Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ayurvedic Toothcare

I have recently decided to take my dental care into my own hands.  I have not had insurance since June of 2007 and since that time have cracked a filling, stained my teeth (12 months in Japan), and have almost certainly acquired new cavities. In terms of habits, I suffer from the worst. Daily box of either chewy candy that sticks to my teeth or extremely hard candy that I do not have the patience to let dissolve in my mouth. On weekends after clubbing I have late night bowls of pho or Jack-In-Box tacos then pass out in bed before brushing my teeth.

So here are some pretty unattractive pictures on my teeth.

So you can see some staining between teeth and around the (white) fillings.

Also note how puffy my gums are
even in the front.

Because my gums are so loose my teeth move a LOT with very little effort.
(See why it is important to wear a retainer? You see?)

A month ago I began research on natural remedies for dental care and decided upon Indian alternative medicine therapies otherwise known as Ayurvedic. My guide was this website. Understandably a month is nowhere near enough time to research which remedies could accommodate my situation most, so I opted to dive into the most readily available of them. The first being chew-able DGL tablets that have varied benefits that remedy both the on-site tooth problem as well as problems rooted within your entire body.

The problem with DGL is it is REPULSIVE. I cannot stomach a single tablet. I cannot. Although it is essentially black licorice, in this powdery state it gives the sensation of a mouthful of grated cinnamon. The effect is overwhelming. As directed, I tried to hold it between my gums in a troubled area, but surrendered quickly to chewing it up and getting it down. As a second attempt I tried it as a nightly gum pack, which was admittedly easier, but regretfully messy. In the morning it looked as if though someone had painted my face with henna and then cleaned their brushes on my sheets.

But today, my saving glory came. Two weeks prior I discovered that had all ten of the rarest herbs I was searching for could be found in a single tube of toothpaste. It is an ayurvedic toothpaste developed by a doctor in India and available ONLY in India. The running price seems to be $14.99 if you just do a quick google search, but I ordered mine directly from an Indian website that had the same tube listed for $2.95! -- ridiculous. They will not, however, mail you one $2.95 tube from India, but if you order their 3-1 pack and one $2.95 tube the entire transaction with tax and shipping comes out to about $17- something.

Since I have only just received it, I cannot post any drastic changes with my teeth or gums, but I can vouch for its perceived quality and cleanliness. It was an overall pleasant experience with a light and delicate flavoring miles from the DGL or bitterness that some herbs have. I brushed as instructed (slowly with a soft toothbrush) and in the end it was my gums that noted the biggest difference between this and other toothpastes. I can only describe it as feeling penetration, that my gums had been cleaned, effected, targeted. I assume these are the effects of the herbal astringents (ginger, sage, neem, etc.). As a bonus, it did have the refreshing after-effect of a mouthwash boasted on the package of the tube.

I hope to blow through all 5 tubes soon and post an update.

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