Traditional folk healers have long understood the link between oral health and overall health, and modern science now supports this intrinsic connection. The teeth, tongue, gums and oral tissues both reflect and influence overall health and well-being.**
The mouth is home to countless numbers of bacteria and microbes. Some are harmless, while some, such as Streptococcus mutans and S. sobrins, lead to plaque, cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal problems. Studies suggest that periodontal issues lead to inflammation, which in turn increases the risk of experiencing cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, blood sugar issues, impaired immune system function, and other chronic inflammatory conditions. Good oral hygiene techniques, such as regular flossing and brushing, keep the harmful bacteria and microbes under control – promoting both oral health and overall wellness.**
Unfortunately, many non-natural toothpaste products contain synthetic chemicals and toxins. With regular use, these potentially harmful chemicals may accumulate in the body, adding to its toxic load. Common ingredients in non-natural oral health products include carcinogens such as sodium lauryl sulfate and saccharin; fluoride, an industrial by-product; propylene glycol, a skin and tissue irritant; and triclosan, an endocrine disruptor.**
As awareness of these synthetic ingredients grows, more people are seeking out natural toothpaste. Based on botanical ingredients, these natural products gently clean teeth, tongue and gums, promoting fresh breath. They often contain antibacterial ingredients, such as tea tree oil, that kill the bacteria that lead to caries, gingivitis, and bad breath. Natural inflammation-modulating compounds in these products also help to soothe away swelling in the gums and oral tissues, helping to promote general oral wellness.**
Some botanical ingredients popularly found in natural oral health products include:
Tea Tree Oil: This aromatic oil, derived from the Australian tea tree, soothes away gum inflammation, helping to ease the symptoms of gingivitis. Studies show that tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic that’s capable of wiping out a range of microbes, including S. mutans, the most common cause of cavities.**
Xylitol: Studies indicate that xylitol, a sugar found in some fruits and berries, delivers powerful antimicrobial compounds that prevent the growth and spread of cavity-causing bacteria and slows the progression of periodontal issues. The substance also limits the ability of bacteria to attach to teeth and cause plaque build-up. Xylitol is used as a sweetener in gums, candies, syrups and some toothpastes.**
Neem Oil: Derived from the Azadirachta indica tree, neem oil has long been prized in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for its health-supportive properties. Oil from the neem plant contains a number of bioactive substances, including potent antibacterial and inflammation-modulating compounds. Studies indicate that neem reduces both plaque and gingivitis.**
Fennel Oil: Fennel oil comes from the seeds of the Folniculum vulgare plant, an aromatic herb that grows across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. In many parts of the world, the seeds are chewed to freshen breath and banish halitosis. Studies support this traditional use, finding that the oil contains anti-bacterial compounds that can soothe gums and reduce risk of caries.**
Peppermint Oil: Peppermint, or Mentha pipata, has long been prized for its aromatic scent and flavor, as well as its health-supportive properties. Developed in 17th century England as a hybrid of spearmint and water mint, natural toothpaste often includes peppermint oil for its flavor and scent, as well as its tissue-calming properties. Studies indicate that peppermint contains inflammation-modulators, such as menthol, that have a cooling, soothing effect. In addition, peppermint oil contains antimicrobial compounds that kill bacteria that contribute to halitosis.**
Sea Salt: While synthetic products often contain sodium fluoride, an industrial by-product that strengthens teeth and prevents caries, sea salt provides a natural source of fluoride. In addition, sea salt gently scrubs teeth, removing plaque while providing a rich mineral bath.**
Natural Toothpaste Products
Natural toothpastes are available in paste, gel or powder form.
Natural Toothpaste Directions for Use
Oral healthcare products supply varying amounts of active nutrients, so there is no set dosage. Always consult your health care professional before starting supplementation.