Updated: Feb 25, 2022
Trillions of good bacteria live throughout your digestive system, which is your gut microbiome. Your microbiome affects your immune system, digestion, hormones and metabolism, as well as your mood and mental health! There are many ways to improve the structure of your gut microbiome, mostly linked to diet, but an imbalance can affect your oral health. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily is so important, but making the right food choices to put in your mouth is your top tool. You have the responsibility to feed the trillions of tiny microbes in your body!
We go to the gym to workout, with a goal to look good and feel our best, but what we put in our bodies can either hinder or accentuate the outcome. The term ‘gut health’ has become a hot topic, but most people are not aware of the impact their gut has on their oral health. We need to put effort into our gut health as we do with our bodies at the gym. Having too many harmful bacteria, or not enough good ones, means that your microbiome is imbalanced. This imbalance sends a signal to your immune system and triggers inflammation. This results in a range of symptoms throughout your body, including your mouth.
It is clear that your gut microbiome impacts your overall health and wellness, and can also play a role in preventing disease such as type 2 diabetes. However, studies also show the link between oral disease and systemic disease. Oral pathogens have been found in some cases of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease. This highlights the importance of our oral health, not only in preventing caries, but reducing the prevalence of disease.
Sugar, simple carbohydrates, soda and processed food are well known causes of an unhealthy mouth and caries. The reason behind this goes beyond being harmful to our teeth alone, but rather how they reduce the diversity of our oral microbiota. We can prevent this from happening by following the tips below. Your body will feel better, and your smile will shine brighter than ever!
Reduce sugar: high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, table sugar, added sugar, refined sugar, honey.
Remove processed foods, which are full of preservatives and artificial additives.
Focus on whole foods.
Ditch the juices, even if they’re 100 percent fruit. They are a concentrated hit of simple carbs.
Increase fiber in your diet: wholegrains, oats, squash, sweet potato, fruit and veggies.
Add probiotics: A supplement or from fermented food.
Choose prebiotic fiber too. Veggies include artichoke, onion, garlic and leeks.
Don’t skip meals. Improve your digestion and chew your food properly.