Healthy teeth are the integral part of our body, which function in biting and crushing the ingested food materials so that it may soften and could be swallowed properly. When diseased, its functions are affected and food may remain undigested and the person gets deprived of the balanced diet resulting in indigestion and nutritional deficits. Factor responsible for diseased tooth: Diet- Sugar rich diet is the first and the foremost factor responsible for tooth diseases like tooth cavity, loose tooth, hypersensitive tooth etc. After every meal food particle stick to the surface of teeth and also get lodge in the pockets present in between tooth and free ends of gums. Bacteria in the oral cavity act over this leftover food and form colorless film called plaque. If plaque is allowed to build up on tooth it can cause de calcification of tooth and tooth cavity. This plaque irritates the gum lining too leading to swelling and bleeding from the gums. There also occurs foul smell from the mouth.
Soft drinks-Carbonated soft drink is another factor for tooth destruction. Many of them contain acids that can damage tooth enamel which when progresses, the tooth beneath the enamel begins to rot. This causes tooth ache along with its damage. If it is left untreated then the neighboring supporting structures like gums and sockets also get involve. Soft foods-Soft eatables like noodles, cakes, ice- cream, cookies etc. do not contain fiber which is must for natural cleaning of teeth and making supporting structure i.e. gums more strong. So, fibreless eatables add to the tooth destruction.
Smoking and tobacco chewing: It causes poor dental hygiene which encourages invasion by the bacteria resulting in dental caries. They also irritate the mucosa of oral cavity and become important factor for oral cancer also.
Improper brushing: People go on rubbing their teeth for minutes together that too with worn out bristle causing damage to the enamel. Too less or too much fluoride also provokes tooth decay. Other risk factors include poor general health, nutrient deficit diet, stress and menopause.
Ayurvedic texts also point towards the variety of factors like taking too much sweet and acidic food materials, use of excessive flesh in diet, avoidance of mouth wash and improper brushing.
How to prevent dental diseases: Diet- Restrict yourself to minimum sugar containing food items. This plays an anchoring role in tooth problems thus preventing the growth of bacteria and sharp reduction in caries. Say no to Sticky foods like chocolates, candies, pastries, cookies etc. Add fiber rich fruits like orange, sweet lime, lime, pineapple, mango, peach in daily diet. Take raw vegetables like radish, carrot, cabbage, cucumber, turnip in the form of salad. Do not miss taking hard substances like grams, maize, amla, apple, guvava, pear and using coarse flour in diet. All these physically hard and fibrous eatables act as a detergent food which helps in cleaning the teeth mechanically.
A well balanced diet containing all the required minerals and vitamins helps to maintain the health of a person enabling him to fight against any disease. Cut down on carbonated soft drinks and start taking green tea, lemon water & fresh fruit juice without adding sugar. Quit smoking and chewing tobacco and its products like pan masala, khaini, jarda etc. Do proper brushing twice a day, in the morning and at bed time. It takes minimum two minutes in brushing, spending 30 seconds in each sector- right upper and lower, left upper and lower. Replace your brush every 3 months or sooner. Clean in between the teeth (inter dental cleaning) daily with the help of floss (thread) to dislodge the impacted food. Chew the food well and do not leave the remains of food and rinse the mouth thoroughly after eater eating. Do not take fluoride supplements in the form of tablets, solutions, gels. The amount added to fluorinated tooth paste appears to be both safe and effective.
In Ayurveda, soft twigs of medicinal plants like neem, karanja, babool, knaire, behera have been mentioned for tooth brushing. They are made crushed from one end before use to prevent injury to tooth surface and gums.
Medicated mouth washes and gargles have been recommended such as trifla kwath (decoction), tulsi kwath, patoladi kwath, nimba kwath,zandu(marigold) kwath, milk processed with tila and mulethi. Irimedadi taila, lakshadi taila, baanadi taila, bakul taila.
Medicated powders like dashansanskar churana, dantrognashni churna, sfutika churna, bakul churna, lakshadi churna are applied over the teeth and gums for few minutes.
Mouthfreshners like pudina, sariva, chameli, tulsi, lavang, puga phal, jaiphala,ela , dalchini, dhania, karpur, khadir, sheetal chini, saunf, ajwain, adraka etc. In all, it is advisable that one should follow the above measures and recommended herbal remedies so that one can keep his healthy smile alive for the whole life.
Depatment of Shalakya Tantra,
Dayanand Ayurvedic College,
Department of Shalakya Tantra,
Govt. Ayurvedic College, Paprola(HP).