5 Ayurvedic tips to boost your mouth immunity

Ayurveda and modern science agree that your mouth is the first line of defense against an invasion of unhealthy microbes. Inside the mouth, a unique environment must be maintained to support one of the body’s most important protective barriers: the seal between your teeth and gums. While western medicine suggests using mouthwashes that kill 99% of all mouth bacteria, these kill the good microbes along with the bad. Ayurveda focuses on restoring the environment of the mouth to its normal, healthy state which provides natural protection.

In the mouth, the first line of protection is found in our saliva. As part of the body’s innate immune system, the mouth pumps out approximately 1 litre of saliva each day. Saliva contains enzymes to start the digestion of food-based fats and starches in the mouth. Hence eat slowly and chew your food especially which fats only digest well if mixed with saliva!

Our saliva is loaded with natural antimicrobial agents such as hydrogen peroxide, lactoferrin, and enzymes that fight off harmful bacteria. Thankfully, most mouth microbes are beneficial, keeping them healthy requires attention. Biofilm around teeth called plaque from sugars turns into an acid that eats away at your tooth enamel and may be causing more health risks once it finds their way to the brain and heart via your bloodstream. These sugar-eating bacteria can not only weaken teeth but can also lead to feelings of anxiety or depression. If  you experience bad breath, painful or bleeding gums when flossing or a dry mouth, these are the first signs that your dental hygiene and mouth immunity are in decline. The real issue here is that the opportunistic, unhealthy bacteria do not stop at the gum line. They are the cause of numerous health concerns within the body.

1. Nose Breathing while Sleeping

When the mouth is open during sleep, the air will dry out the mouth, reducing saliva and altering the mouth’s natural environment. Opportunistic bacteria can flourish, creating biofilms that are directly linked to compromised mouth immunity. I recommend taping the mouth at night to encourage nose breathing. To do this, you can find 3M Micropore Tape for Sensitive Skin at the chemist or supermarket. Place a 4 cm-long strip vertically from under the nose to the middle of the chin (just below the lip). This way you can still breathe through the sides of your mouth. Nose breathing at night also produces a powerful antimicrobial gas called nitric oxide that is produced in the paranasal sinuses. When the mouth is open, you produce none of this beneficial nitric oxide gas. I've had wonderful results within days, getting people off noisy cold air machines to stop breathing issues, when they learn to meditate and stress reduces! Lack of saliva can alter the innate immunity of the mouth and respiratory tract, increasing the risk of poor oral hygiene and opportunistic bacteria or yeast such as candida.  

2. Gandusha or Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is a process of swishing oils in the mouth for 5-6 minutes per day. Yes not long periods, so swish while you shower! We recommend using organic sesame oil which has been shown to support the proliferation of healthy mouth bacteria.  A restored natural mouth environment from oil pulling has also been shown to decrease bad breath

3. Tongue Scraping

Tongue scraping is a daily Ayurvedic practice done each morning upon rising. It is the simple practice of scraping your tongue before brushing your teeth. Its purpose is to remove the accumulation of bad bacteria that can build up each night as the body cleans itself whle you sleep. When done first thing in the morning, tongue scraping can also reduce the volatile sulfur compounds linked to bad breath while boosting metabolism(waking up the organs) at the same time. It is best to use a copper or silver scraper Start with a desert spoon turned over and try this simple tip!  

4. Fennel and Cardamon Seeds

Sucking on fennel and cardamom seeds is an age-old remedy supporting normal saliva production. Studies show that after five minutes of sucking on either fennel seeds or cardamom seedpods, the pH of the mouth was reduced, boosting the natural protective properties of the saliva. Both seeds have been used as a breath freshener and as an antagonistic to Streptococcus mutans in support of oral hygiene. Chew a pinch of fennel or cardamon seeds after your main meals

5. Neem and Amalaki: Ayurvedic Mouthwash and toothpaste

Traditionally, frayed ends of neem sticks were used as toothbrushes. Neem can inhibit mouth biofilms that cause plaque and poor oral hygiene. Amalaki can be used as a mouth rinse to support the increase of beneficial bacteria and to support the growth of new healthy tissue in the mouth, gums, and oral cavity. Red light therapy is also showing good results. Ensure your toothpaste contains these beneficial ingredients. I use and recommend Ayurdent    A the very least cut out the fluroide which has known side effects for your pineal gland brain and spiritual development. Fluroide free toothpaste is now easy to find in your supermarket.