The mouth-gut connection
The idea of having bacteria in your mouth might not be new to you. But did you know that there is actually a community of bacteria other than those that cause plaque and tooth decay? Yes, you’ve got good bacteria in our mouth, too!
While your gut has its own microbiome, the oral microbiome is part of this intricate system. And the status of your oral health is a reflection of your gut and vice versa.
Problems with the gut may manifest in your mouth. For example, if you have a red, swollen tongue, it can mean you have an immune imbalance in the digestive system or you lack folic acid and vitamin B12, that might be caused by a poor diet or absorption problems.
Oral bugs (as they are called) can also prevent tooth decay and bad breath, and they manufacture beneficial nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide relaxes (widens) the blood vessels and increases blood flow to your tissues. And because of this, it can boost your circulation, exercise performance–and for men, even solve erectile dysfunction.
How to boost beneficial oral bugs
Knowing how good these bugs are to your health, I have compiled 6 tips to help you to keep them thriving! As always, customize according to your unique needs and check with your health practitioner first.
- Eat organically grown green, leafy veggies and beets – These foods contain nitrates that are converted by bacteria in your tongue into nitric oxide. Fresh raw vegetables such as lettuce have beneficial soil-based microorganisms inside the leaves, so it can serve as a probiotic that can establish a good oral microbiome.
- Eat small amount of fermented foods every day – Because they are good probiotics, too, these foods contain enzymes and beneficial bacteria that you need not only for the mouth but for the overall gut microbiome (this is contraindicated if you have certain conditions such as SIBO).
- Avoid sweets and refined carbohydrates – Bad bacteria thrives with these “foods”, and the more they increase in your mouth, the less your good bacteria thrive. So ditch anything that has to do with artificial sugars, chips, cookies, and sodas. Not only do they erode your teeth, but they also increase the growth of those bad microbes we don’t want hanging out in your mouth.
- Oil pulling – This is an ancient practice associated with the traditional medicine system in India which involves swishing oil in your mouth that are believed to “pull” bacteria from your mouth. Oil pulling can kill harmful bacteria, reduce bad breath, prevent cavities, and improve gum health. You can use castor oil (quickest), sesame, or coconut oil.
- Choose your mouthwash and floss – If you cannot get rid of mouthwash, at least choose the less harmful ones. Be particular with those brands that contain alcohol, chlorine dioxide, chlorhexidine, formaldehyde, saccharin, parabens, etc. because they are bad to your good mouth bugs. In using floss, avoid brands with perfluorooctanesulfonic acids (PFAs). Although PFAs are used for easy-glide flossing, they have been linked to many diseases including cancer.
- Use a toothpaste that promotes healthy oral microbiome – Choose a brand that is free from artificial flavorings, colors, and, most of all, sugar. Remember that the more natural the product is, the more it is favorable for the growth of your oral bugs–which is your goal in promoting oral health and overall gut health. I highly recommend using Dentalcidin Toothpaste by Bio-Botanical Research. It tastes great on top of all its other benefits!
The key to overall health and well-being is gut health, and gut health includes not only the intestinal flora but also the good bacteria in your mouth. As you swallow, bugs come along, too. And those that survive the journey becomes transient species in the intestinal microbiota that support your health.
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!