young woman by water

My Journey to Heal Tooth Decay

I’m taking you on an oral journey. My oral journey. No, we aren’t sitting around a fire for a riveting story of mayhem or romantic love. Rather, I’m bringing you with me on a journey of self-empowerment and healing. A journey of health in my oral cavity. My journey to heal tooth decay.

The Journey to Heal Tooth Decay

I’ve never been one to take great care of my teeth. As a child, I hated brushing my teeth. I avoided it at all costs while I ate my weight in sweets. Or, at least, I tried to. I ate as many sugary things my parents would allow. And during that time, healthy eating wasn’t a mainstream “thing” so most of our meals were canned vegetables, meats, or fast foods. Fresh vegetables were a rarity in my home. I was a big fan of the mayonnaise sandwich a big, black boy who lived across the street taught me. It’s exactly as it sounds: miracle whip and white bread.

Cavities are inevitable when you combine a poor diet with poor oral care. I remember talk of a crown on a tooth before I even had all my adult teeth. Trips to the dentist in high school for fillings were a regular occurrence. And I even looked forward to them because it meant I would be out of class. I secretly hoped it would take long enough to keep me out of class for the rest of the day.

But then my parents divorced. And somewhere in there, my mom forgot to remind me to go to the dentist, and I didn’t have the knowledge or experience to set and keep my own appointments. (I can blame it on her, right? Just kidding. Love you, mom.) It wasn’t until I graduated high school and started college that I went to the dentist for the first time in about a year and a half or two years, which was a long time given my history. It felt like forever, and I hadn’t taken great care of my teeth.

They told me how poor my gums looked and how dirty my teeth were. I always seemed to have cavities that needed to be filled. I hopped from one dentist to the next as I did with my living situation at the time. One year I lived in Austin and a kind dentist decided I was due for my first root canal at age 19. Naively, I said okay and plopped down in the chair. I got the work done and went on my merry way.

Many years later I decided to change. I was tired of hearing how I needed dental work done. It had been a couple of decades of listening to the same story. Brush, floss, and get your cavities filled. So I made a change. I started brushing regularly. Once a day turned into twice a day. I got an electric toothbrush. I started flossing. Once a week, a couple times a week, every other day, and then once a day. I got a Waterpik for Christmas. I don’t use it as often as I should but it’s been a good supplement to my routine.

My changes made a difference… for my gums. They told me my gums looked great. But… I still have this cavity over here. And they’re watching this one over here. And it looks like this large filling has a cavity beneath it that’s touching my tooth root. Which means I need another root canal. And this large filling needs to be removed and a crown placed. And again… it was more and more and more dental work.

It didn’t matter that I have literally brushed my teeth morning and night every single day of the last two years. It didn’t matter that I have flossed every single day of the last two years except maybe one or two nights where it was just so late and I was just so tired. It didn’t matter that I was now flossing sometimes two or even three times a day. It didn’t matter that I took care to rinse my mouth after every meal. It didn’t matter that I didn’t drink soda or that I had cut back significantly on sweets. It didn’t matter that I supplemented and ate healthily. None of that mattered. I still have a cavity that needed to be filled, three crowns that need to replace large fillings, and two root canals to be done (on top of the two I already have).

I have given and given and given. I have done everything I’ve been told to do (besides using fluoride because I feel a lot of conflict about fluoride). I feel utterly defeated. I’m 28 years old. I shouldn’t have to be killing more teeth in my mouth to “save the tooth.” I don’t want to be walking around with four dead teeth. I don’t want to shave away at three other large teeth to place crowns. At this rate, I’ll have no teeth by the time I’m 40. And that’s utterly depressing and heart-breaking. I flat out won’t accept it as truth.

A Different Reality

I accept and believe in a reality that’s only now emerging into mainstream consciousness at an ever-increasing, albeit still slow, pace. I believe in the reality of energy, multi-dimensionality, quantum mechanics, and universal spirituality. I believe in holistic well-being of mind, body, and spirit. I’ve studied metaphysics, spirituality, personal development, and health and wellness for nine years. And what I know is that my teeth can be healed. I do not need to, under any circumstance, buy into the belief that it’s all downhill from here. I refuse to.

I see this as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for me to firmly integrate what I’ve learned over the last nine years. It’s an opportunity for me to put my money where my mouth is, to walk my talk. It’s time for me to bridge the gap between thought and action. In so doing, I’ll fully embody and realize what I know to be true.

It’s also an opportunity for me to take a stand for the well-being of all. I know what the world needs now are more individuals who are willing to take that stand. It’s a stand for a new reality and way of living. I see and hear of conscious leaders guiding the way to a new frontier. The lights are flashing and directing our paths should we be so courageous to follow. I’m walking in that direction now. No longer am I merely absorbing. I’m integrating and enacting.

I feel a lot of fear and confusion. It’s scary to look directly at what exists and say, “I know there’s a better way.” And then turn my back and walk in the opposite direction of the mainstream. It’s scary because I’m not sure what that better way is yet. I’m turning my back on what’s known and facing the unknown. The risks are great. Some people may think I’m crazy. While others may cheer and applaud. No matter what anyone else thinks, at the end of the day, I’m doing this for me.

In my heart of hearts, I know there’s a better way. And it would be an act of self-betrayal to turn my back on the still small voice within that’s urging me in this new direction. I’ve learned so much through reading, listening, and experiencing. It would be a shame for me to let this opportunity pass me by.

