+91 99725 79215


Dental Caries (Tooth decay, cavities)

Cavities in the teeth is a dreadful reality for people in all age groups. That fearsome drill in the dental clinic, anticipation of excruciating pain and inability to eat their favorite food makes them look for alternatives to treat cavities without going to the dentist. Unfortunately, it is not possible. Teeth are the only tissue in the body which do not repair or regenerate themselves like skin and all other tissues. So, if a part of a tooth is lost due to a cavity, it is permanently lost and you have to go to a dentist to get a filling in the cavity.

However, we can prevent dental decay or cavities. But this has not been successful in India

Current status:

Epidemiological/point prevalence studies conducted (among index age groups) in various parts of India from January 2000 to April 2016 show that the mean prevalence of dental caries is almost similar at 5 years and 12 years at 49% while it shows steady increase from 15 years (60%) to 35-44 years (78%) and peaks at 65-74-year group (84%).





What are the Trends in dental caries in Indian children for the past 25 years?

A systematic literature search was conducted to find studies done on dental caries prevalence in children in India from the year 1992–2016. It suggests that more than half of Indian children have been affected by dental caries. There is a skewed distribution of caries among Indian children.



There are multiple reasons for this situation.

1. Fear of pain from dental procedures
2. Dental treatments are very expensive, most people cannot afford it.

3. There is no Dental insurance in India
4. In rural India (72% of population) there is 1 dentist to 2.5 lac people and inadequate dental facilities.
5. Most importantly, we do not consider teeth as important as other organs of the body.

This neglect of oral hygiene combined with bad eating habits and fear of dental procedures result in delay in the treatment, complications of cavities like swelling, pus and severe pain. This require more expensive treatments like root canal therapy to save the tooth.

Ayurveda and Dental caries:

It will be interesting to know that cavities or dental decay and its prevention and treatments were thoroughly described in ancient scriptures thousands of years ago and are being practiced even today by Ayurveda doctors.

Below is a shloka and its translation about dental caries:

कृ षचिदशल: सावी ससंरमो महारज: l                                                       वा. . २१-१८, १९.
अनिनमतरजो वातानिजेय: कृ नमदनक: ll
समूलं दंतमानित दोषैरलणमारतै: l
शोनषते मनज सुनषरे दंतेऽनमलपूररते ll
पूनततातृ मय: सूका जायंते जायते तत: l
अहेतुतीवानतिशम: ससंरंभोऽनसतशल: ll
पभूतपूयरकसु स चोक: कृ नमदंतक: l

Vitiated vata along with vitiated pitta and kapha gets localized on the surface of the teeth and slowly destroys the tooth giving rise to black discoloration and cavities in the teeth.

Food material and dirt accumulate in these cavities and give rise to proliferation of germs which further enhance the process of destruction and reaches nerve ending. The patient suffers from severe excruciating pain. When the destruction reaches the bones and gums pus and blood ooze from the region of carious teeth.

Ayurveda can be very useful in prevention of dental caries. It has very effective protocols for preventive Oral health. These are affordable, easily available, simple to follow and offer long term health benefits. Visit www.intedent.co.in and consult Ayurveda specialists for Ayurveda preventive oral care regime


Scientific Evidence:

