Poor oral health has been strongly linked to heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s. In addition, certain diseases such as diabetes can lower the body’s resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe. But that’s only part of the story. What most people don’t realise is that oral health is not just about protecting your teeth and gums, it is about protecting an important immune function performed by your saliva. I know this topic might be a little gross but it is important, which is why it made the top 6 life hacks in our 4-5-6 system for daily living.
I will share a simple preventative technique that will impact your health in a profound way, make you more attractive and boost your resistance to disease. It is an ultimate preventative super weapon. And it is quick, easy and cheap.
But first, the science.
Saliva is also one of your body’s main defences against bacteria and viruses. It contains antibodies that attack viral pathogens, such as the common cold and even HIV. It also contains proteins called histatins, which inhibit the growth of candida. When these proteins are weakened by poor oral health and some illnesses, candida can grow out of control.
Saliva is also good for your sex life because research shows that healthy saliva has testosterone in it, which explains why kissing has been shown to be the ultimate aphrodisiac. It stands to reason that if you have poor oral health, you will reduce your libido and be less attractive, not just on the sensory level (bad breath) but on the hormonal level.
Inflammation, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s
Oral inflammation due to bacteria (gingivitis) plays a role in clogged arteries and blood clots. Bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries of the heart and brain. It enters the bloodstream through bleeding gums. This inflammation causes the development of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries, increasing your risk of a heart attack, stroke and the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain, which leads to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Most people are taught the three main protocols to good oral hygiene.
- Avoid sugar
- Floss your teeth at night
- Brush teeth morning and night
But there is a 4th protocol which is super effective at preventing the inflammatory response of poor mouth hygiene. It will protect your heart and your brain, which seem to be the most susceptible to inflammation.
This protocol has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine well before we had tooth paste and tooth brushes. The following is what you should do morning just before you perform the 4 morning rituals shared in previous articles.
- Brush teeth and tongue in the usual way
- Use a table spoon of coconut oil and sesame oil
- Put one drop of essential oils clove and oregano or thyme
- Swish the oil in your mouth for 5-20 mins. I perform this during my morning jog. It is time efficient and also forces me to breath through my nose which is much healthier than mouth breathing.
- Do NOT swallow because the oil extracts all the bacteria and other toxins from in-between gums and teeth.
- Spit out thoroughly, preferably in the garden. If you cannot do the garden then do not use coconut oil because it will harden in your drainage pipes. Just use sesame oil.
For a definitive guide on this protocol, please read this article by our faculty member and health researcher, Mark Bunn: Oil Pulling the Ayurvedic Way.
See Mark Bunn talk at Upgrade Your Life 2020 where he will share the definitive step-by-step system to healthy living.
I am surprised at how many people I come across are obsessed with diet and exercise but give very little attention to oral hygiene, eye and hearing health. These three senses are so important to overall health and wellbeing. In fact, I will talk about hearing health and it’s newly-discovered link to Alzheimer’s in a future article, which will also feature a must-listen podcast I recorded in Boston with Dr Kirupa Suthakar, PhD.