You’ve seen those commercials about the tissue test, haven’t you? To do the test, you hold a white tissue up to your teeth to see how white your teeth are. Then you realize that they’re not nearly as white as you thought they were, so you start the hunt for a solution. Is turmeric toothpaste right for you and will it help? Let's find out!
You don’t want to pay a ton to get a professional whitening treatment, and your last dental appointment was less than stellar. In your search, you come across turmeric toothpaste.
Turmeric in toothpaste was a new thing to us. Apparently, people have used turmeric for quite some time. And, after reading about all the amazing benefits this root provides, you’ll understand why.
Turmeric and Its Uses
For more than 4,000 years, the turmeric root has been considered one of the most revered staples in Ayurvedic medicine. That makes it one of the oldest medicines humans have used throughout history. For these thousands of years, turmeric has been used in all sorts of ways, such as:
The specifics of turmeric over time
The turmeric root is native to southwest India. As mentioned, this root has played a significant role in the region for many years. Only recently, however, has this medicine found its way around the world. In doing so, it has contributed to the healing and preventative Ayurvedic techniques, which can apply to a wide variety of health conditions.
The earliest record of turmeric use is within the Sanskrit text, Compendium of Caraka.
By the way, this Sanskrit text is one of the most ancient scientific medical documents to have ever been found. There are claims that the text about turmeric was written between the fourth century BCE and the second century CE. Apparently, the turmeric root first arrived in China around 700 CE. If so, this is potentially the first time merchants traded Indian Ayurvedic medicinals outside of India.
Fast-forward to today:
India now produces more than 80 percent of the world’s turmeric root. So, despite the international widespread availability of the plant in today’s world, India remains the main supplier.
And we don’t see this changing anytime soon, because the turmeric root is sacred in the Indian culture. People in India are strong believers in the healing and protective powers of the turmeric root.
The Secrets of Turmeric
So, what’s the secret you ask? Well, the secret lies within this unique, brightly colored orange root.
When inspecting the turmeric root on a microscopic level, this plant’s chemical profile has been analyzed to contain more than 100 amazing compounds. All of these compounds contribute to turmeric’s ability to treat illnesses and conditions both minor and major.
There have been many studies detailing the beneficial properties of turmeric.
The National Institutes of Health, the official US agency for biomedical and public health research, lists over 80 turmeric studies. These studies investigate the different types of conditions turmeric can heal and treat.
With evidence to back up their claims.
One of the most researched and well-known chemical compounds contained within turmeric is called curcumin. Curcumin is responsible for giving the turmeric root its aesthetic, natural yellow coloring. It’s also responsible for giving many brands of mustard their color.
Curcumin is a polyphenol, which is an organic chemical that provides the body with anti-inflammatory effects. Polyphenols are present in many other types of foods and beverages, such as green tea, chili peppers, red wine, and peanuts.
When considering this specific polyphenol, curcumin fits further into the curcuminoid category. Incidentally, the majority of health benefits derived from turmeric are in the group of chemical compounds known as curcuminoids.
Other compounds within turmeric
Besides curcumin, turmeric has many other medicinal and nutritional compounds. All of these medicinal and nutritional compounds include a composition of:
When administered correctly, these chemicals combine and provide healing properties to almost any location of the body.
Using Turmeric Toothpaste on Your Teeth
Out of all the amazing benefits provided by this ancient root, let’s divert our focus to just one particular medical use of turmeric: oral health.
We already know that turmeric is known for its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. And these anti-microbial effects make turmeric the ideal medicinal compound for those who suffer from oral problems like gingivitis.
So, if you think about it, turmeric toothpaste makes a whole lot of sense.
Poor oral hygiene can eventually lead to a more serious condition called gingivitis. Gingivitis is a condition thought caused by a bacterial infection.
And it gets worse:
Gingivitis can lead to a more serious disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis can destroy the bones within your mouth.
Luckily, there are plants like turmeric that can not only treat conditions such as these but also prevent them from happening. One of the main problems of gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums.
Given its anti-inflammatory properties, it makes sense turmeric would be well-suited for defending the body from a disease caused by inflammation.
One study, in particular, demonstrated the positive impact of turmeric toothpaste for treating gingivitis.
A double-blind, randomized control trial showed that curcumin combined with chlorhexidine created greater reductions in gingival inflammation compared to the control gel without curcumin.
As far as observed inflammatory markers go, the difference in gingival inflammation was statistically significant. These findings show that turmeric does, in fact, provide an anti-inflammatory effect when used for the treatment of gingivitis.
Turmeric as an SRP adjunct
Scaling and root planning (SRP) are dental techniques used to stop the progression of gum disease. Dentists try SRP treatment when oral hygiene has grown unmanageable.
The scaling technique is used to remove plaque and tartar from the tooth root. And root planing is performed after scaling to smooth the roots of the teeth that need cleaning. This technique isn’t always successful, unfortunately. Sometimes, the tooth roots can't be cleaned as well as intended.
As a result, they don’t always heal or grow back.
Due to the room for error in this operation, there have been tests done with the intention of improving the success rate of SRP. One of these tests includes a study conducted with 30 subjects.
The goal was to assess the impact turmeric gel would have when used in conjunction with SRP therapy.
Participants given the turmeric gel saw a reduction in the plaque index, gingival index, bleeding on probing, probing depths, and improvements in clinical attachment loss. Impressive.
The big "C" and Turmeric toothpaste
Studies in mice have been conducted to see if turmeric can fight oral cancer. They were given the spice in their drinking water as well as their food, and turmeric was shown to fight tumor growth effectively.
In fact, the study calls turmeric “effective in mice or golden hamsters as chemopreventive agents.”
We realize mice and hamsters aren’t human, but it would stand to reason that there’s a chance turmeric would have the same effect in the human population in the fight against oral cancer.
Turmeric toothpaste: more effects on your teeth
Given all this info, the many benefits that turmeric can provide one’s overall oral health and hygiene are obvious.
But that’s not all:
How turmeric effects the teeth has yet to be mentioned.
For starters, there are many claims turmeric can be used by itself or with other natural supplements to whiten teeth. Despite turmeric’s strong ability to dye materials and the skin a yellowish-orange color, it won’t stain your tooth enamel yellow.
We can’t say the same for your toothbrush though.
Aside from its teeth whitening abilities, there are many claims that turmeric also can improve tooth decay. A whitener that also fights decay? Sign us up!
How to make your own turmeric toothpaste
All right, so you’re convinced that turmeric toothpaste is worthy for your toothbrush, but you don’t know where to get it.
The only thing about buying a turmeric toothpaste, as opposed to making your own, is that you risk buying a toothpaste that doesn’t have as much turmeric in it.
But you still pay the hefty price.
However, there’s no need to buy when you can just make your own, and we have a recipe for you right here:
Get Ready for Orange Bristles
There are so many amazing benefits turmeric can provide on a medicinal level that it is hard to believe it has been around so long with so little recognition.
Honestly, it would probably be more difficult to find a reason to not use turmeric than a reason to use it. Regarding oral health and oral hygiene, the same reasoning applies.
Try turmeric toothpaste if you’re curious to know if your oral health could improve or if you want whiter teeth. In fact, using a turmeric toothpaste may be exactly what you’re looking for. After all, who doesn’t want a healthier, more confident smile?
Are you willing to try turmeric toothpaste? If so, we at Your Caring Dentist Group would love for you to come back and share your results in the comments! Or show us in person during your next exam.