Dentistry is one of the sub-specialties of Shalakya Tantra (ENT) branch of Ayurveda. Surprisingly, all the dental disorders prevalent nowadays were described in Ayurvedic texts 5000 years ago.
It is interesting to note the close resemblance between dentistry and its corresponding Sanskrit word ‘Danta Shastra.’ Danta is for teeth, while Shastra means science.
Ayurvedic dentistry is a surgical sub-specialty, and it follows all the eternal and golden principles of Ayurveda.
Teeth are an essential part of our body. With people becoming more and more aware of their oral and dental health, the demand for natural therapies is increasing. In this direction, dentistry practiced in an Ayurvedic style is appearing as a favorite option over synthetic treatments.
Concept of Ayurvedic dentistry
Dentistry in Ayurveda evolved due to the contributions of Ayurvedic scholar Nimi, who specialized in the surgery of mouth, throat, nose, ears, eyes, & head.
Teeth in Ayurvedic language is known as Ruchaka Asthi, i.e., bones, which helps in imparting taste. But they are not meant only for chewing but also to maintain the beauty of face and clear speech.
Ayurvedic Oral Hygiene Rules
Ayurveda teaches a great deal about oral hygiene and health. Following Ayurvedic rules from the start will lessen the chance to go through painful procedures like root canal therapy and other dental surgeries, which is so common in modern dentistry.
How can Ayurveda help in keeping your teeth healthy?
Cleaning the teeth
Each tooth should be cleaned with kurchika, i.e., a soft brush made by biting and chewing the tips of fresh stems of the Banyan tree, Margosa, Catechu, Fever nut tree, Milkweed plant, or Arjuna tree. Chewing these stems is a good exercise for teeth and gums.
Also, these stems have bitter, pungent, and astringent taste, which helps clear the mucous secretions in the mouth. Apart from this, fresh juices of these stems exert several beneficial effects on the body.
However, nowadays, toothpaste & toothbrush has replaced this healthy practice, but if possible, such a cleansing method should be adopted.
A good alternative is to make natural toothpaste at your home.
How to make natural toothpaste
For making natural toothpaste, take equal quantities of powder of dry ginger, black pepper, long pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, triphala, tejovati, catechu, & rock salt.
Filter this mixture through a fine cloth and mix it well with sesame oil to make a paste. Remember, this toothpaste is far better than the one you buy from stores.
Clean your tongue with thin stainless steel or silver scraper. Gently remove the white coating on the tongue before you clean your teeth. Scraping this white coating relieves you of bad breath, improves taste sensation, and prevents the oral bacterial disorders.
Gargling with a little amount of warm sesame oil strengthens and exerts a cleansing action on tongue, gums, teeth, mouth, and voice. It prevents stomatitis, cures hypersensitivity of gums to sour & cold articles, and improves the sense of taste.
Food for your teeth
Chewing 2-4 teaspoonfuls of sesame seeds daily in the morning keeps the teeth healthy and secure.
If you have sensitive gums, then avoid eating spicy and salty food, drumsticks, green grams, eggplant, fish, and raw mango.
Avoid excess use of sugar, sour yogurt, lemon, tamarind, sour fruits, mustard, cold water, dry, hard, & starchy food items. These items expose teeth to various acids and dissolve the enamel of teeth, making them prone to multiple dental disorders.
Regular dental checkups are essential to detect and treat any dental disorder at the earliest.
What are the Ayurvedic dental measures?
Ayurveda has well-classified the diseases of teeth, gums, roots of teeth, disorders during the eruption of teeth in kids. Each of the dental disorders mentioned in Ayurveda equally corresponds to modern dental diseases.
Ayurveda treats these dental disorders only after assessing the stage of the disease, dominant doshas, season, severity of the disease, & strength of the patient.
Dental injuries are mainly treated with surgical interference, along with remedial measures. Tooth extraction is a last measure when every therapy fails.
Usually, dental treatment is accompanied by blood-letting, Nasya (nasal cleansing drops), gargling, local massage, medicated inhalation, herbal decoctions & pastes, tonics for teeth & gums, and dietary recommendations.
Following simple remedies could be applied in some common dental disorders:
- Mix long pepper powder with honey & ghee. Massage this mixture lightly on the affected tooth
- Mix Triphala powder with juice of Giloya (Tinospora) and apply over the teeth
- Gargle with a combination of licorice powder, honey, and sesame oil
- Drugs like Shula Gaja Kesari and Yogaraja Guggulu are very effective in relieving any pain
- Applying powder of roots of indigo, bottle gourd, panicled foldwing over the affected teeth helps to check bacterial growth
- Local application of the paste of spreading hogweed or powder of common milk hedge along with an oily diet also helps in dental caries
- A paste of Indian sarsaparilla leaves helps in getting rid of microbes and prevents looseness of teeth
- To relieve the pain; you may take Jatipatradi gutika, Kasisadi gutika, Hingvadi powder
- Fill the cavity of the tooth with jaggery, wax, warm asafoetida, or ghee to relieve excruciating pain
- The rigorous rubbing of the gums can do fomentation with powder of outer peel of pomegranate, Triphala, Jamun seed, ginger, or honey. Later apply warm medicated oil.
- Every morning gargle with lukewarm medicated ghee or milk processed with sesame seeds and licorice
- Practice oil pulling with Bakula oil, Sahacaradi oil, Banadi oil until eyes start watering
- Locally rub a paste of Indian sarsaparilla, long pepper, rock salt, & cumin seeds over affected gums
- Chew black sesame seeds frequently to stabilize shaky teeth
- Instill 3-5 drops of Vidaryadi oil, Bakula oil in the nose every morning
- Keep one tablet of Bhadramustadi in mouth daily before sleeping. It stabilizes the loose teeth within a few days.
- Apply the paste of catechu, alum, mango seed, the skin of the pomegranate, banyan bark, sandalwood, Indian sarsaparilla on bleeding part
- Take 1-2 grams of amla powder or tablets twice a day
- Chewing guava leaves stops bleeding
- Massage solution of mustard oil and alum on the affected part and rinse it with water
Modern dentistry faces challenges in preventive strategies while, tooth extraction and replacement, has become their first line of treatment. With the help of Ayurvedic principles, the need for surgical measures could be reduced to a great extent.
Ayurvedic dentistry focuses more on prevention and hence, offers a lot of natural regimens. If kids start adopting these measures, then chances of dental problems seen during eruption of teeth highly decrease.
If you, too, wish to see your teeth always shining and healthy, then adopting Ayurveda is a sure way to go.