Every dentist would agree that there is a close link between our gut microbiome and overall health, making gut health crucial for a healthy body. The ‘gut microbiome’ refers to the trillions of good bacteria living in the digestive system.
The gut microbiome can influence your digestion, metabolism, immune system and hormones. It even affects the neurotransmitters that control mood and brain activity. Read on to know how microbiome imbalance can affect your oral health.
Microbiome Imbalance Affecting Your Mouth
Many will be surprised to learn that the health of the gut affects the health of the mouth. If there is a gut bacteria imbalance, it would send an inflammatory signal to the immune system, causing the symptoms to occur all over the body, including the mouth. You can monitor dental health by observing gut health.
Connection Between Oral Health and Leaky Gut
Any imbalance in the gut bacteria is called gut dysbiosis. When an individual is healthy, the gut bacteria keeps the gut lining strong and functional. Since 80% of the immune system lies within the gut, a healthy gut can assure strong immune system. However, the gut imbalance caused by a leaky gut can interfere with this process.
Leaky gut refers to a condition where the pores in the small intestine wall become enlarged and allow toxins, bacteria and undigested food particles to flow freely through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. When toxins are released into the bloodstream, the body’s immune system will go into attack mode, putting your health at risk for a number of conditions and diseases.
A leaky gut affects the oral health as well. Let us look at some oral conditions caused due to a leaky gut.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of gums and occurs when a film of plaque or bacteria accumulates on the teeth. It is a non-destructive type of periodontal disease, but untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is more serious and can eventually lead to loss of teeth.
• Dental Decay
Since a leaky gut allows easy movement of toxins and undigested material from the intestine to the bloodstream, it will make the bloodstream toxic, leading to dental decay.
• Dental Caries in Children
They are the most common form of oral infection in kids. Once the infection sets in, it cannot be reversed, thus leading to tooth decay as the child grows older. Dental caries also alters the oral microbiome as the child ages. It has also been linked to oral afflictions such as halitosis and thrush.
Other oral conditions include swollen tongue, oral candida or yeast infection, red patches on the gums, mouth ulcers, burning mouth syndrome and white pus-filled lesions.
How to Avoid Oral Risk Caused by Leaky Gut
• Eat Fibre-Rich Food
Fibre-rich food help in naturally cleaning the teeth as you eat them. Include food like apples, beans, broccoli, lentils, etc. Include probiotic rich food as well.
• Brush and Floss
Good dental care practices like regular brushing and flossing ensure healthy gums and teeth by removing food residues and eliminate plaque build up around teeth and tongue.
• Be Aware of Gum Disease Symptoms
If you notice symptoms like inflamed or bloody gums or any other gum disease, don’t ignore it as it can be a sign of a serious underlying dental problem that may need immediate attention.
• Regular Check-ups
Go for regular dental check-ups at your family dentist if you notice any of these 5 symptoms — bleeding gums, high blood sugar levels, sensitive teeth, bad breath or a bitter taste in your mouth and digestive issues.
If you make efforts to keep your gut healthy, you can be assured of better oral health.
A dental marketer at Michael G. Long DDS, Fresno, CA and a believer in holistic health, Grace lives by the rule that health and happiness go hand in hand. She writes on various dental topics focusing on healthy living and holistic health.
When she’s not working or blogging, she enjoys spending her time with her family and volunteering at the local youth centers where she educates children about the importance of health and fitness.