Ayurveda’s Approach to Dental Hygiene, Gum Disease and Bad Breath

Dental health and a pure breath are thought of as good indicators of health and vitality. The ancient science of Ayurveda offers preventive dental tips that are easy to follow and pack surprising results.


Of course when thinking of promoting healthy teeth and gums, proper diet is a key approach. In particular, eating too many sweets, refined sugars and carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay and other dental problems. Therefore, it is helpful to avoid too many sugary foods and drinks.

Just as your dentist has told you, it is also necessary to clean your teeth properly. The original Ayurvedic texts mention using special twigs to clean teeth. The toothbrush and dental floss are our modern equivalents.

Tongue Scraping

Ayurveda recommends the usage of tongue cleaners for the scraping of the tongue.


This daily cleaning of the tongue’s surface helps removes any build-up on the tongue, which, if left untreated, could lead to bad breath. Tongue scraping stimulates the reflex points of the tongue and stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes. It also helps contain bacteria growth (approximately 500 varieties). There is actually medical evidence now indicating that regular usage of tongue scrapers can help eliminate anaerobic bacteria, while decreasing odor from the mouth.


Gandusha (sesame-oil gargle and sesame-oil massage of the gums) can protect your mouth from bacteria and gum deterioration. Research on the practice showed that seame-oil gargle significantly reduces bacteria in the space between teeth and gums. Researchers consider bacteria in this area to be the major cause of gum disease.

Traditionally one performs gandusha in the morning after a full-body Ayurvedic oil massage. Use fresh, warm sesame oil.

Here are the instructions for performing gandusha:

  1. First, fill your mouth as full as possible with warm water. Hold this in your mouth for about half a minute. Then spit it out.
  2. Next, fill your mouth as full as you can with warm sesame oil. Hold it in your mouth for about a half a minute to a minute. Dispose of the oil.
  3. Take a little oil in your mouth and gargle for half a minute to a minute. Dispose of the oil.
  4. Massage the oil into your gums with your finger. Be gentle, but use enough pressure for the message to be pleasantly invigorating. Take two or three minutes to do this thoroughly.
  5. Finally, if you wish, you can rinse your mouth with warm water to reduce any oily residue.

Note: Although sesame oil is healthy for your gums, it can clog bathroom drains and pipes. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep a small container handy to hold the used oil until you can dispose of it properly.

As gandushan strengthens and purifies your mouth, it also improved digestion. This is helpful during the summer months when our natural ability to digest weakens. From the Ayurvedic perspective, the root cause of bad breath is poor digestion and/or poor oral hygiene. The two are usually related, in that poor digestion accelerates oral activity that leads to unsavory breath.


If you find you consistently have bad breath or wake up with a thick white coating on your tongue, you probably have some accumulated impurities or ama in your body. The traditional purification treatments of Ayurveda, known as Panchakarma, are designed to remove deep seated impurities and toxins. You might also want to consult an Ayurvedic expert about improving your diet and strengthening your digestion.

For more information, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website:


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