Koral Dant Pari
Causes of Tooth Decay:
1. High intake of sugary, starchy and processed foods in your diet. High fructose corn syrup in processed food will also hurt the teeth.
2. Not cleaning the mouth properly after eating. Hence bacteria present in the mouth converting the sugar into acids.
3. The acid from the sugar combines with food debris and forms plaque.
4. Plaques can easily lead cavities and tooth decay.
Oral cavity, plaques and gum infections are treated with chewing herbal sticks (stems/branches of bitter or astringent plants), oil pulling, salt water rinsing, gum massage and using herbs/berries that strengthens gum tissues and stabilizes collagen.
Ayurvedic Practices to Relieve Oral Cavity:
1. Herbal Sticks: Chewing on fresh stem from neem tree is the most popular way to combat tooth decay and keep your oral health intact. The stems should be small, soft and without the leaves. Neem is extremely preferable for Pitta and Kapha Dosha and Licorice is good for Vata Dosha. Chewing these herbal stems that has anti-bacterial effect can protect teeth from plaques. In many parts of the world Miswaak or twik from Salvadora Persica (arak/peelu tree) is also popular as a herbal chewing stick due to its high in anti-microbial properties. Neem, licorice or miswaak can be used as a tooth brush to clean teeth. Chew one end of the herbal stems to make feel like a brush.
If you are still not comfortable using herbal stick than use a tooth brush that has a gentle bristle. Remember you teeth are “alive” so do not hurt them by vigorous brushing.
2. Herbal Tooth Powder: Ditching the commercial toothpaste would be a wise choice to make. I know it maybe something you are not used to know but you can easily grow into it. There are many recipes for making your own home made tooth paste or tooth powders. I love my tooth powder made from neem powder and salt. Many holistic tooth paste companies make toothpastes from neem or neem extract.
3. Oil Pulling: Oil pulling is a practice that involves swishing oil in the mouth oral and systemic health benefits. Oil pulling has been used extensively as a Indian folk remedy to reduce cavity, bleeding gums, bad breath, dryness of throat, cracked lips, whitening teeth and for strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw. Oils such as sunflower, sesame seed and coconut are very popular however sesame seed oil is the best of all the seed crop for oral health.
4. Gum Massage: This is the technique that is used by my mother-in-law. She told me about it when I was worried about my bleeding gum to try it out. She mixes 2 teaspoon of pure mustard seed oil with ¼ teaspoon of rock or sea salt and massages her gum gently. Her teeth are in excellent condition and they are shiny! This formula can combat pyorrhea, swollen gums, toothache, and bleeding gums as it strengthens the gums and kills the germs.
I have also tried using turmeric powder (1/4 teaspoon) instead of salt or added turmeric with salt and mustard seed. Turmeric with mustard oil is beneficial for toothache, dental caries, and pain in teeth while eating chilled or hot food items, as well as for bleeding gums.
5. Gargle with salt: Gargling involves filling the mouth with comfortable amount of fluid so that you can close your mouth and create a motion by a stream of air from the lungs. Take half a teaspoon of rock salt or sea salt in a cup of warm water and gargle to prevent tooth decay.
I sometimes add fennel or peppermint essential oil to my salt water before gargling.
6. Clove oil: Clove is one of the most important ingredients to in treating dental or oral conditions. It is used in many toothpastes, mouthwashes, and oral care medications. It is a flower bud of a evergreen tree that has numerous medicinal properties. Clove is rich in minerals such as calcium, hydrochloric acid, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and vitamin A, vitamin C and a powerful compound called ‘eugenol.’ Clove anti microbial and anti-septic properties of clove oil makes it perfect for treating cavities, bleeding gum, bad breath, tooth ache, sore gum, and mouth ulcers. Dilute clove oil with sesame seed oil, pour couple of drops in a cotton ball and put at the end of the tooth which has the cavity. Do this every night before going to bed.
Keeping a whole clove under the tongue after eating is also beneficial. Chew lightly on the clove and keep it under the tongue. This is a breath freshener and will keep the teeth and gum strong.