Turmeric has a huge number of uses, and if you’ve been following our articles, you’ll know this for sure. You may know that turmeric has powerful properties as a dye and can be used to stain clothes and skin a bright, golden-yellow colour. For that reason, it may be a little surprising that it can be used as an ingredient in toothpaste, but would it work?
Would Turmeric Whiten Teeth?
For a lot of people, whiter teeth is a beauty goal. As much as the natural color of teeth varies a lot from person to person, there are a large number of people out there who would prefer it if they had perfectly white teeth. This is evidenced by the large number of tooth-whitening kits that can be found in supermarkets and pharmacies.
Beauty bloggers and vloggers the world over have turned to homemade toothpaste, containing turmeric, in an attempt to get whiter teeth. This has yielded some impressive results, but are those results caused by turmeric? Well, as the American Dental Association puts it, there’s no scientific evidence to show that turmeric whitens teeth.
A large number of these beauty bloggers may have been tricked by the other ingredients in their homemade toothpaste, for example, baking soda. Baking soda is an abrasive substance that has been added to kinds of toothpaste for many years now. According to the ADA, the inherent abrasiveness of the baking soda may be what is rubbing stains off teeth, rather than any chemical property present in the turmeric.
If you’re interested in trying baking soda to whiten your teeth, there are a number of DIY toothpaste recipes online. The ADA states that baking soda is only mildly abrasive, so it is unlikely to wear off any enamel.
Are There Any Other Oral Health Benefits to Turmeric?
To put it simply, studies suggest that there are.
According to a study from the Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine, curcumin - the active ingredient in turmeric - may have a few small benefits in terms of overall oral health. The ingredient has an effect in treating gingivitis, periodontal disease, preventing plaque formation, and alleviating dental pain. With that said, the authors of the paper state that more research is needed to determine the right dosage and efficacy of over-the-counter turmeric-based medications and treatments.
Therefore, while turmeric may not be able to make your smile any whiter, it may be able to help your oral health in other ways.
Turmeric, the golden spice, does seem to have some small benefits for different aspects of oral health. Truly, the spice can be used everywhere on the body and could be considered a truly holistic medication. That said, there may be other medications out there that could be better suited to you, in terms of oral health at least, so perhaps consult with your doctor or dentist to see what’s best for you.