Healthy And Beautiful Teeth With Ayurveda

“True freedom means ease from the inside, a sincere smile & the lack of stiffness.”

 – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

A radiant smile can make us and our environment happy. But important for an uninhibited happy smile is good and healthy teeth. If we have bad teeth, we may hold back with a smile and the release of happiness hormones that accompanies it is throttled. Today, in this article, we will focus on proven Ayurvedic tradition of maintaining the health of teeth and gums and taking a critical look at today’s widely-used chemically-produced toothpaste and mouthwashes.

With the right background knowledge and a few simple tips and tricks from the Ayurvedic tradition, nothing stands in the way of a beautiful and radiant smile.

For those who are in a hurry, we have all the important tips in the short summary at the end of the article.


Makes healthy teeth


Above all, our teeth serve as a chewing tool. With them, we bite off, mince and grind food so that it is optimally prepared for further processing in the digestive tract.

A healthy tooth should be so robust that it can easily accomplish these tasks. It is stable, without holes and has an even surface texture. The gum is firmly around the visible part of the tooth (the crown of the tooth) and the area that is not visible to us (the tooth root) is firmly anchored in the jawbone. The outer layer of the dental crown consists of the dental enamel (the dentin) protecting tooth enamel.

By far the most common dental diseases in Germany are caries and periodontal disease (diseases of the periodontium). These symptoms are closely followed by gingivitis and tooth root inflammation.

There are many causes of bad teeth: over-consumption of sugar, regular consumption of acidic drinks (such as soft drinks), low hydration, nocturnal teeth grinding, undersupply of essential vitamins and minerals, metabolic disorders or genetic predisposition. But even the choice of toothpaste can significantly influence (dental) health.

From the point of view of Ayurvedic tradition, teeth are a byproduct of bones. Dental diseases or complaints such as bleeding gums are therefore a sign of excessive pitta in the bone system.


Simple measures for healthy and beautiful teeth with Ayurveda


The appropriate diet


With a healthy, natural and individually tailored diet, our teeth receive enough nutrients to build up and regenerate. In addition, we reduce their exposure to harmful substances by reducing sugar and soft drinks.


01. Avoid teeth grinding


Regular teeth grinding, which is usually done while sleeping, puts as much strain on our teeth as it does on sugars and acidic foods and drinks. The first remedy can create at this point a so-called “crunching rail”. It can be made exactly for your own dentures at the dentist. It is then carried at night and catches the crunching movements. In this way, the protective enamel is not worn away over time.

However, teeth grinding is also often an expression of intense stress or strain that our body expresses through repeated biting at night. Not only the teeth are affected, but also the jaw and long-neck muscles can tense. This , in turn, can lead to tension headaches or dizziness.

In the Ayurvedic tradition, one of the main focuses is on the balance of body and mind. Anyone who suffers from teeth grinding should try to find the causes and consciously relax. Ayurveda offers many possibilities. How about yoga, an Abhyanga massage or perhaps a relaxing forehead oil (Shirodhara)?


02. Gandusha & Kavala Graha: Healthy teeth and healthy gums


Oil applications have been an integral part of the Ayurvedic tradition for many centuries and are first mentioned in the Ayurvedic writings of Charak Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. Essentially, a distinction is made between two methods:

Gandusha: A big sip of sesame oil is put into the mouth and held as long as possible. Then the oil is spit out.

Kavala Graha: With this method, only a small sip of sesame oil is put into the mouth. This is moved around in the mouth and pressed through the interdental spaces. After a few minutes, the oil is spit out again.
What is behind the oil pulling?

The oil pulling is used to strengthen teeth and gums and to eliminate bad breath and bleeding gums. The oil has very special properties, in the interdental spaces and gum pockets, to penetrate and remove harmful bacteria and successfully reduce dental plaque. By spitting out the oil, the harmful substances are then removed from the body.


Which oil is best?


There are various oils that can be used for oil pulling. These include: sunflower, olive, coconut or sesame oil. Sesame oil has the strongest antibacterial, antiviral and fungicidal action and has an optimal composition for the health of fatty acids, minerals, trace elements and protective lecithin. With regard to the positive properties, sesame oil is closely followed by coconut oil. While sesame oil can be particularly useful for controlling tooth decay, coconut oil, because of its special composition of active ingredients, can be particularly helpful in reducing Candida albicans (yeasts) in the mouth.

Those who currently have neither sesame oil nor coconut oil at hand can fall back on sunflower or olive oil. Here, however, the application should be carried out a little longer than with sesame or coconut oil, since the effect of the two oils in comparison is less strong.


