Your Complete Guide to Oral health: Best supplements for your teeth & gums


Last Updated June 13th, 2021

More than just a sparkling smile

How long do you spend brushing your teeth? Most studies indicate that humans, on an average, dedicate some 45-70 seconds per day to brushing. That sounds reasonably good until you realize that the right amount of time is at least 2-3 minutes. Going by those figures, we are collectively falling back by 75% on keeping those pearly whites clean.

So what could possibly go wrong by just fulfilling 1/4th the required amount of dental hygiene? Most of you would assume that the worst outcome of poor dental hygiene is a smelly breath or maybe stained teeth. While these truly are the repercussions of badly maintained oral cavity the actual consequences go way beyond a “stinky mouth”.

For instance, did you know 85% of people who have experienced a cardiac arrest have a history of periodontal, aka, gum diseases? Or that, having gum diseases increase the chances of developing pancreatic cancer (the most lethal cancers of all time) by a whopping 63%?

Shocking as these numbers are, no one really thinks about cancer or heart attack when brushing or flossing their teeth. One very big reason could be that we consider our teeth, tongue, and basically, the entire oral cavity to be a just a small portal that helps us ingest food and then the rest of the body takes care of it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your oral health is one of the biggest indicators of your overall health.

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Firstly, because your gums are highly vascular, aka, richly supplied with blood vessels. When you consume food that is highly acidic/corrosive in nature (such as soda drinks or too much coffee), it tends to weaken the teeth and gums eventually giving a free pass to the pathogens to enter the bloodstream. Once these pathogens get a free ticket to enter our bodies, they often find refuge in the vital organs such as the heart. This is nothing but how cardiac inflammation begins via something as trivial as bad brushing habits.

Secondly, gum inflammation is also responsible for increasing the levels of cytokines in the body that inadvertently leads to high insulin resistance. And that is basically the biology involved in the onset of diabetes. Thirdly, bad oral health in case of pregnant women can at times exacerbate conditions of premature labor and/or low-birth weight too.

In essence, the consequences of bad oral hygiene are practically limitless. It can range from the slight inconvenience of bleeding gums to the extremely fatal heart attack. Fortunately, there are tried and tested ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy and disease-free. These effective measures are incredibly simple for everyone to follow.  Find out some of the most common and troubling disease affecting the oral cavity and how to find an instant cure to them.

Tonsil stones

What is it?

At some point in your childhood, you must have developed these painful points at the back of your mouth that make it difficult to chew or swallow. Tonsil stones are nothing but calcified debris (accumulated debris) in your oral cavity that is whitish in color. It often creates an unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth and might even lead to a sore throat. Bacteria and fungi thrive in these deposits that lead to bad breath and inflammation.

Tonsil stone remedies

  • One of the best (and cheapest) antibacterial agent available readily in our kitchens is garlic. Garlic is an excellent home for tonsil stones as it can drive away bacterial, fungal, and even viral growths from the body. Chew few pods of raw garlic first thing in the morning and swallow the juice. This will help you clear out pathogen deposits from the oral cavity and even help you boost your immunity too.
  • Apple cider vinegar, when mixed with water and used as a daily gargle, is also an effective home remedy. Since it’s produced by fermentation of apple juice, it contains enough healthy bacteria that can combat both oral and internal infections.
  • Remember, infections and inflammations begin from your gut. If your gut bacteria population is slightly off, it may lead to a higher risk of oral infections. To compensate this, you can try a variety of probiotics such as Greek yogurt or Seitan. These foods will ensure that your immune system is up to date and able to destroy bacterial growth responsible for tonsil stones.

Tonsillitis

What is it?

Bearing a close resemblance (in terms of symptoms) with tonsil stones, tonsillitis is yet another type of oral inflammation caused by the microbial infestation.  This infection can easily travel from the back of your mouth all the way to the throat and cause pharyngitis. It is more common among school-going kids. Here is how you can treat tonsillitis at home.

