Q+A: How Can Ayurveda Improve My Oral Health and Freshen My Breath?

Ayurveda has linked oral health to overall immunity for thousands of years.
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Ayurveda has linked oral health to overall immunity for thousands of years. Your mouth is a hot, wet breeding ground for bacteria and disease. Without proper daily care, toxins can build up in your mouth and lead to other more serious health issues. Following these simple Ayurvedic tips will help you reduce cavities and plaque, as well as strengthen gum tissue and give you fresh breath.

--First thing in the morning, scrape your tongue.

--Always use a soft toothbrush. If your bristles are bristling out, then it’s 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 notice how most toothpastes on the market are 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 fungi.

--Massage the gums with a little sesame oil. You can add a drop of clove, tea tree, or eucalyptus oil. This helps prevent bleeding gums and other forms of periodontal disease. Gargle with salt water. Consider doing oil pulling a few times a week.

Katie Silcox is the author of "Healthy, Happy, Sexy - Ayurveda Wisdom for Modern Women." She's a vinyasa yoga teacher, Ayurvedic practitioner, contributor to Yoga Journal, and a senior teacher within the Sri-Vidya ParaYoga lineage under Yogarupa Rod Stryker.