Mouth is a hollow cavity and an anterior part of the alimentary canal. The alimentary canal
is responsible for processing the food we eat.
Anatomy of the Mouth
The part of the mouth in front of the teeth is called the vestibule, while the one behind is
the mouth itself. Several sheets of muscle tissue are attached to the inner surface of the jawbone or
mandible from the floor Tongue of the mouth. The cheeks are sufficiently flexible to allow the
mouth to open and close. The palate, a thin sheet of tissue, which
separates the mouth from the nasal cavity above, forms the roof of
the mouth. At the back, the mouth cavity joins with the pharynx (the
cavity connecting the nose, mouth and larynx), while at the front, it
produces a range of sounds through the lips. Except the teeth, the
entire inner surface of the mouth is lined by a mucous membrane.
Bounded by lips, cheeks, floor of the mouth and palate, the mouth
performs the following functions:
The digestion process begins in the mouth. It receives food by
ingestion, breaks it into small particles by mastication or chewing
and mixes it with saliva. The digestive functions of the mouth
- Chewing, grinding and mixing of food
- Formation of a bolus
- Swallowing and initiation of digestive processes
The mouth is a passageway between the pharynx and the outside
body. It can aid in breathing when the nose is blocked or inadequate,
for instance, during strenuous exercise, flu, cold, etc..
The mouth plays a vital part in speech. Alterations in the shape
of the tongue and the lips modify sounds produced by the vocal
chords in a way that they become recognisable as syllables.
- Poison making
We have glands in our mouth that produce venom-like proteins
called cytokines. Cytokines are proteins designed to kill micro-
organisms in our mouth, before food or saliva is swallowed.
During the night, the alimentary canal discards all residual
waste towards the anus and mouth. This poisonous material is
very strong. Long ago, it was a custom amongst kings to make
slaves keep 20 gms of rice in their mouth for 20 minutes in the
morning. The rice absorbed the toxins in the mouth. Afterwards,
they would spit this rice into a bowl and dry it in the sun. This
rice was sent to the enemy camps to poison them.
Common Problems of the Mouth
Several health problems are associated with the mouth and the unhealthy
bacteria flourishing inside, including an increased risk of stroke, heart
disease, arthritis, diabetes, bronchitis, pneumonia and premature births.
However, we will discuss problems specific only to the mouth.
- Bad breath
The main source of bad breath (or halitosis) is the tongue. When
layers of bacteria are embedded on the tongue, it produces foul
smelling volatile sulphur compounds. Other possible bad breath
causes are dry mouth and food, such as onions and garlic.
Gingivitis is an early form of gum disease caused by plaque, a
sticky bacterial film that forms on our teeth. These bacteria also
carry toxins that cause gum irritation.
- Oral thrush
Oral thrush is a fungal infection, which appears as raised creamy
spots on the lining of the mouth, lips and throat.
- Mouth ulcers
They appear on the insides of lips, cheeks or floor of the mouth,
and may occur as a result of aggressive tooth brushing, eating
very hot food, food allergy, etc..
Mouth is home to thousands of bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites
and their toxins. Our immune system is constantly fighting these
troublemakers. Excessive stress, poor diet, poor oral hygiene
and environmental toxins help these unwanted organisms spread
throughout the body leading to secondary infections, chronic
inflammation and several other health problems.
Some of the common symptoms of mouth problems are:
- Bad breath
- Discolouration of teeth
- Ulcers in cheeks and gums
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
- Tooth decay
Mouth Cleanse, also known as Oil Pulling Technique (OPT)
is a mouth
cleansing method designed to deal with serious oral conditions, such
as bad breath and tooth decay. It creates an environment favourable
to good health. Even if you have already developed an oral disease,
you can reduce and even reverse it.
Before or after a Mouth Cleanse, it is recommended to do a
Colon Cleanse. A Colon Cleanse helps in eliminating toxins, faecal
matter and plaque from your intestine, which in turn rejuvenates
your health and vitality.
Oil pulling technique
Oil pulling technique or Mouth Cleanse is called kavala graham in Ayurvedic
texts, which can cure a variety of illnesses, ranging from heart disease
and digestive troubles to hormonal disorders. The technique is not only
curative, but also prevents health problems. The oil pulling technique can
also fix loose teeth, which no dentist can do.
In the Charaka Samhita, the Sutra Sthana chapter says, “By doing oil
pulling with sesame oil (efleue lesue), teeth are not affected by cavities
and become firmly rooted. Tooth pain and sensitivity to sour items
will be healed and one will be able to chew the hardest food items.”
For a Mouth Cleanse, take sesame oil or any other oil which suits you, such as mustard,
sunflower, groundnut oil, etc. If you are allergic to a particular brand of oil, change
the brand or type of oil.
Common oils include Kachchi ghani, mustard oil, Sesame oil
Pour 20 ml of oil in your mouth in the morning, on an empty stomach
before drinking any liquid (including water). Swish the oil in your
mouth. Remember not to swallow or gargle it. You will notice that
the oil begins to get watery as the saliva in your mouth mixes with
the oil. Keep swishing. If your jaw muscles get sore while swishing, it
means you are putting too much effort into it. Relax the jaw muscles
and use your tongue to help move the liquid inside your mouth.
As the end of the session approaches, you may notice that the oil-
saliva mixture in your mouth has become thinner and the quantity of
liquid has increased. After 20 minutes, spit the oil. Do not be alarmed
if the liquid is yellowish. It is due to the removal of toxins from the
mouth. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm or plain water
and brush as usual.
What to expect initially?
Mouth Cleanse may not be a very comfortable exercise to begin
with. Initially, when you start pulling, mucus may build at the back of
your throat. You may even have to expel the oil and clear the mucus
before completing 20 minutes. In such a case, take another spoonful
of oil and continue for 20 minutes.
