Wisdom Tooth Extraction & Natural Solutions (1/2)

Today, we’re taking you behind the scenes (or rather inside my mouth) so you can steal the strategies I used for my recent wisdom tooth extraction.

I’m not a fan of wasting your time with unnecessary fluff. If you just want to know the supplements I used, please scroll to the “solutions” section of this article!

For those of you who like a bit of a story, a mini-rant about our current medical system + some clinical pearls of wisdom (pun intended), put the kettle on and I’ll share the tea.

And finally, if you’re new here, welcome to our functional medicine family. Our posts are here to help you walk the alternative path and we’ll be planting some powerful seeds of natural health wisdom along the way.

Harvest what you wish. 🌱

🔍 Problem

Emergency wisdom tooth extraction required due to an infection.

⚠️ Complications:

  • Currently breastfeeding & not wanting to take antibiotics (which affects the baby)
  • Allergic to penicillin (which means the alternative antibiotic is Clindamycin)
  • I have a history of clostridium difficile infection (which is made worse by taking Clindamycin)
  • Currently living away from my normal dentist and regular stash of supplements (one of the few downsides of being a digital nomad)

🌱 Functional Medicine Solutions:

  • Salt water rinses
  • Copaiba & lavender essential oil
  • Copaiba softgel capsules
  • Palmitoylethanolamide
  • Vitamin C
  • Collagen powder
  • Tri-Factor (Magnesium, zinc & B6)
  • Lymphatic drainage

**What I wished I had on hand:

  • Biocidin LSF
  • Dentalicidin
  • Serrapeptase
  • Roman chamomile, frankincense, clove or thyme essential oil.

**Although if we’re really wishing for things, no issues with my wisdom teeth would be right up there!!

I can’t wait to share the research about these products in the next article. 

But first, it’s time for a story and a rant…

Have you made your cup of tea yet? Let’s dive in 🫖

I’m not sure what’s up with my genetics, but I was only born with 3 wisdom teeth. They’re smaller than most and seem to have a wandering mind of their own – growing out to the sides (towards my cheek). It’s never good to be “medically interesting” but dentists always get a little bit excited when they see my x-rays.

I previously had my other wisdom tooth extracted in my 20s when I was chronically ill and couldn’t figure out what was causing it. Nothing was working – so I was literally pulling my hair out (and my teeth!) in an attempt to get to the bottom of why I felt so unwell.

Clinical Pearl #1

Always consider the teeth or any history of dental treatments such as root canals. The teeth are a frequent source of hidden infections & can make your immune system chronically on high alert (hello autoimmune disease).

My recent wisdom tooth infection was only a matter of time. It was declared a “ticking time bomb” since it had broken through the gum years ago and I had to work really hard at keeping it clean. Admittedly my dental routine has slipped a bit since motherhood…appointments are a rarity these days, and yes… I skipped my last 6-monthly dental check-up. 

Pregnancy is also known for making women prone to dental issues such as periodontal disease and cavities.

Anyway – my wisdom tooth got very angry, very quickly. I quickly admitted defeat & booked a dental appointment, partly because there was a public holiday looming. I didn’t want to be stuck extracting my own tooth like Tom Hanks in Castaway.

Since I wasn’t living near my regular dentist, I picked a random one with 78 decent Google reviews. Credit to my new dentist – he was very friendly and not pushy about extracting the tooth. He was, however, insistent about me taking antibiotics, even though I said I’d prefer not to because I was breastfeeding my baby.

Ultimately I was given two choices:

  1. Dig around the tooth to clean it up and take some antibiotics. Then remove the tooth at a later date.


  1. Pull the tooth and take antibiotics.

I was 3 needles deep when I opted to pull the tooth out. It didn’t make sense to wait for the inevitable & subject my body to another round of needles and antibiotics. Cut a long story short, the tooth was removed and I was sent home with an antibiotic script and instructions to “rest” (LOL – I have a baby, remember?).

Time to rant 😤:

I was reassured multiple times that antibiotics don’t affect the baby through breastmilk. The thing is, I have over 200 slides of research sitting on my computer that says otherwise. 

Now I know you’re thinking, “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY ANYTHING?!”

I ask myself the same question (I’m the type of person who thinks about conversations LONG after they’ve been said and I mull over the “perfect pretend response” in my head).

  1. I know it was because I was in pain and didn’t have the energy to argue.
  2. I’m also a people-pleaser from way back (early childhood I believe).
  3. And finally, I’m mindful to respect the doctor-patient relationship. There’s a certain power dynamic that should be present. I was there to seek his skills and expertise. I’ve been on the receiving end of a patient disrespecting this dynamic, so I never wish to do the same.

I walked away from this appointment with so many thoughts and questions:

  • How can we expect our patients to advocate for themselves, when health professionals (like myself) can’t even do it? 
  • How do we navigate the doctor-patient dynamic & kindly correct them when they’re wrong? Is there any point… or is it futile?
  • Why are there never any alternative solutions offered to assist the recovery of tooth extraction, despite there being evidence in the literature?
  • And finally, I’m saddened by the fact that other mums who may have had the same concern as me would simply “trust their doctor/dentist” & unknowingly impact the health of their baby.

To be clear: I’m not against antibiotics. 

I’m against: not being up-to-date with the literature, misinformation, not mentioning alternative supportive therapies and not asking appropriate questions before prescribing (Clindamycin was not the best antibiotic of choice, based on my gut history).

What does the research say about antibiotics & tooth extraction?

“On average, treating 19 healthy patients with prophylactic antibiotics may stop one person from getting an infection.” PMID: 33624847

I’ll leave that for you to chew on – until the next post where I share the research about the supplements I used.


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