A Medicine Called Allicin: How Garlic Can Help You Fight Cavities
When you think of garlic, what comes to mind first bad breath or vampires? Whatever your answer, it turns out that a logical connection exists between garlic breath and the belief that vampires fear garlic. And, what's more, garlic breath is actually good for your teeth! But first, you should know a little about the history of garlic.
Garlic Is an Ancient Medicine
A long, long time ago, almost all the great civilizations, including the ancient Sumerians, Chinese, Indians and Egyptians, used garlic as a potent form of medicine. They used it to treat conditions like depression and skin disease, and as a parasite-killer, among many other things. And this is where the connection lies. Research shows that garlic is highly effective at killing bacteria.
And since vampirism is a disease, and diseases are caused by bacteria as well as viruses, it's logical to assume that garlic could kill vampires. But garlic can help you overcome tooth infections too. Unfortunately, for those who dislike the pungent odour of garlic on their or someone else's breath (probably most people), for garlic to work its magic, garlic breath is necessary.
Garlic Contains a Powerful Antimicrobial Compound
Have you noticed that garlic doesn't start to give off its unique odor until you cut into or crush it? In the wild, all plants have some form of defense mechanism against pests. One of garlic's most potent defense mechanisms is allicin, a compound that garlic secretes when under attack by a pest or animal. To a pest, this compound is deadly. However, to a human, allicin can be beneficial.
As mentioned earlier, research has proven that garlic can kill strains of bacteria that are responsible for gum disease, tooth infections, and tooth decay. That's the allicin going to work. However, in order to take advantage of allicin's antimicrobial magic, you need to prepare your garlic in a certain manner.
Raw Garlic Consumption Gives You Allicin
When you heat garlic in any way, such as through frying, you destroy 99% of the allicin. Therefore, if you want to use garlic to fight nasty oral bacteria, don't heat it. Instead, prepare and use your garlic in the following ways.
- Crush, slice or grate garlic cloves.
- Leave the garlic to breathe for 10 minutes.
- Chew the raw garlic to get a strong dose of allicin.
- Place the raw garlic on an infected tooth or gum.
As you probably know, however, garlic can burn! So, keep a glass of water handy just in case. Do you have a tooth or gum infection that is driving you up the wall? Then try some raw garlic. It doesn't just kill vampires, it also kills tooth decay-causing bacteria.
For more information on how to treat cavities, contact a dentist in your area.