Dental Homeopathy to Keep You Smiling

Portraits of our country's first president, George Washington, rarely show him smiling, and for a good reason: His false teeth were a mixture of gold, ivory, lead, and human and animal teeth. Though they were well sculpted, this set of teeth did not have the same polish as nature's original artistry.

Dentistry has come a long way since the time of George Washington, but it still has a long way to go to deal with the degree of dental problems affecting people today. While homeopathic remedies can address a wide variety of those problems, here's an introduction to using them for two of the most common dental ailments: teething and toothache.

Infants rapidly respond to the correct homeopathic medicine for teething. If you do not observe results within 10 minutes, try a different remedy-however, it is generally recommended to avoid giving three different remedies within a 24-hour period.

The first homeopathic medicine you should consider is CHAMOMILLA (chamomile): Choose this medicine unless another remedy is obviously indicated. Infants who need Chamomilla are extremely irritable and impatient during their teething episode, and the only temporary relief they get is from being carried or rocked. They demand something and then refuse it when it's offered. One cheek is often hot and red (the side of the inflamed gum), while the other cheek is cold and pale. If Chamomilla fails, it's usually best to try Belladonna next.

BELLADONNA (deadly nightshade): Babies who need this homeopathic remedy experience great pain that makes them restless and may lead them to kick, scream, or bite. They have very red gums and lips, and they may experience some twitching.

CALCAREA CARB (calcium carbonate): Infants requiring this remedy begin teething late (after 12 months). A baby's head perspires during teething, and he tends to grind his teeth at night. Infants usually put their fingers in their mouths to try to relieve the pain. Their sweat, stools, and vomit will all have a sour smell.

COFFEA (coffee): When teething infants are physically and/or mentally hyperactive and cannot or do not sleep much, consider this homeopathic medicine.

It should first be emphasized that homeopathic medicines do not replace good dental care but rather complement it. These medicines may be effective in relieving dental pain, but it is often necessary to discover what the source of the pain is in order to cure the underlying problem. If pain occurs due to an abscess, it is not enough simply to reduce the pain. Surgery may be necessary.

The following homeopathic medicines can be helpful in cases of toothache:

BELLADONNA (deadly nightshade): When there is rapid onset of throbbing pain that is made better by warmth, this homeopathic medicine is valuable. The gums are red and swollen, and the face is flushed and hot. People who need this remedy may moan, especially when exposed to the air. They tend to have dilated pu-pils.

ARNICA (mountain daisy): This homeopathic medicine is useful when taken pre- and postoperatively for tooth extraction or any dental surgery.

HYPERICUM (St. John's wort): Use this homeopathic medicine for shooting pains in and around the teeth, especially from an injury. It is also good for injuries to the front teeth.

RUTA (rue): This medicine is a common remedy for dry socket, which is the most common complication from a tooth extraction.

HEPAR SULPHUR (Hahnemann's calcium sulphide): Consider this medicine for people with tooth pain resulting from the slightest touch and from exposure to cold water, food, or air. This remedy is sometimes helpful for people with abscesses, and it may prevent the need for surgery. The pain tends to make them extremely irritable.

Dose: Give the 6th or 30th potency as often as every other hour, but stop once pain is diminished (or within 36 hours).

Everybody's Guide to Homeopathic Medicines by Stephen Cummings, MD, and Dana Ullman, MPH, ($17.95, Tarcher, 2004) Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants by Dana Ullman, MPH ($13.95, Tarcher, 1992)

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The law of similars is the fundamental basis of homeopathy-like is used to treat like. Homeopathic medicine operates on the principle that the best remedy for illness is a substance that produces similar symptoms of that same illness in a healthy person.

Proponents of homeopathic remedies are quick to point out that homeopathic doctors take a holistic approach to medicine. You will be asked questions about your lifestyle, diet, sleeping habits, exercise habits, personality and medical history, all in an effort to help you get your body in the best health possible using natural stimulants and remedies.

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Homeopathic remedies are custom designed to treat the individual, an illness and the symptoms of that illness. The thought is that small quantities of ingredients that would cause symptoms of a disease in larger quantities will alleviate symptoms.

Homeopathy is a type of alternative medicine in which small amounts of a substance are administered in diluted form. Samuel Hahnemann is credited with creating homeopathy.|&&|
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