Many people encounter some type of mint—usually spearmint or peppermint—regularly in their chewing gum, tea or even sweet treats. This means nearly everyone knows mint can freshen your breath when chewed. However, most people are unaware of the various health benefits mint provides your body and mouth.
Mint is a type of herb that contains around 20 different species, and most of those are edible for humans. The chemical responsible for mint’s cooling sensation in the mouth is called menthol, which triggers cold responders in soft tissue, thus creating the unique cooling sensation. Of course, ancient civilizations figured out that chewing mint leaves or rubbing them on teeth helped clean the mouth, but it is only recently that scientists have figured out just how far the plant’s benefits go.
MINT Kills Germs
Mint can substantially benefit your oral health due to its germicidal properties. This is exactly why it is such a popular ingredient for toothpaste, mouthwashes, and even dental floss. When mint kills harmful bacteria in the mouth, it prevents cavities and gum infections while simultaneously freshening the breath. By killing oral germs, mint also helps keeps your teeth and your tongue clean.
MINT Helps with Your Digestion
Since mint has such a powerful aroma, the salivary glands and production of certain enzymes are activated when it is consumed. This process helps break down foods and contributes to easier digestion. Furthermore, mint alkalizes the body, which means it counteracts any acidic food you might be ingesting. Alkaline foods like mint are an important part of your diet because they help keep the body’s pH levels balanced, preventing the harmful effects of an acidic pH level. Additionally, mint can balance the mouth’s pH levels, which helps prevent the growth of bacteria that is responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, and other serious oral conditions.
MINT Acts as a Natural Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Bacterial
Mint contains high levels of antioxidants, which help prevent swelling, promote healing, and can even reduce bleeding. This is especially important for your oral health as consuming mint can alleviate swollen gums and decrease bleeding after a major oral surgery, such as a tooth extraction. Furthermore, its antibacterial qualities help prevent infection and keep bacterial growth under control.
MINT is Full of Vitamins and Minerals
Who knew one small plant could be so loaded with nutrients? Vitamins A, B6, and C can be found in abundance in mint leaves, and they all contribute healthy bone mass. This includes your teeth, and with the minerals of calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium, mint can fortify the density in your skeletal system, jaws, and teeth.