What is Herbal Tooth Powder?

Sarah Sullins

Herbal tooth powder is a tooth-cleaning agent that is almost entirely made from all-natural ingredients. Its purpose is to freshen breath, help heal gums, rid teeth of bacteria, and reduce the amount of inflammation in the mouth. Tooth powders also can polish and whiten a person’s teeth. Herbal tooth powder has been around for centuries, and many believe it to be an essential part of any teeth-cleaning regimen.

Oak bark, which is sometimes used to make herbal tooth powder.
Oak bark, which is sometimes used to make herbal tooth powder.

This kind of teeth cleaner has been known not only to clean teeth, but to relieve some of the painful issues that can arise in the mouth. It is able to relieve many toothaches and reduce inflammation causes by problems of the mouth. Sore or bleeding gums also can benefit from herbal tooth powder.

Baking soda is used in some herbal tooth powders.
Baking soda is used in some herbal tooth powders.

Herbal tooth powder can have a variety of ingredients. Baking soda, powdered chalk and white clay are common. Ingredients to make the tooth powder taste good might include cinnamon, wintergreen, sugar, peppermint, or honey. Herbalists frequently add other ingredients, as needed, to combat mouth health issues. Examples of this include myrrh powder to fight periodontal disease, tea tree oil to battle gingivitis, and oak bark, which works as an astringent.

Herbal tooth powder might be used to treat bleeding gums.
Herbal tooth powder might be used to treat bleeding gums.

A lot of herbal tooth powders can be found for sale on the Internet or at local stores. These powders also can be made at home. Homemade herbal tooth powders can be beneficial because they may cost less and the person making it will know exactly what ingredients he is putting in his mouth or the mouths of his children. Any person who travels in cold areas of the world may enjoy tooth powder because it can stand up against very cold temperatures better than a toothpaste may.

The benefits of tooth powder have been known for many years. Centuries ago, the Romans were said to have used a form of tooth powder made from many types of burned substances. They also would grind up bones, shells, and animal hooves to make the powder used to clean their teeth.

Even though there are many benefits to herbal tooth powder, many dentists argue that such powders are abrasive and that they can actually harm a person’s teeth. Some believe that the powder many destroy the enamel of the tooth, which is a problem that cannot be fixed. For this reason, it is important for a person to include his dentist in his decision to use herbal tooth powder, whether homemade or store-bought.

Some types of herbal tooth powder are said to alleviate toothaches and reduce inflammation.
Some types of herbal tooth powder are said to alleviate toothaches and reduce inflammation.

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Discussion Comments


What stuff is better for a tooth/gum ache in my mouth other than clove? I cannot afford a dentist so this is how it is. And what about the oak bark and leaves? Do I crush up those leaves with the bark as well and put it on my sore tooth and gum or what?


@alianor - I'm on the fence about this one. I see what you're saying, but I do also like the idea of using natural products as opposed to so many chemicals. Price issues aside, if the two products ultimately achieve the same result, would you opt for the natural herbal version or the abrasive chemicals?


@fingered - You do have a point, but those types of products are typically researched more thoroughly than herbal tooth powder or other old types of remedies. Medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies do several rounds of tests on their products to see how effective they are. With this in mind, wouldn't you say that modern toothpastes (and other dental products) are a better choice?


@KaBoom - Actually many modern dental products today use the process of abrasion to produce whiter teeth. Just because they bear a seemingly more legitimate brand or label, doesn't mean that they're the best solution, right?


@KaBoom - I wouldn't be so quick to discount herbal tooth powders. A lot of toothpastes are made from baking soda, so I think it would work fine.

I don't necessarily think because something has modern chemicals in it, it's better. Also a lot of those chemicals have potentially harmful effects. There's a reason you're not actually supposed to swallow toothpaste!


I'm all about natural remedies but I draw the line here. I want fluoride! Peppermint sounds great and all, but I think modern chemicals probably do a better job keeping our teeth healthy than powdered chalk.

Dental issues can be really serious and expensive. I definitely wouldn't play around with the health of my mouth just to save a few dollars on toothpaste.

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