Teeth need care and protection to be in great condition! Alum is used for many purposes but is alum good for teeth? Find out!
What is Alum?
Alum is a mineral that exists in crystalline form. There are many alum types, but the common alum is a double salt made up of sulphuric acid, alumina, and potash. It is chemically called Potassium Aluminium Sulphate and has been used for thousands of years for various purposes by many civilizations, including the Egyptians and Indians. It is, in fact, a typical home remedy in Ayurveda for many ailments.
In appearance, it is a translucent, white, acidic, water-soluble salt. It is mostly sold as a fine, white, amorphous powder in pharmacies and supermarkets. The US food and drug administration (FDA) has approved alum as a food additive. The mineral is also used in pickling and canning. It has many uses in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries.
Is Alum Good for Teeth
Alum has antiseptic properties that help fight against tooth decay. Hence, it prevents cavities and strengthens the gums. It helps control gum bleeding because it has astringent properties.
The topical application of alum can heal mouth ulcers because it has astringent and hemostatic properties. It causes tissue to contract and thereby reduces the size of the sore. It also helps decrease inflammation and alleviates pain. Alum used as a mouthwash tightens gums and treats toothache. It is also useful in alleviating bad breath. It is an ingredient in some brands of toothpaste.
Ways to Use Alum for Oral and Dental Health
You can use a pinch of alum powder mixed with warm water as a daily mouthwash. It tightens gums and alleviates toothache and also helps alleviate the pain caused by tooth extraction.
Regular mouth washing with alum reduces the risk of caries and prevents plaque formation on your teeth. Here is how you can use it:
- You can use 2 – 3 pinches of alum powder as tooth powder twice a day.
- Take 1 g of alum and a pinch of rock salt in a glass of warm water. Dissolve the alum and salt and use it to rinse your mouth. It clears bad breath.
- Make a paste of 1g alum, a pinch of cinnamon, and rock salt. Massage on your gums for 2 minutes and rinse your mouth. It helps heal bleeding gums and reduces inflammation.
- A massage with a mixture of alum powder and turmeric powder on the teeth twice a day makes the teeth whiter.
- Apply 1 or 2 pinches of alum powder mixed with honey on your mouth ulcer and repeat twice a day. It helps heal the mouth ulcers.
A scientific study on the efficacy of alum in dental care showed that it is more effective than salt in preventing harmful bacterial growth in the mouth.
Precautions and Side Effects
Alum is generally safe in small amounts but toxic in larger doses as it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream. An excess of alum can cause a burning sensation in the affected area. Do not drink alum dissolved in water. Use it to rinse your mouth only. Continued exposure to aluminum ions can negatively impact your health. Also, an alum from natural sources may contain toxic impurities like chromium metal, which is harmful to your health.