Ayurveda has many natural practice that focus on oral health. Some of us just think that oral health has only to do with brushing your teeth, flossing and a regular dental cleaning. But oral health goes further then that. Oral health receives less attention then it deserves. Medical and dental professionals say how important oral health is to overall health because it affects the deeper organs and tissues of the body. Many people find that when they introduce Ayurvedic oral health practices to their daily routine, their over all health improves. We suggest adding two simple Ayurvedic oral practices to your life and see how it works for you.
First, Ayurveda recommends using a tongue cleaner at the start of each day, upon waking on an empty stomach. According to Ayurveda, the tongue is connected to our health and mirrors many of our vital organs. These include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, spleen, kidneys, heart and lungs. Scraping the tongue with a tongue cleaner is said to directly impact each of these organs. Most people use a tooth brush to clean the tongue, but because the tongue is soft and spongy, a firm and inflexible object cleanses it more efficiently. It clears accumulations in the folds and grooves of the tongue so they can be properly eliminated from the mouth.
Using a tongue cleaner every day can improve overall oral hygiene, enriches digestive fire, removes unwanted coating from the tongue, cleans ama (toxins), cleans bacteria from the tongue, improves taste, and stimulates the internal organs. It's very easy to use a tongue cleaner at the start of each day. Just hold the ends of the tongue cleaner in both hands, open mouth and extend the tongue. Place the curved edge of the cleaner at the rear of the tongue, as far back as you can, then press gently on the tongue pulling the cleaner to the front of the tongue.
Another easy Ayurvedic practice is oil pulling. Oil pulling is the practice of swishing oil in the mouth anywhere from 5-20 minutes. This is best done with organic sesame or coconut oil. All oils are lipid-based and so is the exterior cell membranes, including single-celled microorganisms that inhabit the mouth. When these microbes come in contact with the oil, their cell membranes adhere to the oil, which helps to detach them from the teeth and gums. This includes supporting the removal of plaque and odor causing-bacteria. Decreasing the bad bacteria in the mouth help maintain a good balance of microbes in the mouth.
Oil by nature is heavy and warm. These qualities soothe and nourish the tissues. By swishing the oil all around in the mouth, in and out of the teeth, it contacts all the tissues through out the oral cavity, introducing them to it's nourishing qualities, thus providing nutrition and strength to the tissues of the mouth.
In addition, the action of swishing for up to twenty minutes engages a wide array of muscles in and around the mouth. These are muscles that do not often get used or exercised. This activity tones the muscles while increasing circulation to the entire mouth, thereby supporting both the nourishment and detoxification of the oral tissues and encourages strong healthy gums.
In the morning on an empty stomach, place about 1 tablespoon of coconut, sesame or a combination of both and swish for up to 20 minutes. Swish the oil side to side, all around the gums, teeth and cheeks and also pull in and out between the teeth. Once finished spit it out and rinse with water.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.