Tonsillitis home-remedies

  • The best way to start tonsillitis treatment is warm salt water gargle. Salt or sodium chloride is a natural defense against bacterial growth. When mixed with warm water it automatically becomes a powerful cleanser for your oral cavity and throat too.
  • Another warm fluid that can help you out with tonsillitis is sugarless ginger tea (with honey). Ginger, just like garlic, is a potent antibacterial and antiviral agent. One must remember to use a pure and unadulterated form of honey such as Manuka honey and sip the tea when it’s warm (not hot).
  • Sucking on ice chips and/or popsicles can also help you obtain relief from tonsillitis pain and inflammation.

Salivary gland infections

What is it?

Parotid, submandibular, and sublingual – these are the glands that collectively form the salivary glands. The saliva secreted by these helps in lubricating the oral cavity, chewing and swallowing ingested food, and kick starting the process of digestion. Additionally, the saliva also forms a protective layer on the enamel and guards it against corrosive agents. Salivary gland infections can thus damage the entire oral cavity leading to both minor and major consequences. These remedies can help you perform damage control.

Salivary glands remedies

  • There is a wide range of antibacterial mouthwash available in the market today. Most of these contain chlorhexidine (0.12%). This works great in case of bacterial infections. Try rinsing your mouth 3 times a day with this solution to obtain quick results.
  • In case the mouthwash doesn’t provide you desired results, your doctor might prescribe you antibiotic medications such as
  • Warm saline water gargles and ginger tea can also help in decreasing the pain and discomfort.

Leukoplakia & Oral Leukoplakia

What are these?

Leukoplakia is medically defined as a condition when there is keratin or plaque deposition in the mucous membrane. This can occur anywhere – gastrointestinal tract, linings of the urinary tract, genitals, and even the oral cavity. 80% of cases of leukoplakia are associated with tobacco-consumption. Other reasons include high alcohol consumption, bacterial infection, and high exposure to UV rays.  This condition shouldn’t be taken lightly as extremely lethal pathogens such as HPV (Humanpapilloma virus) could be involved and it might indicate the beginning stages of oral cancer.

Leukoplakia remedies

  • Though these conditions are often treated with antibiotics, age-old home remedies such as turmeric can be an effective treatment. Turmeric, though mainly identified as a culinary agent, is also well-known for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial property. A paste of turmeric, salt, and mustard oil can help reduce the symptoms. Alternatively, you can boil turmeric with cloves and guava leaves and use it as a mouthwash to obtain quick results.
  • Leukplakia can be successfully treated and prevented by healthy intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, C, & E is especially effective in this case. These are natural antioxidants that can be supplemented through either diet or in the form of pills and capsules. Vitamin A, also known as beta-carotene is usually present in bright red/yellow/orange colored foods. Vitamin C is abundantly found in citrus fruits. The best source of vitamin E is fish oil.
  • Selenium, an essential mineral though required in traces, is an active element can deter the growth of cancers, esp. the progress of oral leukoplakia to oral cancer. Selenium supplements are usually prescribed to patients with oral leukoplakia who have a history of excessive smoking/tobacco consumption and thus have a high risk of developing a malignancy.
  • Phytochemicals or biologically active compounds found in plant sources are also being considered as a viable treatment option for leukoplakia. Spirulina is a popular supplement extracted from algae that is a storehouse of essential nutrients such as riboflavin, thiamin, and iron. These can also help deter the growth of plaque formations and treat the condition.

Gum diseases

What is it?

Gum diseases are nothing but inflammation along the soft tissues in the oral cavity that are largely spawned owing to bacterial overgrowth. Lack of oral hygiene, alcohol and tobacco consumption, stress, old-age, diabetes etc tend to increase the risk of gum inflammation. The best way to avoid gum diseases is to follow healthy dietary and lifestyle routines. However, in case you do get a case of swollen and bleeding gums, these remedies can help you

Gum diseases remedies

  • When it comes to healing inflamed gum, aloe vera extract has been observed to be as effective as chlorhexidine solution as a mouthwash. The recommended way to use it to NOT dilute it with water before rinsing your mouth. Use the concentrated form only. You can swish it in your mouth for 30-40 seconds before spitting it out. Carry out this simple procedure thrice a day to see best results.
  • Another commonly used herbal remedy for bleeding gums is tea tree oil. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil in a cup of warm water and use it a mouthwash. Make sure you swish this mixture for at least 30 seconds and repeat it thrice a day.
  • The ancient medicine school of Ayurveda promotes the idea of using specific oils as mouth cleanser through the process of oil pulling. In this method, you take coconut or olive oil and swish it in your mouth for a relatively longer period – around 20-30 minutes. Care should be taken so that the oil doesn’t reach your throat. Once the swishing is done, spit the oil out, rinse your mouth with water, and then begin brushing your teeth. The idea here is that the antibacterial oil pulls out the toxins from the oral cavity and this helps in reducing inflammation.

