When you see the word garlic and teeth in one sentence, the only thought will be of bad breath. Yes, we know that garlic is infamous for the stinky breath it gives us. But did you know the same compound that results in this foul smell also accounts for several garlic benefits for oral health?
Yes, that’s true!
Garlic contains allicin and while that gives you bad breath it also relieves your toothache and prevents decay.
Other than that, there are several benefits for your overall health in using this vegetable.
Let’s find out more about its uses below.
Garlic Benefits in Toothache
When you are having a toothache, garlic can act as an emergency toothache relief.
This is due to allicin.
This compound in garlic is the juice inside that emerges when garlic is crushed or chewed.
It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
Though it can also act as an antiviral antifungal agent.
Allicin is present only for a short amount of time only when the garlic is chopped, sliced or crushed.
Therefore, whenever you want to use it as a toothache remedy, it should only be fresh.
Powder form won’t work because this compound is only temporarily present in garlic.
Due to its antibacterial properties, it kills the bacteria that cause toothache.
In fact, it can also soothe wisdom tooth pain for a while.
All you need to do is simply slice a garlic clove or crush it using a mortar or the back of your spoon and place it immediately in the area that hurts.
The allicin releases and breaks down the build-up of bacteria present in your teeth.
As a result, the pain eases temporarily till you get rid of the cause behind the toothache.
Some people may find chewing garlic directly or placing it immediately difficult because of its taste.
Well, it is best to put slices of raw garlic.
Though, you may infuse it in olive oil for a while.
This will definitely lessen its taste but will also slightly reduce its efficacy.
Hence, for emergency relief, it is best to chew and place the chewed raw garlic inside your mouth.
Besides, chewing you can also male a paste to apply in that area.
Crush garlic, mix it with salt that is also an antiseptic and fights bacteria.
Apply this mixture to your tooth using a cotton swab or by simply using your fingers.
Garlic Benefits in Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
There are both good and bad bacteria inside the mouth and a total of 500 types.
Allicin hinders the growth of bad bacteria inside the mouth.
These are also responsible for causing decay as well as gum disease.
But that’s not all.
It also encourages the growth of good bacteria.
Hence, it balances the good bacteria and bad bacteria inside your mouth.
This is also crucial in preventing gum disease as the population of good bacteria thrives while the bad ones is kept at bay.
The antibacterial properties of allicin prevent it from infiltrating the mouth causing decay.
There are many products that claim to do the same too.
You must have heard about certain toothpaste and mouthwashes killing 99.9 percent of bacteria.
However, what these commercial products do is kill both good and bad bacteria.
As a result, the regrowth rate of bad bacteria and good bacteria is quite different.
This creates an imbalance in the oral environment.
Hence, there can be more bad bacteria at one point causing harm to your oral health.
Garlic on the other hand promotes the growth of good bacteria while only eliminating the bad ones.
This is how you can gain protection against decay and gum disease.
In fact, you can also use commercial products such as toothpaste by checking if it contains allicin.
In order to use garlic against gum disease and tooth decay make it an important part of your cooking.
It has very few calories so add freshly crushed or sliced garlic to your meals regularly.
Though, its use is not only in benefiting your oral health.
Rather it is very important in improving your immunity and also keeping you healthy.
Now that we know how it protects our oral health, let’s find out how it improves our physical health.
Garlic Benefits for Physical Health
Fighting the Cold
It is quite probable you may get cold and flu in the wintery season.
Garlic helps to improve your immunity and boost immune function in order to fight the cold.
Taking a garlic supplement can reduce cold up to 63 percent.
Plus it also reduces the number of sick days, hence you can get well soon if you keep taking the supplement.
So whenever you fall sick, adding garlic to your food may help you recover from the cold soon.
Improves Cholesterol Level
Garlic can lower the harmful LDL cholesterol.
Therefore, people with high cholesterol are usually at risk of developing problems regarding heart disease.
They can reduce cholesterol by 10 to 15 percent.
Garlic specifically reduces LDL but has no impact on good cholesterol, maintaining its levels in the blood.
It is Nutritious
Garlic contains manganese, fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and selenium in large quantities.
While it has calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B1 and iron in moderate amounts.
In total it has 1 gram of carbs, 0.2 grams of protein and 4.5 calories.
So it really has a little bit of everything you will need and trace elements of other nutrients as well.
Including it in your diet will provide a dose of nutrients.
Reducing Blood Pressure
Strokes and cardiovascular diseases result from high blood pressure.
Though garlic can be a remedy for hypertension.
It is as effective as drugs used to lower high blood pressure.
Though you will need a high dosage to achieve the same results, about 4 cloves of garlic daily.
It Prevents Dementia
Garlic contains antioxidants that can prevent oxidative damage and protect the body’s protective mechanisms against it.
Oxidative damage also results in the aging process and can contribute to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, garlic prevents it.
Garlic’s Medicinal Property
Garlic may be a staple in cooking but over the years it has been more in use due to its health and medicinal properties.
Most of its benefits come from the sulfur compounds that release when it is chopped and crushed.
These include diallyl disulfide, s-allyl cysteine and allicin.
Hence, allicin is only present for a small amount of time when you crush the garlic.
Therefore, use it immediately.
The sulfur compounds enter the body through the digestive tract after you eat garlic.
Then it shows its benefits across the body.
It Can Help You Live Longer
As vague as it may sound, garlic does help to maintain your blood pressure and combat infectious diseases.
Given that, garlic can contribute to keeping you away from certain health conditions such as stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Thus it can prevent certain diseases that can turn fatal.
Detoxify Heavy Metals
The sulfur compounds in garlic have several benefits, one of which is protecting organ damage from metal toxicity.
In fact, it can reduce lead levels present in blood by 19 percent.
Other than that, there was a significant decrease in symptoms indicating toxicity such as headaches and blood pressure.
Improves Athletic Performance
Garlic has always been in use to reduce fatigue.
Now it also comes into use in enhancing performance in athletes.
It helps in one’s exercise capacity.
Garlic decreases heart rate and as a result, the exercise performance increases.
It may also reduce the fatigue caused by exercise.
Improves Bone Health
Garlic may increase estrogen and subsequently reduce bone loss.
Giving dry garlic extract to menopausal women can significantly change estrogen levels.
As that increases, the chances of bone loss decrease.
Plus garlic and onion have also been found to help people suffering from osteoarthritis.
Should You Include it in Your Diet?
Garlic is easily available and one way to reap all its benefits is to include it in your diet.
While dealing specifically with a toothache, you can chew on garlic or make it in the form of a paste and apply it to the affected area.
Otherwise, you can simply add garlic to your meals.
What’s more, it actually is very easy to include as an add-on to several dishes.
It complements soups, sauces and other savory dishes.
Got a bland item to eat today in lunch? Add some garlic to it to get a strong kick of flavor.
Plus it is available in so many forms such as oil and powder.
However, it is best to use it in chopped or sliced form to make use of allicin.
That said, there are some downsides to it too.
It can result in bad breath and can cause an upset stomach.
Moreover, it may result in heartburn, acid reflux and body odor.
Garlic benefits are for your overall health.
It is great for your teeth and also the rest of your body.
So maybe you can mask your bad breath and include more garlic in your routine.