Title : Dental & oral health – Ayurveda perspective
Strong & beautiful teeth are reflections of smartness & indicator of good body health. Our teeth & body are dependent and have effects on each other. Good care of our teeth and gums can really help us to live healthy, and longer. The mouth is the entry point to the digestive and respiratory tracts. Oral bacteria and the associated inflammation might play a role in some diseases. Normally the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, like daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. Oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions including endocarditis, cardiovascular diseases, pneumonia, pregnancy & birth complications. Certain conditions might affect oral health, including diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Poor oral health can lower body immunity also. As per the Ayurvedic dosha-that (Body basic elements ) concept, everything in the body is made up of aahara (food) after proper digestion. Teeth are considered asthidhatu (bone tissue), gums & tongue as raktadhatu (blood) & Mansa (muscle tissue) dhatus. During the first & second trimesters of embryonic life when these tissues are being formed, all essential factors should be normal. Any internal or external factor like drug intake, or malnutrition may affect normal tissue formation. Diet at that time should be healthy to bones & Mansa (e.g.milk & milk products). Asthidhatukshaya (osteoporosis) adversely affects teeth health making them decay. Whereas vidaha or vikruti (inflammation /pathological change ) in rakta & Mansa adversely affects gum health making them prone to decay & infection. In dincharya (daily regimen) Ayurveda guides for proper oral hygiene with the use of simple herbs for teeth cleaning & mouthwash, gargling, miswalk etc. Ayurveda guides for proper intake of rasas (tastes) in food. Much use of madhura (sweet), lavana (salty) & amla (sour) is to be avoided. Instead we should consume sufficient tikta (bitter), katu (pungent) & kashaya (astringent) rasas. Herbs taken internally to strengthen asthidhatu are good for long – term health of the teeth. Neem bark & leaf extract is most effectively used in preventing cavities and gum disease. Mouthwash containing neem is a remedy for tooth decay, and oral infections prevent bleeding and sore gums. Twigs of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) are used as chewing sticks by people all over India. Oral rinses made from these are used in periodontal therapy. Triphala is one of these with a wide spectrum of activity. According to the Sushruta Samhita, Triphala can be used as a gargling agent for dental diseases. Body purification processes of Ayurveda panchakarma like vamana (therapeutic emesis), virechana (therapeutic purgation), Nasya (nasal route purification) can do a lot for body & oral health. Also supportive purification processes like Shirodhara ( head oil instillation therapy), Kavala (holding medicines in mouth)/Gandoosh (gargling), tambool (Betel leaf), etc. also contribute a lot to oral health. In today’s era when many modern medicines are proving inefficient to fight newly emerged viruses, bacteria & other pathogens, Ayurveda definitely shows hopes to boost immunity & effectively fight against various health issues.
Audience Takes Away Notes:
- Knowledge about the basics of Ayurveda regarding dental & oral health.
- Information about teeth formation, nutrition, prevention & Ayurveda treatment guidelines of common teeth disorders.
- We can prevent many dental & oral health problems with these facts & keep human beings away from many oral & systemic diseases.
- Cosmetological effects of these therapies is also useful regarding strong & beautiful teeth as reflections of smartness & indicator of good body health.
- Doctors of all disciplines can use this knowledge in day-to-day practice for the prevention & treatment aspect of patients.
- Special dental & oral health consultation centers can be run by doctors & experts can get better job opportunities at multispeciality dental health centers.
- Ayurveda knowledge can be incorporated in dental course teaching in dental colleges. That will enhance scope of learning.
- Further research on ayurvedic aspects of dental & oral health will be helpful for holistic health.