Having fear of cavities can become more of a nightmare if you do not look after your teeth well. This is exactly what happened to me after lump removal from my mouth. I could not stand the harsh and brittle hair on a toothbrush, and considering putting it in my mouth was completely out of question. So to help relieve my aching gums, I turned to the most traditional and natural form of teeth cleaning I could find. Miswak. Yes, the same stick that many elderly put in their mouths so eagerly early in the mornings.
When it comes to oral hygiene, natural means can prove to be more beneficial for our oral health. The benefits of miswak are endless when it comes down to tooth sensitivity.
So What is Miswak Herb?
Miswak has been around since before the times of ancient Babylonians and Egyptians. For over 7000 years old, (way before Cleopatra too) miswak has been in the cleaning teeth business. So apart from the great benefits, miswak is no ordinary stick, but a herb stick that in literal means speaks history!
Miswak has been scientifically linked with the herb tree ‘Salvadora persica’ that is also known as ‘arak’ in Arabic. Research has backed up the regular use of miswak that leaves a therapeutic effect against multiple gum diseases.
To understand the composition of miswak herb, we will look at the active ingredients of miswak that promote stronger teeth while also maintaining great oral health. the following are 19 active ingredients found in miswak;
- Alkaloids, Salvadorian, Trimethylamine, have an antibacterial effect.
- Silica is naturally abrasive that helps in removing plaque and stains.
- Calcium, Chlorides, Fluorides helps in the remineralizing of the tooth structure. Important for dental care.
- Resins help in forming a protective layer over the enamel to prevent any form of erosion.
- Vitamin C
- Tannins are an ingredient that helps in forming natural astringent that stimulates healthy saliva.
- Saponins, Flavonoids, and Sterols in small amounts
- Essential oils impart a mild taste and fragrance, stimulate the production of saliva, and help relieve flatulence
You might as well view miswak as a natural effective toothbrush with all the above-mentioned active ingredients and no chemical formulations. Miswak is even a safe bet for children who have just started growing teeth.
Benefits of Miswak in English
Studies show that regular use of msiwak reaps great benefits for overall oral hygiene. So how does this small stick score over a regular toothbrush? Here are a few benefits of miswak herb that we all must know.
Effectively Fights against Tooth Decay and Multiple Cavities
With a wide range of processed food these days, we have a variety of different tastes and ingredients. Sweet, tangy, sour, processed, dairy, you name it and there you have it. However, due to this increase in the availability of food, that is rich in sugar, fats, and processed carbs, there are solid chances of cavities buildup. Once you have cavities, the unfortunate occurrence of tooth decay follows.
Tooth decay is when the glossy white enamel of your teeth starts wearing off and starts destroying the overall appearance of your teeth. Regular brushing is not enough to get rid of these cavities as our mouth already harbors hundreds of bacteria in our mouth. The bacteria present in our mouth produce chemicals that erode the white enamel of our teeth. This also accumulates a buildup of acid in our saliva.
Did you know that our saliva naturally helps in fighting the acid, while also allowing our teeth enough time to repair themselves
Here is how miswak helps. Using miswak naturally accumulates saliva in our mouth that in return delays the acid formulation and thus naturally fighting tooth decay. Additionally, there is also sodium chloride present naturally in miswak herb that regulates tooth whitening too.
It Reduces Tartar and Plaque Buildup
Plaque is constantly building up in your mouth, even while you are reading this.
The formation of plaque is quite a common process. In case you are unaware the colorless film buildup on your teeth enamel is what plaque buildup is called. Similarly, the yellow build-up on your teeth is known as tartar. Tartar is responsible for gum disease and eventually tooth loss. The processed foods also lead to eventual tartar and plaque buildup. The best way to get rid of both of these is to regularly brush your teeth and do so in the right manner. The small miswak twigs help in going to the delicate places of teeth and helping in getting rid of the bacterial buildup.
Miswak for the win again!
