Ayurvedic treatment for Tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity

Know More on Oral Care

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

Definition

Tooth sensitivity Ayurvedic treatment

WHAT IS TOOTH SENSITIVITY?

Your teeth may become sensitive when your gums pull back, exposing the underlying layer known as dentin.  Thousands of tiny tubes that lead to the tooth's nerve centre (the pulp) are present in this layer. Pain is triggered when these tiny tubes are exposed to hot, cold, or sweet food that reaches the nerve in your tooth.1

Dental health in Ayurveda, called danta swasthya in Sanskrit is customized as per every person’s prakriti or constitution of each person and climatic changes resulting from solar, lunar and planetary influences (kala-parinama). Vata, pitta, or kapha balance is important for a healthy life. When one or two of these doshas vitiate/go out of control, it affects the dental health.2

Causes

Tooth sensitivity

TOOTH SENSITIVITY CAUSES

Tooth sensitivity is caused due to the wearing down of the enamel which can be caused by the following:1

  • Abrasion of the teeth caused by the use a hard-bristled toothbrush, or grinding your teeth
  • Decaying tooth
  • Diseases of the gums
  • Damaged tooth
  • Excessive use of tooth-whitening products
  • The aging process
  • Build-up of plaque
  • Consumption of acidic foods
  • Dental procedures including dental work scaling, root canal treatment etc

Symptoms

Tooth sensitivity

TOOTH SENSITIVITY SYMPTOMS

Tooth sensitivity is associated with the following symptoms:3

  • Hypersensitivity and occasional discomfort while chewing, drinking cold or hot liquids, or while breathing through your mouth.
  • Tooth decay

Gum injury

Diagnosis

Tooth sensitivity

TOOTH SENSITIVITY DIAGNOSIS

To diagnose this condition, the dentist may perform thorough clinical examination and take elaborate medical history. Pain response upon the pressure of tapping teeth, pain on biting a stick, use of trans-illuminating light are some of the techniques used to diagnose this condition.4

Management

Tooth sensitivity

TOOTH SENSITIVITY AYURVEDIC TREATMENT

Ayurveda recommends some daily use therapeutic procedures for the prevention and maintenance of oral health.2 Some ahar (diet) and vihar (lifestyle regime) recommendations for the management of oral conditions include:

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • 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
  • Toothache associated with dental cavities can be effectively prevented by using til, cinnamon and clove oil
  • Toothache can be relieved using a clove of garlic with rock salt, pinch of pepper powder mixed in clove oil or a paste of the bark of bay berry prepared with vinegar

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Oral cleansing techniques like kanwal and gandusha or holding swirling of medicated oils or decoctions in mouth for specific periods can also be beneficial in sore throat
  • Nasya karma or insufflation of medicines through nasal route/snuffing may be beneficial
  • Brush, floss, and rinse regularly
  • Use a brush with soft bristles
  • Chew on fresh herbal sticks in the morning as well as after every meal to prevent tooth sensitivity. 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
  • Oil pulling is beneficial. It involves swishing of oil (edible oils such as coconut oil, corn oil, rice bran oil, palm oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, soya bean oil) in your mouth, and can be used when you have mouth ulcers, fever, and indigestion.
  • Gargle with salt water to prevent tooth decay and its progression to tooth abscess. Fill your mouth with comfortable amount of fluid create a motion by a stream of air from the lungs. Take half a teaspoon of rock salt or sea salt in a cup of warm water and gargle to prevent tooth decay
  • Use of an herbal tooth powder made from neem powder and salt

FAQS

Tooth sensitivity
  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

Tooth sensitivity
  1. What Can You Do About Sensitive Teeth? Available at: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-sensitivity. Accessed on: 3 September 2016.
  2. Nagi R. Role of Medicinal Herbs in Management of Oral Diseases – A Review. PP 40-44. iosrjournals.org. 2015; 14(8): Ver III.
  3. Sensitive teeth: causes and treatment. Available at: http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jdms/papers/Vol14-issue8/Version-3/K014834044.pdf. Available at: 3 September 2016
  4. Miglani S, Aggarwal V, Ahuja B. Dentin hypersensitivity: Recent trends in management. Journal of Conservative Dentistry. 2010 Oct 1;13(4):218.
  5. Sangeetha K.M., Srinivasa Sagar B, Rashmi G. Chour, Rohan Talathi. Ayurveda and Dentistry, J of Ayurveda and Hol Med (JAHM).2015;3(1):23-25.
  6. Abhinav Singhand Bharathi Purohit. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2011 Apr-Jun; 2(2): 64–68. Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health
  7. Sunita Amruthesh. Dentistry and Ayurveda - IV: Classification and management of common oral diseases Indian J Dent Res, 19(1), 2008.

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