Ayurveda has seen the link between oral health and overall immunity for thousands of years. Our mouths are a veritable breeding ground of bacteria and other harmful critters. Without proper daily mouth care, toxins can build up in our mouth and lead to other more serious health issues. Our immune system is constantly working to keep these toxins at bay. If we don’t help our bodies by cleansing the mouth, these organisms can take over and lead to chronic inflammation. Studies show that ancient techniques of mouth care can help prevent lots of diseases today. Taking care of your mouth the Ayurveda-way will help reduce cavities, plaque and infections in your mouth. It can also help strengthen gum tissue and reduce the build-up of bacteria and fungus in the mouth. Keep your mouth happy and healthy with these Ayurvedic routines.
First thing in the morning, before you take your first sip of water or coffee, go to the bathroom and scrape your tongue from back to front with a stainless steel tongue scraper. This pulls off bacteria, old food, fungus and other toxins, where the tend to accumulate as we sleep. It also pulls the bacteria-rich compounds off the back of the tongue. These are the gnarliest critters, and account for most cases of really bad breath.
- Always use a soft toothbrush. If your bristles are bristling-out, then its time to buy a new one.
- Use a natural toothpaste such as Ayurdent, Auromere, TheraNeem Organix, Vicco, or any brand that uses bitter neem or other cleansing herbals. Ever noticed how most toothpaste on the market is sweet. Ayurveda teaches us that it is the astringent (not sweet!) taste that strengthens the gums, and the bitter taste that kills viruses, bacteria and fungus.
- Massage the gums with a little sesame oil. You can add a drop of clove, tea tree or eucalyptus essential oils. This helps prevent bleeding gums and other forms of periodontal disease.
- Gargle with saltwater.
Here’s a great little video of how to clean your tongue.