|Natural Dental Care
-- ©Deborah Barr. All rights reserved.
Reprint from The General
(Official publication of the Pennsylvania
Academy of General Dentistry)
Simple, safe, effective solutions to many health and dental problems
already exist. These methods are based on the common roots of traditional
western and eastern medicine. Among these are dietary healing and herbal
medicine. They have been and are currently successfully practiced by
hundreds of thousands of people to improve all kinds of health conditions.
Our eating habits play a major role in many common diseases including
diseases of the mouth and teeth. Most Americans have a limited awareness
of the power of food in maintaining health and reversing disease. Proper
diet is the most basic and practical way to change our condition. The
food we eat becomes our blood, affecting the quality of cells, tissues,
organs, bones, and the mind.
Calcium and all other vitamins and minerals are important factors in bone
and dental health. All of the nutrients critical to bone health are also
essential for teeth. Many people are taking large doses of calcium
without addressing the cause of calcium loss. Excess calcium, occurring
from over-supplementation of calcium pills, can result in loss of other
minerals in the body, especially iron, zinc and manganese.
Nutrient malabsorption due to a weak digestive system is also a factor. Calcium
inhibitors include coffee, refined sugar, excess protein, especially meat,
eggs and dairy, as well as alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes and other
intoxicants, and some prescription medications. Sweets, highly processed
and refined foods, fatty, sticky and acid-producing foods increase the
risk of tooth decay, enamel erosion, gum disease and poor overall health.
Other risk factors include excess aluminum intake such as
buffered aspirin, aluminum-containing antacids, aluminum cookware, baking
powders and antiperspirants. These vegetables inhibit calcium: tomatoes,
potatoes, eggplant and bell peppers. They contain the calcium inhibitor solanine. Emotional stress and tension contribute to loss of minerals
leading to poor bone and dental health.
The best foods for healthy bones and teeth include high chlorophyll foods
such as cooked leafy green vegetables including kale, collard greens,
turnip greens, broccoli, bok choy, watercress, parsley, dandelion greens.
Green plants have the greatest concentration of calcium of any food,
second to sea vegetables.
high chlorophyll products such as wheat or barley
grass products, micro-algae, spirulina, wild blue-green algae and
chlorella have a significant impact on the body's magnesium levels and
calcium utilization if used regularly.
If you're feeling adventurous,
try sea vegetables such as kelp, nori, wakame, arame, or dulse. Rich in
all nutrients they are beneficial for strong bones and teeth. They are
available in natural food stores and you'll find
Beans, including soybeans and
their by-products (miso, soy sauce, tofu, tempeh); mung, aduki, black and lima
beans; whole grains, especially buckwheat, millet, barley and rice; fish, and many vegetables, nuts and seeds are all
dense in all nutrients necessary for healthy teeth. When these foods
become the foundation for your diet, cravings for unhealthy foods
There are many people who simply have no interest in eating a healthy diet
that provides all the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes necessary for good
health. They may want to consider a program of nutritional supplements
consisting of Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene; Vitamin C, Vitamin
D, Calcium and Magnesium, manganese, zinc, silicon and boron. Vitamin E
should also be considered and can be massaged into the gums.
Q10 has been shown in clinical trials to have good results for periodontal
disease. 30-50 mg of CoQ10 daily can help reverse periodontal disease. Even
There are many herbs that enhance dental health. A
professional should be consulted before embarking on a supplement and/or
Natural Remedies for a Tooth Ache
Once a problem has developed, there are some effective natural remedies
for specific problems. For toothache:
- Apply the essential oil of Clove to relieve pain from toothaches,
canker sores, teething and tooth and gum abscesses. For thousands of
years herbalists have been using this potent essential oil to relieve
tooth pain. Mix 15-20 drops of Clove oil to a teaspoon of olive oil or
other vegetable oil and apply with a cotton swab to the tooth and
surrounding gum. Do not use undiluted, as it can be irritating to the
skin and gums.
- Apply cayenne pepper to the toothache. Use a few grains or a drop of
the concentrate. It will initially sting but will dull the pain and
reduce inflammation. You can reduce the hotness by adding peppermint oil
or myrrh to the cayenne.
- Place a clove of peeled garlic on the tooth for about an hour.
- Use a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide (food grade) with salt water in a ratio of
1:4 to rinse the teeth and gums.
- Essential oil of peppermint, cinnamon, and eucalyptus also have a
topical analgesic effect.
- The following herbs can be used as a poultice or compress topically:
Echinacea, ginger, aloe, chamomile, comfrey or yarrow. Moisten the dried
herbs, place inside cheesecloth, and apply to the toothache. Or add 10-15
drops of herbal concentrate or tincture to some warm water, dip a cloth in
the solution, and apply to the toothache.
- Some herbalists recommend applying drops of Echinacea tincture on the
tooth every 15 minutes. Echinacea activates the immune system and
initiates the body's healing response. You can also combine it with myrrh
for additional pain-relieving properties.
Natural Antibiotics and Antivirals
Certain herbs such as Echinacea, Myrrh, Goldenseal, and Astragalus have
antibiotic and antiviral properties and are effective for relieving mouth
and gum infections. These can be taken internally or applied as a
Isatis Gold is highly recommended for bacterial and viral infections.
Coptis Purge Fire treats tooth abscess and works well. A
qualified herbalist should be consulted for herbal
recommendations that match the constitution and condition of the patient.
If taking antibiotics, acidophilus supplements should be taken daily to
restore the intestinal flora. Antibiotics kill friendly microorganisms
that your intestines need for proper functioning and harmful bacteria and
microorganisms can proliferate causing fungi and yeast infections. Eating
whole foods high in fiber can enhance the positive effects of acidophilus
on intestinal flora. I like
Culturelle Digestive Health Probiotic
because they are proven to survive stomach acid.
To help heal infections and abscesses use at least 96% pure aloe gel.
Calendula is analgesic and antibiotic and can be used as a mouthwash
combined with water. Tea Tree oil is a potent disinfectant. Add 5 drops
to 1/3 cup warm water and use as a mouth rinse. One tablespoon of 3%
food grade hydrogen peroxide in 8 ounces of water is also a healing mouth rinse.
The possibilities are endless within natural healing. It's important to
disease does not assert itself on us. The condition of our health and our
lives for the most part is a result of the choices we have made. Often
problems result from a lack of fundamental health-enhancing qualities; lack of ongoing attention to self-care and prevention; and lack of
understanding of food and health.
When problems and disease are artificially removed and symptomatically
treated without changing the underlying cause, long-term balanced health
will not be achieved. The "whole" or the foundation may collapse. I'm
not suggesting that you abandon medical treatment. I am recommending that
you look for the deeper causes of the problem and investigate and implement
new choices that will enhance your "whole" health. Lasting solutions can
be found to the multiple ills of society when treated holistically.
Medical treatments and all other therapies are more effective when based
on a solid dietary foundation. A healthy diet is the most practical
least invasive way to recover your health and prevent future problems, and
is the best way to begin.
©Deborah Barr, 2002-16. All rights reserved.