Cuts down on Malodor
Bad breath is also a common problem, and while most of us overlook this, it is usually an indicator of underlying medical adversity. We all have unpleasant mouth odor in the morning or when we go on for long periods without eating, but consistent bad breath can become a problem over time. A consistent bad breath is a strong indicator for a multitude of strong dental issues. This is often a clear warning that something within your oral cavity is not right. In the same manner, less volume of saliva can also lead to malodor. Miswak is one of the most effective remedies for cutting down on malodor. Additionally, there is a particular fragrance that is unique to miswak only which makes it a plus to use.
Fights back on Bacteria
Fact alert: a human mouth harbors over 700 different strains of bacteria in the mouth cavity.
Most of these bacteria present in our mouths are for good causes such as protecting our gums and stimulating the breakdown of the food. Similarly, some bacteria destroy gums, jawbones and give rise to painful dental cavities. In multiple pieces of research, miswak has shown significant antibacterial properties that actively fight back the bad bacteria of our mouth. Also, people who regularly used miswak herb reported fewer incidents of oral problems. miswak in general is known to be more effective than general kinds of toothpaste and tooth powders.
The Strengthening of Gums
Pro-tip straight from one of our top reviewed dentist
‘ if you’re ever curious about the overall health of your mouth, you should look at the state of your gums’.
Gums are made of soft tissues and are often the first structural part of our mouth to be affected by cavities. Gums are affected in three major ways such as;
- – Gingivitis
- – Periodontitis
- – Advanced periodontitis
One of the alarming symptoms is when there is sharp pain whenever you eat something cold or hot. This is your cue that something is eating away your gums. Gingivitis is a common gum problem to look out for. It often results in swelling and inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis requires immediate medical attention. Untreated gingivitis can lead to severe tartar buildup, which can affect the bone structure and can lead to tooth loss. This also causes an irreversible condition of tooth decay that is known as advanced periodontitis. Sounds a little scary right?
Well to your relief, miswak can prevent this nightmare. Miswak significantly reduces the chances of developing gingivitis and periodontitis in keeping your gums healthy and happy.
Strongly Anticarcinogenic and Analgesic
Apart from the oral benefits of miswak it is also highly therapeutic because of its antioxidants. Antioxidant enzymes such as peroxidase, catalase, and other anti-carcinogenic properties prevent the formulation of cancer. As a preventive measure, it also had pain-relieving properties that help in easing the pain and inflammation of the gums.
When was the last time your toothbrush could do this?
Now with the established ground for how amazing miswak is for your oral health, here is how to properly use a miswak stick for brushing.
How to use Miswak Herb?
You can either replace it for your toothbrush or do it as an additional activity to your regular brushing regime. from my own experience, I recommend you to use it along with your regular brushing.
- Chew off one of the ends of miswak herb twig. If you find it a little hard to do so, you can also trim the end of the twig.
- Keep chewing until the twig turns to soft bristles. To further enhance it you can dip it in water and moisten the twig further.
- Once you are comfortable with the fibers of the twig you can now start brushing as you would with a regular toothbrush.
- Keep chewing on the twigs for fresh bristles as soon as the old ones are exhausted.
Miswak is also used in different practices of homeopathy that is used around the globe in the form of;
- – Leaves- commonly consumed in the middle east and Africa region. The natives believe this to aid in healthy digestion.
- – Bark- the bark of the miswak tree is used as a decoction for menstruation in women. It is also used for different epilepsy practices, skin and ulcer problems.
- – Essential oils- used for insect and tick repellents.
Other common names of miswak
Miswak goes around with its common shot form i.e, ‘siwak, seewak or miswak’. However, it has different names and identities around the world such as;
- Arak- Arabic
- Qesam- Hebrew
- Qisa- Aramaic
- Mastic – Latin
- Koypji- Japanese
Miswak in English is also known as ‘miswak’.
To Sum it Up!
From the health benefits of miswak, it has a lot going on. Whether it’s teeth whitening, soothing the inflammation, overall gum health, tartar, and plaque buildup, or even cutting down on the anti-cancer effects, miswak should be in your oral hygiene routine soon. Because remember Good things come to those who use miswak.