Monday, November 19, 2012

Update - Reversing Z's Cavities

Have had a rough few months recently and so have not been actively blogging - something I not only feel bad about from a personal point of view but also just from the perspective of having more to share and not having been able to do it. I talk to so many of my friends daily whose kids are sick and not getting better and I can relate so well sometimes, it makes me want to wave a magic wand and make it all go away, both for the mom and the child because frankly it is both that need the relief (enter Rescue Remedy - if you don't have this at home, run, run, run now and get it!).

While I'm finishing up another post, I thought I'd give an update on how things have been going since I blogged about Z's dental issues. As I outlined in this entry, we went to the dentist last year and found out that Z had cavities. Not cavities as in the odd one or two but a whopping SIX of them, distributed between her upper and lower teeth, right and left sides, molars and incisors. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. So, rather than filling them we began on a journey to see whether diet & supplementation could make a difference.

I have good news and bad news. Which one do you want first? Well, actually, since I teach R&Z to *always* focus on the good and the positive first, I'll start with the good (sorry for offering and then retracting, that wasn't very nice of me).

The good news is..wait for it..drum roll please...we managed to reverse 4 of the 6 cavities completely! Yayyy!! I mean completely, as in, the new dentist could not see them, feel them or identify them on Z's x-rays. The 5th one is very tiny so I'm pretty sure we are on our way to reversing that one too. Mommy -  5 and Tooth Decay - 0.Yes!

Now onto the bad news :(

The 6th one, which is in Z's upper left molar, is huge and was causing Z a lot of pain. When we started off trying to remineralize (extra points for those of you who remember what this means!), this one was a bit of a doozy. Well, it turns out it hadn't healed and in fact had reached the nerve - the dentist wanted to extract and I almost had a heart attack. Bad flashes of the warnings I didn't heed came flooding back, bringing with them tons of that lovely mommy guilt. Dammit, I should have filled that one when I had the chance. Mommy - 0 and Tooth Decay - 1. Noooooooo!
So, I made the extraction appointment with a heavy heart and left the office, dejected and mad at myself. It was a weekend and I was distraught at the idea of Z suffering for a few days before the appointment so I set out, initially, to find ways I could alleviate the pain. I got in touch with my homeopath and then hit the search engines. I found another dentist who used laser dentistry and a therapy called Ozone which basically uses Ozonated water to clean out debris and decay from the tooth. I decided to visit her impromptu for a second opinion and she gave me a third alternative (i.e. aside from root canal therapy or extraction) which involved cleaning out the cavity using Ozone and then placing an interim, sedative filling (using oil of cloves) in the cavity to see if that would help. She didn't make any promises for complete recovery and said we had to monitor it carefully but at least it helped with the pain and we have been sleeping soundly for 2 nights since. Thank God and fingers/toes crossed, knock on wood etc etc!

As an aside, since the decay has reached the nerve and is threatening to damage it - I also researched how to repair nerve damage and what I could give Z to help keep the nerve intact. Turns out B-complex is my best friend (I do have a few too many of these friends, don't I?) and so that is my next port of call along with continuing with the CLO, homeopathic support and trying out Xylitol.

Send some positive vibes over for my princess, wouldja please?

Let the remineralization continue,


p.s the moral of this story is...cavities can be remineralized but there is a chance you may miss the window if you wait too long. While there may still be a chance I could save Z's tooth, I have been warned that this is probably going to be very difficult to do for the length of time until she gets her permanent molar (4-5 years from now). So start treating your cavities early and even those of you that are lucky not to have to deal with tooth decay, I would strongly recommend incorporating best practices to keep it that way.