We all know the importance of cleaning our teeth at least twice a day, regular flossing, avoiding over-brushing, and going for dental check-ups – both for oral hygiene and maintaining beautiful white teeth. But do we realise that by keeping our teeth and gums in good nick, we’re also protecting our general health? We’re likely to think of receding gums, cavities, fillings, and bad breath as the main consequences of neglecting our teeth – but the truth is that our mouth health is an important window into our overall wellbeing.
Recent studies have shown that oral infection, especially periodontitis – commonly known as gum disease – may affect the course of a number of chronic diseases, particularly Alzheimers. Meanwhile, a 2016 landmark study by Dr Brad Bale and Dr Amy Doneen indicated a connection between gum disease, mouth bacteria, and heart disease. Yet, statistics indicate that roughly half of adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease.
Notably, Ayurveda has long highlighted the connection between oral and overall health. According to the Shalyatanta – one of the branches of the holistic medicinal practice – 65 different oral diseases can arise in seven anatomic locations in the mouth. To treat them, the Ayurvedic tradition advocates procedures such as Dant Dhavani (brushing), Jivha Lekhana (tongue scraping) and Gandoosha (gargling) – all three of which can be done at home. Take note, the best tongue scrapers are made from copper.
Read more: What Do Your Teeth Say About You?
If you do have bleeding gums, it might be symptomatic of a nutritional problem – particularly vitamin C deficiency. Meanwhile, dryness and cracking at the corners of the mouth may be a result of insufficient levels of vitamin B2 (commonly known as riboflavin); a raw, red mouth can indicate stress; and a smooth, reddish tongue may signal anaemia or a poor diet. So, next time you brush your teeth, remember it’s not just about pearly whites but a healthy body, too.
3 key supplements for a healthy mouth:
1. Coenzyme Q10 to provide cells with the energy they need for both healing and gum growth.
2. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids to promote healing in bleeding gums and slow the growth of plaque.
3. Vitamin A in emulsion form for healing gum tissue.
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