It was early August. The sun was shining, the scenery was great; after three years of travel restrictions, we were at last on vacation in the west of Canada. However, a couple days later, following a hot and spicy Indian cuisine dinner, I was awake in the middle of the night in pain due to my tooth. The same tooth that bothered me just before COVID-19. And at that time, when I went to see the dentist because of the toothache, the dentist told me that the tooth needed to be pulled. Nothing would work except pulling the tooth. Even though I didn’t doubt his professional advice, I had my own decision-I wouldn’t pull the tooth! Since then, the fight to save my troubled tooth began.
The first step was daily care. I changed my toothpaste to Sensodyne. In addition to using Sensodyne in the morning and evening, I use salty water to rinse my mouth after lunch. It works! My toothache hasn’t bothered me for a long time. Even when it did give me pain one time, I used ginger and the toothache went away very quickly. The condition of the teeth was so good that I almost forgot that I had a tooth that was supposed to be pulled, until in the middle of the night, in the middle of vacation.
I couldn’t eat, and even though I didn’t eat anything, the aching was there. I bought a piece of ginger to sedate the pain. It helped when I had ginger in my mouth. I knew this time it was a serious toothache. Maybe I ate too much sugar in the summer, maybe I had too much sun, or maybe it was the full moon. I had to find some solutions to cure it. Otherwise, if I went to see the dentist, pulling my tooth would be his only solution.
With the help of ginger and medicine (Orajel) bought from the pharmacy, I survived the vacation. Just one day after coming home, I got a fever and tested positive for COVID. The toothache was still bothering me. I almost gave up the fight to keep my tooth and was thinking of seeing the dentist. But since I had COVID, I wasn’t able to go anywhere. I had no choice but to take care of myself! Based on my understanding, the cause of my tooth is the heat, or the rising fire (Shang Huo in Chinese). If I could bring the fire down, the toothache should go away. I used many approaches to bring the fire down.
First of all, I needed medicine when the toothache really bothered me; a medicine that not only acts as a pain killer but also a cure. In my cupboard, I found Watermelon Frost, a traditional Chinese medicine used to clear heat toxins and alleviate pain. I also used ice outside my mouth as I could only use Watermelon Frost a maximum of five times a day.
At the same time, I used home remedies to reduce the heat in my body. In the morning before breakfast, I would drink some salty water (around 3 mouthfuls), and I had plain rice porridge for breakfast, which would settle the fire. Further with regards to diet control, I cut out all sweet foods and ate more foods that are considered to have cool characteristics according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), such as watermelon and bitter melon.
In addition to medicine and food therapy, I pressed the He Gu acupressure point (LI4), which aids in the elimination of heat and the relief of pain. One week later, when I was allowed to go out to see the dentist, I didn’t need to anymore.
Two months after this severe toothache, I am eating normally. The fight to keep my tooth was tough, and I don’t know how long the fight will continue. Self-care is not easy, nevertheless, the reward is satisfying: I still have my tooth that the dentist wanted to pull!
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