Oral hygiene inputs from Ayurveda.

brushingOral hygiene is an important or rather essential aspect of general health. The oral cavity being an open moist area, it is prone to infection both from external and internal sources.

The innermost third of the oral cavity forms the first level of the throat. (This is a general description) the ear, nose and mouth open into it so it essentially behaves like a large pool; this makes it a convenient location for infection to breed.

Major oral problems are cavities, gum diseases, oral cancer, infections (things like Herpes,) injuries and some hereditary lesions.

The outcome of poor oral hygiene.

  • High sugar levels in the diet can lead to dental caries.
  • Smoking can lead to periodontal disease  and contribute to oral cancer
  • Systemic disorders like diabetes can aggravate caries
  • Chronic unattended caries can lead to systemic disease.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation can cause a change in the oral flora, resulting in fungal infections.

We are very familiar with dealing with oral hygiene products like toothpaste, mouthwash, floss etc. we have also heard of clove, cinnamon as home remedies. Here is a sharing from Himalaya herbal healthcare

  1. Lavanga (Synzgium Aromaticum) commonly called clove.  What clove does it is produces an alkaloid that inhibits the growth of pathogens that can cause gum disorder. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and immunostimulant in nature.
  2. Pilu (Salvadora Persica) or the mustard tree.  Known as meswak it is a popular dentifrice.  This is an analgesic, antibacterial, antimycotic, astringent and also reduces plaque formation, making it effective in counteracting toothache, bad-breathe and preventing caries.
  3. Putiha (Mentha Piperita) or the peppermint.  The essential oil from Mentha Piperita is peppermint. This colourless oil (it is sometimes pale yellow in colour) has a distinct strong odour and is very effecting in fighting bad-breathe. It is antiseptic and antimicrobial, making it a must in every dentifrice, mouth wash and breathe freshener

Personally in my clinic I had good results with HiOra-K in the case of bleeding gums. This is toothpaste. Particularly in patients who are prone for gingivitis I like to use this as prophylactic option. HiOra-K mouthwash in severe halitosis.





tresamme-2Right as a teenager, I had this issue of feeling things crawl on my skin; this would be followed by terrible itching and rashes. My back and forehead were particularly susceptible. After the burns it has turned worse.

I remember visiting the skin department at KMC Manipal and the doctor diagnosing Trichoptilosis

Trichoptilosis   has its origin in Greek.

Tricho= hair

Ptilosis== arrangement of feathers.

Together it describes fraying or splitting of the hair shaft due stress.

Hair splits when it becomes dry or damaged and the only way to get rid of this is to get the hair trimmed. But preventive care can be done.

One needs to find out if the hair is split only in the end or has multiple splits on the length of the same strand. Trimming the split ends is a good idea

  • The trimming should be done at least an inch above the split.
  • Catching the split early is crucial else the split could increase in length right up to the scalp.

Periodic trimming of the hair will rid it off the split end and promote growth and as well as giving a healthy look to the hair. Once the split end is trimmed out, it products should be used to prevent its split.

Products that claim to seal the split end do not really reverse the damage; they only make the hair appear healthier. But these products do prevent future split ends.

Uses of deep conditioning once a week, oil, and hair masks are all great ways to maintain hair health.

Like grandma said don’t brush wet hair, as the hair is more fragile?

Constant brushing and styling, frequent washing and using hot tools could all damages the hair making it brittle and more prone to splits.

Before drying or straightening the hair it’s a great idea to use heat protection serum, it protects the hair from getting damaged due to heat.

About a fortnight ago I received my trail pack from Tresammè, for the Tresammè experience with my knowledge of Trichoptilosis I was really sceptic. With the first wash there was kind of bounce it took two days for the hair to become brittle enough to irritate the skin.

Before the second wash I had ,had a hot oil head massage, so the hair after the wash was very limp.

post tresamme  hair style

post tresamme hair style

After the third wash I followed it with a leave on hair mask. Believe me for nearly four days I was free of the teasing from the hair tip. I did not have to cut my hair, or tie it up like I do every summer to prevent skin irritation.

The Tresammè split remedy system http://www.tresemme.com/product/category/332737/split-remedy  I realized gently cleanses and moisturizer the hair, so it becomes manageable and looks healthy. The unique reconstruction complex binds the split ends with continued use it fixes the damage as soon as it occurs. As for reducing the split ends up to 80% I could not get it graded by my hair stylist.  But of course my hair is returning to its fresh soft smooth appearance and is much easier to style.

Tresammè, of course had sent the shampoo with the conditioner but the split end sealing serum that really got me hooked.

I’m glad I tried it out.


smokerrsSharing from tobacco advocacy workshop conducted by VHA-Goa and GoaCan/

The Global Scene

Tobacco is largest killer worldwide. 1-10 deaths worldwide are tobacco associated.  80% of these being in developing countries.

