Holistic Dentistry, Mouth as the Gateway to the Body, Mouth Breathing vs Nose Breathing & Sleep Apnea | Dr. Ron Ehrlich #060

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Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body.

Understand the jaw-dropping realization that your bite, mouth and jaw are highly influential in all your body ailments.

The mouth is the portal to the body. Optimise that.

About Our Guest: Dr. Ron Ehrlich

Dr. Ron Ehrlich, is one of Australia’s leading holistic health advocates, educators, a podcaster and an author, with over 40 years of clinical experience.
Dr Ron Ehrlich has developed a holistic approach to health and wellness, which includes a comprehensive model of how the various stresses of our modern world impacts our lives.
Dr Ron is in clinical practice and continues to see patients at his group practice, the Sydney Holistic Dental Centre in Sydney CBD.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich
In 1996, Dr. Ron gained his Fellowship in Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (FACNEM). He is immediate-Past President of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM).
Dr Ron is also co-founder and board member of Nourishing Australia, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to informing, educating and inspiring people about the critical importance of healthy soils, nutrient-dense foods, and sustainable farming, bringing together principles of holistic healthcare and holistic farm management for the health of people, communities and ultimately, our planet.
In 2019 he was awarded a Fellowship from the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine (FASLM).
Dr Ron’s passion is to convert confusion to clarity and information to knowledge. To empowering individuals to fulfil their potential, take control of their health, build resilience and be the best you can be.

In this Episode we Discuss:

Dr. Ron’s morning routine (Dinacharya)

Bodily cleanses: rinsing of nasal passages, tongue scraping and gargles

6-10 rounds of salute to the sun (Surya Namaskar)

Rotational and extension movements

Intensive workout for 10 minutes

Dentistry as a profession

How Dr. Ron became introduced to holistic dentistry. 
Dentistry being the job with the highest suicide rate of all, and also the worst job for the practitioner’s health (according to the US Department of Labor) - 950 jobs were measured in this annual report.
The dangers of mercury and it still being used in patients' mouths for tooth fillings
Precautions a dentist can take on the job to reduce health risks.

Why is attending to the health of your mouth important?

Teeth are needed to chew food so as to make the nutrients more bioavailable to be absorbed and digested. 
  • New studies link a person’s ability to chew, to their cerebral cognitive function.
The size and shape of your mouth (and teeth) determines that of your upper airway, therefore it predisposes you to have (or not) certain bodily dysfunctions such as:
  • Mouth breathing instead of nasal breathing
  • Sleep disordered breathing (most common disorders being snoring or having sleep apneas but there is over 80 of them)
  • Other cardiac conditions due to oxygen deprivation.
Dentist looking into patient's mouth
An unbalanced bite, teeth clenching and/or teeth grinding may cause chronic musculoskeletal pains (chronic headaches, neck aches, etc.)
Gum health being connected to cardiovascular disease, strokes, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, low birth weight in children, some forms of cancer, erectile dysfunction and more.
The mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body and therefore it is key in building health and resilience throughout the body.
The two most common infections in the human body are in the mouth: gum disease and tooth decay.

The five pillars of health

Sleep, breathe, nurish, move and think. Further developed in Dr. Ron’s book (link available in “resources”).

Mouth Microbiome

There are approximately 700 different species of microbes in the mouth alone. 
The inside of the mouth is pink due to the proximity of many blood vessels to the surface of the skin. If the unhealthy microbiome enters your bloodstream then the toxins will be carried to the rest of the body perpetuating disease.
Illustration of the mouth's microbiome
Highly acidic foods and foods high in sugars and carbohydrates changing the mouth’s microbiome to be much more pathogenic (disease provoking).
Chewing fennel and cardamom seeds reduces the acidic quality in the mouth. 
Suizz studies on the effect of the stone age diet on the human mouth.

Snoring

Why is it that snoring occurs?

An ayurvedic solution to snoring is playing the didgeridoo, the conch shell or any long pipe for that matter, as they exercise the muscles around the pharynx and the back of the throat.

Using a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) to stop snoring and have better sleep quality (also serves as a solution for sleep apneas).

Why is breathing through your nose fundamental? Mouth breathing vs. Nose breathing. 

  • 60% of the nitric oxide in the body is being produced through paranasal breathing.
  • Snoring and sleep apneas and their relationship with Prana (life force).

Mouth taping: its origins as a russian breathing technique called Buteyko, how to properly do it, doing a diagnostic test and some of its possible outcomes.

Sleep Apnea according to Ayurveda

Sangha Srota Dusti - Pranavaha srota and udakavasrota.

