Dr. Michelle Jorgensen
Connecting Oral Health and Gut Health for Optimal Wellness
Did you realize that your oral health is related to your gut health? The connection between oral health and gut health is a fascinating and often overlooked aspect of overall wellness. In this article, we will delve into the complex relationship between the two and discuss how maintaining a balanced biome in both the mouth and the gut is crucial for optimal health.
The Oral-Gut Connection: Understanding the Link
The Oral-Gut Connection is the correlation between oral and gut health. Did you know that a happy mouth leads to a healthy digestive system? Not taking care of your teeth and gums actually leads to poor absorption of nutrients in your gut and a weaker immune system. Yes, it’s that big of a connection! And vice versa, an unhealthy gut biome can have an impact on oral health. We are going to talk about how you can use diet and nutrition, oral hygiene practices, and probiotics and prebiotics, to positively affect the entire digestive tract, top to bottom.
By learning how to maintain a balanced oral microbiome, you can equip yourself with the knowledge necessary to prevent oral health issues and have a happy, healthy gut and better overall health.
How Oral Bacteria Affects Gut Health
Oral bacteria create nasty byproducts that can compromise the integrity of the gut lining. These byproducts get into the bloodstream, leading to inflammation and digestive problems. The bacteria from the mouth can also migrate to the intestines, resulting in inflammation and digestive issues. This is especially likely to happen in people with serious periodontal or gum disease.
Imagine your mouth as a bustling city, teeming with diverse citizens, some helpful and some harmful. If the harmful residents start to overpower the helpful ones, chaos may ensue, leading to a domino effect that ultimately affects the entire body. In this case, your gut health is at stake. By keeping these harmful bacteria in check, you can maintain a harmonious oral environment that positively influences your gut health and overall wellbeing.
The Importance of a Balanced Oral Microbiome
Daily brushing and flossing are beneficial to oral health as they help to decrease plaque, which is where most of the bacteria in the mouth live. This isn’t a new idea. Most people know to brush and floss, but you might not have realized how important it is for all of you.
So, the next time you brush your teeth, remember that you’re not only working towards a brighter smile but also cultivating a healthy gut.
Common Oral Health Issues Linked to Gut Health
Common oral health issues are linked to gut health. These include:
- Gum disease
- Tooth Erosion
- ‘Leaky’ gums
- Systemic inflammation
The intricate dance between oral and gut health is a fascinating and complex relationship. As we explore some of the common oral health issues linked to gut health, we will discover the importance of regular dental checkups, proper oral hygiene practices, and a healthy diet in keeping both your mouth and gut in tip-top shape.
Periodontal Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
There is a correlation between gum disease and gut problems like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS) and it goes both ways. Several studies have demonstrated that people with IBS have a higher chance of having gum disease. And IBS can lead to reflux which can cause mouth ulcers and infections including gum disease. Both diseases share similar inflammatory processes that can impact one another.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Tooth Erosion
There is a strong correlation between reflux (GERD) and tooth erosion. Research shows patients afflicted with GERD have more tooth erosion in comparison to those without the disease. This is caused by acidic juices from the stomach coming into contact with the mouth, leading to a breakdown of the teeth, called erosion. This acid also pools at the gumline, leading to more tooth decay in this area. Managing GERD is of great importance to preclude damage to the teeth.
“Leaky” Gums and Gut Health
Most people have heard of Leaky Gut, but have you heard of Leaky Gums? Your gum tissue is one cell thick and is the barrier between your mouth and your blood stream. When your gums are infected, this barrier breaks down. This leaves your body susceptible to infections that start in the mouth. Gut biome problems lead to mouth biome problems which are the precursor to a lot of gum disease. If you have a leaky gut you might also have leaky gums.
Systemic Inflammation and the connection to Gum and Gut Health
You can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mouth or gut. Inflammation in either area leads to inflammation in the entire system. This inflammation can affect many systems and lead to symptoms many people suffer with. If you have systemic inflammation and can’t find the cause, look at your mouth and gut health.
Strategies for Improving Oral Health and Gut Health
What does it take to maintain a healthy mouth and gut? The most important defenses are a balanced diet, practicing proper oral hygiene, ensuring enough stomach acid and function and incorporating probiotics and prebiotics into your daily routines.
