Using Herbs in Dentistry
Herbs are staging a comeback and herbal ‘renaissance’ is happening all over the globe. The herbal products, today, symbolize safety, in contrast to the synthetics that are regarded as unsafe to humans and the environment. A herb, botanically speaking, is any plant that lacks the woody tissue which is characteristic of shrubs or trees. More specifically, herbs are plants which are used medicinally or for their flavour or scent. Herbs with medicinal properties are a useful and an effective source of treatment for various disease processes. Herbal extracts have been successfully used in dentistry as tooth cleaning and antimicrobial plaque agents. The use of herbal medicines continues to expand rapidly across the world. Many people take herbal medicines or herbal products now for their health care in different national healthcare settings. Herbal extracts have been used in dentistry for reducing inflammation, as antimicrobial plaque agents, for preventing release of histamine and as antiseptics, antioxidants, antimicrobials, antifungals, antibacterials, antivirals and analgesics. They also aid in healing and are effective in controlling microbial plaque in gingivitis and periodontitis, thereby improving immunity.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as many as 80% of the world’s people depend on traditional medicine (herbal) for their primary healthcare needs. The development of indigenous medicines and the use of medicinal plants carry considerable economic benefits in the treatment of various diseases.
The use of herbal remedies have taken a global dimension. Although today, only a few of many herbs have been approved for their commendable medicinal properties, a large majority of naturally occurring herbs are only considered as food supplements, because of the lack of a randomized controlled clinical trials. Currently, many studies are being conducted to know these herbs in depth. The uses of different herbs in dentistry are listed below:
|Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)||It helps promote healing in cases of periodontitis. Gargle with myrrh to help eliminate bad breath.|
|Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum)||Used to increase the flow of saliva and relieve pain in toothache.|
|Peppermint (Mentha piperita)||Use peppermint oil for toothache to relieve gum inflammation.|
|Red clover (Trifolium pretense)||Red clover mouthwash is healing for irritated and diseased gums.|
|Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)||Use rosemary mouthwash for the treatment of gum disease and bad breath.|
|Sanicle (Sanicula Europaea)||Use as a powerful antioxidant, as a salve or ointment to heal septic wounds.|
|Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)||Use the fresh tops of shepherd’s purse to help stop bleeding after tooth extraction.|
|Tree tea oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)||Use tree tea mouthwash to soothe oral inflammation.|
|Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)||Use a salve made of thyme, myrrh and goldenseal to treat oral herpes. Thymus Vulgaris extract is effective against Streptococcus Mutans.|
|Violets (Clematis virginca)||Mouthwash made from violets helps relieve the pain and tenderness from sores caused by oral cancer. It is also helpful in soothing canker sores and cold sores.|
|Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)||Wintergreen mouthwash is an excellent astringent and antiseptic.|
|Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)||Used to treat hemorrhages, ulcers and to improve blood clotting. Use yarrow mouthwash to promote healing of cuts in mouth due to surgery, teeth cleaning and braces.|
The use of herbal medicines continues to expand rapidly across the world. Many people take herbal medicines or herbal products now for their health care in different national healthcare settings. Herbal extracts have been used in dentistry for reducing inflammation, as antimicrobial plaque agents, for preventing release of histamine and as antiseptics, antioxidants, antimicrobials, antifungals, antibacterials, antivirals and analgesics. They also aid in healing and are effective in controlling microbial plaque in gingivitis and periodontitis and thereby improving immunity.
We focus on performing holistic dental care that is good for the body as well as the teeth and gums. As a holistic dentist, Dr. Gashinsky treats the cause of the problem and not just the symptoms. Contact us today to learn more about herbal therapy and whether or not it is a good choice for you.