A common oral health problem, tooth decay, and cavities most often tend due occur during childhood, adolescence and older adulthood. Bacterial infection in the tooth causes tooth decay as well as an accumulation of plaque. This infection negatively affects the integrity of the tooth by de-mineralizing it and destroying its hard tissues.
In the event that a cavity does develop, it is best to consult a dentist as soon as possible. Early intervention can result in a small procedure to repair the cavity. Leaving it too late could result in complete tooth loss.
The following home remedies may assist in the treatment of dental decay and cavities. They will not make them go away but could prevent them from becoming worse. So, while you’ll probably get some relief, you will still eventually have to make the dreaded trip to the dentist to get treatment.
Patients with pre-existing medical conditions should try to find out how any treatment is likely to affect medications they take by researching the interactions and consulting a doctor or pharmacist for advice.
A clove is the dried bud of the flower of a Syzygium aromaticum tree. This tree is indigenous to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia. Cloves are commonly used as a spice.
Cloves are have anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties making them a great way to gain relief when you are experiencing pain as the result of a cavity. The clove is also an antibacterial so it can prevent the decay or cavity from worsening.
Cloves are generally administered topically in a mixture made as follows:
a. 3 drops of clove oil
b. ½ teaspoon of honey
c. 2-3 drops of sesame oil
Mix the ingredients and then apply to the affected area with the forefinger or a cotton bud. The mixture is pressed up against the area for a few minutes and then it can be spat out. This should be done in the evening prior to bedtime for a few days. In the event of acute pain, do this 2-3 times daily.
Another, more easy method of using cloves is to take a clove and chew it gently. This will extract the oil from the clove. Keep the clove under the tongue for a few minutes and then spit it out. It is worthwhile to notice that cloves are only able to provide short-term relief and that using them for an extended period or in excessive quantities will not increase their efficacy at all. Additionally, the direct use of undiluted clove oil is also not recommended which is why the mixture described above is made diluting ingredients.
Salt is well-known as an antiseptic and antibacterial substance. That is why it is useful in the treatment of tooth decay and cavities. It cleans the mouth and fights bacterial infections. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling and alleviate pain symptoms. Salt neutralizes the pH levels in the mouth which become acidic when there is a rise in bacterial activity such as when there is a cavity. Salt additionally removes food particles between the teeth which can cause tooth decay and ultimately lead to cavities.
Salt is commonly administered for the treatment of tooth decay and cavities in one of two ways.
a. Make a mixture of salt or Epsom’s Salt and warm water (1 teaspoon of salt to a glass of water). Swish the salt water around the mouth, especially around the affected area. The salt water should be in the mouth for around 2 minutes. A treatment such as this can be used 2-3 times daily to provide relief for symptoms. As a variation, 2 tablespoons can be added to the mixture as well if the amount of water is reduced.
b. Combine a ½ a teaspoon of salt with mustard oil and lemon juice to create a paste. Rub the paste carefully into the gum for a couple of minutes. Thereafter, gargle with warm water and make sure the mouth is thoroughly rinsed. Administer this treatment twice a day.
Salt is a very cost-effective home remedy and easily accessible. Because it can be so healing, some dentists recommend gargling with salt water 3-4 times as a way of maintaining good oral hygiene. As with most things, moderation is very important. If too much salt is used or salt water is gargled too frequently it can negatively affect the enamel layer of the tooth.
As an alternative to salt, use Aloe Vera juice as a gargle after brushing the teeth. Aloe Vera is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties which can combat tooth decay. Be sure to rinse the mouth well afterward. Baking soda is also an alternative to salt for balancing the pH levels in the mouth to raise the alkalinity and decrease the acidity introduced by the bacteria which has caused the tooth decay or cavity.
Opportunities with oil
Oil pulling is a practice that has been around for hundreds of years. Oil is ingested into the mouth and then rinsed and swished around the mouth for a prolonged period of time (10 – 20 minutes, depending on the oil used). This is a home remedy that is held in high regard, although scientific proof of its efficacy is as yet not forthcoming. It is believed that the swishing motion loosens the bacteria and the oil traps it. That is why eliminating the oil from the mouth afterward is vitally important.
Various oils can be used in oil pulling, each with its own particular healing properties:
a. Sesame seed oil: contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
b. Coconut oil: known to be an antibacterial and anti-fungal treatment.
c. Sunflower oil: contains the amino acid methionine which treats pain at the source as well as antioxidants.
d. Vegetable oil: e.g. flaxseed, olive, peanut and walnut oil. Contains linoleic acid (Vitamin known to treat pain and swelling.