Vitamin D deficiency can play a role in the manifestation of Sleep Apnea

Cikitsa (treatment):

  • Panchakarma - The five actions that profoundly eliminate toxins from the body and mind.
  • Swasaksantak leham, available in the Vital Veda shop HERE 
  • Smriti, available in the Vital Veda shop HERE
  • Sipping hot water. For more info on this read the following article on how to shed toxins from your body by drinking hot water HERE

Acidic drinks

The ayurvedic approach to starting the day.

Sodas and kombucha are very acidic and should be taken in moderation as they alter the pH of the mouth.

How frequently should we visit the dentist?

It is essential to get a comprehensive oral checkup to actually know how healthy your mouth currently is. 

“No pain, no problem” doesn’t apply to your mouth: 90% of oral health problems have no pain associated with them. 

If you have no fillings in your mouth, it is advised to go to the dentist once every 8 months or every year. If you have fillings, every 6 to 12 months. If you have a history of gum disease, every 4 to 6 months.

Toothpaste

Natural and unnatural. 

Most of them act like a soap / detergent and break up the mucosa of the mouth. 

Fluoride being present in toothpastes and yet ingestion being a health hazard. 

Organic toothpaste being a good alternative.

Practicing mindfulness while brushing your teeth. 

The use of charcoal being too abrasive and with little actual effectiveness.


Toothbrush with toothpaste on top

Flossing

Is it important to floss daily? It actually depends, but long story short: yes. 

Oil pulling for gingivitis and gum inflammation. For more information on Oil Pulling check out our article on this process, and you can also buy Gandusha Oil Pulling Oil in our shop HERE

Regenerative agriculture

It is a combined solution to harvest quality nutrient-dense foods, manage climate change and regenerate soils for future use.


Resources

Dr. Ron’s podcast: “Unstressed with Dr. Ron Ehrlich” 

Dr. Ron’s book: “A life less stressed: the five pillars of health and wellness” - Free downloadable PDF HERE and Amazon link to purchase Kindle, audiobook or paperback editions HERE

Dr. Ron's website.

Dr. Ron’s Instagram: @drronehrlich.

Link to Bupa Dental Cremorne clinic (holistic dentistry) with Dr. Philip Stein in New South Wales HERE

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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Neem (Azadirachta indica) – Benefits and Uses

Benefits of Neem according to Ayurveda:

Skin Health
Known as the “Queen of the Skin,” Neem’s contribution in topical and internal support for skincare is one of Neem’s greatest glories. The calming, cooling and anti-inflammatory properties pacifies heat, redness, itchiness and all skin diseases. Apply a neem paste topically for skin diseases (see recipe below).

First-Aid
The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal composition makes it a valuable first-aid tool not only to clean and disinfect wounds but also heal them. Keep a bottle of neem oil handy while camping.

Mosquito Repellantneem-mosquto
Lice and fleas aren’t the only pests that Neem repels. Keeping a bunch of neem leaves at the entry of a home is common in India to keep mosquitos out and purify the atmosphere.

High Prana
This may be new news to you, but most trees emit oxygen only in the day while at night they solely emit C02. There are only a handful of trees that emit oxygen 24/7. Neem is one of them.

Digestive Support
Neem with a high chlorophyll content and an action that kills bad bacteria makes Neem an awesome pro-biotic. Neem also balances acidity.

Oral Health
High chlorophyll also gets rid of foul odours such as bad breath and is commonly used in toothpastes and neem twigs themselves are used as toothbrushes.

 

One end of a neem twig is made like a brush by chewing it. Then one should brush their teeth.

More benefits...

Neem also is an effective blood and liver purifier, it helps reduce fever , diabetes and poisoning.

Ayurvedic Properties:

Taste (Rasa): Bitter, Astringent
Energy (Virya): Cooling
Post-Digestive Effect (Vipaka): Pungent
Qualities (Guna): Light, Dry

How to Make a Neem Paste (Topical Skin Application)

  1. Harvest neem leaves. If this is unavailable dry neem leaves or neem powder will do.
  2. Add 1 tsp of turmeric powder.
  3. Add 1 tea-spoon of salt – for excess fat (meda dhatu) or sluggish lymph.
  4. Mix this with 3/4 cup of yoghurt. Mix well then apply on body.

Contact me to order a Neem Paste preparation and if you’re in Sydney visit The Medicine Man for neem oil or powder (he ships within Australia).

Growing a neem tree in Sydney is challenging, but it's coming up slowly.

