Ayurvedic treatment for Periodontitis- Pyorrhoea- Gum disease

Periodontitis- Pyorrhoea- Gum disease

Know More on Oral Care

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Periodontitis- Pyorrhoea- Gum disease Ayurvedic treatment

Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that causes damage to the soft tissue and bone supporting your teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. Periodontitis may also increase the risk of serious health problems including heart attacks.1

Periodontitis is also called pyorrhea or gum disease, and is considered as a single most important cause of tooth loss. Periodontitis is largely preventable. It is usually a result of poor oral hygiene. Maintaining a proper oral hygiene can greatly reduce the chances of developing periodontitis.2

Dental health in Ayurveda, called dantaswasthya in Sanskrit varies from person to person and is influenced by the prakriti or constitution of each person,  and climatic changes resulting from solar, lunar and planetary influences (kala-parinama). In Ayurveda, health care including dental health is defined by the presence of a specific dosha in an individual. The predominance of one or more of three physical humors (doshas) makes the body constitution. These are wind (vata), bile (pitta) and phlegm (kapha). In Ayurveda, health care including dental health is defined by the presence of a specific dosha in an individual.3

Causes

Periodontitis- Pyorrhoea- Gum disease

Long-term accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth and the gums is the main cause of periodontitis. This results in formation of pockets between the teeth and gums which extend downward towards the root of the tooth and the underlying bone. Since these pockets collect plaque in an oxygen-free environment, there is augmentation in the growth of aggressive forms of bacteria. Chronic inflammation due to the plaque and bacteria damages the tissue and bone that hold teeth in place. As the disease progresses, eventually so much bone are lost that the tooth may become painfully loose. The following risk factors may worsen this condition leading to an early tooth loss: 2, 4

  • Smoking
  • Hormonal changes in girls/women
  • Diabetes
  • Other illnesses and their treatments. Diseases such as AIDS and its treatments can also negatively affect the health of gums, as can treatments for cancer
  • Medications
  • Genetic susceptibility

Symptoms

Periodontitis- Pyorrhoea- Gum disease

Signs and symptoms of periodontitis include: 4

  • Swelling in the gums
  • Bright red or purplish gums
  • Tenderness in the gums
  • New spaces developing between your teeth
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Loosened teeth

Diagnosis

Periodontitis- Pyorrhoea- Gum disease

The dentist or physician will diagnose this condition by:4

  • Asking the patient about medical history to find underlying conditions if any or presence of risk factors (such as smoking) that may contribute to gum disease
  • Examining the gums and noting signs of inflammation, if any
  • Using a tiny ruler called “probe” to check for and measure any pockets
  • Take an x-ray to check for bone loss.

Management

Periodontitis- Pyorrhoea- Gum disease

The existence of periodontal diseases has been recognized by traditional Ayurvedic medicine, including classical Ayurvedic texts such as Charaka Samhita (1500 BC) and Ashtanga Hridaya. Ayurveda recognizes the presence of Upakusha (peridontitis) and Danta papputaka (swelling, abscess of the teeth and peri-dontal and peri-apical abscesses). Pyorrhoea is caused due to lack of dental hygiene, poor diet and constipation.5

Some ahar (diet) and vihar (lifestyle regime) recommendations for the treatment of periodontitis or pyorrhea include:

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Increase the intake of fibre food, citrus (but sweet) fruits, and green leafy vegetables
  • Gargle with a solution of alum mixed in water
  • Cultivate the habit of rinsing the mouth after every meal
  • Increase the amount of food with abundant quantities of vitamins (especially vitamin C) along with minerals
  • Avoid snacking between meals. Reduce carbohydrates in diet
  • Avoid food and beverages possessing pungent and salty taste

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Maintain a good oral hygiene. Brush regularly using a soft brush and replace it every 3-4 months
  • Massage your gums. This will increase the circulation which will strengthen the gums and prevent them from bleeding
  • Smoking increases the severity of gum diseases. Quit smoking for healthier gums and teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating / drinking
  • Using twigs of neem or banyan tree to brush teeth

FAQS

Periodontitis- Pyorrhoea- Gum disease
  1. How Can Toothaches Be Prevented?

Ayurveda suggests simple diet and lifestyle changes to prevent toothaches. They are as follows:

Diet

  • Sticky substance which may adhere to the teeth should be avoided
  • Food containing sugar and other sweets should be avoided
  • Fruits like guavas, oranges, pomegranates and other fruits of the citrus family are beneficial as they contain vitamin C which strengthens gums
  • Amla must form the part of the diet since it contains the largest amount of vitamin C and is easily available

Lifestyle

  • Maintain a good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene practices consist of brushing regularly and frequent rinsing of the mouth
  • Make a habit of rinsing the mouth after every meal
  • Use natural oils and extracts from clove oil for toothache. Dab a cotton ball in clove oil on the affected tooth and gently bite down. The natural properties of clove oil can help relieve tooth pain and prevent future cavities and bad breath
  • Using saline water to rinse the mouth after meals helps in curing toothache and even other tooth-related problems
  • Mix equal amounts of pepper, salt and few drops of water to form a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area to relieve toothache
  1. What causes teeth to hurt?

Some of the common causes of toothache includes:

  • Dental decay
  • Dental cavities
  • Swelling of the pulp
  • Tooth infection
  • Broken tooth
  • Exposed tooth root
  • Crack in the tooth
  • Consumption of food rich in carbohydrates and sugar like colas, candies, cakes, etc
  • Consuming hot and cold food together
  • Gum disease
  1. What is plaque?

