Loose teeth according to Chinese Medicine

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Loose teeth can be the consequence of several so-called “patterns of disharmony” in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted, leading to symptoms or signs that something is wrong (like loose teeth here). It is similar to the concept of disease in Western Medicine but not quite: a Western disease can often be explained by several Chinese patterns and vice-versa.

A pattern often manifests itself in a combination of symptoms that, at first glance, do not seem necessarily related to each others. For instance here loose teeth is often associated with tinnitus, infertility and dizziness in the pattern “Kidney Yang Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause loose teeth.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of loose teeth we’ve identified three herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the five medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat loose teeth.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause loose teeth

In Chinese Medicine loose teeth is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

The Kidneys is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine

Kidney Yang Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Slow (Chi)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Tongue shape: Swollen

Kidney Yang Deficiency causes Internal Cold and weakness.

In addition to loose teeth, other symptoms associated with Kidney Yang Deficiency include tinnitus, infertility and dizziness.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Kidney Yang Deficiency is associated with health issues such as Late Menstruation, Menopausal Syndrome or Irregular Menstruation.

Kidney Yang Deficiency is often treated with Ba Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Ba Wei Di Huang Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish yin and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Tonifies Yang".

Read more about Kidney Yang Deficiency here

The Kidneys is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine

Kidney Essence Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu), Floating (Fu)

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Pale

Kidney Essence (Jing 精) Deficiency usually involves Deficiency of Kidney Yin and, to some extent, Kidney Yang. Its symptoms are typically in relation to growth, development, reproduction, sexuality, bones, marrow, the brain, teeth, memory and hair.

In addition to loose teeth, other symptoms associated with Kidney Essence Deficiency include tinnitus, infertility and dizziness.

Kidney Essence Deficiency is often treated with Zuo Gui Wan, a herbal formula made of 8 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Zuo Gui Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish yin and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nourishes the Yin".

Read more about Kidney Essence Deficiency here

Three herbal formulas that might help with loose teeth

Ba Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Yang. Warms the Kidneys and lower extremities.

Why might Ba Wei Di Huang Wan help with loose teeth?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yang Deficiency' of which loose teeth is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yang Deficiency include tinnitus, infertility and dizziness.

Read more about Ba Wei Di Huang Wan here

Zuo Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin. Strengthens the Kidneys. Fills the Essence. Augments the marrow.

Why might Zuo Gui Wan help with loose teeth?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Essence Deficiency' of which loose teeth is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Essence Deficiency include tinnitus, infertility and dizziness.

Read more about Zuo Gui Wan here

You Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang. Replenishes the Essence. Tonifies the Blood.

Why might You Gui Wan help with loose teeth?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Kidney Yang Deficiency' of which loose teeth is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Kidney Yang Deficiency include tinnitus, infertility and dizziness.

Read more about You Gui Wan here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat loose teeth

Why might Yam (Shan Yao) help with loose teeth?

Because Yam is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat loose teeth as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

Yam is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Lung and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach. Tonifies the Lung Qi and nourishes the Lung Yin. Nourishes the Kidneys and consolidates Jing.

Read more about Yam here

Why might Prepared Aconite (Zhi Fu Zi) help with loose teeth?

Because Prepared Aconite is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat loose teeth as a symptom, like You Gui Wan or Shen Qi Wan for instance.

Prepared Aconite is a Hot herb that tastes Pungent and Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Raises the collapse of Yang. Warms the meridians and relieves pain caused by Cold. Reduces Damp caused by Deficiency in Yang.

Read more about Prepared Aconite here

Why might Cuscuta Seed (Tu Si Zi) help with loose teeth?

Because Cuscuta Seed is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat loose teeth as a symptom, like Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

Cuscuta Seeds is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Liver and the Spleen.

Its main actions are: Tonifies Kidney Yang and Essence. Nourishes the Liver.

Read more about Cuscuta Seeds here

Why might Water Plantain (Ze Xie) help with loose teeth?

Because Water Plantain is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat loose teeth as a symptom, like Ba Wei Di Huang Wan or Shen Qi Wan for instance.

Water Plantain is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Bladder and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Causes urination and removes Damp-Heat

Read more about Water Plantain here

Why might Deer Antler Glue (Lu Jiao Jiao) help with loose teeth?

Because Deer Antler Glue is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat loose teeth as a symptom, like You Gui Wan or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

Deer Antler Glue is a Warm herb that tastes Salty and Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Yang tonification of the Kidneys and Liver, and to nourish vital Essence and Blood

Read more about Deer Antler Glue here