September 12, 2012 by Dr. Andrea Seiffertt
Sustainable Health Nutshell: Your teeth are a major key to your health, immunity, and longevity! Floss, brush, and perform Gandusha daily (at least 5 minutes a day with organic unrefined sesame oil), and follow the tips below to make sure you keep your teeth healthy, happy, and pain-free throughout your life.
I went in today for my 6-month dental check-up and cleaning and it was lovely. This is new for me- I spent most of my adult life nervous about the pain from poking my unhealthy gums with pointy metal instruments. 4 visits ago I reached a point of understanding that something needed to be done. My dentist, tired of me flinching at every poke and not breathing during her lengthy exam (due in part to my squirming but also to the unhealthiness of my poor gums), handed me what I call a rubber-tipped gum annoyer and told me to use it and floss more. But I had been flossing. And brushing.
So I went home and looked at my gums. They were painfully red where she’d bothered them, and didn’t attach well to the teeth, despite my teeth being perfectly healthy, they weren’t behaving that way. I overheard my dentist tell another patient that the gums should form a seal around each tooth that prevents bacteria from getting in and protects the root. Mine weren’t doing their job well. I didn’t have any dry mouth disease or other health issues, so I racked my brain to find something that would help. Thank goodness for Ayurveda! I was already doing the Abhyanga message daily, and Nasya had rid me of nasal allergies, but I had overlooked the line about Gandusha or oil-pulling. I figured, if oil helped my skin so much, perhaps it would strengthen my gums and prevent further irritation and inflammation from bacteria like it does in my nose and on my skin.
Of course, it did. 2 years out and I’m a thousand percent better than before, so impressively so that my dentist has now started recommending Gandusha for other patients with gum sensitivity! The side-effects include whiter teeth, fewer cavities, and stronger enamel. There’s really no reason not to do it. Just remember to spit into the toilet so it doesn’t clog your drain!
More teeth tips from me and my dentist:
* Do NOT brush your teeth right after drinking wine- the acid weakens the enamel and brushing removes it. I suggest waiting till a bit after drinking, then swishing with oil first. Also, white wines can have more acid than red- so drinking white first, then red can make the red stain worse on your teeth- I suggest picking a color and sticking with it, and caring for your teeth well before and after.
* Use a serious sonic toothbrush. They do clean better, have smaller brush heads that reach into small spaces more, and cause most of us to brush longer than we would without the little beep.
* Get a gum annoyer and use it. It helps strengthen the gum seal around the tooth- think of it as strength training for your gums.
* Floss twice between molars and around your back teeth- things tend to stick there. Where plaque sticks, bacteria grow, and where bacteria grow, gums recede, cavities start, and roots get exposed. Ow.
* Oh, and floss. Every time you floss MILLIONS of bacteria from your mouth enter your blood stream and run rampant through your body, not just your mouth. It’s like Bootcamp for your white blood cells. Keep your immune system hopping.
* If you are a mouth breather- stop. No, really, pay attention to this- the air causes plaque to stick more to the dried out teeth surface. And make sure you use the oil-pulling technique, maybe twice a day if you can’t help breathing out of your mouth, especially during sleep, and especially if you snore!