Digestion begins in the mouth, where the digestive enzyme amylase, found in saliva, begins to break down carbohydrates. The teeth crush and chew food to break it up
into smaller pieces, and the muscular tongue mixes it with lubricating saliva and rolls it into a ball ready for swallowing. When food enters the mouth, it stimulates taste buds on the tongue. These send signals along nerves to taste centers in the brain, which in turn activate digestive secretions. Bacteria naturally present in the mouth feed on sugary food particles and combine with saliva to form plaque—a sticky
coating on the teeth and gums. If unchecked, plaque eventually erodes tooth enamel. Problems with teeth and gums are common in developed countries, where the diet is
rich in sugar. Many mouth problems can be prevented by regular dental checkups, good oral hygiene, and a diet that includes fibrous, chewy, non-sugary foods that stimulate the production of saliva, which contains infection-fighting white blood cells. Homeopathic treatment includes soothing mouthwashes as well as standard remedies that depend on specific symptoms.


Often an indication of tooth decay, a toothache may also be a symptom of infection such as gum disease, an abscess (a pus-filled sac surrounding the root of a tooth), or sinusitis. The pain may be sharp and shooting or dull and throbbing; it may be continuous, come in waves, or occur only when a decayed tooth comes into contact with sweet foods, or very hot or very cold foods.

Rub oil of cloves on the affected tooth and surrounding gums, except when taking a homeopathic remedy, in which case the oil may act as an antidote.

If a toothache is accompanied by fever and swelling of the gums or face, or if a tooth feels loose, see a dentist within 12 hours. If a tooth is sensitive to hot or cold, and to sweet foods and drinks, or if there is pain on biting, see a dentist within 48 hours.


This condition causes the gums to bleed and become darker in color, swollen, and infected. Gingivitis usually occurs because of poor tooth-brushing, but it may be a side-effect of taking drugs, or be due to a vitamin deficiency, a serious blood disorder, or the immune system being weakened by stress.

Use a solution of calendula and hypericum as a mouthwash.

If the condition does not improve after three days, see a dentist.


Halitosis, or bad breath, can be caused by tooth decay, smoking, gingivitis, indigestion, tonsillitis, sinusitis,or fasting. To test whether your breath smells,
breathe into the cupped palms of your hands and inhale.

Avoid foods and drinks that leave a strong odor behind or cause indigestion. If you smoke, stop. Visit your dentist regularly and practice good oral hygiene.


Mouth ulcers are inflamed spots that can occur anywhere inside the mouth, and result from careless tooth-brushing, biting the mouth, eating hot foods, allergy, being run down, or stress.

Avoid spicy, sweet, or acidic foods. If you smoke, stop.Rinse the mouth with a warm saline solution (1 tsp salt to ¾ cup boiled, cooled water) several times a day.

If ulcers have not healed in three weeks, see a doctor.

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