29% of the world population is addicted to smoking. One might argue that it is not really very significant. What makes it significant is the tobacco abuser debuts at a young age of 13- 15. This abuse lowers his life span and he exits but his place is taken by the next addict. That is to say 29% might be constant and legible but within the 29% there is constant new infusion. Of the tobacco abusers, 48% of men and 10.3%of women are smokers. The rest use smokeless tobacco. 84% of the tobacco abusers are in the developing countries.

In the 20th century 100 million deaths were caused by tobacco it is to hit 1 a billion in 21st century and by 2030 70% of the tobacco deaths will be developing countries.

The Indian Scene

India records 9 lakh tobacco and tobacco associated deaths. 2200 Indians die every day in a tobacco related death. And each day 5500 Indian youth start smoking—this makes the 29% relevant.

India reports the largest number of oral cancers. And 40% of the Indian cancer etiology is tobacco associated.

The Demography of Indian tobacco Users:

57% male and 11% females use tobacco in one form or the other.

Women chew tobacco more than smoke. This is more prevalent in the rural areas as compared to urban.

NE India records maximum tobacco abuse.

40.3% on Indians suffer from secondary tobacco inhalation.

Tobacco And Youth

Tobacco in the Indian context becomes very complicated as it presents itself in different form. Though smoking is the most widely acknowledged form.

37% of children start tobacco use by the age of 10.smoking forms 4.2% of this and more boys smoke than girls.11.9% of students use other tobacco products.

Various forms of tobacco presentation

Smoke presentation—cigarette, beedi, cigars, dhumti, cheroot, chutta, pipes, chillum, hooklis, hookah.

Smokeless presentation – gutka, zarda khaini, paan masala, paan masala with tobacco, tobacco water, meeta mawa, snuff, gul—applied on the teeth, gudhka—toothpaste, dentobac—toothpaste  Mishri—applied on the tooth.

Chemical Analysis of The Tobacco Concoction.

Tobacco contains psycho active component nicotine and nine other alkaloids. Nicotine is highly addictive. It causes increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and increase in blood fats. 4800 chemicals are found in a burning cigarettes, 69 of the identified ones are carcinogenic or the ones that cause cancer.

Nicotine à acts on the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine causes euphoria, and speeds metabolism. Speedy metabolism reduces hunger. The dopamine induced high drops causing a low that manifests as irritability and decreased concentration level. This in turn calls for the need for a fix. Or the next nicotine intake.

The short-term ill effects of this are—bad breathe, body odour, hair odour, stained fingers and teeth, tooth decay, breathlessness and sometimes even asthma.

Long-term adverse effect being – heart disease, reproductive disorders leading to impotency, cancer, respiratory embarrassment, stroke, neonatal deformities  that is deformities in a new-born child. Shrinking of the brain resulting in cognitive dysfunction, Alzheimer’s, cataract and loss of vision.

What is second-hand smoking?

Second hand smoking is the smoke inhaled by a non-smoker by being in the vicinity of a smoker. This is the mixture of exhaled smoke by a smoker along with the smoke emitted by the burning cigarettes. 30% increase of heart disease, 30% increase risk of lung cancer, respiratory illness asthma attacks, ear problems and if the expectant mother is a smoker then there could SIDS

And now third hand smoking

The invisible yet toxic brew of gaseous and particles clinging to the smokers hair and clothing. This lingers longer than the visible huff smoke trapped in the cushion covers curtains etc. and is a great threat to the children’s health. The residue that settles on the surface touched by the secondary smoke, (combination of exhaled smoke and burning cigarettes) contains heavy metals, carcinogens and sometimes even radioactive materials. This gets can get ingested into the system of babies, causing health issues for life.


  • Effective strategies for tobacco control manual for NGO’s HRIDAY N.Delhi.
  • Tobacco control laws a resource manual HRIDAY N.Delhi
  • Voluntary Health Association of India – Website.


Unhealed relationships can be problematic. Particularly if the person is dead. one way to do the following steps.

Working on a closure.

  1. Forgive all those involved including yourself.
  2. Journal your thoughts write out whatever the conversation with the person.
  3. Have a funeral ceremony in honour of the person.
  4. Write a book about the person from where you can remember to the death.
  5. Carry on and create your new life.

The Sanskaar

mother and childI have been attending a workshop by Ustaad Bah’uddin Dagar, where Ustaad, made an observation about sanskaar. When we say sanskaar we tend to think of values or upbringing with an underlying infliction of conservative outlook. But sanskaar, is more than that, it something that gives an individual his outlook to himself, world and his relation to the world, this includes the physiologic, and psychological aspects. The sanskaar start from before birth, according to ayurveda one needs to take care before pregnancy that is basically talking about planning a baby that would involve create the mother, and the environment in which the child is to be nurtured. Then there are sanskaar during pregnancy. This is something I will vouch for with my personal experience. The emotion, the thought the sadhana that the mother imbibes during pregnancy is definitely the child’s legacy. Abhimanyu is not a figment of Vyasa’s imagination but a physio-psychological fact. Have you seen a dancer depicting a baby the first thing they show is a baby being carried, then placed in a cradle the more innovative one’s will show you a baby massage. This is a practise done away in many houses, but believe me it is necessary. Why is a massage necessary?

