I have always taken the best care of my teeth that I could. With lots of tooth decay that began in childhood or adolescence, most of my teeth had been filled and refilled several times by the age of 20. When I was about 50 years old, I had all the amalgam removed, and gold or gold/ceramic crowns installed. By this time, I also had several "root canal" jobs.
Some people are vehemently opposed to root canals. However, I had one done on #14 (a three-root molar) when I was only 16 years old (1941). The dentist was a recent graduate from Emory University Dental School, and he said the odds of success would be slim so that he didn’t want to attempt it, but I argued him into trying it. He did a careful job, and made a gold crown for the tooth. That restored tooth with its gold crown served me well for over 50 years!
Then, at about the age of 65, I began to experience pain in #12 (an upper left molar). It was not the typical "toothache." It was just sore when hit with an eating utensil or dental tool, or when first pressed as in biting something, but no continuous pain. My dentist examined it and x-rayed it, but could find nothing wrong. So he gave me a course of antibiotics, but with no effect. A few months later, still with a sore tooth, I went back to the dentist, and he tried again to find the trouble. Not being able to get rid of the problem I had him pull the tooth! The tooth was firm, and there was no sign of decay around the roots. That got rid of the problem, but wait...
Some time later, the adjacent tooth (#13) began to hurt in the same way as did #12. By this time, my dentist had quit doing root canal jobs, so I went to a different dentist, who found that I had low-grade pain in both #13 and #14. He figured I had an abscess in the roots of those teeth, and pulled both of them. Both were firm and otherwise O.K. So this left me with three missing teeth.
Later, after moving to Arizona and engaging still another dentist, I had some pain similar to what I had before, in another tooth. After a thorough examination, including x-rays, he simply ground away a tiny bit to relieve the pressure on that tooth, and the pain disappeared. About a year after that, two more teeth began to hurt, and I went back to the dentist, thinking I would lose these two teeth.
DENTAL SURPRISE! The dentist did a little more adjustment to distribute the pressures of the bite, and solved that problem. He didn’t even charge me anything! THE LESSON: If you have non-persistent pain in your teeth, don’t be too anxious to have them pulled. You might just be overworking those teeth. It’s quite possible that I lost three good teeth for a problem that might have been solved by a little adjustment of the bite. After this experience, I have noticed that I can get two or three sore teeth, but the condition clears up with a few days of "light duty."
Possibly, some temporary minor abscesses were involved in these experiences. Such things can often be cleared up with antibiotics and/or fasting to clean out the body so as to allow it to get rid of toxins. The customary and long-term diet has much to do with internal cleanliness of the body. When I was 41 years old, my dentist told me I had the beginnings of periodontal disease, and all my teeth were a bit loose. A few years later, that condition had disappeared, and the teeth were firm again.
PRAYER? FASTING? HERBS? – Here’s something to think about! Since writing the above, I’ve had two more teeth pulled, for conditions similar to the above, but which did not improve by adjusting the bite. After all, I was in my late 70’s! Waiting for the "excavations" to heal up, I had to blend all my food for several weeks, and what chewing I could do was with the remaining teeth near the front of my mouth. So, when #8 (upper front tooth) began getting sore, more or less like my other experiences, I thought I had just overworked it. However, it got more and more sore and began to hurt nearly all the time, so when I went in to get an "impression" for a partial plate, I asked the dentist to examine that tooth. What can a dentist do but take an X-ray picture of it? There was no significant difference between that picture and some pictures taken several months earlier, so the doctor said I should go to an endodontist.
I know what that means: dental surgery and a bill for about $1,000.00, because I had gone for such an examination of another tooth just a few months before. In fact, this front tooth had been treated by an endodontist in 1955. Having been damaged in childhood, that tooth had been "root canaled" at least three times over the years, and it appeared to me that further workovers were not so wise. I resolved that if I could not heal it up, I would get it pulled. How do you heal up a tooth?
To heal a tooth that has some infection around the root, consider the fact that our whole body is always at war against invading bacteria. Our imune system fights these bacteria all the time, so if a problem arises, I think it’s smart to take action to swing the odds in favor of healing. (1) Reduce or discontinue consumption of foods that you cannot properly digest, and that includes over-eating. A prime suspect for incompletely digested food is milk and/or ice cream. Another is meat. Cheese and yogurt have been at least partially digested for you by beneficial bacteria. (2) Go on a three-day fast and clean-out regimen. During that time, keep up your energy by taking only some fruit juice, such as apple. Take daily enemas to clean out the intestines, thereby freeing up your imune system to work on other toxins that are lurking in the body. Remember that your skin, including the skin of your intestines, is not a perfect barrier or filter, so all sorts of things go through it. As of December 21, 2003, I am currently controlling that minor infection through dieting and by using pure dimethylglycine tablets absorbed through the skin in the area of the root. UPDATE (2008): The condition has completely cleared. Not only that, but I had a similar condition develop with another tooth, and that too responded to the same treatment.