The link between oral health and general health is undeniable. The most common oral diseases that plague people are cavities and periodontal disease, both of which are caused by oral dysbiosis or an imbalance of oral microbiome. There are trillions of bacteria living in and on us - approximately a 45% overlap in the microbes that inhabit the mouth and the gut! There are more bacterial cells than human cell in our body.
The oral cavity is nearly identical in layout and architecture to the gut. And although most bacterial cells reside in our guts some microbes also live on our skin, nose, ears and mouth. It’s equally important to have a healthy microbiota not only in the gut but in other locations too.
Every day, we’re swallowing one trillion oral microbes into the gastrointestinal tract. This means that the mouth has a direct effect in real time on the downstream organs, including the esophagus, stomach, and intestinal tract. You probably know all the benefits of gut microbiota, which helps us digest food, boosts immune system, protects from pathogenic bacteria, synthesizes vitamins, neurotransmitters and provides other useful functions. Microbes that live in our mouth have a very similar job. So if you have a dysbiosis in your mouth it can slowly put your oral health at risk. The oral cavity is positioned at the front entrance to the gastrointestinal tract and is therefore a vital component in restoring health to the gut.
The mucus membrane of the mouth is very porous, even in a healthy person, but low-grade inflammation and infection in the mouth could further damage the barrier between the oral mucosa and the bloodstream. This could trigger permeability, immune dysfunction, inflammation, and ultimately, systemic disease, hence the term ‘leaky mouth.”
What are the risk factors of oral dysbiosis?
increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, migraines, increased risk of dementia & pneumonia, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory joint pain, cancers, and inflammatory bowel disease.
When bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease enter your circulatory system, your liver releases inflammatory proteins causing chronic inflammation, in turn, is the leading cause of most chronic disease.
The fact of the matter is, the delicate balance of bacteria in your mouth is as important to your health as your gut microbiome. When certain bacteria become overabundant, various oral problems start to develop.
Here are some daily tips to improve your oral health:
Stop using alcohol-based mouthwashes
Non-fluoridated & antimicrobial ingredients (triclosan) toothpaste
Brush with coconut oil & baking soda twice a day
Add flossing to daily routine
Eat complex carbs
Eat whole foods & fermented vegetables
Brush 2-3 times a day (30-60 minutes after drinking/eating)
Oil pulling with coconut oil once a day first thing in the morning
Eat probiotic foods like raw dandelion greens; raw leeks; raw jicama; under ripe bananas; raw chickory root; raw/cooked onions and raw asparagus.
Caring for your teeth and gums is an essential part of your overall health and wellness. It's important to address nutrition, oral care and the products you use.