Not Another Root Canal

September 05, 2014

Toothaches Resolved through Whole Health Connections

Can toothaches be reversed, and root canal treatment avoided? I believe the answer is yes — sometimes, and the earlier the better. Let’s look at AE’s case after we connect a few dots:

  • All parts of the body are connected to one another. The connections can include circulation, respiration, nutrition, emotions, and also meridians — vital energy pathways connecting specific body parts and skin points.
  • Whole Health model sees all these connections as integrated and simultaneous, i.e. all blended into one taste like a soup with 20 vegetables, herbs, and spices.
  • Are teeth connected to the body? Yes, says common sense and Biological Dentistry, but that’s often not reflected in prevailing practices.

The Point Here: toothaches can have bodily origin, not just a dental one. If so, then toothaches in the early stages can be reversed naturally, i.e. without medication, surgery, or root canal treatment. Below is an example.

A Tale of 2 Toothaches

“I have 2 toothaches now.” AE came in eleven days after having two non-amalgam fillings replaced due to constant food-packing between them.

“Really? Where, and when?”

“When you called the next day, my teeth were fine. The ache came on on day 3 after treatment. One was on my upper left side, where the new fillings were. But I also have a toothache on my right side, the UNTREATED side.”

“That’s very interesting.” I checked the treated teeth and new fillings. “Your new fillings seem fine, and I did not find any hight spots. Do you have any sinus problems or cold lately?”


How’s your stress level these days?”

“Funny you should ask. My stress has been going through the roof. My mom having cancer and just moving in with us. I have been clenching and grinding my teeth.”

“We may have a good teaching point here for preventing future episodes like this.”

“Oh, how so?”

Trigger Points: Bullet vs. Trigger

“Dr. Janet Travell was doctor who treated President John Kennedy’s back pain. Dr. Travell wrote a famous textbook called Trigger Point Manual. Trigger Point means the site of pain is not the same as the source, but referred from a distant point. In other words, where the bullet lands is not where the trigger is.”

“You mean my toothache is not from my teeth?” AE’s eyebrows went up.

“Maybe. Look at these trigger point maps and see if you find yourself in there.”

Anterior TemporalisSternocleidomastoid Muscle

Masseter ( Superficial Layer )Lateral Pterygold

“That’s me, and that one, too.” AE points to images 1 and 3, and my clinical palpation confirm the trigger points on the top of her shoulders and the areas in front of her ears.

“I’d like to try anything that’d save me from root canals.” AE added, “This same toothache pattern happened with my previous dental work by another dentist. I ended up with 2 root canals after that, and I am really worried about having 2 more.”

“Now you tell me.” I said teasingly. “To me, that’s increases the likelihood that your toothache may have one or more trigger points somewhere else.”

“And I have had history of bad TMJ. The specialist I saw wanted me to wear the appliance 24 x 7 for 6 months. I tried that and I think that’s what caused my previous root canals.”

Meridians: Vital Energy Pathways in Traditional Chinese Medicine

“It’s possible, but I think it’s more likely your meridians are blocked. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, meridians are vital energy pathways. Like rivers that do not flow, meridian blockage breeds pain and illness.”

“So what do I have to do?”

“Do you have an open mind? Do you want to try the Whole Health route?”

“What’s Whole Health route?”

“Simply put, Whole Health sees the body as mind-body-mouth, i.e. one integrated circuit, or a vegetable soup with 1,000 ingredients in one bowl.”

“Yes, I believe in Whole Health.”

“Then I recommend meridian support with acupuncture.”

Toothaches Gone Naturally, and Have Not Come Back

“My toothaches are gone right after seeing the acupuncturist you sent me to.” AE returned a week later smiling. “She treated the knots in my shoulder and upper back muscles and the pain my upper teeth are gone in one visit — both side!”

AE has followed her Whole Health acupuncturist’s advice to eat a lower-inflammation diet and to do self-healing exercises with meridian tapping. Her toothache has not returned since.

“My toothache problem came from something else.” AE added, “I am very happy that I did not end up having another root canal.”

After her initial dental problems and associated complications were solved, a Holistic Mouth evaluation was made and revealed the following:

  • TMJ pain on both jaw joints
  • Trigger Points: Shoulders (Trapezius muscle) and Masseters (in front of the ears between cheek bone and lower jaw)
  • Stuffy Nose: no
  • Tongue Tie: yes
  • Overweight by 30 pounds after thyroid gland was surgically removed 14 years ago
  • Cannot sleep through the night without waking up several times
  • Airway at its narrowest is in the red (danger) zone

AE Airway copy

Dr. Liao’s Points:

  • Toothaches can come from dental and non-dental causes
  • Non-dental causes of toothaches can include stress, meridian blockage, intestinal inflammation from poor digestion, and oxygen deficiency from Sleep Breathing Disorders.
  • If caught early and assessed correctly, toothaches can be reversed by treating the other end of the meridian pathway connecting the tooth to the rest of the body, as AE’s case demonstrates.
  • Root canals are necessary sometimes, but toothaches do not always need root canals. Consultation with Whole Health-minded health professionals can be helpful, especially in cases without deep fillings or big cavities.
  • Whole Health means seeing the interconnections among mind-body-mouth, and therefore calls for closer mutual support and collaboration among all health professionals. The Importance of Acute Supportive Care in Biological Dentistry is an article for all health professionals and dental patients.
  • One case does not make a pattern, nor do clinical success prove anything. I invite comments from patients and all health professionals to share their experiences as a start toward formal scientific studies.
  • The best time to reverse a toothache is early — before the blood supply and the oxygen supply is shut off.
  • In my experience, people with Impaired Mouth & Airway are more likely to have toothaches of non-dental origin.


1. Travell JG, Simons DG, Simons LS, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction The Trigger Point Manual,1999, Williams & Wilkins.

2. Jenkelson Robert R, Neuromuscular Dental Diagnosis and Treatment, 1990. Ishiyaku EuroAmerica, Inc. Publishers.

3. Williams L, The importance of Acute Supportive Care in Biological Dentistry:

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