I’m really frustrated with my holistic dentist. I specifically chose him because I wanted to take care of my teeth in a healthy and natural way. I’ve had my share of both dental and general health problems and it’s really important to me that I consider my overall health when incorporating anything into my body now. I can’t even begin to express the changes I’ve had in my overall health since I started eating and living cleaner.
In any case, despite these changes, I did wind up with a toothache about two weeks ago. I went in thinking he would tell me which herbs or essential oils to use to cure it. To my surprise, he pushed a prescription antibiotic on me and told me to come back for a root canal!
There has got to be a better way. I did go ahead and take the antibiotics, but I’ve also been using a mix of clove, peppermint, and tea tree oil to help clear up any residual infection. Are there additional steps I need to take?
Yes, there’s one more step you need to take. Get a root canal. Your holistic dentist was looking out for your best interest.
Your Holistic Dentist was Right
When a tooth is healthy and vital, it has blood flow to it. When that flow gets cut off, either due to injury or infection, anything remaining in the tooth becomes stagnant. In other words, it becomes the ideal place for bacteria to thrive and multiply. The only way to correct this is to remove anything that remains in the center of the tooth where the pulp usually resides and replace it with something that cannot allow the tooth to get reinfected from the inside out. During a root canal, dentists clean out the space and then give it an antimicrobial rinse before filling it with gutta-percha, a latex material derived from trees.
Not even the antibiotics will be enough because once an infection has taken hold, the tooth dies and blood no longer flows there. This renders the antibiotic useless for the tooth. It’s only there to keep the infection for spreading further. Unless the infected pulp is removed, the infection will flare back up.
The Alternative is an Extraction
The problem with using oils and other methods to kill infections is that they don’t penetrate into the center of the tooth, and that’s where your infection is “hiding.” The tooth will continue to cause infections until something is done about what’s happening inside it. The time-tested method is to get the root canal, which is usually followed by adding a crown to the top of the tooth for added strength, as non-vital teeth become brittle and can break. However, if you don’t want to go with the root canal, the only other viable solution here is to remove the tooth. Right now, you’re temporarily in the clear because you’ve taken antibiotics, but the tooth will flare up again at some point.
Bear in mind, extractions have follow-up considerations worth thinking about before you decide to have a tooth removed. You’ll want to find a tooth replacement, such as a dental implant, bridge, or partial denture, to keep your smile full and be able to continue eating a healthy diet. And, if you’re worried about facial collapse (looking prematurely old due to bone loss around the empty space where your tooth was), you’ll want to go with the dental implant. The root canal is looking better already, isn’t it?
This blog is sponsored by Huntsville Dentist Dr. Steve Murphree.