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Oral hygiene plays a huge role in overall health and well-being, and it’s important to make sure we’re using the best methods to care for our teeth and gums. Anything with the potential to enter our body and/or make it’s way into our bloodstream³ (in this case, via the oral cavity and saliva), should always be given due thought prior to consumption or implementation.
Thus, it usually makes better sense to opt for healthier, natural alternatives in comparison to anything riddled with chemicals and harsh ingredients.
Turmeric for example, has been used as a holistic oral remedy since ancient times. Not to mention it’s many benefits for the human body upon consumption (such as weight loss, easing depression, and joint issues) turmeric also helps prevent against oral cancer cells, and the inflammation of gum disease¹.
In many Southeast Asian cultures turmeric has been used as a famous curry spice in cuisine, a dye for clothing due to it’s bright yellow-orange coloring, and especially for it’s use in medicine. In recent years, the benefits of this spice have since gained traction within health-conscious individuals all over the globe, and for good reason!
Turmeric belongs in the ginger family and is a spice derived from the root of the curcuma longa plant. Thus, curcumin (also known as curcuminoids or phenolic compounds) is the active ingredient in turmeric powder or turmeric essential oils, and is known for it’s strong anti-oxidant properties.
Over a dozen studies have been tested to show how turmeric extract may kill oral cancer cells, and prove more beneficial than chemical store-bought mouthwash in the treatment of gingivitis and other related oral health issues.
One such study in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, had subjects rinse their mouths twice daily with either a 0.1% curcumin (natural turmeric) extract mouthwash or a traditional 0.2% chlorexidine (the chemical alternative) mouthwash solution². Despite the traditional mouthwash being twice as concentrated, the turmeric solution outperformed in measurements of lowered gingivitis symptoms, reduced plaque, and decreased bacterial activity.
Naturally, the best way to consume turmeric is via organic powder incorporated into the diet as it’s a very safe spice to use, especially in cooking. However, as with anything there are always issues of allergic reaction and so it is advisable to seek the recommendation of a health practitioner or trained medical herbalist before embarking on any new dietary or supplemental health changes.
To use turmeric for dental concerns, the following suggestions may prove useful…
1. Massage teeth with roasted, ground turmeric to help ease pain and swelling.
2. Prepare a home-made mouthwash using turmeric by boiling 5g of turmeric powder, two cloves, and two ground guava leaves in 200g of water. This rinse can help provide instant relief for toothache pain.
3. Prepare a home-made tooth paste by mixing 1 teaspoon of turmeric with ½ teaspoon of mustard oil and ½ teaspoon of salt. Using this mixture twice daily on the gums and teeth can provide relief from gingivitis, halitosis, and/or periodontitis.
4. Prepare a gum pack by mixing a wet pinch of turmeric powder in water or vitamin E oil to any affected areas overnight. Also, one can absorb this paste into a gauze and tuck it securely against the inner lip and affected area for as long as necessary to reduce pain or inflammation.
This powerful spice can completely transform your oral health regimen, as well as help keep you safe against many health concerns or chemical induced products. Plus, it also acts as a natural alternative to whitening teeth. The benefits just keep adding up!
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