We’re always looking for ways to make sure our stomachs are happy and our digestions stay in good shape.
While probiotics, fermented foods, and reduced stress are just a few of the ways we can take care of our gut, it turns out that taking care of the microbiome in our mouth also plays a big part.
The nutritionist Dr. Pamela Mason of the Health & Food Supplements Information Service says your oral microbiome (the bacteria that live in your mouth) affects dental health, but much like the gut microbiome, it can also affect other parts of the body, like the brain and heart.
She says, “The oral and gut microbiomes work synergistically to maintain health.”
In fact, the mouth can mirror what’s going on in your gut.
WHAT IS A MICROBIOME?
dr Tariq Mahmood, medical director at Concepto Diagnostics, explains that microbiomes are collections of microorganisms that live inside us.
He says: “Humans have four main microbiomes: the oral microbiome, the digestive tract microbiome, the skin microbiome and the urogenital microbiome.
“They all work together symbiotically, contributing to almost everything to do with the body — from aging to our mood and cognitive abilities to digestion and the immune system, to name a few.”
SIGNS OF MICROBIOME IMBALANCE
Bio-Kult’s nutritional therapist Claire Barnes explains that the prevalence of pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms can lead to various oral health problems.
These include tooth decay, bad breath and bleeding gums.
Other signs of an imbalance in our body’s microbiomes include heartburn, thrush, gas, and poor sleep.
Claire says, “Plaque build-up on teeth is a build-up of unwanted bacteria.
“In recent years there has been a lot of interest in using probiotics to maintain good oral health and treat oral infections.”
Of course, similar to the gut, there are many good bacteria that are useful in protecting the health of our mouth.
However, problems arise from an imbalance between good and bad bacteria.
8 WAYS TO KEEP BAD BACTERIA AT LOW
1. ENJOY DAIRY
“Calcium is necessary for healthy teeth and bones (like the bone that supports your teeth),” says Claire.
“A lack of calcium has also been linked to gum disease and softening of teeth.
“While calcium-rich foods and beverages such as cheese and milk appear to have potential protective effects, increasing tooth mineral content and preventing tooth decay.”
Dairy products are a good source of calcium, as are green leafy vegetables, unsweetened soy milk, tofu, and tahini.
2. INCREASE YOUR VITAMIN C
“Vitamin C deficiency is associated with gum disease.
“Gum disease is related to an increased production of free radicals, which are molecules that damage our cells.
“Antioxidants like vitamin C help reduce the damage caused by free radicals,” says Claire.
This makes vitamin C important for maintaining gum health.
Enjoy foods like broccoli, peppers, citrus fruits, berries and kiwis.
3. MAINTAIN ORAL HYGIENE
dr Mahmood explains: “Good oral hygiene is very important as it controls the bacterial load and some of the bacteria that are in your mouth and spread to other parts of the body can be very dangerous.
“For example, one study found that Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes periodontitis — a serious inflammation of the gums — causes inflammatory changes in various organs and tissues.”
dr Mason recommends a twice-daily brushing routine, adding that it’s important to make sure you’re brushing your teeth for two minutes at a time.
“You can also floss to loosen objects stuck between your teeth and reduce the risk of gum disease.”
4. CHOOSE EGGS
This simple high-protein food contains vitamin A, which plays an important role in maintaining the cells that line your mouth and gums.
“In fact, a deficiency can lead to gingivitis, an overgrowth of gum tissue around your teeth, and weakening of the bone your teeth sit on,” says Claire.
Also, she adds that a lack of vitamin A, along with vitamin D and protein, can lead to shrinkage of the salivary glands, which can result in less saliva and a lesser cleansing effect of saliva.
Other vitamin A foods are grass-fed meats, orange fruits and vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables.
5. WATCH ANTIBIOTICS
dr Mason says it’s important to avoid unnecessary antibiotics because they can reduce healthy gut bacteria.
“If you need antibiotics, take a probiotic supplement at the same time.”
6. EAT FERMENTED FOODS
An easy fermented food to include in your daily diet is plain yogurt.
Others include kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso.
These fermented foods have the potential to contain beneficial bacteria.
But don’t overdo it; too much too soon can lead to digestive problems.
7. ELIMINATE BALTAL BREATH
“In general, oral conditions such as poor dental hygiene, gum disease, or tongue coating are believed to be the main causes of bad breath,” says Claire.
“However, other factors such as the overgrowth of non-beneficial microorganisms in the digestive tract can also contribute to the problem.”
An easy way to support your gut flora is to take a live bacteria supplement.
“A 2019 review of available evidence recommended live bacterial supplements to treat bad breath, particularly those containing friendly species of lactobacilli,” reveals Claire.
You can try the Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-Strain Formulation, which contains 14 different bacterial strains (including 7 lactobacilli species) to support the intestinal flora.
8. OPTIMIZE YOUR LIFESTYLE
smoker? dr Mason recommends quitting smoking while also increasing your water intake and eating more high-fiber foods like whole grain breads, fruits, and vegetables.
Reduce your intake of foods high in fat and sugar, as these can be detrimental to healthy bacterial diversity.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7024685/wash-mouth-out-for-happier-gut/ How washing your mouth out is key to a happier, bloat-free tummy – and 8 tips to do it