Dental Cariesaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Dental Disorders

What is Dental Caries?

Dental caries, commonly known as tooth decay or cavities, is a prevalent condition affecting individuals worldwide. This dental issue arises when the enamel, the hard, outer layer of teeth, becomes damaged. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugary foods and drinks, producing acids that erode the enamel. Over time, this process leads to the formation of cavities, small holes in the teeth, which, if untreated, can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss. Understanding dental caries is crucial for preventing and managing this widespread health concern.

How Does TCM View Dental Caries?

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), dental caries is viewed through a lens distinct from Western medicine. TCM interprets this condition as a manifestation of internal disharmony rather than solely an external bacterial issue.

It emphasizes the importance of identifying underlying patterns of imbalance within the body that contribute to the development of cavities. TCM practitioners believe that treating dental caries effectively requires more than just addressing the symptoms; it necessitates restoring the body's overall balance and harmony.

Causes of Dental Caries According to TCM

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) attributes the cause of dental caries to internal imbalances within the body, diverging significantly from the bacterial-centric view of Western medicine. A principal cause highlighted by TCM is Painful Obstruction Syndrome due to Wind-Damp invasion, a condition where external pathogenic factors disrupt the body's Qi, or vital energy, leading to pain and dysfunction.

This particular syndrome reflects an imbalance where Dampness and Wind combine to block the channels, affecting the Spleen's ability to transform and transport Body Fluids, which in turn can manifest in the teeth and gums. While this is one of the patterns that can lead to dental caries, TCM stresses that the underlying causes can be multifaceted and personalized diagnosis is crucial.

Acupoints for Dental Caries

In the acupuncture framework of TCM, specific acupoints are utilized to address the underlying causes of dental caries, such as Painful Obstruction Syndrome due to Wind-Damp invasion. One acupoint that is particularly emphasized is Jiaosun TB-20, situated directly above the ear apex, within the temple's hairline.

Stimulating Jiaosun TB-20 is believed to directly benefit the ears, teeth, gums, and lips, offering a targeted approach to treating dental caries. This method exemplifies TCM's holistic strategy, aiming to unblock the channels affected by Wind-Damp, thereby alleviating the symptoms and restoring the body's natural flow of Qi. Through such precise interventions, TCM seeks to heal dental caries by rebalancing the body's internal environment.

See more details below about Jiaosun TB-20, an acupoint used to address dental caries.

  • By Meridian
  • Triple Burner Channel
Jiaosun TB-20

Jiaosun TB-20

Directly above the ear apex, within the hairline of the temple.

TCM Herbs for Dental Caries

In tackling dental caries, TCM turns to its rich pharmacopeia, selecting herbs based on the individual's specific disharmony. For cases rooted in Painful Obstruction Syndrome due to Wind-Damp invasion, practitioners might recommend herbs that dispel Wind and Dampness to restore balance.

Erythrinae Barks (Hai Tong Pi) is often chosen for its efficacy in this regard. With its Bitter, Pungent, and Neutral nature, it targets the Spleen, Kidney, and Liver, Channels directly involved in the regulation of Body Fluids and the maintenance of the body's structural integrity. This herb's selection underscores TCM's tailored approach, aiming to directly counteract the specific type of imbalance causing the dental caries.

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that dispel wind and dampness