Dr Harshita Kulshrestha
Odontalgia or severe toothache is characterized by extreme pain or inflammation of the tooth and its surrounding areas. The toothache can be Mild or severe and may turn out to be debilitating if it is persistent.
By proper case taking and repertorization, patients presenting with odontalgia can be properly managed and cured with homoeopathic treatment.
It is high lightened in present scientific literature the possible role of homoeopathy in the management of various Dental disorders.
Nearby 2.44 billion population globally are suffering from complete tooth deterioration. In addition, according to the 4th National Oral Health Survey of Mainland China, the occurrence of primary caries in five-year-old is 71.9%, 5.9% higher than 10 years ago, and the occurrence of caries in permanent teeth in 12 years old is 38.5%, 9.6% higher than 10 years ago.
Toothache or odontalgia can be presented as various sensations like crushing, jerking, drawing, darting, tearing, pressing etc. The pain can spread to the rest of the head and give an uncomfortable ache and tingling sensation all day long. The excruciating pain that is experienced may be due to various causes.
Keywords: Toothache, odontalgia, Dental caries, Oral hygiene, Homoeopathy.
Causes of toothache:-
- Tooth decay- The presence of food debris that has not been cleaned out can stay on and cause cavities and persistent tooth pain. This condition can also make the teeth extra sensitive.
- Dental abscess/ an infection of the dental pulp/ Infection: Inflammation along with fever and bleeding can also point at infection. This can render the complete pulp tissue damaged. Also, the growth of abscess in such cases can cause acute tooth pain.
- Injury/ a cracked or damaged tooth: This condition could also point at chipped, broken or cracked teethdue to excessive teeth grinding or a fall or accident. It could also be caused due to sports injury. The dentist will usually take a dental X-ray to find the cause of the pain and to unravel the extent of the damage as well.
- Problems with braces.
- Extraction or filling of the teeth / losing a filling.
- Trauma to the jaw
- An erupting wisdom tooth which does not have enough room to fully come through.
- Grinding the teeth at night
- Gum disease and Gum infection.
- Sinus: A dull ache in the sinus area of the upper teeth usually point at sinusitis, which is a condition that emanates due to pain in the nerves of that area. This pain can also happen due to cold and cough as well as an allergic attack that affect the facial muscles due to excessive sneezing and watering of the eyes.
Types of toothache:-
Toothache can be classified into four common types. They are as follows:
- 1. Dull, Persistent Ache
This is the most common type of toothache pain. Though it can seem scary, the cause can be something as simple as having food stuck in your teeth. The following issues may be the source of this type of tooth pain:
- Something lodged between your teeth
- Something stuck in your gums
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- An abscessed tooth
Flossing and rinsing your mouth can remove food that has lodged itself in your teeth or gums. An abscessed tooth needs to be addressed immediately.
- Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
Dental sensitivity is common, but it can be a serious issue. Pay attention to what triggers the toothache and how long the pain lasts. If the pain is minor and fleeting, it is most likely due to worn down enamel.
If the pain is severe and lasts for more than thirty seconds, the cause is likely much more serious. Tooth decay, fractures, exposed roots, worn fillings, and gum disease can lead to more painful sensitivity.
- Sharp Pain
This type of toothache usually indicates that a filling is loose or a crown has fallen off. If you don’t have a filling or crown, the pain could be due to a fracture, decay, or wear. The enamel of a tooth may have cracked, or you may have a cavity.
- Severe, Throbbing Pain
It can be distracting or unbearable.
If the patient is experiencing other symptoms like discolored gums, bleeding gums, or a weird taste in your mouth, then they must consult the physician.
How to prevent toothache:-
The best way to prevent toothache is to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
- Have regular dental check-ups
- Brush your teeth twice a day for about 2 minutes with a toothpaste.
- Clean between your teeth using floss or an interdental brush every day to remove food, debris and plaque.
- Have your teeth cleaned by a dental professional every six months.
- Try rinsing your mouth with salt water (children should not try this)
- Use a pain-relieving gel or Clove-oil for your mouth.
- Eat soft foods, like yoghurt or scrambled eggs, and try to avoid chewing with the sore tooth.
- Do not eat foods very hot or very cold.
- Do not smoke – it can make some dental problems worse.
- Limit sugary snacks and drinks.
The Standard treatment-
In Allopathic prescription, It is adviced to take painkillers, like ibuprofen or paracetamol when the toothache is severe.
Depending upon the cause of tooth ache, dentists prescribe medications, supplements and treatments.
Rubrics that can be considered for a prescription (Dr.J.T. Kent’s Repertory)-
- Teeth; Abscess of roots
- Teeth; caries; decayed, hollow.
- Teeth; Pain, toothache in general.
- Teeth; Pain; Masticating from.
- Teeth; pain; touch.
- Teeth; pain; warmth, external.
- Teeth; sensitive, cold water to.
