Does turmeric teeth whitening work? How do you prepare and use turmeric toothpaste to whiten your teeth? Can it be useful for gum disease? Will fresh turmeric stain your teeth? Read on to discover if it is a myth or hoax, diy recipe, possible side effects, before and after results with pictures and video(s) plus more tips.
Does Turmeric Teeth Whitening work or it is a Myth/Hoax?
- Does Turmeric Teeth Whitening work or it is a Myth/Hoax?
- Turmeric Teeth whitening Recipe- How to make Turmeric Toothpaste/whitener at Home(DIY)
- Turmeric and Coconut Paste & more Teeth Whitening Recipes
- How to use Turmeric to whiten Teeth-Chewing and Brushing
- Turmeric for Gum Disease-Does it help?
- Side Effects/Safety-Will Turmeric stain my Teeth?
- Turmeric Teeth Whitening Before and After Pictures & Video
Turmeric is a bright yellow-orange spice. Some of you have had experience with turmeric stains on fabric. You know that it was an uphill task and probably did not succeed in its removal. Turmeric is one of those stubborn stains on fabric that need to be washed immediately. So how does turmeric occur to be one of those alternative methods of teeth whitening you get from anecdotal hearsays?
From stories people have told concerning the ability of turmeric to whiten teeth coupled with Ayurvedic folklore, this is not a hoax. This indication has raised much concern and need for research with little done to prove it scientifically but more hearsays we can base our discussion on.
What does science say?
- That there is a small base on which this turmeric’s medicinal indication can be supported as few clinical trials have been conducted.
- Fortunately, preliminary research on animal specimen have been done. Findings show that turmeric contains beneficial chemical components called curcuminoids. One of the major curcuminoids is curcumin with a broad spectrum of medicinal uses. Most of the medicinal attributes of turmeric are derived from curcumin from the rhizome of the Curcuma longa
- The inflammatory effects of the active components in human cells have been widely studied by the NCCIH. NCCIH has shown profound support in the research of the potential medicinal pertinence of turmeric in various disease conditions including cancer, osteoporosis and arthritis.
- In the book, Dr Dukes Essential Herbs, Dr. James Duke puts emphasis on certain constituents and attributes these to Turmeric’s Medicinal Power. These include:
- Antioxidants – curcumin, carotenoids, vitamin C and E. (Tilak et al. 2004)
- Anti-inflammatories specifically the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors like the conventional drug celecoxib
- Cell growth generator and programmed death stimulator allowing fast wound healing process– curcumin (Aratanechemuge et al. 2002)
- Antiseptic – cineole, curcumin, essential oil eugenol
Turmeric contains more than 90 constituents some of which have no known medicinal importance. According to Phytochemical and Ethno botanical Databases on Indian Saffron, Turmeric, by Dr. Duke, 92 constituents have been found. This indicates the complexity of turmeric and its vast unrealized importance in medicine.
So turmeric does work as a teeth whitener. However, it works indirectly mostly by preventing the formation of plaque, a biofilm of bacteria that destroys the enamel and causes yellowing.
Effect on teeth stains
Based on the above information on the properties of turmeric, you can conclude that turmeric bears importance on both the overall hygiene of your oral cavity and non-abrasively, on teeth stains. In detail:
- Curcumin inhibits the adherence of Streptococcus mutans on the human tooth and also in extracellular matrices – S. mutans is one of the causative agents of dental caries whose pathology causes translucency of the enamel before cavitation. It is this exposure of the dentin that causes yellowing.
Study: in a study whereby human teeth were inoculated with the bacteria strain and treated with curcumin, bacterial growth was inhibited. This finding supports the antimicrobial effect of turmeric. (Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect)
- The antioxidant effect of vitamin C and E may aid in the removal of bacterial biofilm that coats the teeth and cause destruction of the enamel. However, the chemistry of teeth whitening relies on the oxidant effect of chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide as seen in some bleaching gels. This shows an indirect teeth whitening effect of turmeric.
- The turmeric antioxidant protein (TAP) has been found to prevent oxidation of calcium uptake enzyme, Calcium ATPase enzyme. Oxidation of this enzyme by oxidants such as reactive oxygen species e.g. peroxides in damaged cells prevents its function. Calcium is necessary for the development of enamel in children.
- Cineole is also an antiseptic preventing the survival of Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus that lower the pH of the oral cavity and enamel surface.
- Turmeric is a rich source of essential elements such as calcium, magnesium and selenium which could be linked to a white smile.
- In addition to the above non-abrasive effects, raw turmeric root can be chewed using as many teeth as possible. This allows for abrasion by the fibrous root and acquisition of the full benefits of the raw turmeric.
Turmeric Teeth whitening Recipe- How to make Turmeric Toothpaste/whitener at Home(DIY)
How to make turmeric toothpaste
- Mix turmeric powder with water to make a thick paste.
- dip your toothbrush and brush your teeth gently and thoroughly.
- Rinse with cool water, then brush with regular toothpaste.
- Let this mix sit on your teeth for 3-5 minutes after burshing.
- Spit it and rinse thoroughly.
- Or Wet your toothbrush and dip in 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric powder and follow the above process.
Turmeric and Coconut Paste & more Teeth Whitening Recipes
Recipe with coconut oil
- Mix 1/4 teaspoon of organic turmeric powder in 1/8 teaspoon of melted coconut oil.
- Dip your tooth brush in the paste and brush your teeth normally.
- Let this mix sit on your teeth for 3-5 minutes after thorough brushing without washing.
- Spit it and rinse thoroughly.
- Now brush again with regular toothpaste you use.
