Want Healthier Teeth & Gums? Add These Herbs to Your List
Good dental care is key to promoting overall health. Your teeth and gums do a lot of work, and it’s important to take good care of them.
If you want healthier teeth and gums, add these herbs to your shopping list. They will help prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria, reduce plaque buildup, and may even freshen your breath!
Common Tooth and Gum Conditions
Your mouth consists of several departments that all work together to break down your food, help you speak, and breathe (1).
Inside are the bones that make up your teeth, the gum tissue that holds them in place, your tongue, and glands that secrete saliva. This helps with digestion, swallowing, and removing bacteria buildup on your teeth (2).
Your body changes as you age, and over time you may not produce as much saliva as you did before. Gum tissue starts to recede, exposing more teeth than when you were younger.
This puts you at a greater risk for developing common tooth and gum conditions like:
- Gingivitis: A condition that can happen at any age, gingivitis is a term that means inflammation of the gum. There are varying degrees of gingivitis and is considered a mild form of gum disease. Mild versions may only bring discomfort, but if ignored it can lead to your gums bleeding, swelling, and eventually severe gum disease (3).
- Tooth decay: Cavities are small holes in the surfaces of your teeth caused by bacteria. When you eat, your saliva begins to break down food with the help of small bacteria. The bacteria excrete an acid, and if left alone the acid begins to wear down tooth enamel. This leads to the creation of cavities, which can cause pain and lead to infection (4).
- Bone loss: As gingivitis and cavities linger, the bone beneath the gums can start to wear away. This also happens when bacteria are allowed to multiply. In time, there may be significant bone loss that leads to teeth falling out.
Risk Factors for Gum and Tooth Disease
Why is it that some people seem to have great teeth no matter what they do, while others have what they call “million-dollar mouths” because of all the dental work they’ve had done?
Lifestyle, upbringing, and habits surely play a role, along with factors like (5):
- Diets high in sugar
- Chronic stress
- Tobacco use
- Metabolic disorders like Diabetes
- Autoimmune deficiencies
Knowing your personal risk factors can help you know where changes need to be made.
Best Herbs for Teeth and Gum Health
“How can I heal my teeth and gums naturally?” This is a question you may find yourself asking.
One way to keep your mouth healthy is by brushing and flossing regularly. Another way is to create your own herbal mouthwashes. You can also make a poultice or purchase herbal remedies for gum and teeth health.
Add these herbs to your shopping list, or look for them when you search for natural products.
Cloves are small, dried flower buds that come from the Syzygium aromaticum tree. Native to the Maluku Islands of Indonesia, this fragrant spice is often used as perfume and in cooking.
One study showed that clove oil contains anti-plaque and antiseptic properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria by up to 70%. This effectively slows down the progression of gum disease (6).
A beautiful flowering plant with unmistakable purple petals, echinacea is famous for its immune-boosting properties.
Echinacea extract also contains antimicrobial and cytotoxic effects, which fight against oral conditions like gingivitis (7).
A cousin to the banana, plantains are large narrow fruits that grow in warm climates. It’s been used for hundreds of years for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
The leaves contain astringent properties and have been known to help heal wounds. One study found it also has an antibacterial effect and may help reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease (9).
Grown in tropical regions, the Neem tree (or Azadirachta indica) is a plant gaining more recognition for its potential health benefits.
The bark of the neem tree contains antibacterial properties, while extracts are made from the leaves. It's used to make remedies that treat fevers, heal wounds, and reduce the amount of plaque build-up on the teeth (10).
Mint leaves are rich in nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. These are important for maintaining bone health.
In a study of five essential oils, peppermint was among the top that produces an antimicrobial effect against oral pathogens (11).
Also known as orangeroot, goldenseal is a perineal plant that belongs to the buttercup family. Some consider it an herbal antibiotic and have used it to treat ulcers, fevers, and skin disorders.
Studies have found that goldenseal’s antibacterial properties may help soothe red, irritated gums. It can also slow down bacterial growth which leads to gingivitis (12).
Myrrh is a sappy, gum-like resin that is collected from small, thorny trees. For centuries, it's been used for fragrance, medicine, and burning incense.
While more research is needed, studies suggest the anti-inflammatory properties of myrrh may help fight the effects of gum disease (13).
You may be familiar with bees making honey, but they also make a reddish-brown substance called propolis. This resin is typically used to fill in cracks or holes in the hive, but it also has incredible health benefits.
Research shows propolis contains antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. These help keep gum tissues healthy and strong (14).
A member of the daisy plant, the yarrow flower contains flavonoids and other compounds that are greatly beneficial to your health.
In addition to better digestion and relaxed muscles, yarrow has strong antibacterial effects. This reduces harmful pathogen buildup in the mouth (15).
Back to You
Dental health isn’t just for your teeth and gums. It relates to your entire body, which is why good oral care is essential to enjoying optimal wellness.
Brushing and flossing regularly are key. In addition, you can add herbs to your diet or make herbal mouthwashes to add extra protection and prevent common tooth and gum conditions.
Not all herbs are created equal, though. Make sure you buy from companies that care enough to test for purity, quality, and efficacy.
Know someone who wants to improve their gum and teeth health naturally? Share this article with them today!
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author