Diet and Nutrition
A healthy diet rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals supports both oral and gut health. Fiber-rich foods may assist in maintaining oral hygiene by eliminating plaque and food particles from the teeth. Additionally, they may enhance gut health by supplying essential nutrients and encouraging the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Some of the best foods for oral and gut health:
- Raw Apples
- Raw Carrots
- Sweet Potatoes
By fueling your body with a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, you can ensure that these components remain in optimal condition, ultimately contributing to our overall health and well-being.
Oral Hygiene Practices
Regular brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping help maintain a healthy oral microbiome and prevent oral health issues. These practices are essential in eliminating plaque and bacteria from the mouth, thereby aiding in the prevention of:
- Gum disease
- Bad breath
- Tooth decay
- Gum inflammation
By incorporating these habits into your daily oral hygiene routine, you can ensure a healthier mouth and overall oral health. Your oral hygiene routine is the daily maintenance required to keep your smile shining bright and your gut happy. For more information on effective teeth cleaning check out my Teeth Cleaning Guide here.
Proper Levels of Stomach Acid
Stomach acid is an unsung hero in the process of digestion and the overall functioning of your gut. When the levels of stomach acid are not balanced, it can lead to a myriad of health problems. While many people are under the impression that high stomach acid is the primary concern, it’s actually more common for low stomach acid to be the culprit behind digestive issues.
It can be a challenge to identify low stomach acid as it’s typically done based on symptoms alone. Therefore, it can be hard to distinguish between having too little or too much stomach acid. The baking soda test is a simple and affordable home method for evaluating your stomach acid levels.
Repopulate Your Gut With Healthy Bacteria
It’s a well-known fact that our bodies house a diverse array of microorganisms that play a crucial role in your health. If you’re dealing with a gut issue, it’s highly likely that the problem lies with your gut’s microorganisms.
If you’re someone who has low stomach acid, has taken antibiotics, has been ill, or struggles with digestive function from top to bottom, you need to consider repopulating your gut with beneficial probiotics such as Gut Health with Gut Well.
Probiotics, the good bacteria and yeast that we want in our system, support healthy body systems from our mouth to our gut and help control harmful microorganisms.
Our gut is home to a vast array of probiotic strains, each serving a different purpose. In the following two products, the most beneficial probiotics have been chosen to:
- Enhance gut function
- Boost nutrient absorption
- Fortify your immune system
Restore Your Gut and Heal the Damage
Once you’ve achieved the right balance of stomach acid and beneficial bacteria, the next step is to restore and rejuvenate your stomach lining.
I highly recommend using the supplement Gut Well for this purpose. Gut Well is composed of amino acids, plant extracts, and minerals, all designed to rebuild and maintain the health of your stomach lining and function. It’s specifically formulated to repair and rejuvenate the stomach lining and support the body’s natural gastrointestinal repair process.
This is a supplement that can be used over the long term to help ensure continued digestive health.
Systemic Diseases and Their Impact on Oral and Gut Health
Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining oral health and identifying potential gut health issues, as oral health problems can be an early indicator of digestive imbalances. Oral health problems, like mouth ulcers and red, inflamed gums, can be a sign of underlying digestive issues. People should seek dental advice promptly if they experience these symptoms.
There is an intricate relationship between oral and gut health that is a fascinating aspect of our overall well-being. By understanding the connections between the two and implementing strategies to maintain a balanced oral microbiome, we can work towards achieving optimal health. So, the next time you flash your dazzling smile, remember that behind it lies the key to a healthy gut and a happier, healthier you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does oral health affect gut health?
Oral health and gut health are closely related, and taking care of your teeth and gums can help keep your gut healthy. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, which can contribute to gut problems, such as dysbiosis. Animal and human studies indicate that oral microbiome may influence the health of the gastrointestinal system. Therefore, it is important to practice good oral hygiene for a balanced oral-gut health.
What is the relationship between the oral and gut microbiome?
The oral and gut microbiome are linked through the translocation of oral bacteria during digestion, influencing the state of dysbiosis in both environments. This connection is supported by evidence that suggests that the oral microbiota can change the overall gut microbial ecosystem.
Does gut health affect teeth?
Yes, gut health does affect teeth as imbalances in the digestive system can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay, and acid reflux can wear away enamel.
How can I maintain optimal oral and gut health?
For maintaining the best oral and gut health, it’s recommended to adhere to a balanced diet, maintain good oral hygiene, and address any gut-related issues by following the guidelines provided here.