The mouth is home to millions of bacteria, including streptococcus mutans, which can cause cavities, gingivitis, plaque, tooth decay, bad breath and other more menacing illnesses. Cleaning the mouth and tongue is basic, easy and important.
In the tradition of Ayurveda, people massage or scrape their tongues with the belief that they will become better public speakers, be more mindful with their words and can express themselves by sincerely speaking from the heart. According to Kundalini Yoga teacher and prenatal expert, Gurmukh, the tongue is the second muscle to form during the development of a baby in utero (the first being the heart). Hence, “speak from the heart.” Gurmukh, while studying with yogis in India, learned the practice of tongue massaging. This practice can trigger thousands of physical, mental and spiritual functions.
In India, oil pulling is a standard daily practice that helps to promote a healthy mouth. To speak from the heart with pearly white teeth and fresh breath (or if you just want a clean mouth), try oil pulling.
Oil pulling is simple and suggested to be done daily. Bacteria is fat-soluble so by introducing fatty oils, the bacteria gets pulled from the body and consumed by the oil. This removal helps our body with its natural functions of cleaning the mouth first. This practice has been shown to help with cavities, gingivitis and tooth decay. In 2008, a study showed that significant lowering of bacteria in the mouth with the use of coconut oil. In another study, at the Athlone Institute of Technology’s Bioscience Research Institute in Ireland, Dr. Damien Brady said:
Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations. Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection.
Take a heaping teaspoon of coconut oil or sesame seed oil, put it in your mouth and slosh it around for about 20 minutes without swallowing. After 20 minutes, spit out the oil. Be mindful to spit the oil outside or in a receptacle designated for oil. This can clog drains, corrode pipes and be detrimental to the public water systems.