- Teeth; wisdom teeth; ailments frm eruption of.
- Hepar Sulph and Silicea: Root abscess responds positively, to both Hepar Sulph and Silicea. For fever accompanied by occasional chills due to severe toothache, Hepar Sulph is considered to be the perfect remedy and tends to significantly decrease the level of swelling and pain. On the other hand, if your face swells and there is an incidence of gum inflammation, Silicea must be used to numb the effects of root abscess.
- Plantago: Plantago is noted to be the most commonly prescribed homeopathic medicine for toothaches and for treating sensitivity. The pain extending to the ears from the teeth receives maximum relief due to the effects of Plantago. It might have to be taken internally or applied externally depending on the severity of the toothache and its accompanying conditions.
- Staphysagria: Toothache: During menses; in sound as well as decayed teeth; painful to touch of food or drink but not from biting or chewing: Worse drawing cold air into mouth; worse from cold drinks and after eating. Teeth turn black, show dark streaks through them; cannot be kept clean; crumble; decay on edges. Sensitivity is best-taken care of by homeopathic medicine Staphysagria and resolves the problem of worsening of toothache when any drink or food is consumed.
- Arnica: Tooth extraction and filling may often lead to the consequence of nerve-wracking pain in the gums and the affected area. For this, homeopathic medicine Arnica is prescribed to assuage the nerve pain and must be taken along with Hypericum, another homeopathy medicine, for best results.
- Merc Sol: Toothache : Pulsating, tearing, lacerating, shooting into face or ears; worse in damp weather or evening air, warmth of bed, from cold or warm things; better from rubbing the cheek. Crowns of teeth decay, roots remain. Problems of halitosis and excessive salivation that tend to occur simultaneously with toothaches can be solved by a dosage of homeopathic medicine Merc Sol.
- Hecla Lava: For jaw swells along with toothache, you must always opt for Hecla Lava. This homeopathic medicine for tooth pain, it effects is instantaneous and relieves both swelling and pain.
- Chamomilla: Chamomilla serves as the best remedial homeopathic medicine for easing heat sensitivity that is likely to worsen the existing toothache. Toothache if anything warm taken into the mouth; on entering warm room; in bed; from coffee; during menses or pregnancy.
- Coffea Cruda: Toothache: Intermittent, jerking, relieved by holding ice-water in the mouth, but returns when water becomes warm.
- Mezereum– Crowns intact, roots decay. Toothache: in carious teeth feel elongated, dull pain when biting on them and when touched with tongue, worse at night; better with mouth open and drawing in air. Roots decay.
- Bismuthum– Toothache : Better by holding cold water in mouth.
- Coca– To prevent caries of teeth.
- Fluoric acid-Rapid caries of teeth; fistula dentalis or lachrymalis; exostosis of bones of face (Hecla.).
- Kali carb.-Toothache only when eating: Throbbing; worse when touched by anything warm or cold.
- Magnesia carb.- Toothache during pregnacy; worse at night.
- Magnesia mur.-Toothache; Unbearable when food touches the teeth.
- Natrum sulph.- Toothache: Better by cold water, cool air (Coff.. Puls.).
- Pulsatilla– Toothache: relieved by holding cold water in the mouth (Bry., Coff.). worse from warm things and heat of room.
- Ratanhia-Terrible toothache during early months of pregnancy; tooth feels elongated; worse on lying, compelling to rise and walk about.
- Rhododendron-Toothache, every spring and fall during sharp east winds; worse from change of weather, thunderstorm, windy weather.
- Spigelia– Toothache from tobacco smoking; better only on lying down and while eating (Plantago); worse from cold air and water; — returns from thinking about it.
- Syphilinum– Teeth decay at edge of gum and break off; are cupped, edges serrated; dwarfed in size, converge at their tips.
- Theridion– Toothache; every shrill sound penetrates the teeth.
- Thuja– Teeth decay at the roots, crowns remain intact, sound;crumble, turn yellow.
- Trillium– Bleeding from cavity after extraction of a tooth.
Conclusion:- As odontalgia can be due to some destructive pathology in human body, a deep insight research has to be done, in order to determine the efficacy of Homoeopathic treatment (in the sphere, as preventive and curative medicine). Individualized Homoeopathic treatment has its scope. Awareness about dental health and oral hygiene should be thought, during Homoeopathic treatment for patients.
- Boericke W. New Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica With Repertory, New Delhi: Indian Books and Publishers, 2013.
- Kent JT. Lectures On Homoeopathic Materia Medica, New Delhi: B.Jain Publishers (P) Ltd, 2013.
- Allen H.C. Allen’s Keynotes Rearranged and Classified with Leading Remedies of the Materia Medica and Bowel Nosodes including REPERTORIAL INDEX; edition 2005, B.Jain publishers (P) LTD.
M.D. Scholar, Department of Homoeopathic Materia Medica,
Government Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Bhopal (M.P.).