We know you’ve heard us say this before:
Your mouth is the window to your overall health.
Today, we’re finally diving into what we actually mean when we say that, and it all starts with one thing: the oral microbiome.
what is the oral microbiome?
The oral microbiome is the second largest “microorganism city” in your body, right behind the gut. It’s home to over 700 different species of bacteria! The oral microbiome is also the entry point to your digestive system, so it’s crucial to maintaining your oral and overall health. For example:
- It protects the oral cavity from disease.
- It helps maintain the bacterial balance in your mouth.
- If disrupted, it can throw off the bacterial balance in your gut, too.
- It helps to regulate your digestion, fat storage, and metabolism.
- It helps to detoxify environmental chemicals that come in contact with your body.
- It keeps your immune system working efficiently.
It’s no wonder scientists say that understanding the oral microbiome and its critical role in health+disease has allowed medical professionals to explore new, personalized treatment methods. It can also help you understand why something might be feeling “off” in your body.
the oral microbiome’s relationship with the gut
Gut health has become an increasingly popular topic these days, as people are beginning to realize it plays a huge role in overall health. It can influence your mood, weight, brain health, heart health, liver function, and more.
While this is all true, mouth health (the oral microbiome) tends to take a backseat to gut health. But we’re here to change that….because the oral microbiome sets the stage for all of these things. Functional dentist, Dr. Steven Lin, says, “Your mouth is the gatekeeper of your gut.” The healthier your oral microbiome is, the healthier your gut, immune system, and entire body are too.
Studies have found that bacteria from the oral microbiome can pass through the digestive system and disrupt the bacteria balance in the gut. Imbalances like this can lead to complications with brain health, heart health, immune system health, and more.
In fact, medical professionals often find oral bacteria+viruses when investigating diseases like colon cancer, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and more. This has allowed doctors+scientists to clearly link oral diseases to larger, systemic diseases.
Now you know exactly what we mean when we say the mouth is the window to your overall health!
how can you keep your oral microbiome healthy?
Your diet is one of the biggest tools for keeping your oral microbiome (and the rest of your body) healthy. The food you eat is responsible for nurturing and balancing trillions of microorganisms in your mouth and beyond. Here are a few suggestions for choosing foods that are friendly to your oral microbiome:
- Avoid processed foods. They are full of preservatives and artificial additives.
- Reduce your simple carb+sugar intake.
- Look for probiotic foods like yogurt, tempeh, kombucha, pickles, and more.
- Make sure you get enough fiber through your veggie intake. Fiber feeds good bacteria.
- Seek out local+seasonal foods. These tend to be nutrient-dense.
- Check out our previous article about nutrition+dental health for more tips!
In combination with a healthy diet, it’s important to practice strategic, holistic oral care. Unfortunately, many of us have been taught oral care routines that harm the vulnerable oral microbiome with harsh products. When choosing your oral care routine, it’s important to remember the following things.
- The goal is to balance the bacteria in your mouth, not totally wipe it out.
- The pH balance of your mouth should stay around 6.5-7, so the good bacteria can continue to flourish and transport nutrients.
- It’s always important to reduce plaque buildup, which can host unwanted bacteria and lead to oral complications.
- Because you want to keep that good bacteria, choose oral products that contain naturally-derived, probiotic ingredients.
Of course, you’ll want to keep up with a regular oral care routine that includes flossing daily, brushing twice a day, and frequent visits to the dentist.
how does Davids help?
In relation to the advice mentioned above, brushing with Davids helps because our toothpastes contain naturally-derived ingredients (nothing artificial here!) that balance the bacteria and maintain a healthy pH blanace in your mouth.
Specifically, we use xylitol and peppermint oil, two naturally-derived ingredients that slow the growth of bad bacteria in your mouth...without eliminating the good bacteria. Plus, our calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate both work to break down plaque and leave your mouth feeling fresh.
We’re all about challenging the oral-care norms to ensure you have a toothpaste option that considers your holistic health. Our natural toothpaste always has your back...and the rest of your body too, of course!