Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Kelly Tells The Tooth!

Written by Elaine Lewis

Elaine gives the answer to last month’s quiz. Revisiting: Kelly Tells The Tooth!

Who remembers last month’s long, tedious but nonetheless exciting quiz presented by Kelly about her exasperating month-long dental debacle?  Here it is again:


Well, Kelly, what do you have for us today?

A toothache!


Wait a minute, didn’t you have a toothache last month?

Yes!!!! And I got bumped for Caralyn!

Kelly, there’s something you have to understand about homeopathy, everyone likes Caralyn!  She’s very bouncy!  She generates a lot of mail. For instance, here’s a letter now.  Ahem:

Dear Elaine, brilliant!–Caralyn


And another thing you have to understand about homeopathy, Kelly, and that is… I have to be able to come up with a song that has something to do with the case in my capacity as’s only DJ, and as far as I know, no one has ever written a song about a tooth!

Didn’t Ray Charles do a song called “Tell The Tooth”?

That was “Tell The Truth”!

Ray Charles Tell the Truth

Didn’t Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston do “It Takes Tooth”?

That was “It Takes Two!”


Well, I can’t help you!

Start your case Kelly…..

Right. So, I’ve got a great case for you this month Elaine!


I’m so excited because, as you know, my teeth have been bothering me for a long time now.


And as you also know, I’m a wimp when it comes to seeing the dentist- which I manage to avoid thanks to you!!

Yes, you’ve done a lot for the cause of dentistry.

It all started, or should I say, re-started, a few weeks ago.  I had several teeth that were painful.  One area was the gum around a broken-off tooth.  (A decayed tooth that broke awhile ago; Carbo veg helped back then…)  The other two were the upper left (behind a failed implant area) and the lower molars. I had tried rhus tox but it hadn’t helped at all.  Here’s the thing, the teeth are sensitive during the day (when eating/chewing) but they really come alive after dinner!

And that’s probably not a good sign, right?

Yes! Not good! It would start as a dull ache and by the time I went to bed, throbbing pain that was unbearable! The whole left side of my face ached horribly! I felt the pain in the roots and thought that I had an infection. By morning, the pain would be diminished, my cheek would feel swollen (though it wasn’t) and the whole thing would repeat itself that night.  Oh, and I also had poison ivy again–boo hoo!

Cheer up, Kelly, we’ll just use that in next month’s quiz!

That’s so comforting.  Anyway, that was when I got in touch with you, Elaine!

Really? I wish I could remember that, what did I say?

You repertorized my symptom list.  Remember?

sensitive teeth and gums, worse chewing
pain worse evening/night
painful left cheek
swollen sensation of cheek
tension in face/jaw/bones
possible teeth grinding in sleep
poison ivy
teeth felt hot

Was that it?

No, there’s more:

  • Toothache after eating
  • Toothache evening
  • Toothache, left
  • Teeth, pulsating pain
  • Teeth, sensitive
  • Toothache, eating, during
  • Toothache, increasing gradually
  • Toothache, molars

When does it stop?

Now, it stops now! And the winners were…..

  • Sulphur
  • Mercury
  • Chamomilla
  • Causticum
  • Sepia
  • Kali carb.

And then you said, “One of these better work cuz we got an ezine to get out!”

I’m very sympathetic!

So, I tried Chamomilla 30C and here’s what happened:

No pain that night! hurray!! However, I didn’t sleep all that well. I suspected that I was grinding my teeth or at the very least, clenching while asleep.  The following day I felt a few twinges from the lower left group of molars so I redosed.  The teeth were still sensitive when chewing but at least they weren’t pounding!  I redosed again later that same day and went to bed early because I had been feeling groggy all day.  Then you suggested I move on to Sulphur as I continued to have some pain despite taking Chamomilla.  So, here’s what happened with Sulphur–nothing!


I did notice a very small improvement, though…


– less tension in my jaw. But after the second dose, I developed a sore on the inside, back left of my tongue. The teeth felt okay (not great but not bad either) I took a 3rd dose later that day and the tension in my jaw returned, the sore was irritating and painful and my tongue felt swollen.

Not going well, is it?

My back, which had also been bothering me a little, was not so great either (tension there too) and I didn’t sleep well that night. I decided to zap the sulphur and take a look at your list of remedies again.  Here’s my symptom list: tension in jaw/teeth/face, bones; sore on tongue, tongue feels swollen, not sleeping well, lower back pain.  Mercury looked like the next remedy to try but it didn’t help either.

And I suppose that’s my fault too!

I’m just sayin’!  Well, the nightly teeth pain did return.  I took Chamomilla and finally fell asleep. My jaws felt achy and tired in the morning and I still had “pangs” of pain shooting through my gums/teeth. I also had another painful sore inside my lower lip, just above the tooth line.

My symptom list:

achy jaws
tension in jaw/face/bones
sticking/prickling/sticking pain in teeth and gums
painful sore on inside lower lip and on tongue–Kali carb was next, but, I struck out again!

Yeesh! Practicing dentistry isn’t easy!

I was very worried at this point as the pain was really bad and I worried about an abscess. I actually resorted to an extra strength tylenol before going to bed!  Causticum was next but as luck would have it, that didn’t work either!

When is this tragedy going to take a turn for the better?

Right now! Because you told me to take _____________.

I told you to take _______________?

Yes, you told me to take ____________!

And what happened?

I got better!



Now, wasn’t that exciting? Apparently many of you didn’t think so!  I think people must run screaming from the building as soon as they hear the word dentist!  But we do have a winner this time!  Nilay from … somewhere, correctly guessed Nitric Acid!!!!!!

If you’ll notice, I underlined all the symptoms for Nitric acid in the case and here they are:

  1. Left sided complaints
  2. When it looks like Mercury but Mercury doesn’t work…think of Nitric acid
  3. Painful ulcers (sores) in mouth
  4. Worse evening, worse night
  5. Sticking/pricking/splinter-like pains
  6. Tearing and shooting pain in teeth
  7. Pain on chewing
  8. Throbbing pain

To quote John Clark, “Ontalgia [toothache] with jerking, shooting, drawing or pulsating pain, principally at night, in bed, in evening.”

I was finally tipped off to Nitric acid when Kelly mentioned the appearance of painful sores, first on the tongue, then on the inside of the lower lip.

“Mouth: ulcers, painful”; there are only 8 remedies listed in Murphy’s 3rd ed. and nitricum acidum is the only one in BOLD! The evening/night time aggravation is very characteristic.

In short, this is a very big remedy in dental problems, especially in periodontal disease, gingivitis, dental abscesses, bleeding gums, loose teeth, sore gums, tooth decay, mouth sores, and even that awful symptom where the painful tooth feels longer than all the others, have you ever had that?  I have!  Yeah, that’s a pretty bad sign; not that Nitric acid is the only remedy; but, with homeopathy, even that can be reversed, believe me, I know!

So, in conclusion, especially if your tooth complaint is left-sided, don’t forget Nitric acid, and especially if it looks like Mercury and Mercury doesn’t work.

Dr. B, for being our only winner, this song goes out to Nilay!  Ray Charles doing one of my favorite songs by him, “Tell The Tooth”, I mean “Truth”!


Ray Charles


Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom. Elaine takes online cases. Visit her website at:

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and

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