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Common problems & symptoms
Bleeding gums/ Pyorrhoea/ Gingivitis
Inflammation of the gums is called gingivitis. If it is not treated properly eventually the gums will start to bleed which is called pyorrhoea. If this condition is left untreated for the long term, the roots of the teeth start to become loose. Although bacteria are the cause of this condition it is related to the digestive system, gut flora imbalance, metabolism and acidity of the body. In this case it is important to establish the correct pH balance in the entire gastro-intestinal tract. An imbalance of the trace minerals, such as calcium and iron, can also cause these conditions.
In Ayurveda this is managed by treating the Pitta and Vata aggravation in the area of the gums. This aggravation manifests as inflammation, bleeding and pain. This treatment plan is long term and so proper dental hygiene is also required. This involves brushing the teeth after every meal, rinsing the mouth with an Ayurvedic herbal mouthwash, using dental floss and massaging the gums with Ayurvedic gum oil.
Herbal preparations are used to create a more alkaline pH environment in the digestive system, improve the gut flora and levels of trace minerals in the body.
I have realised that although the symptoms only occur in the mouth these conditions have many underlying causes. Therefore sometimes the necessary treatment may appear to be simple but in reality it is quite complex.
This is a condition where cavities are formed in the teeth. It is due to a deficiency of calcium and other trace minerals in the body. The cavities are the body’s first sign of indicating that there is a deficiency. If adequate amounts of calcium are not present in the diet the body will take calcium from the teeth to use in the bones. This is because the teeth have the highest concentration of calcium anywhere in the body. Cavities in the teeth are due to the lack of calcium in the body, so to avoid further tooth decay it is important to supplement the body with calcium. This is the initial part of the treatment for tooth decay. Next the reason for the lack of calcium in the body is ascertained. It can be for two reasons, either that not enough calcium is present in the diet or adequate amounts are being taken but the body is not absorbing it properly. In the latter case, herbal preparations will be given to improve the body’s absorptive function.
White blotches on the teeth
Sometimes it can be seen that people have white blotches on their teeth, which I have found to be due to mineral deficiency in the body. I have noticed that people who have white blotches on their teeth also have white blotches on their nails, which are dry and split and break easily. These are all signs of mineral or trace mineral deficiencies in the body. I have also found that most patients are also deficient in sulphur. The white blotches may also be due to too much fluoride absorption in the body.
After a few months of treatment I have found the white blotches to disappear.
Bad breath/ Halitosis
Bad breath is due to the overgrowth of fungus or bacteria in the mouth. This can be due to the improper cleaning of the mouth and tongue. The coating that appears on the tongue in the morning is ama, the toxic waste product from the body. If there are toxins present in the digestive system the cell membranes will accumulate the ama and move it up to the mouth. If this is not cleaned from the tongue and teeth, bacteria will grow on it and it will give off an offensive odour.
In Ayurveda the root cause will be ascertained and treated. It may be due to problems in the digestive system or teeth and gums or involving the tongue coating.
Sensitivity of the teeth
Sensitivity of the teeth has many causes. It can be due to post surgery, after cleaning by the hygienist, due to a trauma to the teeth, side effects to certain drugs or a nutritional deficiency in the body. In all these cases firstly the underlying reason is ascertained and then the person is treated accordingly.