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Clinics
   

DISORDERS OF THE MOUTH CAVITY
TOOTHACHE

 


What are the effects of toothache?

Toothache may be ranged from mild sensitivity of the oral cavity to severe throbbing pain. It interferes with chewing and eating, and can keep one awake all night. Although toothache is rarely life threatening, the pain can be very troublesome and seriously disturbs quality of living.

What causes the onset of toothache?

There are numerous possibilities that can initiate toothache. Among them, tooth decay caused by cavities, dental injury, teething or abscessed tooth are the most common causes.

When should I become alert about toothache?

You should be concerned about your teeth when the pain is constant and persistent without any signs of improving. You should pay particular attention to the condition if pain is accompanied by swollen and/or bleeding gums. It is advised to consult a dentist immediately once the pain is initiated, regardless of severity to minimize dental damage and suffering. Watchful waiting is not appropriate for toothache.

What is the Traditional Chinese Medicine’s perspective on toothache?

TCM attributes toothache to the stagnation of circulation within the meridians that travel to the oral cavity. The meridians of Stomach and Intestines are usually the primary choice in treating toothache, because the first travels to the upper gum and the later to the lower gum. Besides the stagnation, heat toxins are usually present along the meridians that cause the inflammation of the teeth and gums.

How can acupuncture treat toothache?

Acupuncture therapy is very effective in pain management and therefore, very effective in alleviating toothache. Treatment is directed toward soothing the circulation and detoxifying the meridians near the affected area. However, while acupuncture can alleviate the pain, the source of the pain (such as tooth decay or teething) must be determined and treated by other means.

PAIN AFTER TOOTH EXTRACTION

What is the effect of post-tooth extraction?

Pain can occur following tooth extraction, either due to damage, injury, decay, or mal-positioning of the tooth, such as the wisdom tooth. Most of the time, the tooth is extracted to prevent infection to other areas in the mouth.

What are some helpful ways to cope and reduce the pain?

Pain associated with tooth extraction may last from hours to weeks. The following are helpful in coping with the post-extraction pain:

- Rinse the mouth with warm salty water several times throughout the day to reduce swelling and inflammation.

- Relax after the surgery with adequate rest, as physical activities may induce bleeding due to the speedy circulation.

- Begin eating with soft or liquid food and gradually introduce solid food until chewing is comfortable.

- Do not rub the affected area with your tongue or finger.

- Begin teeth brushing gently and carefully to avoid irritation.

How can acupuncture treatment alleviate the pain after tooth extraction?

Please refer to the section of toothache.

GINGIVITIS

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a general term for the inflammation of the gums in the mouth. The main symptom of gingivitis is bleeding of the gums. Other symptoms include swelling and/or redness of the gums, painful gums, difficulty in chewing, and foul odor in the mouth.

What is the cause of this disorder?

The primary cause of gingivitis is due to the accumulation of food particles in the crevices between the gums and teeth leading to inflammation. Other factors include general poor health with immunity deficiency, irregular teething, improperly fitted dental fillings or dentures causing the gum irritation, and infections.

How can I prevent from developing gingivitis?

Maintaining oral hygiene is the most important prevention of such disorder. It is advised to brush and floss correctly, as the improper maintenance can actually damage and irritate the gums. Besides proper oral care, a good and balanced diet containing essential minerals and vitamins is also important, as deficiency of vitamins and essential minerals can lead to gingivitis. Boosting the immune system may also reduce the chance of gingivitis.

How can acupuncture treat gingivitis?

According to TCM perspective, this gum disorder is mostly likely due to the disrupted pattern of Qi (energy) circulation to the affected area, failing to carry nutrients and supplies to nourish the affected area. Treatment and prevention is aimed to induce supplemental energy through the body meridians. With the treatments, immunity is also boosted to prevent infection, one of the common causes of gingivitis.

PHARYNGITIS

What is pharyngitis?

Pharyngitis is the inflammation of pharynx, or commonly, known as sore throat. It is a disorder common in children. Many people have mistaken this disease with common cold or flu.

What are the symptoms of this disease?

The sore throat is developed suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a week. Symptoms include dry and sore throat, fatigue, and mild fever. The disturbance of this disorder is the pain when swallowing, making eating food to be unpleasant. Other symptoms that might accompany pharyngitis are headache, cough with persistent desire to clear the throat, pain in the ears, hoarseness, and swollen throat with thick mucus.

What is the Traditional Chinese Medicine’s perspective on pharyngitis?

The etiology of this disorder, according to TCM diagnosis, is said to result from the pathogenic factors Wind and Heat attacking the respiratory system, which render the Lungs incapable of carrying out their cleansing and descending functions. This causes the throat to be inflamed and result in coughing. Phlegm is the byproduct of the mixture of Wind and Heat pathogens and obstructs the meridian pathways.

How can acupuncture treat pharyngitis?

Treatment principle by acupuncture is based on quieting the cough, removing the toxins to reduce inflammation, and transforming the phlegm to clear the respiratory passageways. It is also important to tonify the immune system to prevent reoccurrence of inflammation that may damage the Lung’s pathways making this disease more difficult to cure.


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