Dental cavitations and cavitation infections (ischemic osteonecrosis)
Dangerous hidey-holes in the jawbone
While the subject of cavitations is already partially elucidated on Dr. Hulda Clark on dental detox and the Laura Lee interview with George Meinig, DDS & Dr. M. LaMarche on the dangers of cavitations & root canals, the relative prevalence but "undercover existence" and thus importance to dental and general health of this jawbone disease warrants the attribution of a dedicated page on Healing Teeth Naturally.1
A common and significant health problem according to authors such as the late George Meinig DDS as well as dentists Drs. Graeme Munro-Hall and others, dental cavitation infections are rarely recognised since they are difficult to detect on x-rays and their presence is not taught in dental school.
What is a dental cavitation and how is it formed?
A dental cavitation can form - and frequently does - after some trauma affecting the jaw. It is basically a "hole" forming in the jaw bone which can reach the size of a thumb tip and larger.
Most often, cavitation infections are triggered after a tooth has been (improperly) extracted, particularly in the case of wisdom teeth and molars in adults (children rarely develop them). In fact, according to Cavitat Medical Technologies, Inc., some 80% of all extractions performed on adults eventually turn into cavitation infections.
There are several pathways by which a jawbone cavitation can arise due to technical errors and/or failure to thoroughly remove any underlying infection around the extracted tooth.
When a tooth (even a healthy one) is extracted, the socket and jaw bone around it are typically cracked or fractured which reduces the blood supply to the traumatised bone and thus sets up the perfect stage for a cavitation to form.
Additionally, teeth that are pulled often have infected roots and/or membranes, and unless all of the infected material is carefully removed together with the tooth, some of the infectious material will be left behind. The blood produced during the extraction will clot in the socket, which gradually closes sealing in the bacteria which happily multiply and start a cavitation infection.
In most all cases, the end result (which can take years to accomplish and is usually painless with no signs of acute infection such as swelling, redness etc.) seems to be the formation of a hollow centre or cavity lined with dead bone (this bone death or ischemic osteonecrosis is due to poor perfusion of oxygen from the blood). The body' responds by sealing the area off with fat.
Other ways for cavitations to form
The jaws are not the only bones in the human body where cavitation infections can arise - orthopaedic surgeons have long known them to occur after various traumas to the skeleton. Since cavitations typically originate from an interruption of the blood supply to the bone with subsequent bone death, any accident inflicting major injury to the bone can cause a cavitation infection, with the dead bone allowing bacteria to settle in the necrotic area. Regarding jawbone cavitations, in addition to physical trauma such as falling on your chin or receiving a blow to your jaw, root canal4 and orthodontic treatment5 can also start a cavitation infection in your jaw. Jawbone cavitations are also found under impacted teeth (frequently the wisdom teeth), as well as under infected or dead teeth.
Last but not least, dental injections can trigger a cavitation infection in your jawbone. While this may partially be due to the fact that the local anaesthetic typically reduces the blood supply, it is permissible to speculate here whether this would mostly apply to injections done quickly rather than slowly. Based on personal experience, the former hurt like hell (i.e. inflicts damage to the tissue) while the latter are actually painless.6
Effects and symptoms of cavitations
Cavitation infections can be silent, painless and symptomless for many years, but they also can have wide-ranging and extremely serious effects. They can cause trigeminal neuralgia, facial/jaw pain and/or chronic migraine headaches.* When this kind of pain is mistaken for toothache, sound teeth are frequently extracted or root-treated with all the potential consequences (such as more focal infections).2
Systemic effects of cavitations can include afflictions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, inability to concentrate, allergies, chronic iritis, Parkinson's-like tremor, anxiety and more.
* There is a special term - NICOs (neuralgia-inducing cavitational osteonecrosis, i.e. a cavity lined with dead bone that causes pain) - to designate cavitations that lead to neuralgic pain.
Can cavitations self-heal?
Not according to the authors mentioned on this page who argue that the infection is encapsulated and inaccessible to the blood supply/immune system and that the only way to get on top of such infections is removing the affected tooth or teeth and surgically cleaning the jaw bone.
(Not only) out of sheer principle, Healing Teeth Naturally heartily disagrees :-). One of the reasons is the following: if cavitation infections manage to have systemic effects, there must be an "exit" somewhere allowing them to spread out. And an exit typically also serves as an entryway, so there should exist a natural access to them as well.
Cleaning / removing dental cavitation infections surgically
Depending on the size of the cavitation, this can be a major operation. The bone is opened with a drill, the soft, dead, infected bone is scraped away and the underlying remaining healthy bone thoroughly washed and disinfected (Drs Munro-Hall use saline, iodine and oil of cloves for this purpose). After a cavitation has been thoroughly professionally cleaned in this manner, the above-mentioned symptoms and afflictions will frequently disappear quickly.
