Photograph by drshohmelian
Incorporating herbs into your regular dental hygiene is a fantastic way to maintain healthy teeth and gums without the use of toxic and harmful chemicals.
There are a few herbs in particular that are useful, and these can easily be found in your local supermarket/ health-store or you may even have some of them in your kitchen!
Neem: the bark of this plant has been used traditionally through the ages as a natural toothbrush. People today still chew on the bark for its antibacterial properties. Neem has proven to reduce cavities, decrease plaque, and prevent gum disease. This ingredient is also being incorporated into toothpaste nowadays because its healing properties are widely known.
Echinacea: as a flowering plant, this herb has been used commercially in many immune-boosting formulations to protect against cold and flu. Its immune-boosting property makes it perfect in fighting oral infections and preventing inflammation in the mouth, as well.
Peppermint: is not only good for treating and preventing halitosis (bad breath) but also helps to keep teeth white and sparkly. Chewing on peppermint leaves also decreases dental pain.
Spilanthes or toothache plant (scientific name: Acmella Oleracea): the plant is native to Brazil but is grown in various tropical areas of the world now. It exhibits pain-numbing properties and improves the immune system. The various elements contained in the plant also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This herb is often combined with other ingredients into a mouthwash to relieve oral inflammation.
Ginger root: is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory herb is used to treat gum pain, toothaches, and inflammation in the mouth. For treating a painful tooth simply place a slice of fresh ginger root onto the affected tooth, bite gently and allow the juices released to coat the tooth.
Turmeric: this superstar herb has shown to be useful in many ailments. It works by reducing inflammation and infection. Simply make a paste with some turmeric powder and water. Apply this paste to the inflamed area in the mouth.
Chamomile: is a herb most often used as a tea and chamomile tea bags are easily found in stores. When you add some vanilla extract and lemon to the chamomile tea to make a mouthwash, it will reduce the pain and swelling of any inflammation present. Chamomile is also a good antibacterial agent.
Cloves are fantastic antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and pain-numbing agents. Mix 2 ground-up cloves mixed a small quantity of oil, like olive oil. This mixture can be applied to the inflamed and painful area with a cotton ball.
Garlic: this versatile and famous plant is not only great in cooking but can also be used in dental care. Although garlic bulbs are strictly classified as a vegetable, they have powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties that have significance in treating toothache. Bite a slice of garlic with the affected tooth and allow the healing properties to decrease the pain. Alternatively, it can be made into a paste by crushing with a bit of sea salt and packing this onto the tooth.
Thyme: this herb has anti-fungal and antiseptic properties which make it ideal for preventing tooth cavities and gum disease. It can either be used on its own or in combination with other herbs like peppermint.