مطالعات بالینی نشان دادهاست که استفاده مداوم از گیاه مسواک موجب کاهش تشکیل پلاک دندان و استحکام دندانها و جلوگیری از رنگی شدن دندانها و رشد باکتریهای دهان میشود.
چوب مسواک حاوی مقادیر زیادی از کلرورها بخصوص کلرور سدیم، فلوئور، سیلیکا، گوگرد، رِزین، ویتامین ث و مقادیر کمتری تانن فلاونوئید و است که نقش مؤثّری در جلوگیری از پوسیدگی دندان و ضدّ عفونی و سفیدتر کردن دندانها دارند.خمیر دندانهای کنونی بر گرفته از مواد حاوی این چوب مسواک ساخته شدهاند.
ویتامین ث موجود در مسواک در درمان عفونتهای دهان و خونریزی مؤثر است.
از پیامبر اسلام(ص) نقل شده است:
مسواک بر سر دستار زدن: نشانه رعایت مستحبات کردن و تظاهر به زهد و تقوی
The miswak (miswaak, siwak, sewak, Arabic: سواك or مسواك) is a teeth cleaning twig made from the Salvadora persica tree (known as arāk, أراك, in Arabic). It is reputed to have been used over 7000 years ago. The miswak's properties have been described thus: "Apart from their antibacterial activity which may help control the formation and activity of dental plaque, they can be used effectively as a natural toothbrush for teeth cleaning. Such sticks are effective, inexpensive, common, available, and contain many medical properties". It also features prominently in Islamic hygienical jurisprudence.
The miswak is predominant in Muslim-inhabited areas. It is commonly used in the Arabian peninsula, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, parts of the Sahel, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. In Malaysia, miswak is known as Kayu Sugi (Malay for 'chewing stick').
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the use of the miswak in 1986, but in 2000 an international consensus report on oral hygiene concluded that further research was needed to document the effect of the miswak. Some of this further research has been done on a population of 203, and concluded, in turn, "that the periodontal status of miswak users in this Sudanese population is better than that of toothbrush users". Yet another comparative study conducted on a sampling of 480 Saudi Arabian adults found that "the level of need for periodontal care in the sample chosen is low when compared with the findings of similar studies undertaken in other countries. The frequent use of the 'Miswak' was associated with a lower need for treatment".
A 2016 paper has been published comparing human DNA left on used miswak and toothbrushes, including the effect of time, to determine whether miswak is a reasonable source of DNA when found at crime scenes. The conclusion was that miswak contains a high enough quantity of DNA, and retained good DNA profiling; and when compared to toothbrushes, miswak is a reasonable source of DNA for forensic profiling. In addition, time of storage up to 4 months had no or little effects on results.
Miswak extract vs. oral disinfectants
However, the benefits of triclosan were discounted by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2016 and its safety is uncertain as a hygiene product ingredient. Chlorhexidine gluconate was also linked to serious allergic reactions, albeit rarely.
The use of the miswak is frequently advocated in the hadith (the traditions relating to the life of Muhammad). Situations where the miswak is recommended to be used include before religious practice, before entering one's house, before and after going on a journey, on Fridays, before sleeping and after waking up, when experiencing hunger or thirst and before entering any good gathering.
In addition to strengthening the gums, preventing tooth decay and eliminating toothaches, the miswak is said to halt further decay that has already set in. Furthermore, it is reputed to create a fragrance in the mouth, eliminate bad breath, improve sensitivity of taste-buds and promote cleaner teeth.
A hadith concerning the miswak
A miswak should be one hand span in length when selected. If it becomes dry, it should be soaked in any water to soften the end bristles. The end should be cut afresh to ensure hygiene and should never be stored near a toilet or sink. The brush may be created by cutting Salvadora persica's branches instead of its roots; keeping in mind that the tree's roots can retain moisture more so than its branches. This favors more long-term usage.
Many companies offer special cases for carrying miswak. Many of these companies also produce miswak itself. The main purpose of these cases is to protect and carry miswak in order to preserve its freshness. Plastic toothbrush cases are available at most drug stores and may be used for carrying a Miswak.