Good oral care is essential for your teeth and gums. When you think of oral care, spices may not be the first items on your list. Certain spices will actually help prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease. Why? They have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Gingivitis and periodontal disease are inflammatory conditions caused by bacteria from plaque buildup in your mouth. Inflammation in your body weakens your immune system, further aggravating dental disease and causing other conditions. Certain natural spices prevent inflammation and inhibit bacteria that wreak havoc. What are they? We have done some research and made a list.
Spices For Good Oral Health
- Cinnamon - according to Dr. Sanjay Gupta a half or one teaspoon of cinnamon a day can kill bacteria in your mouth and help prevent inflammation. It tastes good and can be added to tea or your cooked cereal in the morning. Adding cinnamon to green tea may be even more beneficial for your mouth and body.
- Other spices with antimicrobial properties include: cilantro, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, basil, mint and bloodroot.
- Spices with anti-inflammatory properties include ginger, tumeric, cayenne, cloves and sage
Cinnamon oil is the most effective of the spices in fighting Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that causes mouth infections, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice. Researchers studied cinnamon and eight other essential oils that kill this nasty bacteria. Other oils that are effective antimicrobials, according to researchers include lemongrass, cedarwood, clove and eucalyptus. Researchers concluded that cinnamon and these other essential oils are a natural way to promote good oral hygiene, prevent and treat mouth infections.
Cinnamon is also thought to prevent colon cancer by protecting colon cells from DNA damage as well as being an effective anti-inflammatory that inhibits the development of nitric oxides in the body which are a byproduct of inflammation. Some researchers even tout cinnamon as a good antioxidant that can help treat diabetes and diabetes-induced kidney damage.
Regular Dental Visits are Essential
Brushing twice and flossing once daily are essential to getting rid of cavity-causing bacteria and plaque. Supplementing with healthy spices are another possible way to keep your mouth and body healthy. Just remember, there is no substitute for regular dental care. A dentist like Dr. Katherine Finkel at Fairfield Dental Associates can diagnose and find any potential disease you may not know you have and catch cavities or other conditions early when they are easy to treat. As a holistic general and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Finkel knows natural ways you can keep your mouth and body healthy. Don't forget to schedule your family for their regular dental check ups.