Clinical Cases

Case: Male, 58, toothache

Last modified on August 17th, 2011

An unexpected remedy comes to the rescue in a toothache.

Fifteen years ago I was sitting in a homeopathic seminar and began to feel some pain in my upper left front molar. This particular molar was crowned sometime prior to the seminar. My dentist said there was a chance of the root being infected, but I declined a root canal.

As I sat there in the seminar feeling the dull aching pressure in the root of my tooth, did I regret not getting a root canal? No- that’s the difference between the homeopathic perspective and the allopathic. My thinking was: I avoided medical suppression, now let me find a way to help my body heal itself!

For the next two days I took a lot of Silica and Hepar sulph. But the remedy that cleared up the trouble was….. Hekla lava. The only thing I still remember from that seminar is the rubric, “Tooth, abscess.”

Fast forward to 2011: I’m at the dentist’s office for a routine teeth cleaning, and the hygienist says, “You have a fistula in your gum above the upper left molar.” Now a fistula is a sign of an infection; it drains pus from the inside, and as long as I don’t feel discomfort, what’s the problem? As far as I know, this fistula has been there for fifteen years—I recall the hygienist making similar observations in the past.

Well, she calls in the dentist, who pokes around and knocks on the tooth—any pain?—No! I decline an x-ray and feel myself fortunate to escape the clutches of allopathy once more.

Two days later the tooth begins to hurt, just as I’m leaving town for the Fourth of July weekend!

No problem, just take Hekla lava. But it doesn’t work this time!

In the next few days I try quite a few medicines—Hepar sulph, Pyrogen, Carbo vegetalis, Bryonia, Belladonna, Echinacea, Hypericum. The pain is about a “3” or a “4” on a scale of one to ten, not excruciating but a constant dull ache. The tooth is definitely sensitive to pressure; I can only eat soft food and chew on my right side. My energy is low, although I did enjoy a swim in the ocean with no ill effect.

By the third day I’m getting desperate. I ask myself, what would world renowned toothache expert Elaine Lewis do in my situation? Focus on the modalities! Clearly the pain is better when I have something cold in my mouth. Paradoxically, it also feels better in the shower with the warm water on my face.

I take a dose of ___________30c and can feel a clear change for the better. I continue with this remedy and, by the next day, the toothache is totally gone! A week has passed, and the tooth is still fine. I have also saved myself about $2,000 in dental bills.

Analysis

If we repertorize the three modalities, the only remedy that covers all three rubrics is Bryonia.

1. Teeth: pain, cold, anything amel.

2. Teeth: pain, biting agg.

3. Generals: wet, applications, warm, amel.

But Bryonia was already tried…

So we can conclude that the remedy we are looking for—if it exists at all—must be one that is under-represented in the repertory, i.e., listed in relatively few rubrics. There are many remedies like this in our materia medica. Typically they have never been proved, and all we know about them comes from the clinical experience of a few homeopaths.

So let’s narrow the repertorization to the one rubric in which we have the highest confidence. To me, it is “Teeth: pain, cold, anything, amel.” It’s a clear modality that you can’t argue with. Plus, it has a healthy number of remedies (21 in Synthesis 6), indicating that it is fairly complete, but not too general.

Almost all toothaches are worse from biting. And the rubric, “Generals, wet. applications, warm amel” is not specifically related to toothache.

We now have a list of 21 possible remedies. But we can eliminate quite a few because they’ve already been tried. If we examine the remaining remedies, there is only one that is under-represented in the repertory—which has never had a Hahnemannian proving, and also is one of the four remedies in italics…….

Ferrum phosphoricum!

About the author

Diderik Finne

Diderik Finne

Diderik Finne RSHom has been in homeopathic practice for twenty years, first in New York City and now in Annandale, Virginia. He served as head of the Case Review Committee for the Council for Homeopathic Certification (North America) for six years. He is also a licensed acupuncturist but currently focuses exclusively on homeopathy. He has published five previous cases in Hoacuoidep. Website: http://diderikfinne.com/

3 Comments

  • After this case was written I treated several more cases of toothache successfully with Ferrum phos, and I was beginning to think it was the only remedy I would ever need for toothache, but a year later it failed to cure a recurrence of pain in the same tooth. Luckily, Belladonna came to my rescue this time around.

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