You may also experience a little nausea and may even need
to vomit, as your mouth expels toxic waste. These symptoms will
subside as you become more comfortable with oil pulling. For some
people who have various illnesses manifesting simultaneously, the
condition might worsen. This is due to the initial removal of the primary
infection that causes secondary infections to dominate temporarily.
After a few days, these secondary infections will disappear and
other infections may take its place. Under these circumstances,
the affected person should continue the treatment to facilitate rapid
healing. A brief worsening of health is an excellent sign of the body
healing itself. For example:
- The skin might itch during an infection or inflammation from
an injury or wound. The same itching may aggravate during
the cure of the wound/injury.
- When a bone breaks due to an accident, the pain is more severe
at the time of setting and also, during the process of healing.
When you rinse your mouth with oil, it acts as a cleansing agent
that removes bacteria and other toxic debris from the teeth and gums.
When we expel these harmful substances from our mouth, our overall
health improves significantly. Teeth become whiter, breath becomes
fresher and the tongue and gums have a healthy pink colour.
Even problems, such as tooth decay and bleeding gums are diminished or
completely healed. People who have undergone the Mouth Cleanse
have also reported relief from acidity, asthma, bronchitis, cracked feet,
eczema, headaches, Whiter teeth, intestinal diseases, joint pains, kidney diseases, lung
and liver problems, nose blocks, problems connected with nerves,
stomach problems, thrombosis and ulcers, and various other
health issues. A Mouth Cleanse also helps overcome chronic skin
problems. It is found to be very helpful in treating gynaecological
issues as well.
Do’s and don’ts
- Brush your teeth and gums for one to two minutes.
- Brush around the edges of gum in a circular motion.
- Use a soft bristle brush and do not brush hard. Remember that nature intended no brushing of teeth. We need it because we eat cooked food.
- Try to use homeopathic or herbal toothpastes, as they are better suited for your oral health.
If, as they say, the way to a woman’s heart is through her ears and
to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then the way to good health
is definitely through the mouth. Make it a goal to become ‘orally self
sufficient’ by practicing good mouth and gum cleansing.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can practice Mouth Cleanse?
Anyone above the age of five years can practice it. Children
should use only one teaspoon (5 ml) of oil for pulling. People with
artificial dentures should remove them before swishing. Women
can practice this therapy during periods as well as pregnancy.
- What is the best time to practice Mouth Cleanse?
Mouth Cleanse, done in the morning on an empty stomach
delivers best results. However, you can do the Mouth Cleanse any
time, as per your convenience.
- How long should one do the Mouth Cleanse?
Initially, you can perform the process for 20 minutes at a time,
2-3 times a day for quick results. However, depending on how you
feel after the first session, you can determine the duration of the
subsequent sessions. You should continue doing the Mouth
Cleanse until you regain the original health of your mouth and gums,
besides feeling fresh and sleeping well. You can also make it a
regular habit and do this cleanse every day.
- How much time gap is required to eat or drink after a Mouth
After doing a Mouth Cleanse, wash/rinse your mouth and then
you can eat or drink right away. No time gap is required.
- Can we decrease the quantity of oil from 20 ml to 10 ml?
It is possible to get the desired results with 10 ml of oil. You may
increase it, if needed. I use 20 ml of mustard oil.
- Can we do any other work while doing a Mouth Cleanse?
It is advised to do a Mouth Cleanse slowly with your chin up,
preferably in a sitting position, to make sure that the oil is pulled
through the teeth and touches all portions of the mucous membrane
in the oral cavity. However, if you are short of time, you can also do
any other work while doing a Mouth Cleanse.
- What to do if the following problems arise during a Mouth
- Oil does not become watery or thin even after 20 minutes
of pulling and it feels as it is being absorbed and reducing in
Under normal circumstances, the mouth will not absorb the oil. If
it does so, the reason is lack of adequate salivation, due to lack of
fluids in the body. In such a case, you must drink two or three glasses
of water, go for a walk for 30 to 45 minutes and then do oil pulling.
- Nose block due to accumulation of mucus.
Clean and blow your nose to avoid a nose block.
- Sneezing and coughing sensation.
Irritation may cause sneezing or coughing during the Mouth Cleanse. Do it slowly, in a
relaxed state, to avoid irritation. Stop and relax if you feel irritation
or a sneezing sensation. It will eventually subside. However, if the symptoms continue, you
can spit the oil and restart the therapy once the symptoms subside.
- Phlegm in the throat comes into the mouth.
If phlegm comes into the mouth, spit it out and do the cleanse
with fresh oil again.
- How long will it take to cure a particular disease?
The duration would depend on the age, state of health, disease, diet
and other habits of a person. Chronic diseases may take a few weeks to
a month to subside, whereas acute diseases can be cured in 2-4 days.
- How does a Mouth Cleanse cure/heal diseases?
Mouth Cleanse acts as an analgesic in relieving pain, antibiotic in
fighting infection, anabolic in fixing loose teeth, and anti-inflammatory
in reducing sensitivity of teeth. It influences the nervous, endocrine
and immune systems to achieve balanced health.
- Are there any allergic reactions? Can regular medication
be continued during a Mouth Cleanse?
Normally, there are no reactions. Cleansing is a smooth, gentle
and pleasant process. Sometimes, the condition may worsen,
before it gets cured. In case the aggravation is not tolerable, you
may stop it for a few days and try again later. If you are on any
medication, try to gradually taper them as you find improvement
through oil pulling. In case of any chronic disease, if it is not possible
for you to reduce or stop your regular medicines, Mouth Cleanse
may not be effective in curing your chronic disease, but will certainly
reduce the side-effects of the drugs.