When thinking about products and foods that help with oral health, turmeric may not be anywhere near the top of your list.
For readers that think turmeric is a medical condition, a foreign language, or a type of Middle Eastern clothing, there are several reasons why turmeric has been widely credited as an oral health “super food.”
Food Network viewers probably know that turmeric is an ancient spice used in curry and other Far Eastern and Middle Eastern cuisine. Compulsive readers of food labels may have noticed turmeric is regularly used in mustard and is what gives that condiment its festive yellow color. Turmeric has also been used for centuries as a dye in clothing and thread.
In addition, turmeric has also been used for centuries for its natural healing properties, most notably in India’s Ayurvedic (holistic) medicine since 500 B.C.
Practitioners of natural remedies and holistic medicine know that turmeric is an organic ingredient whose yellow and orange powdered form contains minerals like phosphorus, manganese and potassium, which are beneficial to teeth.
As previously reported in Dental Wire, a number of holistic techniques like oil pulling and the benefits of natural foods such as coconut oil, are believed to offer considerable oral health benefits.
Turmeric is part of the ginger family and turmeric powder is made from its thick plant stem. A tablespoon of ground turmeric includes nearly a gram of protein, two grams of fiber, six grams of carbohydrates and just 29 calories.
The ancient spice contains curcumin, a compound that includes strong antioxidants believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-microbial properties. It’s the oil in turmeric that hundreds of studies suggest can be beneficial in treating a range of oral care problems and diseases. For instance, turmeric has been proven useful treating:
Toothaches: Temporary relief for toothaches is possible by wetting turmeric powder with water or Vitamin E oil for use as a gum pack. Applying the gum pack on a sore tooth overnight can bring temporary relief until such time that a dentist can be consulted.
Tooth Whitener: Mixing two capsules of turmeric powder with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and a few drops of peppermint oil will whiten teeth. NOTE: Turmeric powder is yellow and will stain teeth, so remember to brush with your regular toothpaste after self-whitening.
Gingivitis & Periodontitis Relief: Rubbing a paste of 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder with ½ tablespoon of salt and ½ tablespoon of mustard oil on sore gums and teeth twice daily can relieve pain until a dental visit.
Periodontal Treatment: One study revealed that the use of turmeric gel used in combination with the scaling and root planing procedure to treat periodontal disease was more effective than a periodontal scaling and root planing by itself. Researchers credit that to the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties turmeric contains.
Oral Cancer: The curcumin in turmeric is well known for its anti-cancer properties, including its ability to terminate cancer growth cells without harming healthy cells. Turmeric has also been found to help those suffering from arthritis, diabetes, gastritis, psoriasis and radiation illness. It is also often used to help balance sugar levels and clean out arteries.
As healthy as including turmeric in your regular diet may be, nothing is an adequate substitute for regular dental visits. To find plans available in your area, click here.
Sources: turmericforhealth.com, WebMD, pbs.org, zeemews.india.com
Photo source: glutenfreegigi.com
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