Tooth discomfort or inflammation can be a curse. If you just can't find the time to visit a dentist, you can also use medicinal herbs. They can relieve the pain, as an expert reveals.
Unpleasant throbbing and pulling in the mouth? Tooth problems or gum inflammation are among the worst pains for many. But is a visit to the dentist always necessary? dr In an interview with the news agency spot on news, Jochen H. Schmidt, head of dentistry at Carree Dental in Cologne, recommends natural treatment with medicinal plants, which "even our grandmothers swore by when they had toothache".
What commonly causes toothache and gingivitis?
Jochen Schmidt: Toothache often hides periodontitis or root inflammation. However, the most common trigger is tooth decay. Bacteria in the oral cavity convert the sugar we eat into harmful acid. This destroys the protective tooth enamel. The dentine tubules are exposed and the dental nerve in the dental pulp reacts promptly to the slightest irritation such as heat or cold.
Poor oral hygiene can be a trigger for gingivitis: If the teeth are not brushed properly, the bacteria in the mouth multiply explosively and gingivitis, a harmless inflammation of the gums, can develop. Bleeding gums is a major symptom. In many cases, however, there is also an advanced inflammation of the periodontium, i.e. periodontitis. In addition to inadequate dental care, stress, nicotine, vitamin deficiencies and metabolic diseases such as diabetes are other risk factors for chronic inflammation of the periodontium.
Both types of inflammation cause the gums to recede and not grow back. The teeth appear unusually long and are usually noticeably sensitive due to the exposed tooth necks.
Which herbs relieve the symptoms?
Even our grandmothers swore by old medicinal plants for toothache. As a classic home remedy for toothache, but also for gum or root inflammation, the clove was literally on everyone's lips at the time. Thanks to its essential oils, it has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect.
Thanks to their essential oils, ginger, chamomile, sage and thyme can also have a disinfecting effect on swelling, gingivitis and bleeding, alleviate symptoms and strengthen the gums. And myrrh is also good for tooth problems. In the past, this classic medicinal plant was often used to treat toothache and to prevent tartar, among other things.
Of course, even the best medicinal herbs do not replace a visit to the dentist.
How should one use the herbs then?
Ginger, chamomile, sage and thyme can be used several times a day as a tea or mouthwash. Myrrh, for example, acts as a tincture or mouthwash for toothache, relieving pain and promoting healing. For example, eucalyptus and fennel raw or as a tea can be helpful for mild bad breath.
How to prevent pain and inflammation?
Good dental care and a low-sugar diet offer the best protection against tooth decay and toothache. Six-monthly check-ups at the dentist are also important.
Regular check-ups and thorough oral hygiene are also the be-all and end-all when it comes to periodontitis prevention. Plaque can be gently but thoroughly removed with an electric toothbrush. Conventional toothbrushes are often too soft or too hard and are used incorrectly, which can promote bacterial plaque or damage the gums.
If the gums have receded, interdental brushes are an excellent choice. They can also be used to specifically clean those areas that "normal" toothbrushes cannot penetrate. And tongue brushes also pay off: they remove bacteria on the tongue that often cause unpleasant bad breath.
Professional teeth cleaning twice a year is also recommended. This protects against inflammation and is an essential part of preventive dental care, but also of well-founded periodontitis treatment.
dr Jochen H. Schmidt is the dental director of Carree Dental in Cologne. He holds the additional academic title of "Master of Science in Oral Implantology and Surgery".
(This article was first published on Saturday, May 21, 2022.)