Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine is a rich reservoir of resources even for the dental sciences. Ayurveda has mentioned various procedures for maintaining oral hygiene such as Dantadhavana (cleaning of teeth), Kavala and Jihvanirlekhana (cleaning of tongue).
Dantadhavana and Jihvanirlekhana is to be done with twigs of certain plants like Nimba (Azadiracta indica L.), Nyagrodha (Ficus beghalansis L.), Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) Wight & Arn.), Arka (Calotropis procera L.), Khadira (Acacea catechu (L.f.) Willd.), Karanja (Pongamia pinnata L.), etc. The twig which is used for Dantadhavana should pose some special character like it should be straight, knotless or having one knot and free from cavity (caused by insect infection). Each time fresh twigs should be taken from a tree grown in good land. Factors like season, Doshic predominance of the person, Rasa (taste) and virya (potency) of twig etc. must be considered before selection of the twig. Twig of Nimba is best among Tikta Rasa (bitter), Khadira among Kashaya Rasa (astringent) and Karanja among Katu Rasa (pungent). These drugs have properties of Kriminashaka/ Jantughana (antiseptic), Vranaropaka (wound healer) and Raktashodhaka (blood purifier).
Benefits: This removes foul smell, tastelessness, dirt from tongue, bring freshness of mouth and increase taste sensation. Besides this Dantadhavana by some specific twig bestow some specific benefits i.e. Dantadhavana with Amra (Mangifera indica L.) twig causes good health, Sirisha (Albizia lebbeck Benth.) twig increases lifespan and maintain good health. It serves to be of great importance in the maintenance of oral health in treating the periodontal problems in a more economical and safer way.
Dr. P. Srinivas
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