I know this may sound weird but I think about my unborn children often. I want them to be proud of the choices I’ve made in my life so they can know how to courageously live their own lives. They can’t use my life as an example if I’ve failed to answer the call. The choices I make today impact them. So I’m choosing the path less taken.

The Treatment Plan

My dentist treatment planned several teeth in my mouth. She says I need two root canals and three crowns. I gave in and got one cavity filled at the time that I got my broken tooth fixed. But I won’t do anymore. I’m giving myself six months to try alternative healing modalities. I’ve already held off nearly two years on one of those root canals without doing much more than brushing and flossing. Now I’m diving deep. I’m giving my full focus and attention to the healing of my teeth. All of them. If in six months, my teeth are no better or even worse than they are now, then I’ll most likely move forward with her plan. But it’s an absolute last resort.

I’ve explored the risks and benefits of each path. Here are the two paths…

Path One: The Dentist’s Treatment Plan

Benefits

  • Root canals are considered as “saving the tooth” while being covered with a crown to then work as well as every other tooth.
  • It’s not as painful as extraction.
  • More cost-effective compared to extraction and subsequent implant, bridge, or denture
  • Removes decay from the mouth (even though it effectively leaves a dead tooth with microscopic nerve roots within the cavity in which anaerobic bacteria cling and potentially cause persisting infection within the jaw bone).
  • Prevents tooth decay from spreading (again… the above).
  • It’s cosmetically appealing.

Risks

  • Leaves a dead tooth in my mouth which leads to the potential for infection like an abscess.
  • Crown has the potential to break or need replacing.
  • Can leach a bad smell (know this from experience with one root canal tooth) which leads me to believe there’s still decay or infection beneath the crown.
  • Persisting infection can cause downstream diseases or chronic illnesses or lead to a weakened immune system since the body is constantly fighting a small infection. Infection allows for persistent inflammation as well.
  • For teeth that haven’t been root canaled but a crown has been placed, there’s always a risk of decay still attacking the tooth beneath the crown which could still lead to a root canal.

Path Two: The Holistic Way

Benefits

  • Best case scenario, teeth would completely heal. Tooth decay would stop and reverse, teeth would remineralize, and fillings would fall out.
  • Save money.
  • Save my teeth.
  • Resolve dental issues for life.
  • Educate myself on various alternative healing modalities.
  • Be able to help others to heal themselves as well.

Risks

  • Decay would worsen on teeth that need crowns which would lead to needing even more root canals.
  • Root canal teeth would still need root canals or even to be extracted.

I’ve taken an honest look at these risks and benefits. I’ve allowed myself to process the feelings associated with the risks of my choice. If the ultimate risks are root canal or extraction, then I’ve really got nothing to lose since that’s already what they’re offering me. And if I end up on the root canal path, then I’m leaning towards extraction due to the detrimental impact of having dead teeth in your mouth and body.

The Holistic Way

I’m sharing all of this with you because I need a way to hold myself accountable. Writing will help me gather my thoughts and organize information. I’ll share what I’m trying, when, for how long, and what results I experience. I’ll explore practical treatments to alternative approaches.

Think diet, supplements, herbs, positive thinking, and energy medicine. I’d like to create an exhaustive list of treatments. I won’t try every treatment due to lack of time and since not all treatments will be bio-energetically aligned with myself. My goal is to find treatments that are aligned with my being so as to obtain the highest level of effectiveness.

In no way will this journey be 100% scientifically accurate. I will not take the time to single out each treatment for effectiveness. I’ll be using multiple treatments at the same time although with great consciousness and awareness. Most treatments will have no scientific backing. If I do find studies to back certain treatments, then I’ll share that with you.

I’ll reveal that I do come from a medical background. I work full-time as a registered nurse. I’ve worked in healthcare for several years. I consider myself a holistic nurse. And one of the struggles for holistic nurses and holistic health practitioners alike is having evidence to back what we intuit to be an effective treatment. Despite these difficulties, we’re seeing a rise in evidence to back a wide range of complementary and alternative therapies although it may be some time before holistic remedies are acknowledged by the mainstream for their power and effectiveness.

Some may call my journey pseudoscience. Fine. I seek only to attract those who live in a multi-dimensional reality in which healing is a fluid process that undulates between modern medicine and esoteric, ancient, or new age practices. My intention is to explore remedies on each level of the mind, body, and spirit spectrum for a truly holistic approach.

My desire is to heal myself.

What’s Next?

I’m continuing my research at this moment. I’m compiling ideas for articles to write about. I’m listing all the good topics anyone would need to know about to make an informed decision. I’m exploring all the areas where I still have questions. I’m clarifying confusion and misunderstandings (if at all possible). Or, at the very least, I’m highlighting the various diverging viewpoints and bringing each path into view so I can make the best possible choice for myself and share that with you.

You can expect a new article each week-ish about basic dental information, history of teeth and dental care, current controversies, various treatments, and, of course, my personal journey. And shall I reiterate? There will be science where there is science. But sometimes, or a lot of the time, the science is lacking. But I refuse to let that hold me back from exploring options and trying them. So if that’s a turn off to you, please make your way elsewhere at this time. This information is for those who know that there’s got to be a better way. Let’s take the journey together.

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