I wonder why we neglect our teeth? Apart from brushing them often and hoping that we don’t have to go to the dentist we pretty much take them for granted. I have been to the dentist so often because I have such bad luck with my teeth and gums that I often avoid my 6 monthly check up. It’s strange, because when I do have the treatment – surgery, or root canal or extraction – I’m very brave about it and it doesn’t really hurt. But I still avoid it.

For the last six weeks I’ve had a strange sensation in the last upper molar – a sense of pressure, and I’ve avoided chewing on that side. Then one day, about ten days ago I took a snap decision to visit the dentist, because a problem ignored can easily deteriorate rapidly.

His diagnosis – a tooth abscess that needs antibiotics, followed by an extraction. The tooth is a capped tooth, so extracting it required surgery – there is no head to pull it out with. Sigh.

I did the research, visited my Ayurvedic doctor and was advised by everyone to take the antibiotics for the immediate infection and to try additionally holistic methods of treatment. My aim is to heal the abscess so that when I do go back to the dentist for the checkup which may lead to an extraction – he says it isn’t necessary.

Here’s how I’m healing –

Salt Water Gargles – it’s so simple and so effective – a tried and tested method of healing that costs nothing.

I alternated this with organic cider vinegar mouth wash – I tablespoon vinegar to 3 tablespoons warm water  – swish in mouth.

This helped for the pain. I haven’t taken a single pain killer although I’ve heard and read about the legendary pain of upper molar tooth abscesses near the sinus, ear canals and brain.

Garlic – a peeled pod of garlic held against the tooth for a few minutes at a time is also good for pain. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Don’t leave it on for too long though as it may irritate your gum tissue after a while.

Pure vanilla extract is another effective remedy for pain – soak a cotton ball in pure vanilla extract and hold it against the area.

A chilled teabag (not too cold) held against the tooth with the abscess will lessen pain and draw out the toxins.

I believe in the power of reflexology to help with everything and have been having twice weekly treatments to boost my immunity and healing power. The big toe on the side of the abscess must be massaged. When you press you will find the most painful spot – that’s the point to keep pressing again and again.

Try an acupressure technique to stop tooth pain fast. With your thumb, press the point on the back of your other hand where the base of your thumb and your index finger meet. Apply pressure for about two minutes. This helps trigger the release of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good hormones. (Off-limits if you’re pregnant.) Thanks to this website for these tips.

I wanted to do oil puling – which is a wonderful Ayurvedic remedy for teeth and mouth problems and all kinds of detox – but I haven’t yet. I hope to start tomorrow.

oil puling – for detox – one tablespoon sesame oil to be swished in the mouth for 20 minutes first thing in the morning. rinse out with salt water after

Cloves, mint tea – they’re all superb for tooth pain.

My Ayurvedic doctor recommended ( in addition to the antibiotics which he insisted I take)  –

Kaisoraguggul one tablet three times a day

Gulgulapanchasphala churnam mixed with honey – twice daily

Triphala churnam dissolved in warm water with salt – gargle often

I continued with my yoga practice

Matsyasana  fish pose– destroyer of all diseases


Sarvangasana shoulder stand –

Ardhyamatsendra asana – spinal twist






in addition

I upped the number of  surya namaskars  – sun salutations.

Yoga doesn’t begin and end with Asanas.  Pranayama is a powerful healing tool that’s often neglected. These are the pranayamas that I am doing specifically to treat the abscess.

Nadi shodana – alternate nostril breathing

Hold the fingers of the right hand in front of the face. Rest the index and middle finger gently on the eyebrow centre. Both fingers should be relaxed. The thumb is above the right nostril and the ring finger above the left. These two fingers control the flow of breath by alternately pressing on one nostril, blocking the flow of breath, then the other. The little finger is comfortably folded.

Sit in lotus or half lotus – whichever is more comfortable. Keep the head and spine straight.

Relax and close your eyes.

Your left hand is on your left knee in ‘chin ‘ mudra ( the index finger and thumb are joined to make a circle. The other three fingers are straight. The palm is facing upwards.

Check whether your right nostril or left is open. Start with the open side.

Inhale to a slow count of three

Exhale with the other nostril to a slow count of three

Inhale with the nostril you just exhaled from – to a slow count of three

Exhale with the other nostril – to a slow count of three.

This is one round

Do twenty rounds.

Don’t force the breath. Don’t speed up your counting. At the slightest sign of discomfort reduce the count.


Seetkari pranayama

All this followed by Shavasana and Meditation

I’ve made it a point to eat nourishing foods – salads, fruit, smoothies – everything organic, whole grain, home- made.

It’s actually been a great opportunity to look after myself.

Last but not the least, plenty of water and lots of sleep and downtime with friends.

Louise Hay’s affirmations are my all-time favourite for healing everything. Here are the specific affirmations needed for my condition.

For an Abscess

which is caused by fermenting thoughts over hurts, slights and revenge! Oops – watch what you’re thinking. Victim mode can have powerful negative influences on your psyche.

Repeat instead

“I allow my thoughts to be free. The past is over. I am at peace.”

For teeth problems which are caused by longstanding indecisiveness. Inability to break down ideas for analysis and decision. So true – I need to get going on how I’m going to finish my book and which publishers I’m going to meet and pitch it to.

The affirmation for healing this is

“ I make my decisions based on the principles of truth, and I rest securely knowing that only right action is taking place in my life.

Root canal ( which is what had been done on my tooth with the abscess and the cap) has its own affirmation.

The need for it is caused by an inability to bit into anything anymore. Root beliefs being destroyed. I don’t know what in my life is under threat, but that doesn’t matter, I simply repeat the affirmation to heal it.

“I create firm foundations for myself and for my life. I choose my beliefs to support me joyously.”