Human teeth and gums are strong enough to withstand everyday use however they are also vulnerable in many ways. All it takes is one unseen infection and your body’s immune system can potentially end up working overtime to keep fighting it.
This can leech vital energy away from more important issues thus resulting in an unnecessary cycle that can tax your entire system without you even knowing it. According to a 2011 report by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) it showed that from 2005-2008, 23.7% of American adults remained untreated for various dental related issues.
There are many preventative measures you can implement beyond simply brushing and flossing. Incorporating supplemental therapy using vitamins, herbal formulas, acupuncture and homeopathy just may allow you to avoid future dental setbacks that may not only be painful but highly expensive.
Visiting the dentist can create physical and mental stress. A licensed acupuncturist may be able to alleviate such stress, anxiety, residual and post treatment pain. Acupuncture can release stuck energy and boost the immune system to create a higher quality, rapid healing experience. Working on related points throughout the body as well as at the disrupted site, the acupuncturist can strengthen facial weakness due to such things as elongated jaw opening or chronic teeth grinding. Acupuncture is beneficial in enhancing blood flow, assisting detoxification and rebalancing energy before, during or after a dental visit.
Study of Facial Acupuncture
A 1998 UK Sheffield University study of acupuncture being used for various facial pain due to dental treatments concluded that: “The effect of acupuncture in treating TMD [temporolmandibular dysfunction] and facial pain seems real and acupuncture could be a valuable alternative to orthodox treatment.”
Classical Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for Oral Health
Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) can often diagnose the underlying cause of common tooth related afflictions such as pulpitis (dental pulp inflammation); tooth decay (dental caries) and/or pericoronitis (surrounding tooth gingival inflammation). This is done by first observing the patient and then administering the appropriate remedies such as acupuncture. Below is an example of CCM descriptions and acupuncture point work for 3 basic toothaches:
- Intermittent Dull Pain with Loose Teeth – This is considered a Kidney Yin deficiency. The tongue presents as full, red bodied and the pulse is rapid and thready. Apply even stimulation to LI4 (web between the thumb and index) for the lower gums and also ST6 (on the prominent muscle when clenched) and ST7 (top jaw in line with the ear) for the upper gums. Add KI3 (just above the outside ankle in front of the Achilles).
- Intense Ache with Thirst, Foul Breath and Constipation – This can be Stomach Fire. The tongue presents with a yellow coat and the pulse is rapid and flooding. The same first three points above (LI4, ST6 & 7) should be manipulated however instead of even stimulation these three points should be reduced. Add in and also reduce the point ST44 (top of the foot in the web between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal toes).
- Acute Ache with Gum (gingival) Swelling Accompanied by Chills and Fever – This is considered the appearance of Wind-Fire. The tongue presents with a thin white coat and the pulse is rapid and superficial. The same three points (LI4, ST6 & 7) should be reduced. Add in and also reduce the point SJ2 (San Jiao – on the dorsum of the hand on the web between the 4th and 5th fingers). This point clears fire and dispels wind. SJ5 (dorsal aspect of the lower forearm just above the wrist) works mainly for exterior conditions and dispels wind and heat. Du14 (Du Vessel – lower posterior neck just below the C7 spinous process) clears fire and is a major point for wind attacks plus a meeting place of all Yang channels.
Periodontal Disease Inflammation
Periodontal disease a/k/a gingivitis creates puffy pockets of gum inflammation. This inflammation can sometimes act as weak entry points for bacterial, viral and other energy changes. In the journal ‘Circulation’ by the American Heart Association (AHA), a 2005 study revealed evidence of gum disease being linked to atherosclerosis. By comparing specific bacteria in the gums to the thickness of the carotid artery (measured by ultrasound) researchers at Columbia School Medical Center, NYC confirmed the oral bacteria heart disease link.
When gum inflammation is reduced, dental issues are addressed and oral health can be restored.
Reduce Gum Swelling: Eat Anti-Inflammatory, Replace Coffee with White Tea & Stevia
Anti-inflammatory foods can possibly reduce soft tissue edema, especially around joints and gums. If you have a history of dental weakness or are suffering from an acute bout of oral related symptoms, avoiding processed foods and eating fresh fruits and vegetables may result as anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits. In addition, white tea and stevia could be a good alternative to coffee’s negative effects on oral health, namely staining, dehydration, acidity and halitosis.
White Tea – White tea may be more beneficial than green tea. It is the least processed tea as the leaves are simply collected, air dried and packaged. Green tea is pan fried or steamed, dried and then packaged. This extra step could destroy some of the green tea antioxidants while white tea maintains its full potency offering more healing potential. For oral health, white tea will not stain teeth, the antioxidant capacity could reduce swelling (especially when ingested sublingually) and it is minimal enough in caffeine to quell withdrawal from coffee.
Stevia – This natural South American sweetener is from the leaf of the stevia plant used to sweeten beverages for Centuries. It can now be found in many supermarkets packaged just as conveniently as sugar. Stevia has the potential to benefit oral health in several ways. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and possible anti-cancer agent. Stevioside, stevia’s chemical compound was tested by Purdue University’s Dental Science Research Group. Their conclusion shows that stevia is compatible to fluoride and “significantly” retards plaque development which in turn could assist in preventing dental caries (cavities). Use it in beverages or you can add it to water and rinse your mouth with it for bacterial prevention. It can also act as a mild stomach ache aid.
There are many approaches to oral health. Working with acupuncture and naturopathic medicine could create a dental symmetry which may prevent oral challenges such as toothaches, mouth sores, dry mouth, halitosis, leaching of heavy metals from old metal amalgam fillings and more. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or click here to schedule an online appointment.
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