In honor of mental health awareness month, we’re spotlighting the important connection between gut health and oral health, and its impacts on your brain.
In recent years, gut health has become an increasingly popular topic. People (doctors, health professionals, and regular people alike) are beginning to realize that the gut plays a huge role in your overall health. It has the power to influence your mood, your immune system, your energy, and beyond.
All throughout May, we’re putting the spotlight on how holistic oral care can improve your gut health and, in turn, support your mental well-being. Stay tuned! Who knows, you might just discover a new, unexpected way to care for your mental health.
the power of the gut-brain connection
This new idea that your gut is your “second brain” has started to reframe the way we look at our health. It’s no secret that the gut and brain are closely intertwined. This connection is proven anytime your nervousness or excitement gives you butterflies in your stomach!
The truth is, over 100 million nerve cells and 100 trillion bacteria live in your GI tract, and they have a lot to say. They’re constantly communicating with your brain through hormones (chemical messengers that affect hundreds of systems and functions throughout your body).
Not only do the bacteria and nerve cells in your gut play a massive role in the daily digestion, absorption, and elimination of nutrients, but they also help to determine your body’s overall hormone balance as well as your mental health. Your entire gut system can alter the presence and severity of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. In fact, researchers have demonstrated that there are (at least) 13 specific types of gut bacteria linked to symptoms of depression. These types of bacteria are believed to generate neurotransmitters such as serotonin and glutamate, which can alter your brain chemistry and generate depressive feelings.
Doctors explain that healthy mental-health-related habits such as regular exercise, a well-balanced diet, stress management, and cognitive behavioral therapy can have a positive effect on GI symptoms such as IBS. But the gut-brain connection works in reverse too, meaning healthy digestion, adequate nutrition, and a pre and probiotic approach can also improve your mental well-being....from your calmness and mood to your memory and cognition!
how holistic oral care can nurture the gut-brain connection
Something we always like to say is....your mouth is the window to your overall health. It’s literally the door to your gut! When something is off in your oral microbiome (an overgrowth of bad bacteria or yeast, tooth decay, gum inflammation, and beyond) it can greatly impact the health and function of your gut.
When oral pathogens fester (as a result of sickness or poor oral care), it can hinder digestion and increase inflammation in your body. To be specific, research shows that gum disease can activate an immune response, producing “fighter” cells in your mouth that travel to your gut, increasing inflammation in your gut and weakening your immune system.
In addition to oral pathogens, simple bacteria imbalances in your oral microbiome can impact your gut health. Studies suggest that a holistic approach to oral care....one that nourishes the good bacteria in your oral microbiome (rather than one that completely wipes out all bacteria) can potentially improve your gut health by aiding digestion and reducing overall inflammation.
That’s why, at Davids, we maintain a holistic approach to oral care. Through the use of natural toothpaste, remineralizing ingredients such as hydroxyapatite, and gentle tools such as a tongue scraper and a bamboo toothbrush....we’re able to help you tame the bad bacteria in your oral microbiome while allowing the good bacteria to flourish.
The result? A triple-win for your mouth, gut, and brain!
the role of Davids in holistic oral care
Instead of using toothpastes with chemical additives and mouthwash that burns and wipes out your oral microbiome, we pride ourselves on providing you with holistic oral care products that nourish your mouth (and in turn, your gut....and again, in turn, your mental health).
- natural toothpaste: our natural toothpaste avoids potentially harmful and questionable chemicals such as sulfates (SLS), fluoride, artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, and preservatives.
- intentional ingredients: every single ingredient in our natural toothpaste is intentional, and we believe this should always be the case for a product you put in your mouth! From the premium essential mint oils to the nano-hydroxyapatite in our sensitive+whitening toothpaste, every ingredient is there to nourish your oral and overall health.
- tongue scraping: instead of wiping out your mouth with a mouthwash that “kills 99% of germs”, why not naturally clean your tongue and rid your mouth of bad bacteria with a tongue scraper? Our unique, one-handed stainless steel design is perfect for reaching the parts of your tongue that really need cleaning. Trust us, it’ll leave your oral microbiome feeling fresher (and more balanced) than ever.
- bamboo toothbrushing: instead of using a plastic toothbrush with bristles derived from petroleum, show your mouth some love with a natural bamboo toothbrush made with soft bristles derived from plant (castor) oil.
When you take the time to truly nourish your oral health, the positive results can (quite literally) flow into your gut....leaving you with a healthier GI tract! Knowing what we know about the gut-brain connection, consider holistic oral care one amazing, unexpected tool to nurture your mental health.