You’ve heard of the basic essentials for your oral hygiene, like brushing, flossing and using mouthwash, but there are other strategies you can try to optimize your oral health.
ORAL HEALTH AND GUT HEALTH:
HOW ARE THEY LINKED
Gut health is a trendy topic, but did you know that just like our gut, our teeth and oral cavity have their own ecosystem of bacteria that influence our overall health? We’ve been lead to believe that stellar oral hygiene is about brushing and flossing our teeth alone, but there are many other factors that can contribute including a healthy microbiome! This might explain why even though you brush twice a day, floss religiously and use mouthwash, you’re still not free of dental and/or gut troubles.
You can think of your mouth as the main entrance point to your GI tract and home to the first line of defense for your body. It’s incredibly vascular, meaning the mouth and gums are very susceptible to absorbing and transporting substances quickly into the bloodstream. Plenty of research shows that there is a strong link between your gut and oral health. Just like the gut microbiome, there is a complex environment of good and bad microbes that make themselves at home in your mouth. These communities of bacteria adhere to our teeth as a biofilm and when in balance, work together to protect us. Think about it – our mouth is warm, moist, and contains food particles to munch on, so pretty much the perfect home for bacteria!
5 STARTING POINTS TO A BALANCED ORAL MICROBIOME
So how can we keep our mouths healthy and in turn our gut? Here are five starting points to help you with a balanced oral microbiome.
ORAL HEALTH TIP #1:
BRUSHING AND FLOSSING
Let’s not overlook the basics – We’ve heard of brushing your teeth with a soft bristle brush at least 2-3 times per day and flossing daily. Taking a more functional perspective is to also check the ingredient list on your oral health products. Triclosan for example acts like an ‘antibiotic’ in the mouth, killing both GOOD (protective) microbes along with the BAD (pathogenic). Swap it for a natural alternative – or even better, use a probiotic toothpaste to boost healthy flora in the mouth like THIS ONE!
ORAL HEALTH TIP #2:
If you have GUT issues, ditch your chemical-based mouth wash immediately! Instead, try rinsing your mouth with a pink salt and warm (filtered!) water solution can help alkalinize the mouth and reduce inflammation, killing off acid-producing bacteria. You can also gargle this mixture to ward off any bugs that can accumulate in the throat (sore throat anyone?)
TMB PRO TIP:
Gargling also helps stimulate the vagus nerve which helps with digestion! You can also add a few drops of essential oil, such as mint, to help freshen your breath naturally!
ORAL HEALTH TIP #3:
This one is pretty much exactly like it sounds like! Toxins, bad bacteria, fungi, food debris and dead cells can end up on the surface of our tongues as our bodies try to eliminate them. Cue, tongue scraping – an Ayurvedic self-care ritual which can help get rid of that nasty buildup. BONUS: When it comes to improving bad breath, dental research shows it’s actually more effective than brushing your teeth!
ORAL HEALTH TIP #4:
Another Ayurvedic practice that can upgrade your oral hygiene. Oil pulling can prevent bacteria from accumulating in the mouth – it might feel a little strange at first to swish around oil in your mouth but it really does work. The toxins bind to the oil and when you spit it out, you get rid of them, which in turn prevents cavities/tooth decay/bleeding gums, and strengthens your teeth/gums.
ORAL HEALTH TIP #5:
Silver is often used as a natural antiseptic and disinfectant to help maintain a healthy barrier against unwanted pathogens/organisms. It can be used to support the immune system and enhance overall oral hygiene. Note: NOT all silver products are equal! We recommend this Silver Spray – a highly powerful, non-toxic form of nanoparticle silver (not colloidal), combined with purified water.
A HEALTHY MICROBIOME IS YOUR BEST
DEFENSE AT STAYING HEALTHY
Remember, we SWALLOW our oral bacteria that then seeds our gut, so if we have a problem in our mouth (like provetella overgrowth), we’ll have a problem in our gut too! The advanced stool test we use here at TMB helps us get to the root of your issues and in determining if they stem from your oral health.
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