 

Related Reading: Tulsi (Holy Basil) – The Queen of Herbs

Did you know about the many benefits and uses Ayurveda has found for the neem plant? Comment 👇

The Low Down on “Oil Pulling”

Girl doing oil pulling

One of the finer crazes of the alternative/natural health scene today, Oil Pulling has been part of the Ayurvedic daily routine for thousands of years, and for many more reasons than just teeth-whitening and cosmetic benefits.
In the Sanskrit, “Gandusha” means keeping the oil in the mouth, and “Kavala” means to swish it.
Swishing oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes daily claims to deliver a catalogue of health benefits:

Oil pulling is clearly mentioned in the classic and most esteemed textbook of Ayurveda, the Caraka Samhita. Caraka says this about oil pulling:

Keeping of oil gargle provides strength in jaws and voice, development of the face, maximum taste and relish of food. One does not suffer from dryness of throat, lip cracking and teeth become firmly rooted. The teeth do not ache or become sensitive and can chew the hardest food items.
Charaka samhita Ch V -78 to 80

Oral Health

Numerous studies of modern science cites similar results supporting the original statement made by Caraka Samhita more than 3000 years ago.

Modern science shows that while swishing with high-quality oil for over 10 minutes, the enzymes in your mouth modify to further boost and support the effectiveness of the oil.

A handful of studies show oil pulling for 10-20 minutes a day can have a wide range of benefits, reducing plaque, decreasing Streptococcus mutans populations (bacteria that leads tooth decay and bad breath), providing better teeth cleansing and oral hygiene, and promoting healthy gum tissue.

Literally “Pulling” Out Toxins

Oil Pulling got its name from the “pulling” or cleansing effect oils have when applied to (external or internal) skin.

Oils are lipophilic, meaning they attract other oils and fat soluble toxins, “pulling” them out from the surface that the oil is introduced to.

This can be observed when oil is massaged over the skin, introduced into the digestive tract via edible oils, or - as you have learnt today - when oil is swished in the mouth.

  • In the mouth, fat-soluble toxins from the oral cavity are “pulled” out by the oil, supporting a healthy mouth and fresh breath.(1,2).
  • From both the external use of sesame oil in massage and the ingestion of ghee, one study found free radicals in the blood were reduced.(3)
  • Another study observed how heavy metals and environmental toxins were “pulled” out of the blood during sesame oil massage and the ingestion of ghee during an Ayurvedic detox called panchakarma.(4)

Oil Pulling Supports Heart Health

Gum health has been linked to heart health in many studies over the years. This is why dentists take such care to support healthy gums. Poor gum health may allow foreign microbes to infiltrate the blood stream and irritate the arterial walls. Interestingly the same bacteria, Strep mutans, which surges in the mouth after a high sugar diet, is also found in unhealthy levels in the arterial walls of heart patients.

Lubricating the Head

As the oil lubricates the whole head neck and throat region, it is very effective for thyroid issues ear problems and hearing issues. It lubricates the optic nerve so as to maintain optimum eye sight and healthy eyes.

Method

Oils Used

  1. Herbalised or medicated oils (ideal).
  2. Cold pressed black sesame oil (inferior).

Gandusha Oil: Medicated Oil Pulling Oil

Supersede the status quo of oil pulling with plain sesame or coconut oil by swishing with Vital Veda’s “Gandusha Oil.”

This oil is prepared with a sagacious combination of many herbs, a recipe passed down for generations to my teachers, which further boosts oral health, lubrication of the head neck and throat, enhance the detoxification process, and more.

Check out Gandusha oil.

Method:

  1. Swish 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of oil in the mouth and sucked or pulled through the teeth for 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. Swish after brushing teeth so as not to brush off the protective coating the oil has left.
  3. The quantity of liquid will increase in your mouth as it collects toxins.
  4. After, spit the oil down toilet or in the garden, then you may rinse your mouth out with warm water.

This practice is so easy because you can do it whenever… In the shower, during exercise, while getting ready in the morning, there’s really no excuse to not do it, as you can multi task! just don’t talk or sing at the same time.

References

(1) http://www.ait.ie/aboutaitandathlone/newsevents/pressreleases/2012pressreleases/title-16107-en.html
(2)Charaka samhita Ch V -78 to 80.
(3)Sharma HM, Midich SI, Sands D, Smith DE: Improvement in cardiovascular risk factors through Panchakarma purification procedures. J Res Educ Indian Med, 1993; 12(4); 2-13.
(4) Heron, Fagan. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine in its September/October 2002 issue, two
Credits - Dr. John Douilliard's Lifespa

Do you practice oil pulling? Have you been witness to the many benefits oil pulling has? Comment 👇