling of cheeks along with toothache. The pain radiating from teeth to ears is best controlled with Plantago. At times the nerve pain in teeth can spread to eyes. In such reflex pain in eyes from teeth, Plantago plays a wonderful role in controlling pain. In all these narrated situations, Plantago has to be taken internally. Natural Homeopathic medicine Plantago can also be used as an external application if the tooth that aches is hollow inside.
 Silicea:
Silicea is the best natural Homeopathic remedy for toothache resulting from abscess of root of teeth. Abscess refers to collection of pus at the root of teeth. Silicea is the ideal Homeopathic remedy for pain in teeth due to abscess formation. The gums in all cases are swollen. Cheeks may also get swollen. Most of the times the patients needing Homeopathic medicine Silicea complain of worsening of toothache in cold air and from taking cold water. Fever may accompany the toothache due to abscess.
Chamomilla:
Chamomilla is a very beneficial natural Homeopathic medicine  for toothache when the patient turns irritable, mad and wild with severe tooth pain. The pain in teeth is totally unbearable. Mental agitation with toothache calls for the use of Chamomilla. The patient seems oversensitive to pain. The intake of warm drinks usually makes the condition worse for patients needing Homeopathic medicine Chamomilla.
Staphysagria:
Natural Homeopathic medicine Staphysagria is a very effective cure when any food or drink excites the toothache just on touching the teeth. The toothache may appear either in decayed teeth or in sound teeth. Most of the times, the intake of cold drinks worsens the pain. Excessive saliva in mouth and bleeding from gums may also be noted in a few patients.
Merc Sol:
Merc Sol is the best natural Homeopathic medicine for toothache that is accompanied by two main features. The first is profuse saliva in mouth, and the second is the worst kind of offensive odour in mouth. If these two important symptoms are narrated by a patient along with toothache, Merc Sol should always be given. Merc Sol should be used when both hot and cold food worsen the pain in teeth. Most of the times the crown of teeth is decayed while the root is perfectly sound. In such cases also, Merc Sol is the ideal Homeopathic medicine. Bleeding from gums is most often noticed. The patient may complain of looseness of teeth. Increased thirst for water may also be present.
 Reference:

  1. S. Rajasekaran 1 , Dr. S. Aruna Sharma2 , Dr. R. Jayaprakash3 , Dr. S. S. Sharma4, IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences (IOSR-JDMS) e-ISSN: 2279-0853, p-ISSN: 2279-0861. Volume 13, Issue 3 Ver. I. (Mar. 2014), PP 33-36.
  2. N. Goryawala, A Survey on Incidence of Common Dental Problems among Patients Attending Dentistry OPD at a tertiary care hospital from central Gujarat, Int J Res Med. 2015; 4(2);81-85.
  3. JOSE A , JOSEPH M R, Prevalence of dental health problems among school going children in rural Kerala., Prevalence of common dental health problems, ISSN 0970 – 4388.
  4. Clarke Dr JH, A Clinical Repertory to the Dictionary of the Materia Medica, Health Sciences Press,England, 1979. ISBN 0-85032-061-5.
  5. Dewey Dr WA, Practical Homoeopathic Therapeutics, 2nd Edition, B Jain, New Delhi, 1991. Book   code B-2189.
  6. Knerr KB, Repertory of Hering’s Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica. 1997, B Jain, New    Delhi. ISBN 81-7021-241-3.

 
Authors

  • Dr Indrajeet P Shah,Reader, Dept of Medicine, Dr D.Y.Patil Homoeopathic Medical College&RC, Pimpri, Pune-18
  • Dr Asmita P.Alekar ,Reader &HOD, Dept of Surgery , Dr D.Y.Patil Homoeopathic Medical     College&RC, Pimpri, Pune-18
  • Dr Amit A Bhasme ,Assistant Prof, Dept of Medicine, Dr D.Y.Patil Homoeopathic Medical College&RC, Pimpri, Pune-18

 
 
 

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