There is a strong predilection amongst many dentists automatically to remove the back molar or wisdom teeth. This, along with trauma and decay of teeth and gums through poor hygiene, frequently leads to the need for dental operations. More unusual situations such as infection in the gums or jaw may need to be pre- and postoperatively treated.

Most dentists would encourage the use of antibiotics in any surgical procedure and especially in people who have a history of heart valve disease or kidney infections. Studies and trials suggest the use of antibiotics in such situations as being warranted. These studies tend not to look at the sequella and are probably done on people with a broad spectrum of preoperative health. Antibiotics are not necessarily harmless or safe and if they can be avoided they should be. I have always been fascinated by the fact that dentists and doctors are so adamant concerning the use of these antibiotics before dental operations. Very often the bacteria that may be involved in any infection live in the mouth, so why should they only be a problem when an operation is involved? These bacteria are being absorbed into the cuts in the mouth and around the infected area all the time and generally do not seem to cause us any problems.


Ensure adequate hygiene by cleaning the teeth and gums two or three times a day as soon as any problem is suspected.

Commence mouthwashes preoperatively using Arnica and Calendula lotions or fluid extracts diluted in water. Ensure that the solution is forced through the teeth and not just rinsed around the mouth. This should be done four times a day, preferably starting one week before the dental work, but even one wash may be beneficial.

Homeopathic remedies should be considered before and after. For operations with no infection, use Arnica 30 four times a day starting three days before the operation. For infections that are deeply embedded or trapped in an abscess or the jaw bone, use Hepar sulphuris calcarium 30 four times a day starting as soon as the infection is noted. Immediately after the operation, commence on Calcarea fluorica 30, four times a day until healing is complete. These are basic and general recommendations that might be overridden by a homeopath, who would deal with specific symptoms.

Find a dentist who is open to alternative and complementary medicine in an attempt to avoid the use of antibiotics. Do not go into an operation if you are ‘under the weather’ and consult with your complementary medical practitioner for a constitutional build-up prior to any operative procedure.

The following supplements should be used per foot of height: vitamin C, Ig; argenine, 2g; magnesium, 500mg in divided doses with meals; zinc, 5mg before bed; and regardless of height, five times the recommended daily allowance of a multi-B complex.

It is very worthwhile consulting a cranial osteopath after any dental work since adjustments to the jaw joint will encourage blood flow to the damaged area and avoid the possibility of jaw strain, which can lead to headaches, migraines and other complications.