Studies prove the positive effect of oil extraction


In recent years, various studies have been conducted on oil drawing and its effect on oral hygiene. In a study 2 published by Anand et al in 2008, subjects took sesame oil into their daily habits over a period of 40 days. At the end of the study, a 20% reduction in bacterial load on the oral cavity was noted. In addition, the researchers observed a decline in tooth decay. This was attributed to the fact that the use of sesame oil also reduced caries-promoting bacterial species such as S.mutans and L.acidophilus in the mouth. They also stated after the study was completed that toxins and bacteria can be excreted from the body via the tongue and that the oil is able to absorb them. By spitting the oil after the application, the oil pulling therefore not only a cleansing effect on teeth and gums but also on the entire organism can be achieved.

In another study 3, 60 young adults between the ages of 16 and 18 used oil extraction with coconut oil over a period of four weeks, in addition to regular brushing. They all suffered from plaque-induced gingivitis. Already on the seventh day of the study a slight decrease of the plaque and a first regeneration of the gums could be observed. This trend continued throughout the study and after four weeks, plaque and gingivitis were reduced by 50%.

Important: When drawing oil care should be taken that the oil is NOT swallowed after use! Since it is full of germs and bacteria from the mouth, regular swallowing may be detrimental to your health.


The oil pulling does not replace any dental treatment.


03. The right toothpaste


Most of us naturally buy the toothpaste from the drugstore or the supermarket. We are attracted by promises of bright white teeth or fresh breath. Unfortunately, very few people are aware of the influence that the “wrong” toothpaste or the “wrong” mouthwash can have on our (dental) health.

04. Beware of toxic substances in toothpaste


If you look at the ingredient list of a toothpaste, you are confronted with numerous, unknown to most people, chemical terms. But does it really matter what ingredients our toothpaste has? We only brush our teeth with it for a few minutes and then spit it out again. Even if we make sure while toothbrushing that we do not inadvertently swallow some toothpaste, we absorb the ingredients through the oral mucosa and from there they enter the bloodstream very quickly.

We have set out below a short list of the substances that are usually contained in toothpaste. However, these substances should in no case (even through the oral mucosa!) Get into our body, because they can cause great damage there.


Commonly used in toothpastes:


Fluorides: Fluorides are found in many toothpastes and are particularly easy to get into our organism via the oral mucosa. The tricky thing about this substance is that we do not feel any immediate symptoms after taking it. However, fluorides act as cell toxins and inhibit the action of enzymes in our metabolism. Very slowly, changes in the metabolism and immune system can take place and, in the long term, diseases develop that can not be attributed to the use of fluoride-containing toothpaste.

Triclosan: Triclosan is a chemical preservative and disinfectant used by many manufacturers in their toothpastes. It destroys a variety of microbes and is therefore used to prevent tooth decay and to treat gum problems in toothpastes and mouthwashes. Significantly, this substance is also very often included in dishwashing detergents, deodorants or shoes. Through its antibiotic activity, Triclosan destroys not only the harmful but also important for the dental health bacteria of the oral flora.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: This substance is one of the surfactants found in many personal care products such as toothpaste, shower gel or shampoos. It is also part of household cleaners such as dishwashing detergent. Sodium lauryl sulfate is allergenic and irritating to the skin. As this substance can dry out the protective mucous membrane of the mouth, the use of toothpastes with sodium lauryl sulfate can lead to painful oral ulcers (“aphthae”)

Alternative terms for this substance are: Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) or SDS (Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate).
Abrasives: Abrasives are mainly used in toothpastes to lighten or reduce tartar. However, after a certain amount of time, abrasive toothpastes can damage the natural protective layer of the teeth and increase their sensitivity.


Parabens: In order for a toothpaste to last as long as possible and not need refrigeration, many manufacturers use parabens to produce their toothpaste. They ensure that the toothpaste is preserved. These synthetic preservatives have many different names, but sometimes only paraben (methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, etc.) is used. PHB esters, oxybenzoic acid or hydroxybenzonate are just a few of the possible names.
Parabens can also enter the body via the oral mucosa and have a negative influence on the hormone balance there. Meanwhile, due to the high occurrence of many people’s sensitivity to parabens, it is increasingly common for the emergence of allergies.

A paraben allergy then shows up by the regular appearance of red pustules after creaming, showering or brushing your teeth. Parabens are thus suspected of being carcinogenic.

PEGs (Polyethylene glycols): They are among the emulsifiers and should provide in the toothpaste for uniform consistency. However, PEGs also have the property to make the oral mucosa even more permeable. In this way, possible contaminants contained in the toothpaste can get into our organism even more.


The “right” toothpaste & alternatives for dental care


The “right” toothpaste should best not contain the substances described above. Those who pay close attention, however, will find that just about all conventional toothpastes have some of these (or all of) the harmful substances mentioned.

