Cavities in the teeth, seems to be a major concern for many Americans, while the cavities themselves develop usually when the individual is between the ages of 5 and 15, it is estimated that almost 98 percent of the adult American has some tooth decay and cavities. The cavities in the teeth are caused by a variety of bacterial pathogens, especially those of the streptococcus family, these bacteria are present in the mouth of almost all humans, the fact that the formation of cavities does not occur frequently after the teenage years is attributable to the fact that the body has by that time developed resistance to these streptococci.
Before drinking water was fluorinated as a norm in the 20th century, the health aspects of tooth decay assumed gigantic proportions and many in the population suffered from severe dental conditions. Therefore traditional medicine and herbal practitioners from the old days to the nineteenth century, were concerned and attempted and discovered many herbs that aid in the protection of teeth, this was very necessary in a time in which dental hygiene would have been otherwise unknown or primitive. These early dentist were rewarded for their efforts in that nature contained a lot of herbs that could be used to prevent and treat tooth decay, these herbs were both potent and effective in fighting dental problems. One of the fluoride rich herbs is a green tea made from the Camellia sinensis herb, which besides its mineral constituent is also abundant in a variety of organic compounds that work together to prevent or stall tooth decay and dental malformations. Compared to the black tea, which is usually drunk by people, green tea is far more abundant in fluoride and is a better health promoter. Ten cups of the tea or a minimum of three cups of the green tea drunk on a daily basis will be an effective way to obtain enough fluoride from the herb and to elicit its decay-preventive properties. However since the water you utilize to prepare the tea may also contain some fluoride, dosages of the green tea on a daily basis will be much lesser than ten cups per day, the tea has other compounds helpful to healthy teeth besides the mineral fluoride. Sweeten your tea using licorice, while ordinary sugar may be used as a sweetener, the decay promoting properties of sugar is extreme and rapid, and an herbal sweetener like licorice should always be preferred. Mixing just a little piece of dried licorice root in the liquid used to prepare your tea will sufficiently sweeten the green tea. The anti microbial and bactericidal property of the bay leaf, scientific name Laurus nobilis can also prove to be a potent herbal remedy against tooth decay. A chemical compound called 1,8-cineole, which is used in some dentifrices is a constituent of the aromatic oil of the herb and this compound is strongly bactericidal in action and will check the growth of microbes in the mouth. Some toothpastes have bay as an ingredient and you may want to check the toothpaste label if the herb is included in the paste you currently use. The plaque busting capacity of the bloodroot botanical name Sanguinaria officinalis can also be used as an herbal agent in the fight against tooth decay. Dental products with this herb as a constituent are proven in the laboratory as effective plaque reducers, so many studies suggest. Sanguinarine is the effective compound in the bloodroot, which has a plaque busting property. The plaque is prevented by the chemical sanguinarine from adhering strongly to the teeth by chemically binding itself to dental plaque; this greatly reduces the amount of plaque deposited and reduces the effort it requires to remove the plaque already deposited. Bloodroot is effective against gum disease as well as tooth decay; this is because the formation of plaque and its complications are what causes both conditions in a person. This herb is often included in many toothpastes and mouthwashes as an ingredient and will be listed in the label on the tube of the product, make sure you get a paste or wash containing this herb to take full advantage of its properties. The herbal sweetener licorice botanical name Glycyrrhiza glabra is also strongly bactericidal and anti microbial. The chemical that acts, as the sweetener in licorice is glycyrrhizin, another compound called indole, is a potent and effective agent against tooth decay. Another herbal sweetener is the Paraguayan herb stevia botanical name Stevia rebaudiana. Sweeten any herbal drink or concoction by adding a pinch of this herb, which comes as a box of herbal tea and is available with many herbalists. This herb is just as sweet when compared to licorice and some find the sweetness excessive. Toothache and dental pain used to be traditionally relieved through the use of the toothache tree botanical name Zanthoxylum americanum. The extreme pain and ache associated with toothache is greatly alleviated and reduced by this herb. Additionally the herb is bactericidal in effect and can greatly reduce the chances of dental decay.The herb known as the wild bergamot, botanical name Monarda fistulosa, also effectively combats tooth decay. A chemical compound active in the prevention of teeth decay called geraniol is found in the herb in concentrations of 30,000 parts per million. Compared to green tea or black tea the bergamot herb possesses about 20 times more of the chemical. Another compound called thymol, which has a powerful antiseptic action is also abundant in the wild bergamot, this substance called thymol is the active ingredient in Listerine, one of the most easily recognizable mouthwashes available in the world. Another herb, which is potent against tooth decay, is the chaparral botanical name Larrea divaricata. Traditional use has been made of this herb as a bulwark against tooth decay, a mouthwash containing the herb reduced cavities by 75 percent in test subjects, so a study suggested. The researchers in the herb have, also identified another antiseptic compound called nordihydroguarietic acid. Therefore to prevent tooth decay, use it in the form of a herbal drink or tea, or make a mouth wash by brew a tea with chaparral, gargle and carefully spit out the liquid on a daily basis, the herbal concoction must not be swallowed. Another potent herb against tooth decay is the myrrh whose botanical name is Commiphora and includes many species in the genus. The antiseptic properties of the myrrh are traditional and legendary and have been quoted even in biblical times, this herb is therefore of tremendous use against teeth decay. A dental rinse, or liquid can be made from the herb, to be used either as a gargle or a mouthwash, at the same time the tincture made from myrrh has disinfecting and deodorizing properties.