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Can Your Diet Give You Oral Health Problems?

Cloves, Clogard and healthy teeth.

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Our food culture is one of a kind. Using an arsenal of spices, coconut milk, coconut oil, a plethora of fresh seafood, vegetables and tropical fruits, we create some amazing, unique ensemble of flavours. Plus, as a country that had been colonised thrice by three different nations, Sri Lanka's ethnic and multicultural makeup has contributed a lot to enrich, strengthen and perfect its culinary heritage over the years. Therefore, even a basic plate of rice & curry represents a range of distinct textures and flavours. There are fiery and milky curries, sweet and sour pickles, sweetened condiments, tempered dishes and we have a natural talent to mix and match these elements to craft up an explosion of flavours. 

Aside from such delicious combos, Sri Lanka is known for its balanced, nutritious diet. Our diet contains all the important nutrients like carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins and minerals, and thus it helps us to maintain a healthy body.

When it comes to food, oral health is a widely discussed topic. Food is consumed through mouth, and therefore, our eating habits have a direct effect on our oral hygiene and health. 

"How?"

Spices play a major part in Sri Lankan cuisine. In fact, it's one of the main factors that differ our food from the rest of the world. We eat spiced up food pretty much in every meal, and not just during special occasions. If a certain dish lacks spices, we consider it as bland food. Spices are that vital in our food, so it's not wrong to define it as the lifeline of Sri Lankan culinary culture. 

Eating spicy food has many advantages. For example, onions are high in vitamin and have bactericidal qualities. And there's chilli powder, which is rich in Vitamin A, and it helps to strengthen the gums in your mouth. 

Unfortunately though, spicy food can also make a bad impact on your oral health. Our teeth are generally very sensitive to acids, which can cause acid reflux, that damages the enamel of a tooth. Furthermore, if you have sensitive teeth, or if you're already suffering from cavities or tooth decay, you may experience toothache when eating certain spicy foods. Hence, there's a high tendency to develop a toothache to the combination of spicy and acidic food. 

Did you know that the sauces we eat can also harm your teeth? 

Sauces have high levels of sugar, and they also contain highly acidic ingredients like vinegar, tomatoes, and lime, which affect the enamel

The toxic relationship between sugar and teeth is something that had been carved into our brains by our parents, since we were kids. There are around 700 types of bacteria in our mouth, both good and bad. These bad bacteria feed on sugar and carbohydrate-based food, which produces acids that have the potential of forming bacterial infections. Such bacterial infections can damage the enamel of your teeth and the persistence of bacterial infections can lead to the formation of cavities. Over time, cavities grow, while causing teeth erosion, toothache, and in the end, permanent loss of teeth. 

Our food culture has strong ties with sugar. We have a bunch of sugary treats, such as awurudu kevili, and we're also known to be avid tea drinkers. Tea, with or without milk, is a mandatory element in the Sri Lankan diet. It's usually taken with sugar, or something sweet on the side, to balance out its kahata note. So the sugar that is often added to the body from tea or coffee is bad for your teeth.

Not just sugar, high carbohydrate consumption can develop tooth decay as well. We eat three meals a day (at least), and pretty much every one of them contains big doses of carbohydrate which comes in the forms of rice, roti, bread, string hoppers, hoppers and kottu etc. Plus, due to the busy lifestyle that we've adapted to, the majority of us have a tendency towards fast food and soft drinks in the market. Most of the times, these quick bites are full of carbohydrates, which makes our teeth prone to decay. The same could be said about the soft drinks as they have high sugar content.

We usually prefer warmly served food, mostly because it's a quality of freshly made. Even a cup of tea or coffee, we drink it hot. However, for some, this habit can be a problem, especially if they're suffering from sensitive teeth, eroded teeth, damaged enamels, cavities or infections. Even cold food, such as ice cream, popsicles and iced water can cause the same. 

"So What Should I Do?"

It's no doubt that our food and eating patterns have a massive impact on our oral health. So what can we do to protect our teeth, while keeping up with our usual food habits?

The most fundamental solution to minimise most of our dental problems is to brush our teeth twice a day - morning and night. A lot of us are a bit lazy when it comes to the latter, but it's imperative that you do so before going to bed. Also, when brushing your teeth, make sure to take the necessary time to do it properly, and thoroughly. On the other hand, avoid brushing your teeth aggressively, as it damages both teeth and gums.

The next thing to consider is the toothpaste you use to brush your teeth. While choosing a toothpaste, you need to find out if a particular toothpaste has the ability to prevent the dental problems that arise from our eating habits. And that's when Clogard comes in handy.

Clove oil is the main medicinal ingredient in Clogard, which is essentially one of the best natural medicines that can be used to keep your teeth healthy. It has been widely used since the old days, where our elders soaked a piece of clean cotton wool with a teaspoon of clove oil to relieve toothache. Rinsing your mouth twice a day with a teaspoon of clove oil mixed in with water can soothe a sore mouth very effectively. Furthermore, placing a piece of clean cotton wool soaked in clove oil on the damaged tooth at night, and removing it the next morning helps to stop the growth of cavities. 

"So, Why Cloves?"

Cloves are actually dried flower buds. It has its medicinal assets, and for generations, it has been used as an aromatic, as well as a flavour enhancer in cooking. A clove tree has a lifespan of more than 150 years, and in fact, Sri Lanka is one of the main countries that cultivate it. Knowing these valuable properties of cloves, Clogard has made sure to include a good dose of that in their toothpaste. 

The main bioactive compound in cloves is Eugenol - a member of the Phenylpropanoids family of chemicals. It is present in concentrations of 80–90% in clove bud oil and at 82–88% in clove leaf oil. The signature aroma and flavour of cloves actually comes from this element. 

In recent years, researchers have discovered a link between oral bacteria infections and heart diseases. It's suspected that bacteria present in gum disease can travel throughout the body, triggering inflammation in the heart’s vessels and infection in heart valves. However, the Eugenol in cloves, known for its natural antiseptic qualities, is powerful enough to fight against oral germs and prevent cavities. Moreover, it can act as an analgesic, and soothe the painful nerves when you have a toothache. And that's how why cloves provide instant relief in a toothache.

Did you know, that Zinc oxide-eugenol, a combination of Eugenol and Zinc is being used as a temporary cement in dental fillings? Clove oil can produce antibiotics against the harmful bacteria in our mouth and create a balanced biological environment by controlling the healthy bacteria. Also, the Eugenol in clove oil helps to avoid bad breath, give your oral environment a fresh quality, suppress bacteria and reduce oral health problems such as tooth decay and gingivitis. This is the main reason why Clogard includes cloves in their toothpaste and mouthwash. So, it's absolutely doubtless that Clogard, made with clove oil full of Eugenol would be a great help for you to keep your oral health in check. 

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