Are there healthy ways to whiten your teeth? You bet there are! For a more natural alternative to over-the-counter or dental teeth whitening, consider using turmeric!
The vibrant orange-yellow hue of the spice turmeric can liven up curries and stews, but did you know it can also make your teeth whiter? Turmeric teeth whitening preparations are becoming more and more popular. Turmeric’s yellow color comes from the curcumin inside the root. People use turmeric for a variety of health and wellness purposes — including whitening teeth. Who knew?
Nobody has naturally perfect white teeth. In fact, tooth enamel ranges from yellow to blueish-white. Over time, it’s normal for teeth to become discolored and appear off-white. Despite the high cost and possible damage to the enamel, teeth whitening remains one of the most popular and frequently requested dental procedures.
Why Is Turmeric Good for Your Teeth?
Conventional tooth whitening treatments can be hard on teeth, leading to tooth and gum sensitivity. Commercial whitening treatments don’t last for the long term. Rather, they keep you in a cycle, repeating the procedure over and over again.
In contrast, turmeric is a non-toxic home ingredient which has antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. That makes it a natural choice for oral use. And it’s far cheaper than commercial treatments.
It may sound counterintuitive to put a yellow substance onto your teeth to whiten them, but turmeric rinses right off and is far less abrasive than whitening strips. It can help remove common stains from food or drink and keep substances from adhering to your enamel.
How to Use Turmeric for Teeth Whitening
Natural tooth cleaning remedies, including turmeric and activated charcoal, have become very popular. You can even buy pre-prepared natural toothpaste with turmeric as an active ingredient.
Another option is to rub organic powdered turmeric onto your teeth and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing off. If you want to make a DIY turmeric-based toothpaste, it’s easier than you might imagine.
Turmeric Teeth Whitening Recipe
To try out this turmeric toothpaste recipe, you will need to collect some supplies and follow a few simple steps.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 dropper (1 ml) Global Healing Turmeric Raw Herbal Extract™
- Optional: 1 drop peppermint essential oil
- Mix the turmeric powder, 1 dropperful Turmeric extract, and coconut oil to make a paste. The coconut oil helps the turmeric stay on the teeth.
- Add a drop of peppermint oil to your preparation (optional).
- Dip a Q-tip into the mixture and apply to your teeth. Leave on for one to five minutes.
- Next, brush your teeth as you would with regular toothpaste to remove any plaque buildup.
This will make enough for several uses. Make sure to avoid getting it on your sink as turmeric can stain porcelain and other surfaces.
Turmeric Mouthwash Recipe
- 1 tsp turmeric powder from the grocery store
- 1 4-ounce glass of distilled water
- Mix the turmeric into a glass of water.
- Swish a mouthful of the liquid in your mouth for 60 seconds.
- Spit the liquid into the sink.
Save the leftover mouthwash in the refrigerator.
Other Dental Health Uses
Turmeric itself has many health benefits and can help clean your teeth and promote oral hygiene. Taking turmeric internally — as a spice or a supplement — promotes oral health and hygiene from within. The turmeric mouthwash recipe above is also a great option. Below are a few ways that turmeric may help in other areas of dental health.
Ayurvedic medicine considers turmeric root an excellent aid to dental health. People have used it for centuries to strengthen teeth and maintain good dental health. In some Asia and African countries, 80 percent of the population depends on traditional medicines — like turmeric — for oral health.
Alveolar osteitis, also known as dry sockets, is a common cause of dental pain in older individuals. If you have a tooth extracted, and a blood clot does not develop properly, or it dislodges before the wound heals, you may experience dry sockets. Turmeric may ease discomfort in such situations, as it is known to reduce redness and swelling in the body.
Gingivitis is when gums swell up and get irritated. Untreated, it can even lead to tooth loss and serious health complications. While turmeric will not cure any disease, you can use turmeric as a mouthwash to keep your gums healthy.[5, 6] The curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. It also deters harmful organisms in the mouth.
Are There Any Side Effects?
A popular spice and food, turmeric is safe and doesn’t have any side effects with normal use. As a mouth rinse or paste, it doesn't pose any known health risk. Consuming excessive amounts could lead to gastrointestinal discomfort.
Turmeric can stain clothes and surfaces with its bright yellow color. Be sure to wash thoroughly after use. On your teeth, it’s more likely to help repel staining substances like coffee or cranberry.
Points to Remember
Turmeric is an effective and safe natural remedy for removing normal stains on the teeth and preventing new ones from forming. As many people do with baking soda, you can use turmeric to lighten the appearance of the teeth. It may also help to keep the mouth clean and fresh.
Making your own turmeric paste for a whiter smile is affordable and easy. It can even save you time and money compared to commercial whitening strips or treatments at your dentist’s office.
This kitchen staple can help to improve your oral health and give you whiter teeth. Now that’s something to smile about!
If you are interested in more natural alternatives, check out our DIY Teeth Whitening Guide.
Have you ever tried turmeric for teeth whitening or another home remedy? Please share your experiences below!
- Carey CM. Tooth whitening: what we now know. J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2014;6(14)70-76.
- Monika N, Shaveta S. Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2013;4(1)3-7.
- Abhinav S, Bharathi, P. Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2011;2(2):64-68.
- Lone P, et al. Role of turmeric in management of alveolar osteitis (dry socket): A randomised clinical study. J Oral Biol Craniofac Res. 2018;8(1):44-47.
- Mali A, et al. Comparative evaluation of 0.1% turmeric mouthwash with 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate in prevention of plaque and gingivitis: A clinical and microbiological study. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2012;16(3):386-391.
- Nagpal M, Sood S. Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2013;4(1):3-7.
- Turmeric. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health. Updated Sep 2016. Accessed 05 Jul 2019.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.