Human beings are a minority compared to the number of microbes that exist on planet earth! Bacteria, which were the first life form on earth millions of years ago, have contributed to evolution of every single species from then on. Human DNA is thus made up of 37% of bacterial DNA according to latest research. Trillions of microflora surrounds us and are also within us. Fortunately 99% of this microflora is beneficial and infact needed by our body to keep us healthy and thriving.
But wait a minute, didn’t Louis Pasteur, Father of the Germ theory, one who devised the concept of Pasteurization say that germs are the cause of all disease? Well guess what on his death bed, Louis Pasteur recanted that, Antoine Bechamp (another scientist as that time) was right, germs means nothing, soil (Terrain) is everything. Antoine Bechamp had strongly opposed Pasteur blaming germs for everything and had said that bad germs are produced in dead and decaying tissue. Hence if the tissue is made healthy those bad germs disappeared.
Modern science has now proved Bechamp correct and the rising Probiotic industry is a proof that not all germs are bad for the body. Ancient health vedic science as well as Chinese medicine, have never focused on microflora nor disease but rather focused on reversing the imbalance that upsets the body’s normal terrain. Ancient physician infact were big proponents of promoting bacterial growth inside the body rather than curbing it like what we see in today’s antibiotic filled world. For Centuries, fermented foods like yogurt, pizza, keifer, pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso have been incorporated in various cultures through out the world which promoted pro-bacterial growth inside the body.
OK, so now that we have established that 99% germs are good in the body, oral health is no different. Every 12 hours 100 million bacteria accumulate in the mouth. Now 99% of these are good bugs which help clean up your mouth as well as balance the pH and pass into the gut and clean things out there too. There is another plethora of bugs inside the gut which are continuously scavenging, cleaning and even producing vitamins and nutrients for our body.
So this brings us to the question about oral health, mouthwashes, bactericidal toothpastes and more….
In the light of new research if 99% are good bugs, logically speaking, Do you really think you should be killing all the bugs in the mouth? All 100 million of them? Answer is definitely NO!
Harsh mouthwashes (Alcohol, Chemical), toothpastes (containing Laurel Sulphates), even tea tree oil, not only kill good bacteria but infact allow bad bacteria to grow faster. All the good bugs actually prevent fungi from growing in the mouth. When you kill the good bugs, bad bugs pass from the mouth and enter the digestive system.
For the past 15 years plus, I have not prescribed commercial chemical mouthwash even when I was working in medically compromised patient clinic at University of Pennsylvania. The best mouthwash that worked even after a gum or implant surgery, was a simple mix of Salt and warm water. So let me give you a 3 of my most favorite mouthwashes that don’t cost you more than heading over to your kitchen cabinet!
Since most dental disease happens to increase and persist in acidic environment, Baking Soda raises the mouth pH as close to neutral as possible. Salt further complements it by acting as an osmotic agent, thus shrinking any swelling due to inflammation in the mouth.
Turmeric + Hot Water – Best Antibacterial + Anti-inflammatory mouthwash – Best Post Surgery mouthwash.Take 1 Teaspoon Turmeric + 250ml Hot water – Boil and then cool to rinse your mouth with warm mouthwash.
The key here is to make sure you “cook” the turmeric in hot water as only then does its keep essential elements get activated. Do not substitute it for turmeric capsule or turmeric lozenges! Since it is natural ingredient, turmeric stimulates natural immunity which in turn only kills bad bugs and leaves the good bugs intact.
Even if you drink few sips of that mouthwash, you will get a nice stomach cleanse.
Oil mouthwash : Sesame seed oil or coconut oil mouthwash. Best when there are ulcerations or burning sensations in the mouth1 teaspoon swished in the mouth for about a minute. Or rubbed with your fingers on teeth and locations where there is burning.
You can use these same oils for oil pulling or you can use it as a quick mouthwash. Even though it seems counter-intuitive that you use oil when you have a burning mouth, the logic behind that is that oil actually lubricates oral mucosa, preventing it from drying up and thus reducing the burning. Plus coconut and sesame oil both have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which thrive in ulcerative mouth.
The closest I have come to recommending a chemical mouthwash is that of Hydrogen Peroxide. Why? Because when used correctly it works quite magically. How, well, Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) has an extra Oxygen molecule which actually kills gram negative bacteria which are notorious for diseases in the mouth, especially gum diseases. The extra Oxygen molecule actually bubbles and is also a great remedy for ulcerative mouth.
Hydrogen Peroxide mouthwash – Protocol
Make sure the bottle concentration is 3% (If higher, dilute it with water). Take one cup measure (5ml) and swish in the mouth for 1-5 minutes. Let there be more increase in the frothiness as a result of the long swishing. The froth is what heals, so stay at it.
Caution: Make sure not to drink any. Also make sure not to over do it more than 2-3 weeks or after the acute phase has reduced or gone. Why because, too much of extra oxygen can turn soon turn toxic in the long run. Hence use H2O2 only when there is an acute phase in the gums.
Special Note: Please do not rinse your mouth with lemon water or apple cider vinegar! Both are acidic and cause emamel wear. Lemon water only turns alkaline inside the stomach, until then in the mouth the pH is less than 2!
If you still have questions or would like to learn more about this ancient wisdom from me, send an email to email@example.com