Teeth Telling Tales Of Emotion: How Dental Issues Happen In The Healthy
Teeth Telling Tales Of Emotion: How Dental Issues Happen In The Healthy
Sentience is a term coined in the 1600s to describe the multidimensional and subjective phenomenon of awareness of self and others.
It consists of three basic domains of human psychology, with accumulating evidence of it being a collection rather than a compilation with each necessary, but none dependent on either of the others.
This sentience club of 3 is, in a nutshell, physical awareness, identity and metacognition – all found to some extent in the average adult human being. The metacognitive ability of inner reflection and the empathy needed to do this is underwritten by self-awareness, which is not necessarily self-recognition.
All part of the rules of the club. Rule #1 though, is that you can talk about sentient club.
It is the human condition to question and meaning to be sought. It’s not always found; and even when it is it’s often not in the same place. It’s what makes life interesting and psychological sciences exist.
The broad view of course, is that people are of superior sentience, with studies of animals and plants determining which of these capacities are shared with continuing evidence that animals and plants possess sentient properties that human beings lack.
Whatever the doctrine, whatever the belief, the human psyche is a complex beast.
It’s a topic discussed in some dental journals – that emotional health and upheaval is reflected in tooth position, and damage. Holistic dentistry often considers the spiritual representation of teeth, perceived as holding suppressed emotion as the hardest biological material of the human body.
Almost a decade ago Czechia Dr Stanislav Cícha told of the inspiration of French dentist Dr Michèle Caffin’s book, When The Teeth Talk (Quand les dents se mettent à parler).
In it, he found that encouraging patients to talk about the emotional landscape of their life allowed him to map the significance in individual teeth. What was particularly interesting to him were those with good general health experiencing dental issues without apparent cause.
The map he made was found to correspond with acupuncture meridians, and over more than a decade of research and observation, patterns emerged.
From this unorthodox perspective came adventurous thought.
The lower jaw represents action; the chin a symbol of energy and determination, a concept familiar throughout art and history. Dudley Dooright would have been decidedly less convincing without his; Jay Leno’s is mesmerising and not in the same way as Jon Hamm’s.
The right quadrant is the future, the left is the past. Mother and father are represented in the left and right central incisors respectively. Right overlap suggests strong maternal influence.
Dr Cícha cites one of his patients showing fractures in both; the left needing extraction because the damage extended to the root. It related to the divorce of the parents, and court appointed the children to the care of their father.
With the loss of the mother came the loss of the corresponding tooth.
Every tooth holds information specific to an emotion, an experience or change.
Orthodontics means the loss of autobiographical information, and if the underlying psychological issue is not properly addressed, teeth will eventually regain their original position when wearing a retainer is no longer necessary.
The individuality and energy of a person is expressed in the third molars – the left and right; the contact and contract of the material and spiritual worlds; along with the fear of rejection. Typically they’re teeth that erupt in adolescence and complicated by exams, or feelings of mental or physical stress.
Many things are a mirror to the soul, so why not physics, psychology and dentistry… Carl Jung once described the human body as “a museum of organs, each of which has a long history of development” so why would there not be stories to tell?
Professor Dr Wilhelm Balters (1893-1973), co-inventor of NUK infant products, is deemed to have said, “Anyway, there is no case of dental anomaly, whose root is not in the soul.”
The mouth occupies a very prominent place in human relationships.
From breastfeeding that aids the development of skull, mandible, spine, hyoid bone and sternum, to communication and interpersonal relationships, it is significant to our sense of self and our harmony with the world.
Large areas of the brain are assigned to the oral cavity, and food is packed with emotional impact. To some dental professionals, because of changes in muscle chains from the hyoid bone to the foot, the entire physicality of someone is altered from the misalignment of their teeth.
Ultimately, health and healing come from the connections of observation.
Whether a canine tooth or a canine, dogma or dog, all of it is energy and influence.
Tooth archetypes are a framework that offers a different understanding about personal oral health, and in a way that can sometimes makes complete sense.
For a different motivation to prioritise dental care, consider the perspective that your mouth is the map of your truth – of innate goodness, of ancestral gifts and that tooth decay and gum disease are just energy blockages to our highest self. With the placement of the disruption pinpointing a neurological connection, all in harmony with traditional medicines and neuroscience it’s surprising we don’t value our oral health enough.
Until we realise we should have. Change should have occurred.
Sometimes you don’t let sleeping dogs lie. Sometimes you wake them to take them somewhere else they’d much rather be, and sometimes there’s a map.
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