However, there are several alternatives to traditional toothpastes:
In organic shops or health food stores, there are toothpastes that do not contain the chemicals mentioned above. In them, we will find a composition of different natural ingredients.

“Sudanta” by Sri Sri Tattva – We have been looking for a good organic toothpaste for a long time and we were not really satisfied with it. We finally decided to design our own organic toothpaste. The composition is based on the knowledge of Ayurvedic dentistry and we have made it exclusively from natural ingredients.

If you have a little more time, you can also make your toothpaste yourself. Ayurvedic dentistry recommends choosing herbs in the correct ratio between astringent (astringent) and bitter herbs to clean the teeth. Bitter neem in powdered form is mixed with the same amount of one of the astringent herbs Lohdra, Kushta or Bilva.

More tips for healthy teeth and healthy gums from the Ayurvedic tradition


Treatment of gum disease with tea tree oil:


A decrease in the gums and a hypersensitivity of the teeth to heat and cold can indicate a bacterial infection of the gums.
Thanks to its antibacterial effect, Ayurveda recommends the use of tea tree oil in such a case. Just put some oil on a clean toothbrush and brush your teeth with it. Then some oil is dripped onto a cotton ball and the affected areas are cleaned with it. In this way, a spread of the infection can be prevented and the heat-cold sensitivity of the teeth can be reduced.
To get to low-lying inflamed areas, some tea tree oil can be flossed. Then the interdental spaces are cleaned with the help of the dental floss.


Nutritional deficiencies:


Dental problems can also be related to a mineral deficiency. In this case, in addition to a balanced and healthy diet, it is recommended to take a multimineral preparation. Vitamin D is just as important for healthy bones and teeth. Deficiency of the sun vitamin can lead to porous bones and teeth as calcium cannot be properly metabolized.


Fresh breath:


Instead of chemically produced mouthwash, certain spices can be chewed after eating. Aniseed or fennel seeds, cardamom or cloves, for example, are especially good thanks to their cleansing and disinfecting effect. By the way, they can still stimulate the digestion.
Good chewing: In the Ayurvedic tradition, the importance of chewing is repeatedly pointed out. In this way, not only the digestive process is supported, but also the gums and jaw muscles are stimulated.
Figs: To strengthen the teeth and gums, the Ayurvedic tradition recommends eating four figs a day. The fruits should be chewed well.
Clenching: your teeth 5-6 times a day to bite your teeth together to stimulate the energy meridians.


Summary:


The health of our teeth is an expression of our overall physical health. In addition to a healthy and balanced diet, choosing the right dental care products is important. In this way, we can prevent dental disease and protect our body from harmful chemicals from traditional toothpastes and mouthwashes.


We summarized the most important tips here again:

  • Pay attention to a healthy and wholesome diet
  • Ensure adequate vitamin and mineral supply and, if necessary, have the vitamin D status checked
  • Reduce teeth grinding with a bite splint and/or relaxing measures (yoga, massages)
  • Since, according to the Ayurvedic tradition, a Pitta surplus is considered to be the cause of dental problems, Pitta is advised to take pacifying measures
  • Regular oil pulling to strengthen the gums and teeth
  • Use of organic toothpaste or toothpaste from own production (recipe see above)
  • Tea tree oil can help against gum recession
    Instead of mouthwash, chew anise or fennel seeds, cardamom or clove after eating
  • Once you have managed to change your habits to these natural variants for obtaining and maintaining healthy teeth, you will not be able to imagine what life was like with conventional toothpaste & Co.


source disclosures:

  1. Thaweboon S., Nakaparksin J., Thaweboon B. Effect of oil-pulling on oral microorganisms in biofilm models. Asia J Public Health. 2011;2:62–66.
  2.  Anand T.D., Pothiraj C., Gopinath R.M., Kayalvizhi B. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria. Afr J Microbiol Res. 2008;2:63–66.
  3. Peedikayil F.C., Sreenivasan P., Narayanan A. Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis – a preliminary report. Niger Med J. 2015;56:143–147.
  4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s100060050101
  5. https://www.dr-jetskeultee.nl/jetskeultee/download/common/artikel-parabenen-contact-dermatitis.pdf
  6. https://www.lgl.bayern.de/gesundheit/arbeitsplatz_umwelt/projekte_a_z/parabenhaltige_deodorants_brustkrebs.htm

Athena Theel

Athena studies Chinese & Economics at the University of Cologne. Having spent many years in China and Japan, she has developed an interest in holistic medicine. Based on her interest, Athena joined Sri Sri Tattva as a content writer, social media manager and translator.
Connect with Athena: info@srisriayurveda.de | Read more posts from Athena.

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