How to tell whether you have a cavitation infection
Try applying increasing pressure with your fingers on both sides of the jaw-bone above a suspicious tooth. A painful sensation as you press harder indicates the presence of a cavitation.
Since as mentioned, x-rays will hardly give a clue as to the presence of a cavitation (while simultaneously increasing thyroid cancer risk), a specialised machine, the Cavitat Ultrasound Scanner, has in recent decades come to the rescue. A Cavitat scan will provide a reliable means of determining the presence of a cavitation as well as its location and extent in three dimensions (thanks to the cavitation infection being hollow).
The following suggestions are for those who either for financial and/or other reasons don't wish to have their (presumed or confirmed) cavitation infections treated via surgery, or who don't wish to take the time to actually find the (likely rare) dentist who uses a Cavistat scanner and is knowledgeable about cavitations and how to clean them.
Here again, the gentle reader is reminded of his/her responsibility for his/her own health (see Disclaimer). If any of the following home remedies shouldn't help, they are in any case unlikely to do any harm. (Be aware that cavitations though frequently being "silent", could still be confused with the "simpler" but generally "louder" tooth root infections for which Healing Teeth Naturally has created the dedicated page Tooth root infection remedies: nontoxic, non-invasive and/or natural healing approaches based on anecdotal evidence.)
1 Salt water rinses to "dry out" focal infections
Sodium chloride molecules migrating via osmosis into the jaw bone may be able to reach into the cavitation and kill microorganism. To allow deeper penetration, you may wish to hold the brine in your mouth for as long as possible.3
2 Borage oil (and spirulina): an impressive testimonial
"For several years, I had a rotting molar tooth which had previously been (multiply) treated and filled (first with mercury amalgam, then with gold). I finally just left it to its own devices after the newest filling had fallen out. This led to the gum underneath the tooth (the root area) becoming hard and inflated (sticking out up to 1.5 cm) as well as painful upon finger pressure. While I do not know the differential diagnosis (i.e. was this a 'tooth root infection' or a cavitation - remember that infected and dead teeth can also trigger cavitations - this is how I eventually got rid of it (after living with it for some three years).
In addition to a healthy diet (which I always observe), I regularly applied tea tree oil and finally tried EFT which somewhat reduced the strangely sticking-out bulge (remember everything is energy). One day I also introduced borage oil which I took together with spirulina, at a rate of perhaps a tablespoon of oil a day. Approximately three weeks into this practice, I noticed the bulge flattening or 'deflating', and to my greatest surprise, completely disappearing within three days.
While the molar itself continues to be some kind of a 'ruin', even hard finger pressure on the gum below it will only elicit the slightest of discomfort today (if any). I attribute this healing to the effect of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA - of which borage oil is a rich source) to which anti-inflammatory and other healing properties are ascribed. I had taken spirulina beforehand without dramatic results so I don't presume this unexpected outcome to be due to spirulina."
3 Olive oil and cabbage leaf packs: nature's "secret healing weapons"
Eminent naturopath Father Thomas Häberle (more about him at oil pulling) writes that he reaped great successes using olive oil massages for diseases of the head and bones. Thanks to its ability to penetrate the hardest bones, olive oil can bring healing in these areas. It is anti-inflammatory, penetrates deeply and its effects are long-lasting. He also combined the olive oil with salt which increases the heat and thus the enhanced blood supply produced by olive oil massages. Minor jaw infections will typically yield to daily olive oil massages.
Thomas Häberle often prescribed cabbage leaf packs as well, a time-honoured folk remedy with powerful detoxification and healing abilities. Some background about healing with cabbage leaf packs and Father Thomas Häberle's books at Tumors healed thanks to cabbage leaf poultices and ... unconditional love.
4 Oil pulling
Oil pulling is a powerful dental healing modality which in itself may be extremely helpful with cavitation infections, especially when olive oil rather than another oil is used.
can be used to kill bacteria in cavitations and extraction sockets (if it is able to reach them). Alternatively, hydrogen peroxide should have a similar effect.
How to prevent the formation of cavitation infections
Avoid any injury to the jaw and teeth as well as the other potential cavitation "triggers" mentioned above. Strive to live as healthily as possible and fortify your body and immune system with natural superfoods and frequent detoxification measures. If a tooth extraction truly should become unavoidable, find a dentist who uses a protocol such as the one suggested by Drs. Munro-Hall in their book Toxic Dentistry Exposed which aims to be as gentle and thorough as possible to avoid cracking the bone and leaving infected material behind (a time-consuming procedure).
1 For greater detail, the interested reader is referred to Toxic Dentistry Exposed.
3 Salt water overall among other things is the best general toothache remedy.