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Awareness for oral hygiene has increased tremendously in recent years as oral cavity is the gateway of health and when one’s teeth and gums are healthy, then the whole system also remains healthy. So, teeth and gums also need care. Foods that are rich in refined carbohydrates and sugar like – candies, soft drinks , cookies etc. are the biggest culprits and are the main causes of toothaches as this diet rich in sugar and refined carbohydrates assist in bacterial growth in the mouth which rapidly converts sugar into acid. With time, acid eats away at the surface of teeth and erodes the enamel , causing tooth decay and pain. Other causes of toothache include- eating very hot and very cold foods, gum diseases, cavities, broken tooth etc.
oral cavity is prone to many diseases like – dental pains, tooth decay, tartar, gingivitis, plaque and others. Here we are going to discuss about the most common dental problem toothache.
Oral cavity consists of mouth, teeth, gums, teeth, buccal mucus membrane, palate, pharynx and tonsils.
Tooth ache can result due to various factors like dental caries, cavities etc. Person must visit the dentist to know the extent of tooth decay. The most common factor responsible for tooth ache is dental caries. Dental caries may be defined as the progressive, irreversible, microbial disease affecting the most hard part of the human body i.e. tooth which is exposed to oral environment resulting in demineralisation of the organic constituents thereby resulting in cavity formation.
Teeth cleaning according to Ayurveda – Since thousands of years, Ayurveda recommends teeth brushing. In ancient India, people used twigs of herbs as toothbrush. There was no need of any paste because the twig itself possesses medicinal qualities. The edge of the twig was chewed to make bristles. The bristles were sufficient enough to reach all the corners of mouth and thus clean them. The medicinal qualities of the twig is sufficient to prevent caries and plaque formation thus there are no chances of toothache. The plants selected for this purpose must have astringent, pungent or bitter taste. Bitter herbs like – neem, asana have potent anti-microbial properties which are very beneficial for oral cavity hygiene.
Bitter taste has other benefits like – it helps in improving taste and fight bad breath and anorexia. Pungent tasting herbs help to flush out toxins from mouth and also improve salivation. Astringent tasting herbs like – Khadira (Acacia catechu) helps to heal oral ulcers and gum wounds. This also helps to fight bad breath. There are various plants that can be used for dental brush to help toothache and to maintain healthy teeth. These are –
- Neem twigs (Azadirachta indica)
- Karanja (Pongamia pinnata)
- Arka (Calotropis gigantean)
- Malati (Aganosma dichotoma)
- Kakubha-Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna)
- Asana (Terminalia tomentosa)
- Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)
- Yashtimadhu (Glycorrhiza glabra)
(only the sweet yashtimadhu is recommended, it is sweetish, but yet recommended as toothbrush).
Interesting fact about Meswak (Salvadora persica)
Now-a-days, this herb is marketed as a twig of choice for toothbrush of ancient times. But quite interestingly, this herb has not been enlisted in the choice of herb for toothbrush in both Charak Samhita and Ashtang Hrudayam (Indian medical texts). Though this herb is mentioned in both the text books but for other purposes except for brushing teeth. It does not mean that meswak does not make a good toothbrush, it just might be the case that it was not commonly used for the purpose of brushing teeth.
(References: Charak Samhita Sutrasthana 5th chapter, Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana 2nd chapter).
Best Home Remedies for Toothache
1. Oil pulling
Oil pulling has been practiced in India since ages. Now oil pulling is becoming famous in foreign countries but India has forgotten its importance. It is actually a procedure called mouth gargling using oil. Not only oil, but many types of liquids can be used for desired results. For tooth ache, oil pulling must be done with sesame oil. Sesame oil gargling is beneficial for the strengthening of jaws, flabbiness of face, depth of voice, toothache, excellent gustatory sensation.
One will never get toothache nor will his teeth set on edge by sour intake, his teeth can even chew the hardest eatables, in addition to this, one will never have the dryness of mouth, nor does his lips ever get cracked, his teeth will never develop caries and will be deep rooted. (Reference: Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana, 5)
2. Clove (Syzigium aromaticum)
It helps in excessive sliminess of oral cavity. Clove oil is used as an ingredient in herbal mouthwash liquids to treat toothache. Chewing cloves for toothache also gives relief. It is also used as a mouth freshner.
3. Wheat grass
Wheat grass has natural anti-biotic agents which provides relief in tooth ache and decay. It protects against various infections and also prevents the attack of bacteria. 3 inch saplings can be crushed and can be consumed or can be used as a mouth wash.
Asafoetida or heeng is grounded and added to lemon juice and slightly heated and applied over the affected area with the cotton swab which is thereafter placed in the cavity is a time tested remedy for toothache. Slightly fried asafoetida in cow’s ghee also gives good results.
5. Common Salt
A simple mouth wash consisting of common salt is very effective in providing relief from toothache. Rinsing mouth with lukewarm water mixed with common salt is very beneficial.
6. Decoction from Triphala and Cyprus
Decoction prepared from Triphala and Cyprus can be used as a mouthwash to reduce toothache.
7. Neem (Azadirachta indica)
It is the best anti-microbial herb. Chewing neem leaves in a day prevents the growth of bacteria on the teeth and prevents toothache. Neem twig can also be used as a toothbrush to keep the tooth problems at bay.
8. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and Mustard Oil
Turmeric is an anti-microbial agent. Turmeric mixed with mustard oil must be applied over the affected area with a cotton swab before going to bed provides relief from toothache.
9. Clean Teeth Before going to Bed
It is mandatory to clean teeth before going to bed. Cleaning teeth before going to bed is very essential to keep the dental problems at bay.