  1. It helps to prevent dryness and easy transition of skin texture from the womb to the external environment.
  2. Gives suppleness to the skin.
  3. The muscles are toned
  4. Bone is strengthened,
  5. Touch creates a sense of security in a child.

dabur lal tailIn children over 3mnts, the massage helps to release trapped gas and even constipation. What is the massage done with, in the coast of course coconut oil; the best oil to use is the oil that is locally produced and used is everyday cooking. The most important aspect of the massage is the bath should be only after about 45mnts of the massage. This allows the oil to be absorbed by the skin, if the child is left uncovered in an area mildly exposed to sun; it activates the natural production of vitamin D3. Traditionally massages need to carry on everyday at least until the age of 5. And at regular intervals after that. Remember the Sunday tail-abhyanjana before we became, civilized global citizens and Sunday came to mean sleeping late, and bingeing on food? Coming to the oil used, in the west coast traditionally coconut oil is used. This is fortified with Shah Jeera and turmeric. Actual massage techniques – in the next blog. http://www.dabur.com/Products-Consumer%20Health%20%28OTC%29-Dabur%20Lal%20Tail


History of hypnosis.

shammi-hypnosisHistory of hypnosis.

1734-1815 an Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer believed that there was a fluid in the nerves. The blockage of the flow this flow would result in disease. He used techniques initially with magnets and then with his hands to unblock the pathway of these fluids. Mesmer became the acknowledged father of this therapy and his technique was called mesmerism.

Jean Martin Charcot (1825-93) uses hypnosis to deal with hysterics.

Hypolyte Bernheim (1837-1919) regarded hypnosis as a sleep mode where the subject focuses on a suggestion made by the hypnotist there by focusing on the psychological nature of hypnosis.

1840 John esdail a surgeon form UK used hypnosis to anaesthetise his patients prior to surgery. He called it mesmeric sleep.

1841: James braid used the term hypnotism to make it subject cantered instead of the prevailing operator centred therapy called as Mesmerism. James braid refers to the healing methods of the Egyptians, Hindu’s and Greeks.

By 1920 experimental and investigation by psychiatrists like Clark. L. Hull (1884-1957) demystified hypnosis saying that it was essentially a normal part of human nature, where the subject’s imagination played an important role. Some subjects being more susceptible than others.

Ishammi-hypnotherapyn 1955 British medical association accepted the teaching of hypnosis in medical colleges. In 1958 American medical association followed suit.

Hypnosis is a useful tool both in medical practise and dentistry. Particularly in treating addictions. But should be conducted in professional controlled setting.

Misuse of hypnosis can lead to dire consequences.


Warning signs….of another kind.



When we say dentistry every one thinks of filling decayed teeth, replacing the missing one and re-arranging the ones not aligned.

Well there is more to it.

If tackled properly many psychosomatic disorders manifest in the oral cavity as the first signals, or manifest as disturbances in the mouth physiology causing symptoms elsewhere which no amount of treatment or medication can solve. Migraines being a major one.

Face is the identity of a person so it is attended to. The muscles of the mouth and around it help in suckling as a baby, transient thumb-sucking, pencil biting in many adolescents and as erotic zones in adults, these therefore become zones of sensuous satisfaction and the target or platform for symptoms when not satisfactory.

Sunithi presented as a patient in the ENT as pain behind the ear, she was referred to dental section as the ENT did find anything wrong. By the time she appeared at the dental clinic her symptoms were classic, —

  • pain behind the ear;
  • clicking sound and tenderness when opening the mouth or eating

She was suffering from Myofacial Pain Dysfunction Syndrome. Studies by Dr.Bailoor and Dr.Kumaraswamy show that this predominantly in women in a ratio of 1:6, and associated with low back ache, mouth ulcers, irritable bowels, and asthma.

Adithi came to our clinic with burning tongue and mouth, but there were no lesions, interestingly she referred from the allergy dept. As she had been there assuming that it was an allergic condition. On taking detain history we found that this was the classic burning mouth syndrome that manifests predominantly in premenopausal and menopausal women. It was associated with depression and hot flushes.

With the over advertising of Diabetes, many executives and PR personals take a self prescribed diabetes test assuming that dryness of mouth is indicative of diabetes. It could be, but there is more to it. Dry mouth or Xerostomia could be due to anything starting from normal fear, physical exertion, medication, pathologic disorders like disturbance of the salivary gland. Dehydration, depression just to name a few.

The most popular presentation is the patient who has visited the physician, ENT, ophthalmologist   homeopath, Ayurveda and has not found relief these patients talk of pain in the lower third or middle third of the face. The pain does not follow a logical anatomic path, or trigger. Each sitting the patient will talk of a new location. These patients suffer from Atypical Migrating Facial Pain seen in menopausal women, Geriatric cases, sometimes young individuals who are single and socially challenged. It is in reality a call for attention.

All these disorders are Psychosomatic and call for help. The patients have to be treated with corrections of bite, or minor physiological obstructions that are present, and counselling sometimes medications are required. Hypnotherapy goes a long way in treating these disorders.