Burning mouth syndrome

What is it?

Characterized mainly by a painful burning sensation in the oral cavity, burning mouth syndrome is a condition often caused as a result of nutritional deficiencies. The painful sensation could be short-lived or long lasting. The other warning signs of this syndrome are dryness in the mouth, a lingering bitter taste, and dryness in the throat as well. This common syndrome can be instantly treated easily by the help of these remedies.

Burning mouth syndrome remedies

  • The most effective way to manage the pain and burning sensation are to load up with water. This is the simplest way to curb the pain in the longer run.
  • Since it is mainly triggered by a lack of nutrients in the body, adding enough vitamins and minerals, either through diet or supplements can help the patient. The main nutritional requirements are iron, zinc, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and cobalamine. These can be taken in the pill or capsule form to ensure a faster recovery.
  • Ironical as it may sound, consuming chili peppers extract can help cut down the pain in burning mouth syndrome. These peppers contain an active compound, capsaicin that is a well-known pain reliever.
  • In most cases, effective painkillers such as lidocaine might be prescribed. These are commercially available in the form of topical ointments that numb the pain/burning sensation in the oral cavity.

 

Tongue infections

What is it?

Tongue infections refer to a wide range of blisters, sores, ulcers, and other such inflammatory entities forming on the tongue. The main cause can be attributed to wearing ill-fitting dentures. Other factors include tobacco and alcohol consumption as well as microbial growth. The symptoms can be as mild as minute patches forming on the mucosal surface and as severe as painful pus-filled blisters. The best ways to treat these easily are listed below.

Tongue Infection remedies

  • The first form of treatment is taking OTC painkillers such as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs).
  • Practice a high level of oral hygiene if you develop such infections. Get ill-fitting dentures fixed in case this is the reason for inflammation and pain.
  • Typically gargling and rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can also help bring some relief. Another home remedy that might work for you is making use of baking soda. Make a mixture of baking soda and water and use it a mouth wash to observe fast results.
  • Remember to use only non-alcoholic mouthwash if experiencing tongue infections.
  • Completely cut down the intake of sugar, coffee, tea, alcohol, and tobacco if you develop symptoms of tongue infection.

Dislocated jaws

What is it?

A dislocated jaw is the phenomenon when your lower jaw slips out of its natural position. Since the human jaw is U-shaped, it is highly prone to injuries and dislocation. While trauma such as a blow to the jaw in an accident or during a sporting activity is the most common cause of jaw dislocation, it can also happen if you stretch your mouth too wide while yawning. It is highly recommended that you don’t try to treat this condition at home. Immediately refer to a doctor for the complete treatment plan. Once the treatment has begun, you can add the following remedial protocol top accelerate the healing.

Dislocated jaws remedies

  • Like any other traumatic muscular pain, the pain associated with dislocated jaws can be curbed by using NSAIDs and muscle relaxers.
  • Follow a meal plan constituting only of soft foods such as soups, well-cooked rice/pasta, soft fruits, boiled eggs etc. Pureed vegetables are a great way to increase your nutritional intake without adding strain to your jaws.
  • In addition to the painkillers, your doctor might also prescribe you these supplements to speed up the recovery process – Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C. The human body requires vitamin C in order to build cartilage. Thus, taking this supplement will help get better faster. Calcium and magnesium are responsible for maintaining adequate bone and skeletal muscle health.

