A healthy mouth is usually a sign of a healthy body. An unclean tongue and bad breath can generally indicate a more severe illness. All nine dentists that recommend brushing your teeth know what they’re talking about. Regularly practising a proper oral health routine can keep your gums and teeth healthy for a long time. With good oral hygiene, you get to smile brighter, taste better, share more intimate moments and keep major oral health diseases at bay.
Signs of good oral hygiene
The first signs of a healthy mouth are a neutral breath, a clean tongue, strong teeth and healthy gums. Your breath can smell a little off, especially if you’re a smoker or have just eaten a meal. What you have to look out for is a foul smell that doesn’t feel normal. Recurrent bad breath can be another sign too. Also, bleeding gums and toothaches are apparent signs of a severe condition. Sores or patches in the mouth or on the tongue, jaw pain, and loosened teeth are some other symptoms to look out for. If you see all or any of these symptoms, visit a dentist immediately. They could diagnose a specific dental issue or refer you to a different practitioner.
In Ayurveda, the Vata, Kapha and Pitta are tendencies that determine a person’s psychological and physical well-being. A person can have any one of these tendencies or doshas. The bodhaka kapa is a subtype that regulates oral health. Many ayurvedic practices are designed around each dosha and, if followed right, can be highly beneficial in the long run. A disordered Bodhaka Kapa can affect oral health and overall physical health as well.
Consequences of poor oral hygiene
The most prominent consequence of poor oral health is the loss of teeth. Tooth decay, sores and gingivitis are significant but preventable conditions that can cause you to lose your teeth.
- A tooth decays when the bacteria in the plaque formed around your teeth convert the sugars in your mouth into acids. These acids slowly erode and destroy your teeth over time. Tooth decays can easily be prevented by cutting your sugar consumption and cleaning your mouth.
- Gingivitis is a condition where your gums are affected due to long term plaque buildup. If not treated in its early stages, gingivitis could escalate into periodontal diseases, which, in most cases, is irreversible. Gingivitis can cause your gums to swell, bleed and your teeth to fall out.
- Canker sores are pus-filled lesions on the inside of your mouth. They can get uncomfortable and painful, especially while eating. They heal independently but can be avoided if you maintain good oral hygiene.
Oral health and general health
A healthy mouth not only indicates a healthy body but is also essential in keeping it that way. A poor diet and excessive consumption of alcohol or tobacco can cause your oral health to deteriorate. As a consequence, your physical health will be affected over time too.
- The bacterial infection that causes gingivitis and periodontal disease can easily reach your bloodstream. An infection spreading through the blood puts your heart at risk and can significantly cause heart diseases. This can be easily avoided by ensuring a healthy diet and proper oral hygiene.
- Tooth decay can also lead to other significant conditions such as diabetes or stroke. The bacteria produced can easily reach your brain or weaken your immune system.
Over time the pathogens that lead to these oral conditions can get resistant to antibiotics. In today’s day and age, switching to ayurvedic products can be an excellent way to avoid this.
How to maintain good oral health
- See a dentist, ideally twice a year. A dentist can easily catch the symptoms of severe oral or health conditions. Apart from that, they can also help you put an excellent oral hygiene routine in place.
- Brush twice a day with a toothpaste high in fluoride or tooth powders like Dentkey Manjan. This helps keep the harmful bacteria away and your mouth clean and free of plaque or odour. Ideally, use herbal toothpaste or powder that contains neem, cloves, triphala, ginger, salt or pepper. Yashtimadhu (liquorice) or mulethi root powders can be life savours too!
- Brush your mouth thoroughly and at least for a minimum of two minutes. Make sure you get to all the corners, the insides of your teeth and all your molars. Move the brush around in circles to get out all the plaque.
- Practise jivha lekhana or tongue scraping. An unclean tongue is host to plaque and causes a foul odour.
- Floss because your toothbrush doesn’t always get the plaque or the hidden food bits out.
- Stay hydrated as water helps wash out food and any other foreign particles from your mouth. It’s also essential to gargle after meals. Gargling with Triphala tea can help maintain the balance between the vata, kapha and pitta and maintain the health of the bodhaka kapha.
- Chewing on twigs after meals is also very useful. Miswak, Khair or Mulethi can be great to cut down on the acid formation in the mouth. Also, use good quality Ayurvedic dental malts like Dentkey Malt.
- Cut down on tobacco products and alcohol. Smoking and drinking lead to several forms of oral cancers, dental erosion and cavities. Smoking can also cause bad breath, stained teeth and a loss of taste. These habits can also severely affect your gums, can cause them to bleed and lead to gingivitis and its more severe forms.
- Have a healthy diet and limit your sugar consumption. Sugar easily converts into acid and can wear down your teeth enamel and cause cavities.
- Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables that work your teeth and jaw.
- Use traditional ayurvedic practices for good oral health. Chewing on neem twigs or cloves, oil pulling and use of essential oils are some practices that many swear by.
We hope this post helps you to better understand how to maintain oral health. You may also like to read our past blogs on how to maintain great oral health naturally. Browse through our blog for more helpful information or follow us on Instagram.