Your mouth is the gateway to your overall health, especially when it comes to microorganisms or bacteria. Contrary to what you’ve been told, the goal of cleaning your teeth shouldn’t be to kill all the bacteria in your mouth. While the thought of harboring bacteria in your mouth isn’t pleasant, it certainly is good for your overall health.
In the same way that some bacteria influence your body negatively, other bacteria promote good health in your mouth and entire body, like the heart. The medical community refers to these bacteria as oral microbiomes. Are you curious why the oral microbiome is important and its role in your overall health? An experienced dentist Lafayette discusses more below.
What is Oral Microbiome?
The oral microbiome is a community of microorganisms that are predominantly bacteria and are found in the mouth. The special conditions and environment in our mouth make it ideal for certain microorganisms to grow. These conditions also differentiate oral microbiomes from skin and gut microbiomes.
Our mouths have a variety of micro-environments, which can host different bacterial populations. These locations include the hard palate and tongue, above the gums, your teeth’s surfaces, the teeth, and below your gums.
At least 700 different bacteria species exist in your mouth. While it may sound scary and creepy at the same time, believe me, it isn’t. Some of these bacteria are what cause tooth decay, oral thrush, and gingivitis, which is why oral health is important. Good bacteria, on the other hand, have a major impact on your gut and overall health.
How Oral Microbiome Impact Your Overall and Gut Health
From an early age, we’ve all been taught that all bacteria present in our mouths are the root cause of all oral diseases we experience. This is why brushing at least twice a day and flossing three times a day have lots of emphases. While no one is saying to put your toothbrush down, it’s important to understand that some of the bacteria we deem as bad are actually beneficial for your overall health.
One such type of bacteria is the oral microbiome. So, how does the oral microbiome impact your overall health?
Your Immune System
Did you know that at least 70% of your immune system is found in your gut? This is why it’s no shock that gut microbiome plays a huge part in your overall immune system. But for the gut microbiome to exist oral microbiome has to first exist. The oral microbiome travel to the gut through the digestive system. The presence of this bacteria is one of the reasons why your body can fight a cavity, flu, or cold with the right oral microbiome.
Your Gut Health
For any bacteria to get through to your entire digestive system, it has to pass through your mouth. This is no different for the type of bacteria that goes into your mouth. But like good bacteria, there is also plenty of good oral microbiome and bad oral microbiome. Good oral microbiome can help in the digestive process. On the other hand, bad oral microbiome can lead to various medical risks like acid reflux. The after-effect of problems that originate from your gut often adversely affects your teeth.
How to Create a Balance Between the Good and Bad Oral Microbiome
Limit your sugar intake
Reducing your sugar or simple carb intake can help reduce the diversification of the oral microbiome. Remember, whenever you eat sugar, you aren’t feeding yourself; you are also feeding the bacteria present in your body. In turn, this causes tooth-decay bacteria in your mouth to eat more and further destroy and dissolve your teeth’ enamel.
Your oral hygiene plays a huge role in balancing out the oral microbiome in your mouth. While nobody is saying go crazy on the toothpaste, it’s important to maintain a regular oral hygiene routine. By brushing your teeth at least twice a day, you get rid of the bad oral microbiome that can eventually destroy your teeth.
You also get to preserve a good microbiome, which eventually plays a significant role in your overall health.
Remember, your mouth is the gateway to your overall health. And the best way to safeguard your health is by ensuring a holistic balance in the type of bacteria present in your mouth. And with the right balance, you can keep several diseases at bay. It may help to slow down on antibacterial mouth washes and rinses unless recommended by your dentist.