Plaque is the sticky film or mass of bacteria that grows on the surface of the teeth. It is most noticeable when teeth are not brushed and makes teeth feel rough/fuzzy to the tongue.

When food containing carbohydrates and sugars such as soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or candy are frequently left on the teeth, it leads to the development of plaque. Mouth is full of bacteria which thrive on these food particles producing acids. These acids destroy tooth enamel over a period of time resulting in tooth decay. The development of plaque on the tooth under gums may cause breakdown of the supporting bone present underneath.

In Ayurvedic literature, dental conditions are referred as Danta sharkara, since the appearance of plaque is similar to the sugar coating over the teeth with a granular shape. It is a disease characterized by, hardened accumulation of mala on tooth surface which destroys the teeth and its surrounding structures and is accompanied by bad odour. Vitiated vata takes the form of thick adherence like the thick sugar syrup causing the manifestation of Danta sharkara.

  1. How do I keep my teeth and gums healthy?

Following tips can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy

  • Avoid sugar rich food, hard food, non-vegetarian diet food which will cause the built up of tartar and worsen the problems of dental plaques.
  • Green tea, intake of easily digestible and foods with less fat and carbohydrate prevent the formation of tartar.
  • Consume plenty of raw vegetables
  • Regularly practicing flossing, proper tooth brushing, oral rinsing and regular oil pulling helps to get rid of the plaque efficiently and further prevents the formation of tartar
  • Herbs such as nutmeg (Jatiphala), Triphala (Hareetaki, Vibheetaki and Amalaki) and Saindhava lavana can be made into a fine powder and rubbed well to the teeth. This helps to clear the tartar
  • A mixture of ashes of ginger, long pepper, black pepper and salt can be used for brushing the teeth. Turmeric can be added to this mixture in case of bleeding gums
  1. Can side effects of medications cause dry mouth?

The causes of dry mouth can be attributed to the following:

  • Certain medications
  • Aging
  • A blocked nose
  • Stress
  • Cancer therapy
  • Nerve damage
  • Other health conditions such as immune disease (Sjogren's syndrome) or HIV/AIDS.
  • Tobacco use
  • Drug abuse
  1. What types of foods and beverages should I avoid if I have dry mouth?

Avoid spicy foods and avoid excess coffee, tea, sodas and alcoholic drinks

  1. What’s causing my sore throat?

Sore throat may be caused by the following:

  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Smoking
  • Shouting
  • Allergies
  1. What can I do to make my throat feel better?

Ayurveda recommends the following:

  • Drink plenty of warm fluids, such as teas, soup, and water
  • Hot lemon and honey, honey and cidar vinegar, herbal teas, ginger juice or carrot and apple juice, elderberry juice, blackcurrent tea or juice are all effective during infection which also improve immunity and helps relieving sore throat
  • Daily supplements of teaspoon of cod liver oil, 100 mg vitamin C tablets every 2-3 hours or 2 garlic capsules every two hours can be given until the patient is well again
  • Give plenty of rest to your throat and try not to talk
  • Avoid day sleep since it may lead to Kapha build-up, leading to worsening according to Ayurveda
  • Avoid exposure to cold breeze, water etc.
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene
  • Gargle every few hours using a solution of quarter teaspoonful of common salt or yavakshaara dissolved in half a glass of warm water or decoction prepared from the bark of Acacia (Babul) tree
  1. Is triphala churna an effective remedy for the treatment of mouth ulcers?

Yes, as mouth ulcers are most commonly associated with constipation.  In case of such a situation, use of a mild laxative such as Triphala choorna is advised which will give some relief.

  1. Are there other steps I can take to prevent tooth cavities?

Ayurveda recommends few tips as follows:

  • Decrease intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Consume foods that are rich sources of calcium
  • Make a mixture of turmeric, salt and mustard oil to make a paste and rub it on teeth and gums
  • Consume plenty of raw vegetables
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene to keep your teeth and gums clean.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive drinking since they may cause dental problems
  • Chewing on fresh herbal sticks in the morning as well as after every meal to prevent diseases. These herb sticks should be either ‘kashaya’ (astringent), ‘katu (acrid), or ‘tikta’ (bitter) in taste. The method of using these sticks is to crush one of its end, chew it, and eat it slowly. The neem (margosa or the Azadiraxhta indica), liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), miswak (miswaak, siwak, sewak) etc. are some examples of herbal sticks
  • Use of an herbal tooth powder madeup from neem powder and salt

References

Periodontitis- Pyorrhoea- Gum disease
  1. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/periodontitis/basics/definition/con-20021679?p=1. Accessed on: 30 August 2016
  2. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/mouth-and-dental-disorders/periodontal-diseases/periodontitis. Accessed on: 30 August 2016.
  3. Telles S, Naveen K V, Balkrishna A. Use of Ayurveda in promoting dental health and preventing dental caries. Indian J Dent Res 2009; 20:246
  4. National Institutes of Health. Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.
  5. Surathu N, Kurumathur AV. Traditional therapies in the management of periodontal disease in India and China. Periodontology 2000. 2011 Jun 1;56(1):14-24.
  6. Murthy NA. Ayurvedic cure for common diseases. Orient Paperbacks; 1995.
  7. Bleeding Gums – Ayurvedic Treatment, Home Remedies. Available at: http://easyayurveda.com/2015/02/26/bleeding-gums-ayurvedic-treatment-home-remedies/. Accessed on: 30 August 2016.

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