Thoughts, feelings & toothache
Our mental and emotional states can both trigger and stop dental problems and pain
As with other types of pain, toothache can be triggered and influenced for better or worse by thoughts and feelings. This is something I have personally experienced, thus showing me the clear impact of "intangibles" such as the mind (and the laying on of hands) on the experience (or absence) of toothache pain. In fact, toothache was completely healed by a change in my thoughts and feeling state on several occasions!
Stress for instance can bring on toothache ...and stress relief can heal it. In fact, toothache itself is of course a big stressor and feeling helplessly exposed to it can increase it. Here are several real-life illustrative examples together with (hopefully helpful) advice.
(found in a German health food magazine and translated by © 2008 Healing Teeth Naturally)
Toothache often is due to tensions triggered by continuous stress. This kind of toothache can become particularly intense when one has been "clenching/gritting one's teeth" well into the night, with the jaws pressing upon each other continuously with up to 400 g of pressure (a phenomenon which when happening in one's sleep is referred to as bruxism). Advice: eat your supper in as relaxed a mood as possible - and when the boss throws another tantrum, chew gum (or become self-employed!).1
Stress lowers the effectiveness of one's immune defenses
My friend Gary has a bridge covering a root-canalled front tooth (i.e. filled with mercury amalgam). When he is under stress, he tends to get a serious toothache in this place which eventually gets resolved by the formation of an abscess. As a dentist explained (and for once, this dentist was right in my opinion), since the root-canaled tooth is "dead", the body will attempt to gradually decompose the dead material it is made of (i.e. tries to get rid of it) via bacterial lysis. This process is normally held in check by a healthy immune system, which under stress, however, will be less effective, allowing the slumbering "subacute" infection to flare up.2
Conversely, stress reduction (induced by meditation) has been shown to benefit teeth and gums via the triggering of beneficial salivary changes.
Real-life story no. 1:
I once had a very bad toothache while being alone at my place where I had no pain killer. In desperation, I called my best friend (although even the simple act of talking hurt) and rode my bike to his place, with the toothache threatening to completely overwhelm me every so often. I finally called him two thirds of the way from a street phone and implored him to come and meet me with a pain killer since I couldn't make it to his place without it. He promised to set off immediately. I hung up and to my surprise, the toothache simply drained from the tooth in c. two seconds! In fact it hardly recurred so I actually didn't need the painkiller when he arrived about 15 minutes later. I.e, the near-instant total relief of a very serious toothache was due to the relief and certainty I felt that soon I would be helped! I assume what happened at that moment is that the body created its own chemicals needed to stop the pain completely. I was free of the pain as soon a I knew help was coming, i.e. was confident (and likely visualized and felt the relief) that the pain would be over.
Real-life story no. 2:
A friend of mine had a bad toothache (under a bridge) which not so surprisingly, he couldn't get under control using the old standbys salt water and tea tree oil.4 But by just going to see the dentist he already felt relief - without actually receiving any treatment. (The same once happened to me - on the way to getting a painkiller the excruciating pain I had felt simply dissolved, and took a long time to return.)
Real-life story no. 3:
See the following "On dental pain, secondary gains & the power of the human mind".
Real-life story no. 4:
A friend with extreme toothache once tried to WILL his toothache away using his full concentration - and it worked (for a short while).
On dental pain, secondary gains & the power of the human mind (interesting psychological observations)
Once when the pain of a lingering toothache restarted in a very unpleasant manner after not having rinsed with brine for a while, and continued in spite of renewed continual salt water treatments, even depriving me of sleep, I experienced (again) the psychological and "mental" side of toothaches.
While in pain, I had been given lots of caring attention. When the significant other involved finally left to do some errands and shopping, I immediately told myself, now that the "audience" had left, "'nuff of that nonsense" (meaning the pain!). And lo and behold, the pain disappeared in a second without coming back!3 And after two more rounds of sleep, I was OK. In other words, a part of me had recreated the painful sensation because it enjoyed the extra caring I received while in pain!
Forgiveness can heal toothache
(translated from a German-language testmonial by Healing Teeth Naturally)
"I have often been to the dentist as a child and at 14 or so I had 12 fillings...it's been 6-7 years now that they have been falling out one after the other, or the little bit of tooth the dentist had left has started to crumble... I keep having serious dental pain but won't go to see the dentist unless I truly can't stand it any longer. Anyway some days ago I noticed one of my teeth "awakening", oh no, I thought, feeling utterly powerless, shush, I know full well I have to see the dentist but please no toothache now, please don't, I nearly despaired at the thought of having to take a painkiller in order to be able to sleep... so I started to reflect on my dental history and my childhood dentist came to mind whom I used to hate since he gave me so much pain, he completely drilled out 12 of my teeth and filled the holes with that nasty amalgam and kept doing x-rays... and suddenly I knew what I had to do. I FORGAVE that dentist from the bottom of my heart and blessed him, and I forgave my mother for making those hateful appointments for me. And you know what happened? The toothache went away as slowly as it had come, and did not return."
This testimonal addresses an important point. Nevertheless, I wished that person had known about the many simple ways to relieve toothache.
Energy (meridian-based) therapy can heal toothache
See EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for toothache relief and EFT healing testimonials. EFT has even helped heal "emotional" toothache, i.e. dental pain whose origin was felt to be emotional.
How to use the power of your thoughts and mind to stop your tooth pain
Judging by the examples quoted above, it would seem to help to visualize oneself (if possible) already relieved and at peace. It would also seem helpful to simply and firmly tell the toothache to leave, and mean it (which I think will be a less than easy task for most although I have seen someone with an extreme toothache successfully do just that - it did come back though, perhaps because he couldn't believe just how much power his mind had over his body ...).
1 More "serious" advice at Healing Bruxism and background information and additional advice at Bruxism.
2 More on the dangers of root canal treatment.
3 For more on what has been termed "secondary gain" (in the above example: getting extra attention as long as I was in pain), see for instance On (subconscious) reasons and (conscious) remedies for self-sabotage.
4 Had he known then about the power of auto-urine rinses, he might well have been able to get his bridge pain perfectly under control. See Risks & complications of wearing a dental bridge (scroll to number 8: Advice for those who wear a bridge and who develop pain).