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Say hello to your Oral Microbiome

  • 3 min read

Say hello to your Oral Microbiome

You’ve heard about the gut microbiome, but what about your oral microbiome? This bodily wonder is just as important, and the fascinating science around it is only just coming to light. So, let’s start with the basics…where is it and what is it? Specifically, the oral microbiome area encompasses the tongue, the hard palate, the teeth, the area around the tooth surfaces and the area above and below the gums. Known as the oral microbiome, this collection of bacteria (over 700 different species to be precise) is a cornerstone of good health – for your mouth and beyond.  

WHOLE MOUTH HEALTH

The oral microbiome has some pretty important jobs, like tooth remineralisation, carrying oxygen to the gums, removing waste from our mouth and protecting us from damaging external organisms.  Like the gut microbiome, the health of the oral microbiome is dependent on the balance of good and bad bacteria. And just like the gut, an imbalance will lead to inflammation, illness, and disease. These will often manifest in the form of tooth decay, gingivitis and oral thrush. When the beneficial bacteria flourish, your teeth will feel clean, your gums will appear pink and they will be well oxygenated. If your oral microbiome is too thick, you might experience symptoms like bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Conversely, if your oral microbiome is too thin, you might suffer from things like ulcers and sensitive teeth. Dentistry is just starting to acknowledge the importance of healthy mouth flora and that we need to actively take care of it, and not just detonate it with chemicals!

BEYOND THE MOUTH

While key to a healthy mouth, the oral microbiome is also fundamental to many other aspects of our health, and even impacts the progression of disease. New research is just coming to light over the connection between the oral microbiome and diseases like Parkinson’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver and many more. Put simply, the mouth is the passageway to the gut. Over 45% of the bacteria found in the mouth are also found in the gut. So, it follows that a healthy oral microbiome is a precursor to a healthy gut microbiome. And as 70% of our immune system is located in the gut, we should take good care of our oral microbiome too!

 PROTECT YOUR ORAL MICROBIOME

Everything we put in our mouth can affects our oral microbiome, from the foods we choose, to the drinks we swig and the oral care products we use each day. Finding products that enhance your oral microbiome is an essential part of maintain a healthy mouth.

  1. Eat well – go for a balanced diet, low in sugar and carbohydrates, choose alkalising foods and go to town on vegetables! The more antioxidants, the better

  2. Minimise sugar and alcoholic drinks as they can deplete your tooth’s enamel

  3. Brush twice a day, and floss at least twice a week – make sure the products you choose are free of toxic chemicals, detergents and alcohol

  4. See the dentist – regular mouth cleanings (every 6 months) can help you keep your oral microbiome in top shape

  5. Pick your mouthwash wisely – avoid one made with alcohol and it dries your mouth out and detonates all bacteria – the good and the bad

  6. Stay hydrated – water is good for everything…Including your oral microbiome!

  7. Tongue Scraping – a little scrape a day can keep bad bacteria away

  8. Add an oral probiotic – we use Lactobacillus Salivarius in all our toothpastes. It’s an oral probiotic that can boost the good bacteria in your mouth.