“Getting long in the tooth” is a funny way of saying someone (or something) is getting old. Horses’ teeth apparently continue to grow with age. Age also wears the teeth down and makes it hard to determine the horse’s age (Martin 2023). So, I guess it stands to reason that someone who is getting long in the tooth may also have some issues with their teeth.
According to the American Dental Association, dry mouth, cavities and periodontitis can be problems as we age. Additionally, 19% of seniors no longer have any natural teeth. Conventional medication use can cause dry mouth, which, in turn, raises the risk of oral disease (Raphael 2017). Homeopathy can't help bring your teeth back after you've lost them but for other oral issues, like dry mouth, it can be very helpful.
One of my favorite homeopathic remedies for dry anything is Natrum muriaticum. (See: Salty Lips.) Nat Mur can be helpful, particularly if there is a dry mouth WITH thirst. It’s a very helpful remedy for all sorts of mouth issues, actually. Mouth sores and ulcers; bleeding gums; offensive breath; a bluish discoloration to the lips during a chill and gingivitis (the precursor to periodontitis (Ubertalli 2022). Contrary to all the dryness, Nat Mur may be helpful for mucus or slime in the mouth or excess salivation, even causing them to spit constantly at night. Sore pain in the mouth. Toothaches from chewing or from cold anything and they may be sensitive to touch. (I’ll just throw this one in here since we’re talking about dryness and Natrum muriaticum: Women with dry lady parts may find Nat Mur helpful, too.)
Other generally dry remedies (homeopathically speaking) to consider for dental issues are Bryonia and Nux moschata.
Homeopathic Bryonia may have dry, cracked lips and the person may have a tendency to lick them or pick them. The person may make a chewing motion with their jaws. Toothaches may seem to go from one tooth to another and the pain may be worse when lying down. The tooth pain may be sharp and there may be swelling cheeks with the toothache.
Homeopathic Nux moschata has a dry mouth WITHOUT thirst. Slimy mucus may be found in this remedy, too. The palate is so dry that the tongue may get stuck up there. Or, the tongue may seem dry itself. Toothaches which are better from warmth.
All three of these remedies may show other signs of dryness common in old age, like: dry stool (or constipation), dry skin, dry eyes, dryness inside the nose.
To help combat cavities at any age, see “Smile On!”
If you suffer from gingivitis and/or periodontitis, I suggest working with a professional homeopath.
Here's to keeping your pearly whites for when you arrive at the pearly gates!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
American Dental Association, 2012. Aging and Dental Health | American Dental Association [online]. Ada.org.
Harvard Health Publishing, 2010. The aging mouth - and how to keep it younger - Harvard Health [online]. Harvard Health.
Martin, G., 2023. ‘Long in the tooth’ - the meaning and origin of this phrase [online]. Phrasefinder.
Murphy, R., n.d. Repertory, version 3. Accessed through Radar Opus software.
Raphael, C., 2017. Oral Health and Aging. American Journal of Public Health [online], 107 (S1), S44–S45.
Ubertalli, J. T., 2022. Periodontitis - Dental Disorders [online]. Merck Manuals Professional Edition.
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.