Oil pulling is not the only treatment for tooth decay and cavities that makes use of various oils. Some additional home remedies include:
a. Tea tree oil treatment: massage a few drops of tea tree oil into the teeth and gums. Rinse the mouth with warm water. This can be done 2-3 times a day. Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
b. Butter oil and cod liver oil treatment: These are available as supplements. A butter oil supplement and cod liver oil supplement should be drunk once a day after a meal. These supplements are rich in vitamins which can maintain oral health. These supplements can be taken as a regular treatment, not only when decay or a cavity have been discovered.
c. Oregano oil treatment: Mix 1 teaspoon of oregano oil with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the teeth with this mixture instead of toothpaste once a day (use regular toothpaste for the second brushing). Oregano oil is known for having antibacterial properties.
d. Eucalyptus oil treatment: Add 1 to 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to the toothpaste and brush the teeth as usual. This can be repeated every day.
Licorice comes from the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant. This herbaceous perennial plant is indigenous to Southern Europe and parts of Asia. It contains antibacterial compounds that prevent the spread of the bacteria that causes tooth decay and cavities. It can also reduce plaque build-up. Here are some methods for the administration of licorice:
a. Using a piece of licorice root as a toothbrush. Chew on a piece of licorice root. When chewed for a few minutes, fibers of the root come out. Then rub these fibers against the affected area. Rinse the mouth thoroughly afterward.
b. Substitute toothpaste with dried licorice root powder when brushing your teeth. Done on a regular basis, this will prevent the build-up of plaque and decay.
c. The licorice lollipop is gaining popularity as a method of combatting tooth decay.
Always exercise caution in the use of licorice because using too much can lead to high blood pressure. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are cautioned to avoid licorice. Licorice may not be readily available in shops and pharmacies in your area. So if you plan to use it and cannot find it locally, consider shopping for it online.
Incredible Indian Lilac
Indian Lilac (also known as neem) is a popular Indian medicinal herb that has been used for centuries. The bark, leaves, and seeds of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) are used to make medicine.
Indian Lilac has a multitude of healing properties:
a. It is an antibacterial, combatting the growth of bacteria such as that which causes tooth decay.
b. It is an antiviral, preventing the growth of viruses.
c. It is an antifungal, slowing the growth and spread of a fungus.
d. It is an anti-inflammatory, treating swelling and tenderness.
e. It is an analgesic, relieving pain.
Neem bark is in fact used in the manufacture of several kinds of toothpaste and powders. As a home remedy for tooth decay and cavities, Indian Lilac can be administered in one of these ways:
a) Bite into and chew a neem twig. Do this for a few minutes. Rinse the mouth thoroughly afterward.
b) Apply neem oil to the affected area topically
c) Purchase and use a brand of toothpaste that has neem in it.
d) The leaves of a neem tree produce liquid if squeezed. This juice can be applied to the affected area. Rinse the mouth thoroughly afterward.
If you cannot access a supply of Indian Lilac locally, online shops will be able to assist you.
Impressive Indian gooseberries
Indian gooseberries are also called amla. Indian gooseberries are the fruit of the deciduous Phyllanthus Emblica tree which is indigenous to the tropical slopes of India. It is rich in Vitamin C, iron and calcium and also contains antioxidants. The Vitamin C it contains helps the body to fight off the bacteria that causes decay and cavities. Serve Indian gooseberries juiced, powdered or raw.
When using amla to treat tooth decay and cavities, several approaches can be employed:
a) Eating a fresh Indian gooseberry daily. Amla is an acquired taste. It combines sweet, sour, pungent and bitter flavors and may not agree with every palate.
b) Mix ½ a teaspoon of amla powder with ½ a glass of water and take it daily.
c) Purchase Indian gooseberry capsules from a pharmacy. Use them according to the directions. It is preferable to consult your doctor before following this course of action.
Indian gooseberries are not items you are likely to be able to buy fresh at your local grocery store. You are more likely to find the powder in local stores. Indian gooseberry capsules should be available for purchase at your pharmacy. The powder and capsules are also available for sale online.
Turmeric grows on an herbaceous perennial plant which is a member of the ginger family called Zingiberaceae. The plant is native to South East Asia. Turmeric is a very popular spice, regularly used in Indian cuisine. It should be readily available in local stores. Turmeric has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which enable it to fight against the bacteria that cause tooth decay and cavities. It is also able to reduce swelling and treat tenderness of the affected area.
