Diseases of the teeth and gums
In today’s world diseases of the teeth and gums are widely prevalent. Dentistry has become a specialized and a rather lucrative professional line. Cosmetic dental surgery, dental fillings, tooth extraction, root canal therapy etc. have become some very standard treatments for disorders of the teeth. Qualified Dentists or Dental surgeons also have words of advice in the forms of preventive treatment of dental disease. The preventive regimen that Dentists, have for the common man can be briefly indicated below.
- Brushing teeth / massaging gums regularly every morning and every night before retiring to bed.
- Keeping oral cavity generally clean
- Proper way of brushing the teeth
- Avoidance of very hot or very cold fluids for intake.
- Greater intake of fresh fruits and vegetables containing vitamin C and of foods containing calcium.
The above words of advice appear to be comprehensive but, in reality, they are not. The above suggestive regimen does not take into account the true fundamentals of dental disease. Factually speaking it is one or more of the three ‘doshas’- ‘Vata’ ‘Kapha’ and ‘Pitta’ which are responsible for inception of dental disease, like any other disease.
The learned person shall understand and appreciate that he has to avoid the vitiation of any of these three humours in his oral cavity to prevent any serious dental ailment. And for this he has to know his ‘prakriti’ and then fix his dietary and living regimen accordingly. It would be important here to indicate the effects on the teeth of the preponderance of a particular ‘dosha’ or humour.
Excess of phlegm (‘Kapha’) in the oral cavity causes deposition of black plaque on the teeth. Continued condition of excess ‘Kapha’ results in caries following erosion of the enamel. Even in condition of cavities caused by dental caries, excess of ‘kapha’ causes dull pain which may become often severe.
Excess of bile (‘pitta’) in the dental areas leads to deposition of yellow and brown stains or plaque on the teeth. These also lead to the eventual erosion of tooth enamel but this erosion is slower than that caused by ‘kapha’. Excessive ‘pitta’ in the oral cavity also causes gumboils.
The third humour ‘vata’ (wind) affects teeth in a slightly different manner. It causes pyorrhea and erosion of the tooth cement which anchors the teeth in the jaw bone. These conditions lead to premature loosening and falling out of the teeth. Pain caused by excess of Vata dosha in condition of dental caries is very sharp and often intolerable. Dental caries however is not caused by ‘vata’ alone, other humours have bigger role in causing this morbid condition.
Ayurvedic treatment of teeth and gum diseases
Some useful tips / advice for keeping good dental health
- Mix black (mineral) salt with mustard oil in the proportion of 1: 3 by weight. Massage teeth and gums with this mixture. After about 3 minutes, rinse the oral cavity with clean, preferably lukewarm water. Do this every night before going to bed and the first thing next morning. This is a proven remedy for all maladies of teeth and gums and ensures strong, healthy condition of both till old age.
- Cleaning or brushing the teeth with a twig of ‘neem’ (melia indica) is the best thing one can do for his teeth every day. This habit protects teeth and gums against all types of disease for a life time. ‘Neem has been in use in India since time immemorial as a powerful dental care substance.
- Stick assiduously to a diet which is in accordance with your prakriti or body constitution. If you do not allow excess of any ‘dosha’ to accumulate in your oral cavity, you avoid any serious dental ailment.
- Take cloves-20 grams and pure camphor-2 grams. Grind both to paste / powder and apply the mixture regularly on teeth and gums. This will cure most of the dental ailments.
- Mix baking powder (sodium bicarbonate) and turmeric in equal proportions. Use the mixture for cleaning teeth and gums as a tooth powder. This will take care of teeth and gums by preventing any serious ailments thereof.
- Take a piece of the bark of the tree of ‘Jamun’ (‘Euginia jambolana’). Thoroughly burn this bark. Grind the charred bark to a powder and use this powder as a substance for regular cleaning of teeth and massaging of gums. This habit is an insurance against all tooth and gum disorders. It is especially useful for removing stains and plaque from teeth.
- Take a few leaves from the tree of neem (melia indica) and dry them. Burn these dried leaves. Take 50 grams of the powder of these dried leaves and mix it with 5 grams of black (mineral) salt. This mixture can also be used as a tooth powder. Regular use of this tooth powder ensures strong and shiny teeth.
- In case of serious tooth decay marked by dental cavities, pure camphor can be conveniently used as a filler material. It is not only safe and natural substance; it also kills the germs that aggravate dental decay. The amount of money spent worldwide on dental surgery, making artificial teeth and preparation of complete dentures is stupendous. In countries like Canada and USA dental health of people in general is far from good. Imagine how much of such money can be saved and channelized into more useful, constructive areas if only people realize that it is the vitiation of ‘Vata’, ‘Pitta’ or ‘Kapha’ that causes dental disease and cure lies in preventing or correcting this vitiation! Traditional Ayurveda offers of effective remedies for toothache, pyorrhea, gumboils and other diseases or the teeth and the gums.
Some more common remedies of simple nature for toothache in general and pyorrhea
- Toothache can be effectively controlled by applying over the acting tooth a mixture of equal quantities of dried ginger powder and ammonium chloride.
- Take clove 15 gms and pure camphor 1-1/2 gram Mix the two and grind them. Apply the mixture over affected tooth for relief from toothache.
- Collect some quantity of peels of orange and dry it. Then powder those dry peels and store the powder for daily application on the gums. A few days of regular application will cure pyorrhea.
- Take a few levels of tobacco and dry them. Thereafter powder these dried leaves. The powder obtained should be applied on gums twice daily and the mouth rinsed after 5 minutes. This is another excellent remedy for pyorrhea. Tooth decay or dental caries is best prevented. But when serious caries has occurred leading to cavities which make the dental pulp exposed and prone to infections, dental, surgery may be inevitable. This is because deep cavity leading to pulp exposure is already a structural change which is a kin to a serious derangement of ‘vata’ dosha. In such cases the only solution is removal of pulp and accompanying surgical treatment which is performed as a part of Root Canal Therapy. Otherwise the tooth may have to be extracted which is a crude alternative.
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