Herbal Care in Dentistry: by Dr Damiana Corca, DOM, AP
When it comes to teeth and other related problems, there is a tendency to treat locally and symptomatically only. Is that going to have long-lasting results? One of my mottos is that if a problem took a few years to develop, it is rather important to stress that it will likely take at least a few months to resolve. Consistent herbal care will offer those long-term results, especially if combined with lifestyle changes.
Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Native American Medicine all agree that healthy teeth are many times a matter of inheritance. It is commonly said that strong healthy teeth are a sign of longevity. However, maintenance above all is the key word.
Blessed with healthy teeth or not, all of us need good prevention and maintenance. Don’t forget, the bacteria that cause cavities and dental decay thrive in sugar. Does this means that we should altogether give up sweets because they enhance cavities occurrence? This is one of the myths of medicine. It is not the sweets that cause cavities, but rather forgetting to brush and floss the teeth regularly. Moreover, it is the entire diet that needs to be more balanced and based on natural foods. So, yes, you can eat your healthier choice of chocolate – in moderation, of course – but combine it with daily mindful and natural eating.
Chinese Medicine principles state that teeth are extensions of the bones. Bones along with the Kidney Essence are associated with heredity, or to put it otherwise, the whole health baggage we are born with. Ayurvedic Medicine emphasizes the same concept – the state of health of the teeth and bones mirrors the health of our whole body. People with a Vata constitution seem to have more problems with teeth and bones. Finally, research shows that Native Americans had increased incidence of dental disorders in more sedentary tribes and in people where Western food habits were introduced.
There are literally hundreds of herbs used throughout the world that are beneficial in dental disorders. Chinese herbal prescription combines the wisdom of thousands of years of experience with the latest research and most importantly – with proper diagnosis, based on each individual’s condition. As I have stated in my article Acupuncture in Stomatology – Research, Treatments, and Concepts, long-lasting results are better achieved when herbs are prescribed based on each patient’s condition. However, I am going to acquaint you with a few herbs and foods that are commonly used in different systems of Herbology. Many of them are even used in natural mouthwashes and toothpastes found in most whole food stores.
- A Native American formula combines ¼ cup of baking soda, 5 drops of essential oil of myrrh (or ¼ teaspoonful of ground myrrh), 3 drops of essential oil of peppermint (or ¼ teaspoonful of finely ground peppermint leaves) – stored in an airtight container – dip your wet toothbrush and brush your teeth everyday. Great to prevent formation of plaque and refresh your breath[i].
- Dandelion and oak bark root tinctures taken orally, as recommended by your health care provider, can be an effective way of dealing with infection in the jawbone and gum diseases[ii].
- Make your own gargle – combine echinacea, goldenseal and myrrh tinctures by putting half a dropper each herb in a little warm water and gargle for one minute or more if you have severe conditions[iii].
- Did you know that fluoride is naturally found in green and black tea? Fluoride strengthens the bones and teeth and it is commonly added to toothpastes and mouthwashes for healthier teeth[iv].
- Avoid soft drinks, as they are high in sugar and phosphorus. The calcium/phosphorus balance is disturbed, which leads to a higher incidence of teeth issues.
- Low calcium levels can be related to teeth, jawbone, and periodontal diseases. Read my article titled Our Daily Calcium (Part II) – Triple Strong Calcium Plan to learn how you can achieve a calcium rich diet.
To sum it up, there is really no bigger trick on keeping your teeth healthy than diligent daily hygiene.
Part 3 of this stomatological article series coming soon – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Solutions. Until then, keep on smiling!
More at http://elitehealthplex.com
[i] Miczak M. (1999). Nature’s weeds, Native Medicine. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press.
[ii] Wood, M. (1997). The Book of Herbal Wisdom. Berkely, CA: North Atlantic Books.
[iv] Haas, M.E. (1992). Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Berkley, CA: Celestial Arts Publishing.
The information on this blog is provided for educational or reference purposes only and it is NOT a substitute for professional health care. No information obtained on this blog should be relied on as the basis for treating or diagnosing conditions, symptoms, or illness and all queries should be directed to your health care provider. No warranty or guarantee of a cure is expressed or implied with any information at this blog, nor does Elite HealthPlex Blog make any representations regarding the use or the results obtained with the information. In no event shall Elite HealthPlex Blog, its employees or associates be liable to any person or individual for any loss or damage whatsoever which may arise from the use of this blog or any of the information available on this blog.