Home Christian Lifestyle Healthy Living Chinese Herb Shows Promise Against Tooth Decay by Dr. Mercola

Chinese Herb Shows Promise Against Tooth Decay by Dr. Mercola

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Your dental health is an important component of your physical health. While often ignored or overlooked, dental issues such as cavities and root canals can have a significant systemic influence, and the state of your soft tissues and teeth often offer a clear reflection of what’s going on in the rest of your body.

Tooth decay is often misconstrued as a “fluoride insufficiency,” but nothing could be further from the truth. The health of your teeth is largely dependent on your diet, which affects not only your gut microbiome but also your oral microbiome. Like your bones, your teeth also need certain nutrients to remain strong and healthy.

Interestingly, Chinese researchers recently discovered that water extract of the herb Galla chinensis has potent anticaries effects, effectively inhibiting acid production caused by caries-associated bacteria and increasing teeth’s resistance to acid.1,2

The Anticaries Activity of Galla Chinensis

Galla Chinensis3 (Wu Bei Zi, also known as Chinese gall or Chinese sumac) — one of hundreds of Chinese herbs tested by this research team — was found to have “strong potential to prevent dental caries due to its antibacterial capacity and tooth mineralization benefit.”4 The herb also has antiviral, anticancer, hepatoprotective, antidiarrheal and antioxidant activities.

According to the authors, “Galla chinensis water extract has been demonstrated to inhibit dental caries by favorably shifting the demineralization/remineralization balance of enamel and inhibiting the biomass and acid formation of dental biofilm.” Unfortunately, it’s still far too early to start using the herb in dental applications, because the researchers have yet to identify the active ingredient responsible for these anticaries activities. As reported by ScienceBlog:5

“In the present study, several Galla chinensis extracts with different main ingredients were obtained and determined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. The antibacterial capacity was determined using the polymicrobial biofilms model, which can generate reproducible plaque-like biofilms that occur in vivo…

Story at-a-glance

  • Water extract of the Chinese herb Galla chinensis has potent anticaries effects, effectively inhibiting acid production caused by caries-associated bacteria and increasing teeth’s resistance to acid
  • The health of your teeth is largely dependent on your diet, which affects not only your gut microbiome but also your oral microbiome. Like your bones, your teeth need certain nutrients to remain strong and healthy
  • Omega-3 fats may help ward off gum disease. People who consumed the highest levels of the animal-based omega-3 fats were 23 percent to 30 percent less likely to have gum disease
  • Research shows topical fluoride is unlikely to provide any significant protection against cavities. Other studies show fluoride is a neurotoxic endocrine disruptor that does more harm than good
  • Coconut oil is a natural antibacterial alternative that can significantly improve your oral health. Oil pulling with coconut oil has been shown to significantly reduce plaque formation and gum disease with consistent use

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