For a long time the mouth has been seen as a closed system – separate from the general health of the body. However, new research has started to reveal that what happens in our mouth may be more important to our overall health than we originally thought.
A spotlight has recently been placed on our gut health, and more specifically the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is the name we give to the trillions of microorganisms living in our stomachs, and the health of this population is integral to our own health. In fact, our body is home to as many microorganisms (including bacteria) as human cells so it is important that we keep this eco-system in check.
Understanding the Oral Microbiome
Less is known, however, about the oral microbiome – the second largest microbiota after the gut, and the oral microbiome and the gut microbiome are highly linked. To date, over 700 species of bacteria have been found in the mouth. Typically dentists and other oral care providers have gone by the notion that less bacteria is better. Now though we are starting to learn that it is not so much about the quantity of bacteria in the mouth which determines good oral health but rather the quality of the bacteria.
We have all heard of probiotics, but what you may not realise is that probiotics go far beyond gulping down a yoghurt-y drink. Probiotics are non-harmful bacteria which are thought to promote a healthy balance of the bacteria in your body. When we have a balanced oral microbiome, this is beneficial to us in a number of ways:
We’re able to take in more nutrients through better digestion of food.
More energy, and better fat storage
We can process and start the detoxification process of environmental chemicals
Stronger skin and mucosa barrier functions
It promotes the immune system
So how do we get a healthy oral microbiome?
To promote a naturally balanced oral microbiome we should look at what we are putting into our mouths on a daily basis. Many oral care products contain detergents that kill all bacteria they come into contact with. Many types of mouthwash, for example, strip the mouth of bacteria which can actually cause an imbalance to our oral microbiome. Using a natural and gentle mouthwash can avoid disrupting the bacterial environment, allowing the probiotic bacteria to thrive.
Brushing and flossing is also very important, and it is best to avoid oral care products with ingredients such as:
Sodium laurel sulfate (SLS)
These ingredients can destroy the microbiome and lead to a whole host of health issues as a result. At Georganics we avoid using these ingredients in all of our products so that we can ensure a healthy mouth, naturally.
Nutrition is also key to a healthy oral microbiome. It is recommended that we should avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar, and opt for a diet rich in organic, anti-inflammatory foods like avocados, turmeric and leafy greens.
We’re pleased you found this article interesting. We do stock our products in a dental practices, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Please also find our research sources here:
Deo, Priya Nimish, and Revati Deshmukh. “Oral microbiome: Unveiling the fundamentals.” Journal of oral and maxillofacial pathology: JOMFP 23.1 (2019): 122.
Baker, Jonathon L., and Anna Edlund. “Exploiting the oral microbiome to prevent tooth decay: has evolution already provided the best tools?.” Frontiers in microbiology 9 (2018).
fantastic as a nutritionist and hygienist, I have been advising my patients this for years.
would love to see your research sources please. Plus can we order and stock your products direct into a dental practice?