Dentation is perhaps one of those areas of baby-care that raises a sense of curiosity among many new parents. Be it the baby’s dietary patterns or even her desire to merely chew on an item that looks unique; the doubts are never-ending. This write-up addresses a few aspects of dental care for your little one. The information has been sourced from ancient Ayurvedic texts.

Understanding dentation

Human beings have 32 teeth. There are two categories of teeth – Sakrijjata and Dwija. While the former refers to teeth that appear only once a person’s life, the latter is said ‘to be born’ again. Milk teeth, for instance, belong to the Dwija category, while ‘wisdom teeth’ are examples of Sakrijjata teeth.

The different types of teeth

Ayurveda experts have given specific names to different types of teeth:

1. Rajadanta (Incisors): These teeth appear in the middle of the jaw and are considered sacred.
2. Vasta (Canines): They grow adjacent to the incisors.
3. Damstra (pre-molars): These teeth are situated on the sides of the jaw.
4. Hanavya (molars): This category helps in mastication.

Types of dentation

The great Ayurveda physician Kashyapa, elaborated on the types of teeth and the four types of dentation.

These are:

• Samudga: Samudga means - a joint with a socket, which resembles a cup. These types of teeth develop when the baby suffers from malnutrition. The teeth are likely to fall-off frequently.

• Samvrita: This type of development is said to be inauspicious and the teeth remain dirty

• Vivrita: The development of the teeth causes excessive salivation because the teeth are not fully covered by the lips. This could harm the child.

• Dantasampata: This form of dental development is said to be auspicious and the teeth appear healthy.

The consequences of unhealthy dental development

According to the ancient texts, the eruption of teeth ideally begins in the eighth month or later. If the tooth eruption occurs at an earlier stage, it could lead to certain complications. Experts have stated that a few cases that one ought to be aware of:

1. The teeth inseminated in the fourth month are weak, decay early and will be afflicted with so many diseases

2. The tooth that erupts in the fifth month is shaky, with morbid sensitivity and get easily afflicted with various diseases

3. The one that erupts by the sixth month are inverted, dirty, discolored and susceptible to cavities

4. The tooth that erupts in the seventh month has two pockets. They are also spilt, stripped, broken, dry, irregular and protuberant.

Dr Elizabeth John has been working as an Ayurveda doctor for over 25 years and holds an MD as well as a PhD in Ayurveda. Presently, she is the Professor and Head of the Department of Shalya at the Karnataka Ayurveda Medical College (KAMC), Mangaluru, Karnataka, India.