Chaturvedi TP. Uses of turmeric in dentistry: an update. Indian J Dent Res. 2009;20(1): 107-109.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa), indigenous to Southeast
Asia, has long been used and cultivated throughout
Turmeric has been shown to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antimutagenic, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. It can be used to protect the liver from toxic compounds; improve circulation and protect against atherosclerosis; increase the production of enzymes that digest fats and sugars and stop cholesterol from forming gallstones; treat chronic anterior uveitis, some urinary disorders, and some parasitic infections; and facilitate the process of scabbing when applied topically for smallpox and chicken pox.
This author suggests ways that turmeric can offer relief for dental problems:
· Rinse the mouth with turmeric water (boil 5 g of turmeric powder, two cloves, and two dried leaves of guava in 200 g water) for instant relief.
· Massage aching teeth with roasted ground turmeric to eliminate pain and swelling.
· Apply the powder of burnt turmeric pieces and bishop's weed seed on teeth to strengthen gums and teeth.
· Rub a paste (1 tsp of turmeric, ½ tsp of salt, and ½ tsp of mustard oil) on the teeth and gums twice daily to provide relief from gingivitis and periodontitis.
Turmeric can also be used as an ingredient in a composition applied as a tooth sealant to prevent or reduce caries. Because of its yellow pigment, it can be used as a dental-plaque staining agent to detect the presence of dental plaque.
The author concludes that the "use of plants and herbs for dental care is a very common indigenous system of medicine, and we must include it in our everyday life."―Shari Henson