1. Tichy J, Novak J. Extraction, assay, and analysis of antimicrobials from plants with activity against dental pathogens (Streptococcus sp.) J Altern Complement Med. 1998;4:39–45. [PubMed]
2. Badria FA, Zidan OA. Natural products for dental caries prevention. J Med Food. 2004;7:381–4.[PubMed]
3. Park KM, You JS, Lee HY, Baek NI, Hwang JK. Kuwanon G: An antibacterial agent from the root bark of Morus alba against oral pathogens. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003;84:181–5. [
4. Chung JY, Choo JH, Lee MH, Hwang JK. Anticariogenic activity of macelignan isolated from Myristica fragrans (nutmeg) against Streptococcus mutans. Phytomedicine. 2006;13:261–6. [
5. Prabu GR, Gnanamani A, Sadulla S. Guaijaverin: A plant flavonoid as potential antiplaque agent against Streptococcus mutans. J Appl Microbiol. 2006;101:487–95. [
6. Borchers AT. Traditional Asian medicine and oral health. J Tradit Med. 2004;21:17–26.
7. Kelmanson JE, Jäger AK, van Staden J.
Zulu medicinal plants with antibacterial activity. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000;69:241–6. [PubMed]
8. Goldstein BH. Unconventional dentistry: Part I. Introduction. J Can Dent Assoc. 2000;66:323–6.[
9. Telles S, Naveen KV, Balkrishna A. Use of Ayurveda in promoting dental health and preventing dental caries. Indian J Dent Res. 2009;20:246. [
10. Naik GH, Priyadarsini KI, Satav JG, Banavalikar MM, Sohoni DP, Biyani MK, et al. Comparative antioxidant activity of individual herbal components used in Ayurvedic medicine. Phytochemistry. 2003;63:97–104. [
11. Bethesda M. A closer look at Ayurvedic medicine. Focus on complementary and alternative medicine. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). US National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2006;12:123–39.
12. Amruthesh S. Dentistry and Ayurveda-V: An evidence based approach. Indian J Dent Res. 2011;2:3–9.
13. Cowan MM. Plant products as antimicrobial agents. Clin Microbiol Rev. 1999;12:564– 82.[
PMC free article] [PubMed]
14. Ahmad I, Beg AZ. Antimicrobial and phytochemical studies on 45 Indian medicinal plants against multi-drug resistant human pathogens. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001;74:113–23. [
15. Sinha AR, Bajaj VK, Singh P, Shekhawat S, Singh K. Phytochemical estimation and antimicrobial activity of aqueous and methanolic extract of
Ocimum sanctum L. J Nat Prod Plant Resour. 2013;3:518.
16. Abuzied ST, Eissa SA. Comparative study on antibacterial activities of two natural plants versus three different intra canal medicaments (Online article) [Last accessed on 2012 Feb 12]. Available from:
17. Bairy I, Reeja S, Siddharth, Rao PS, Bhat M, Shivananda PG. Evaluation of antibacterial activity of
Mangifera indica on anaerobic dental microglora based on in vivo studies. Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2002;45:307–10. [PubMed]
18. Didry N, Dubreuil L, Trotin F, Pinkas M. Antimicrobial activity of aerial parts of
Drosera peltataSmith on oral bacteria. J Ethnopharmacol. 1998;60:91–6. [PubMed]
19. Tandon S, Gupta K, Rao S, Malagi KJ. Effect of
Triphala mouthwash on the caries status. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010;1:93–9. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
20. Biradar YS, Jagatap S, Khandelwal KR, Singhania SS. Exploring of antimicrobial activity of triphala mashi-An Ayurvedic formulation. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008;5:107–13.[PMC free article] [PubMed]
21. Agarwal P, Nagesh L. Comparative evaluation of efficacy of 0.2% Chlorhexidine, Listerine and
Tulsiextract mouth rinses on salivary Streptococcus mutans count of high school children – RCT. Contemp Clin Trials. 2011;32:802–8. [PubMed]
22. Chung JY, Choo JH, Lee MH, Hwang JK. Anticariogenic activity of macelignan isolated from Myristica fragrans (nutmeg) against Streptococcus mutans. Phytomedicine 2006;13:261-6. 9.
23. Kajaria DK, Gangwar M, Kumar D, Kumar Sharma A, Tilak R, Nath G, et al. Evaluation of antimicrobial activity and bronchodialator effect of a polyherbal drugShrishadi. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2012;2:905-9. 10.
24. Aneja KR, Joshi R. Antimicrobial activity of Syzygium aromaticum and its bud oil against dental cares causing microorganisms. Ethnobotanical Leaflets 2010;14:960-75.
25. Cowan MM. Plant products as antimicrobial agents. Clin Microbiol Rev 1999;12:564-82.
26. Vasconcelos LC, Sampaio FC, Sampaio MC, Pereira Mdo S, Higino JS, Peixoto MH. Minimum inhibitory concentration of adherence of Punica granatum Linn (pomegranate) gel against S. mutans, S. mitis and C. albicans. Braz Dent J 2006;17:223-7.
27. Jittapiromsak N, Sahawat D, Banlunara W, Sangwanich P, Thunyakitpisal P. Acemannan, an extracted product of Aloe vera, stimulates dental pulp cell proliferation,differentiation, mineralization, and dentin formation. Tissue Eng Part A 2010;16:1997-2006

Dr. Vaibhavi Joshipura

Periodontist (Gum Specialist) MDS, Periodontics/Periodontology, PhD. Periodontics/Periodontology