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Good Health Starts in the Mouth

Mar 17, 2021

 The oral microbiome affects the whole body 

The bacterial colony of the mouth, known as the oral microbiome, is complex and unique to each person. Just like the microbiome of the gut, the oral microbiome thrives in an environment of diversity and beneficial bacteria for good dental health. The oral microbiome contains bacteria, but also archaea, protozoa, fungi and beneficial viruses. The microbiome produce biofilm, a cover or shield which protects the colony.

If the oral microbiome becomes imbalanced it can lead to dental issues; new research has shown that oral dysbiosis is also linked to other health issues in the body.

 The oral microbiome helps to maintain health and so needs to be kept in balance.

 Oral microbiome and disease 

Dysbiosis of the oral microbiome is the tern used to refer to a lack of diversity or presence of harmful bacteria can cause dental issues but is also implicated in health issues beyond the mouth. Changes in the oral microbiome can result in inflammation in the mouth and body, the spread of harmful bacteria to other parts of the body, and a disruption to the immune system.

 An unhealthy mouth = An unhealthy body

Oral microbiome dysbiosis is linked to the following health conditions:

● Increased risk of gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and dental caries

● Heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure

● Diabetes and metabolic issues

● Lung conditions

● Poor maternal and foetal health during pregnancy – including increased risk of preterm birth

 If the oral microbiome becomes imbalanced it can lead to health issues in the body.

 How heart disease and diabetes is linked to the oral microbiome 

Due to the inflammation it causes, oral microbial imbalance can be a contributing factor in cardiovascular disease including atherosclerosis, ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Dysbiosis of the oral cavity also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome.

 Pregnancy health starts in the mouth 

There is a link between maternal periodontal disease and preterm birth. Also, during pregnancy there is a higher amount of both good and bad oral bacteria which can increase the risk of a microbiome imbalance and health issues. Therefore, good oral health even before pregnancy, can help to ensure optimal foetal health and a healthy pregnancy.

Get back into balance 

If you have dental issues, oral inflammation, and other health concerns, your healthcare professional can help support you, in conjunction with your dentist, to improve your oral health. 

Lifestyle recommendations:

● Tooth brushing and flossing twice a day 

● Regular descaling at the dentist 

● Quit smoking 

● Improve immune function generally 

● Address nutritional deficiencies 

● Take a probiotic design to support the oral microbiome every day 

Dietary recommendations:

● Reduce intake of sugar and sugary drinks 

● Reduce consumption of highly acidic foods – e.g. soft drinks, some fruit juices, vinegar and dry wine 

● Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fibre, minerals and vitamins 

● Increase prebiotic and fibre consumption 

● Increase intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids 

Specific probiotics can help rebalance the oral microbiome and reduce the risk of dental issues. 

The best probiotic for your mouth 

There are specific probiotic strains that beneficially impact the oral microbiome and oral health. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 and Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289 are two well researched probiotic strains that have been shown to have many positive effects on oral health and the oral microbiome.24-26 Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 and Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289 are only available through your healthcare practitioner. If you want to know more about improving the health of your oral microbiome contact your healthcare professional for a personalised treatment plan. 

Supporting a healthy oral microbiome with the right probiotics could improve your oral and overall health. To find out more talk to your healthcare Practitioner today! 

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