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:

Recent Blogs

What Causes Snoring In Females?

May 15, 2024

Women snoring at night is not as prevalent. The likelihood of snoring is significantly higher in men, so if you’re a women and concerned about snoring, you should be aware that snoring could be a sign of an underlying breathing condition. When a person sleeps, the tissues in their airway vibrate, which results in snoring. […]

654 Views Read more

What Does A Bruxism Headache Feel Like

Apr 30, 2024

You are more likely to have headaches if you grind your teeth, whether during the day or at night. But the good news is that if you treat the cause of teeth grinding, your symptoms can improve, giving you hope for fewer headaches. Teeth grinding can cause several problems, including wearing down teeth, making them […]

1907 Views Read more

Can A Tooth Infection Cause A Sore Throat?

Apr 15, 2024

The throat is a passageway from the oral cavity to the esophagus. Anything wrong inside the oral cavity can disrupt it. This makes people wonder, “Can a tooth infection cause a sore throat?” yes, it can. This is most common in the case of impacted wisdom teeth. The Connection Between Teeth and Throat Certain teeth, […]

2232 Views Read more

Non-Surgical Tmj Flare Up Treatments

Mar 30, 2024

Every day, you use your face for things like smiling, laughing, and chewing without even thinking about it. But those actions can become painful if your jaw joint doesn’t work right (TMJ). A dentist with years of experience treating various TMJ flare-ups can check what’s going on with you and suggest a plan to help […]

2081 Views Read more

Can Dentists Fix An Adult Tongue Tie?

Mar 15, 2024

Your tongue helps you talk, eat, and do all sorts of routine things. But sometimes, it’s like it’s wearing a tight cape, holding it back from functioning properly. That’s what we call an adult tongue tie. It’s when the little piece of skin under your tongue, called the frenulum, is too tight, making it hard […]

1676 Views Read more

Why Are My Teeth Falling Out All Of A Sudden?

Feb 29, 2024

Some people can hear a tiny pop while chewing, and their tooth just drops out on their palms. It’s not a scenario anybody would like to experience. Although teeth falling out suddenly can catch you off-guard, it’s not the right time to panic. Stay calm and visit your dentist to rule out the right cause. […]

2066 Views Read more

Can Bad Oral Hygiene Cause Stomach Problems

Feb 15, 2024

When you don’t brush and floss regularly, these bacteria feast on the leftover food. They produce acids that can erode your tooth enamel, causing cavities, inflammation, and potential gum disease. Anything from your mouth can easily access and enter your gut. What Are the Signs of Poor Oral Hygiene? Symptoms of bad oral hygiene are […]

2260 Views Read more

How To Stop Grinding Teeth At Night Without A Mouthguard?

Jan 30, 2024

Do you often wake up with dental pain after catching some z’s at night? This nighttime tooth grind-fest is technically known as bruxism. It mostly happens due to stress and anxiety. However, it is not only emotions, sometimes it has more to do with how your jaw is wired. Ways to Stop Grinding Teeth at […]

1614 Views Read more

How to Keep the Mouth Closed While Sleeping?

Jan 15, 2024

It might not be a big feat for you to breathe through your nostrils while you sleep. However, some people can strive for it. It is not only an unpleasant sight but also causes various health problems. Keeping your mouth open during sleep causes your tongue to roll backward, blocking your airway passage. Why Is […]

3145 Views Read more

Benefits of Seeing an Airway Mouth Doctor

Dec 30, 2023

Dentistry might not even cross your mind when you hear the term sleep Apnea. This disorder can seem harmless. However, it can trigger problems like lack of concentration, dizziness, and zoning out during work. Etc. Therefore, fixing your airway problems can enhance your overall quality of life. Airway Dentistry Airway dentistry is as real as […]

1388 Views Read more
Skip to content