How Oral Health affects general health?
According to Ayurveda, dental hygiene is one of the most important aspect of a human personality. It is like waking up the body with the first morning stretch.
When we are asleep, our body performs a lot of detoxification. The toxins produced have to immediately be expunged from the body the moment we wake up. This is the reason why it is advised to brush teeth first thing in the morning. Oil pulling, flossing, and tongue scraping are different actions involved as part of the daily oral ablution.
Unfortunately, oral health is also one of the biggest areas that we tend to neglect. Dentist appointments, changing toothbrushes regularly, flossing after every meal or the simple act of squishing water to get rid of tea or coffee stains are things we neglect to do as part of lifestyle.
Believe it or not, our oral health determines how our body is functioning and how healthy we are overall.
The bad bacteria and germs from your mouth can pass through the blood and get attached to damaged parts of your heart. Plaque can also get deposited in the arteries of the heart leading to hardening of the arteries, thickening of the walls, and reduced blood flow to the heart causing strokes and heart attack. A painful jaw is a signal of an imminent heart attack.
Persistent bad breath and bleeding gums are symptoms for diabetes. People with gum problems also have difficulty controlling their blood sugar levels leading to diabetes. Gum problems are more severe and frequent. So, it is highly advised that you take good care of them as well.
The bacteria causing gum inflammation may enter the brain and cause this dreaded disease. This is why it is extremely important to get rid of the bacterial buildup regularly.
Dental x-rays can show early stages of bone loss. Gum disease can cause reduced bone mass. Tooth loss is an early sign, especially in post-menopausal women.
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These are just a few of the Health issues which can be caused by bad oral health. The idea here is to get rid of the bacteria and not let it travel inside the body.
How to maintain Oral Hygiene?
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Make sure to brush vertically and not horizontally. The movement should be up to down for the upper set of teeth, both front and back, and down to up for lower set of teeth, again both front and back.
- Change your toothbrush every three months without fail.
- Scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper. Start from the back of the tongue and come forward. Repeat if necessary. The bacteria buildup on the tongue can also cause bad breath. The deposit on the tongue is the ama in Ayurvedic context.
- Floss your teeth, especially for the back teeth where it is difficult for the toothbrush to reach. You could do this after your meals but make sure to do it daily.
Try Oil Pulling:
I would like to talk about this ancient practice of cleansing the teeth and getting rid of the toxins first thing in the morning. A tablespoon of coconut oil or sesame oil is squished in the mouth to emulsify it with saliva. This emulsification process removes or pulls the bacteria, toxins and any debris between your teeth or deposited on your gums. After 15-20 minutes of swishing, the oil is dispelled. It is important to ensure that not even a bit of oil is accidentally ingested.
Oil pulling is great for pulling out the toxins from the entire system but it works wonders for the teeth as well. It cleans the plaque and tartar deposits, whitens the teeth, prevents tooth decay, and strengthens the gums. Apparently, the benefits also include improved blood circulation to the face and promotes clearer and glowing skin.
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Good oral hygiene does not only reflect your personality but also your internal health. Visit your dentist regularly and make oral examination a part of your routine. And, always remember, brush your teeth as soon as you wake up to awaken your body.
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