- You can notice the difference in first application. If not you will surely be surprised of the results after few applications.
Turmeric tea for teeth whitening
- Mix 1 cup of milk or almond milk, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of turmeric, ¼ teaspoon of ginger, a pinch of nutmeg, and a pinch of clove.
- Bring this mixture to boil on stove or microwave for few minutes.
- Strain, add raw honey or your preferred sweetener.
- Drink this tea daily.
Turmeric, Baking Soda, and Coconut Oil
- Mix 4 tablespoons of turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, and 2 ½ to 3 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil.
- Spread 2 teaspoons of this mixture on your toothbrush.
- Gently brush your teeth for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Swish 1 teaspoon of melted coconut oil in your mouth for 1 minute and then spit it out.
- Rinse mouth with water.
- Repeat this several times a week and then reduce the frequency to once or twice a week.
- Store the left over mixture in refrigerator for further use.
- Or you can exclude baking soda and combine the two ingredients, dip the toothbrush and brush normally and rinse it off.
This method utilizes the beneficial polishing property of baking soda. It is therefore more efficient in whitening the teeth as compared to straight preparations of turmeric paste.
Turmeric Mouthwash Recipe
You can also use turmeric as a mouth wash
Below is a recipe
- Mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder into ½ glass of water.
- Swish mixture around in your mouth for at least 1 minute, then spit it out.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with normal water to remove any yellow stains.
- Repeat daily for desired results.
How to use Turmeric to whiten Teeth-Chewing and Brushing
Chew a small piece of raw turmeric root with as many teeth as possible. This is how it is traditionally done in India. Preferably, fresh organic turmeric root.
How to chew-For the organic turmeric root, chew gently for 2-5 minutes.
- Then spit and rinse off the remnants
- Brush your teeth with conventional toothpaste of your choice.
Brushing with powdered
For powdered turmeric;
- Dip your brush into the paste until the bristles have it on them
- Brush your stained teeth in the same manner as you do with toothpaste for 3-5 minutes
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly
- Brush your teeth with conventional toothpaste
- Continue this daily for a few days or a week until you see desirable results.
Which is the best way to whiten teeth with Turmeric-Chewing or using it as a toothpaste?
Chewing raw turmeric gives the method the abrasive effect that is needed for mechanical plaque removal. Using turmeric as a toothpaste requires that you brush and the abrasivity is as normal as a normal toothbrush. As a polishing agent, powdered turmeric is not as good as raw chewable turmeric.
The advantage with powdered turmeric is the versatility. It is possible to do more components in a formulation including the coconut oil and peppermint oil. Baking soda could also be added. Chewing is a straight-forward turmeric-only method.
However, what is more important? The abrasive nature of any tooth whitener on the plaque. You should consider chewing raw turmeric more often that powdering it to add more ingredients.
Turmeric for Gum Disease-Does it help?
Turmeric does help in the overall health of the oral cavity owing to the antimicrobial effects it has. This effect along the anti-inflammatory action of chemicals in the turmeric are most beneficial to the gums.
Gum disease is mostly characterized by gingivitis that may eventually proceed to periodontitis. In the early stages of gum disease, gingivitis precedes with plaque build-up.
The gums become easily inflamed upon bacterial infection and bleeding occurs when brushing. Toxins released by these bacteria break down connective tissue and may proceed to loosening of the teeth.
Turmeric contains anti-microbial properties which means it prevents the growth of viruses, bacteria and fungi. The antioxidant property of turmeric also prevents cell destruction by reactive species such as peroxides and superoxides. This allows for wound healing and localization of spread.
Its ability to inhibit inflammatory mediators such as cyclooxygenase prevents progression of gingivitis into periodontitis. Irritation and reddening on affected areas of the gum is also reduced.
Therefore, turmeric is beneficial for its use in maintenance of oral hygiene and in preventing inflammation as seen in gum disease.
Side Effects/Safety-Will Turmeric stain my Teeth?
Turmeric is safe when taken by mouth and that’s why it is used as a spice in foods. However, in very high quantities, it may have adverse side effects.
It is possibly safe when it is used as mouthwash in the short-term. Since people are unique in their own way, some may experience stomach upsets, nausea, dizziness and diarrhea when swallowed. Spitting and thorough swishing and rinsing the mouth after brushing or chewing prevents this.
Turmeric will stain the teeth after chewing or brushing for the next few minutes to an hour. The yellow will eventually fade away with follow-up rinsing.
- People with gall bladder disease may experience exacerbation when exposed to dietary amounts of turmeric. This shows that turmeric finding its way into the gut may stimulate bile production and worsen condition.
- In patients with blood coagulation disease, turmeric should be avoided. Turmeric has been shown to reduce the clotting process of blood.
- Patients with gastro-esophageal reflux disease may worsen their condition when the gut is exposed to turmeric.
However, due to the low absorption of turmeric through the gut wall, systemic manifestation is rare such as lowering of blood sugar in diabetics. Black pepper will increase the absorption of turmeric to about 2000 times its initial.
Turmeric Teeth Whitening Before and After Pictures & Video
Below are before and after pictures showcasing how turmeric can act as a teeth whitener. Also watch the video from a user who also very insightful tips.
Resources and References
-  Tilak J. C, Banerjee M, Mohan H, Devasagayam T. P. Antioxidant availability of turmeric in relation to its medicinal and culinary uses. Phytother Res. 2004;18:798–804.
-  Aratanechemuge Y, Komiya T, Moteki H, Katsuzaki H, Imai K, Hibasami H. Selective induction of apoptosis by ar-turmerone isolated from turmeric
-  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22009290