Oral care – In a glance

The above mentioned oral health conditions have a wide prevalence. In order to prevent the onset of such infections and pain, one must adhere to a strict oral hygiene rule. And yes, it does go beyond the practice of brushing and flossing regularly. So check out the following rules for a healthy and happy oral cavity:

  • Do not underestimate the importance of visits to your dentist. They might seem painful but they protect you from potentially fatal diseases. Never overlook the symptoms of oral infections and pain. These could be the underlying symptoms of more grave conditions.
  • Sugar, tea, coffee – all of these foods are highly acidic in nature. Limit their intake, especially if you are prone to oral inflammation and/or have sensitive teeth.
  • Always use protection while indulging in sexual activities. The oral cavity is the fastest route via which STDs spread.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride. Don’t forget to floss too. The debris and food particles that get stuck between the crevices often trigger infections.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months. Make sure that your diet is rich in healthy nutrients.
  • Exercise and practice healthy stress coping mechanism.

TL;DR?

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Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its employees were able…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
Sputum test Sputum test is a commonly used diagnostic tool that is used to examine the presence of pathogens in…
Bronchoscopy procedure
Bronchoscopy Bronchoscopy is a procedure where in a scope is inserted into the lung pathway to observe any growth…
colposcopy
Colposcopy Colposcopy is a simple, quick and non- invasive diagnostic tool to look closely inside the vulva, vagina, and…
lipase test
Lipase Test A lipase test is a blood test performed to quantitatively measure the level of the enzyme lipase in…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
xylitol gum
Xylitol : Is this the right sugar substitute for you? Discovered during World War 2 owing to sugar shortage, xylitol has become a common name in pharamaceutical industry.…
Experts reveal the safest ways to perform an enema at home The idea of pushing some up your rectal area might make you queasy but an enema could actually…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
ANTI-MICROSOMAL-ANTIBODY-(AMA)
Anti-Microsomal Antibody AMA Test AMA or anti-microsomal antibody test is a blood test that measures the activity of AMA in the body…
Hysteroscopy_procedure
Hysteroscopy Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive tool to help specialists view the uterus to diagnose and even treat several…
myelogram
Myelography Myelography is an important diagnostic tool that is used to investigate and identify abnormalities in the spine and…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
cystatin C
Cystatin C Test Cystatin C is a specific single-chain protein that is found in body fluids and is a biomarker for…
What to eat, what not to eat in the South Beach Diet? The South Beach Diet is one among the most popular weight loss programs that have been the talk…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
arterial-blood-gas
Arterial Blood Gas Analysis Arterial blood gas analysis is a diagnostic procedure used to determine the volume of oxygen and carbon dioxide…
Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody (tTG) Test Transglutaminase is an enzyme present in our body and is involved in protein metabolism. A tTg test is…
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
Diabetes blood test
Diabetic Profile The diabetic profile is a set of tests used for testing and monitoring the various kinds of Diabetes…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has some amazing health…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known seasoning in the…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
hepatitis B envelope antigen
Hepatitis B Envelope Antigen (HBeAg) The HBeAg or hepatitis B envelope antigen test is a screening test used to diagnose the onset of…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains higher amounts of…
Bromelain: 11 reasons why you should start adding pineapple to your pizza! If you didn't love pineapples already, here are some of the top health benefits that bromelain can bring…
Tattoo Aftercare: The best practices to follow once you get inked Planning getting permanently inked? Make sure you follow these critical tattoo aftercare techniques to avoid infectious agents attacking…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in professional circles. But…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
thyroid_scan
Thyroid Scan Thyroid scan is a diagnostic procedure that aims to view the thyroid gland and detect any growths or…
lp-pla2
LP-PLA2 Test The LP-PLA2 test is a test which is carried out to assess the levels of Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
immunoglobulin M
Immunoglobulin M Test Immunoglobulin M is the largest and the first produced antibody which helps in the prevention or fighting of…
macadamia nuts in food
Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
macadamia nuts in food
Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
The complete “what to eat” guide for gluten intolerance Does eating breads and pastas often makes you nauseous? Gluten intolerance is a common reason why you might…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of oxidation caused by…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
SIBO Diet: The important dos and don’ts of this gut-healing diet A SIBO diet is a diet that works by eliminating certain sugars from your diet and adding fibers…
Internal bleeding brain
Beware: Ignoring these tell-tale signs of stroke could cost a life The signs and symptoms of a stroke differ depending on which part of the brain has been affected.…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
Tachycardia heart
Cardiac Profile Cardiac profile is panel of blood tests performed to check cholesterol level and other heart disease markers to…