Management of Dental and Oral Problems
NATIONAL JOURNAL OF HOMOEOPATHY 1997 May / Jun VOL 5 NO 3.
Dr Minocher N Sahukar
Mouth and Teeth are the intimate parts of human beings. Besides, they are sensitive indicators of general health status. Willam Osler called the mouth a "Mirror" since the early evidence of sub-clinical disease processes are sometimes mirrored in the oral tissues. Apart from this strategic importance of the mouth, the observation of characteristic changes in color, dryness, taste etc are considered leading signs to be included in the Homoeopathic drug picture. A dental surgeon too has to be vigilant observer even if he is not directly called upon to manage every oral lesion. Early detection of neoplasm, anemia, deficiencies, metabolic disorders prove helpful in guiding the patient to appropriate consultants.
Dentistry as a part of healthcare delivery is based on broad biological concepts and on understanding of the patient as a psycho-biological entity. However, in modern times it is increasingly becoming highly mechanical and its newer branches are solely dependent on technological innovations. [Cosmetic Dentistry has projected itself through human appeal to self-image and is popularly identified with cosmetology and beauticians.]
Then, where lies the scope of Homoeopathy in the Dental field Indeed some 40 years ago when I started practice I had to be simply content with the limited armamentarium to attend to dental and oral complaints. Even then I was sometimes called a tooth-carpenter!
Today, we have gadgets, besides the ubiquitous computer, like an electric pad placed on the face, called TENS - Transcutaneous Electric Stimulation to control pain by sending signals which reach pain centers before the originating pain signals do, thereby closing the 'gate' to the transmission of pain sensations. And now comes Relaxodant system in the form of goggles! It is claimed to induce relaxation and overcome dental anxiety as also to provide mild analgesic response similar to hypnosis!
Technology has made in roads into surgical procedures and medical diagnosis, but the Man behind the illness is increasingly left in the lurch if not relegated to the case number in the consultant's record book! Where is the time, they say, to dwell on the individual behind the disorder when he can be readily dismissed with the help of rapidly discharging gadgets. Today a dentist can drill, fill and bill in a jiffy, and both the patient and dentist are happy. This is not to say that a qualified practitioner is not aware of his responsibility as an important part of the comprehensive health service. But all are concerned with immediate problems of pain, mastication, speech, aesthetics etc and their quick solutions, never mind the price.
Most of us know the scope of Homoeopathy in any surgical field [pre and post-operative] such as dentistry or its role in the management of the oral manifestations of systemic disorders.
[The latter aspect has been expertly dealt in the text book of ORAL MEDICINE by Lester W Burkett, the late Professor and Dean of the School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, USA. He has covered hundreds of oral lesions having constitutional or psychological origin such as nutritional, metabolic and degenerative diseases in their early oral manifestations]
Indeed, mouth is a mirror of the body's health status, in addition to the fact that the oral signs and symptoms for the data in totality, if characteristic, from the Homoeopathic view point.
Human body functions as a WHOLE wherein oral tissues are intimately linked through circulatory and nervous channels to all other parts of the whole organism.
Oral cavity being the first segment of the digestive tract is closely related to the respiratory system and to functions such as deglutition, speech and taste. It is a corridor for the tonsils, throat, oesophagus, lungs and is constantly exposed to food, air and other irritants alike. It is this special position and function that places the mouth in an important place in the evaluation of the local as well as the systemic condition in health and disease.