Turmeric can be used on its own for the treatment of tooth decay and cavities but is also frequently used in conjunction with mustard oil. Administration methods are as follows:
a) Putting turmeric powder on the affected tooth/teeth. Apply it directly with the forefinger. Allow the turmeric to stay on the affected area for a few minutes. Then remove it by thoroughly rinsing the mouth with warm water.
b) Make a turmeric and mustard oil paste. Use ½ a teaspoon of turmeric powder and a teaspoon of mustard oil. Mix the two together to form a paste. Massage the paste into the affected tooth/teeth and surrounding gums. After 10 minutes, spit the mixture out and rinse the mouth.
Another paste that can be made uses vanilla extract and almond extract. A few drops of each are mixed together. Apply this mixture directly to the affected area 2-3 times a day. Vanilla extract is rich in antioxidants and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Vanilla extract and vanilla essence are not the same. Vanilla extract is an essential oil that can be purchased at a pharmacy.
Nutmeg is one of the two spices that grow on an evergreen tree (Myristica fragrans) which is native to islands near to Indonesia although it is globally grown today. Nutmeg has antibacterial and analgesic properties which assist the body in resisting the bacterial infections which cause tooth decay and cavities and also treat the associated pain. Nutmeg also contains anti-cariogenic properties which are effective in the body’s resistance to cariogenic oral bacteria which cause tooth decay and cavities.
Most grocery stores will stock fresh nutmeg, so it is easy to buy. Here are some methods for using nutmeg for tooth decay and cavities:
a) Grate fresh nutmeg. Mix it with a little sesame seed oil or oregano oil. Apply the mixture to the affected teeth and gums and allow it to remain there for about 10 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the mouth afterward. Do this 3-4 times daily.
b) Apply nutmeg oil to the affected area directly.
Nutmeg can also be found in organic toothpaste and mouthwash brands due to its healing properties in the world of oral hygiene.
It is very important to know that excessive use of nutmeg can be very dangerous. Nutmeg is a very potent substance and is meant to be used sparingly. When used in excess, it can cause the user to experience psychotropic, hallucinatory symptoms.
Wheatgrass contains natural antibacterial properties which help the body to resist infections. It also helps to treat the pain associated with cavities. Wheatgrass is rich in Vitamin A, C and E, magnesium, and calcium which are all requirements for healthy teeth. In fact, wheatgrass contains more Vitamin A than a carrot and more Vitamin C than an orange! It is a very rich source of protein as well.
Generally speaking, wheatgrass is used in the following ways to treat tooth decay and cavities:
a) Drinking half a glass of wheatgrass juice every day. This is a preventative measure more than a treatment.
b) Taking a sip of wheatgrass juice, swirling it around the mouth and holding it there for 5 minutes can treat a toothache. It is also believed to extract germs from the gums.
c) Mixing one part of wheatgrass juice and 6 parts of water together to make a mixture that is ingested into the mouth and swished around for around a minute. Spit it out afterward.
Purchase wheatgrass from a reliable health food store. Wheatgrass is gluten free so it can be consumed by those allergic to or intolerant of gluten. Wheatgrass also has a myriad of other health benefits such as revitalizing the skin, promoting weight loss, improving the immune system, and treating arthritis.
The magnesium and calcium contents of wheatgrass can be augmented by crushing magnesium and calcium supplements. The powders of the two ingredients can then be mixed and then used to brush the teeth. It is recommended that this is done instead of regular tooth brushing once a day.
Garlic contains a compound called Allicin. When the garlic is crushed, the Allicin is released, which then triggers its antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can alleviate the pain associated with tooth decay and cavities. It also helps to ward off infections that cause tooth decay.
Here are some of the various methods of using garlic to treat tooth decay and cavities:
a) Make garlic part of your everyday cooking. Ingesting garlic regularly as part of the diet has significant long-term health benefits. Raw garlic is also very healthy. Most people find a bit of garlic in their meal to be very pleasant tasting.
b) Take a garlic supplement. These are readily available at pharmacies and grocery stores. They are especially great for those who do not like the taste of garlic.
c) Rub garlic oil on the affected area. This should provide immediate pain relief.
d) Crush a garlic clove and mix it with a pinch of salt to create a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area for pain alleviation. After about 10 minutes, remove the mixture and rinse the mouth with mouthwash.
Some dentists believe that Allicin would be a useful addition to toothpaste because of the many healthy properties it has. They also speculate that a garlic based mouthwash would ward off cavity-causing bacteria.
For immediate topical relief such as that provided by garlic, an alcohol compress could be considered as an alternative. This is made using gin, vodka, and whiskey. Each should be mixed in equal quantities. A clean face cloth can then be dipped into the mixture and applied directly to the affected area.