Healthy teeth with Herbal Aids
In recent decades, tiny plastic bristles attached to plastic handles have been used to clean teeth. Many people around the world have been cleaning their teeth with “chewing sticks” for thousands of years. Besides the fact that chewing a fibrous stick will scrape plaque off teeth, chewing sticks are made from plants that contain antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that kill germs before they reach teeth.
The ends of twigs from small, fibrous bushes are shredded and used to “floss” between teeth and scrub tooth surfaces in many tribal and rural cultures of the world, especially in Africa and South America. Only a few species of trees and bushes have been scientifically studied for their dental benefits, although many varieties have historically been used as chewing sticks.
There are still two plants in developing countries that are commonly used for tooth care: rhus vulgaris and lantana trifolia, both of which are being studied for their potential to improve the health of the poor. In contrast to plastic toothbrushes used in more industrialized parts of the world, these toothbrushes are far cheaper and more readily available.
Quommo and Ongafire are some of the nicknames that Rhus vulgaris is known by. From Cameroon east to Ethiopia and south to Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, this shrub produces edible berries.
In the West Indies, Mexico, Central and South America, Lantana trifolia, commonly known as shrub verbena, is a broadleaf evergreen. Researchers found that chewing sticks harvested from these plants made it easier to clean posterior teeth than modern toothbrushes because the heads are smaller and the device is easier to manipulate. As a result, bleeding gums are less likely to occur when cleaning individual teeth.
When it comes to scraping off plaque and debris, the sticks work well. In combination with their antimicrobial properties, chewing sticks offer a better alternative to modern toothbrushes. The Internet and some health food stores sell dental chewing sticks as part of the growing interest in alternative dental health.
In the herbalist community, diet is widely accepted as one of the main factors affecting tooth decay. Thus, when you turn to your herbalist for help with your teeth, the first thing they will discuss is food with you. Furthermore, they will complete a comprehensive set of questions about your mood, environment, and situation to better understand who you are. Your diet may need to be adjusted to increase the possibility of remineralization and healing before an herbalist can suggest several herbs that can help your body build teeth.
Several herbs can assist in reversing pathology and strengthening teeth, according to Christopher Hobbs, LAc, AHG, an herbalist and botanist with over thirty years of experience:
Antibacterial & Anti-inflammatory Resins
Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are found in the following resins. Additionally, they have the following special characteristics.
Myrrh- warming, astringent
Propolis (bee product) stimulates the production of new tissue; antiviral. It is also useful for treating mouth ulcers and sores.
Pine resin (pitch)—Can be chewed like gum when firm.
Usnea- strong against streptococcus and staph bacteria, stronger than penicillin.
Bloodroot- a plant in eastern woodlands that inhibits plaque and decay-causing bacteria.
Plantain- a common “weed” that can be used fresh to treat abscesses.
Astringents (antimicrobial, tightens tissues)
These will strengthen your gums and firmly root the tooth.
Krameria contains 40% tannin (antiviral). For bleeding gums or spongy gums, combine the powder with myrrh.
Oak galls (oak apples) contain up to 50% tannins. Its uses powder as a dentifrice.
Tormentil & Sage- Use as a gargle for chronic gum inflammation.
In order for the teeth and gums to heal properly and maintain their health, your body needs a healthy immune system to produce and distribute nutrients.
Echinacea– Activate local immunity and promote healing by gargling or rinsing with the diluted tincture.
Baptisia—Antiseptic and antibacterial.
Blood flow is stimulated in the gums by plants that contain essential oils, which drives nutrients to the teeth. These oils are also antibacterial, so they remove surface bacteria as well: