Gut bacteria is having a moment. Just a few years ago we were blissfully unaware of how the gut microbiome is crucial to our health. Now, we’re able to rattle off how the trillions of bacteria can make us sick, smarter, healthier, thinner and in fact are wildly important to our overall wellbeing. We’ve come to understand that bacteria has lots of useful functions and we need it to thrive and survive. We all seem to have varying gut microbiomes, which apparently explains why people respond differently to the same foods, which might finally shed some light on how some people can say no to pineapple smoothies : ) Gut bacteria is also linked to how we respond to certain drugs and treatments when ill.
500 species of bacteria living in our mouths
As well as a gut microbiome, we also have an oral microbiome. Afterall the mouth is the gateway to the gut and the starting blocks for a healthy immune system and healthier you. The microbes in our mouths perform vital functions to keep our mouths healthy, like transporting minerals to keep teeth strong, carrying oxygen to the gums and protecting us from harmful environmental organisms. We have lots of probiotic bacteria in our mouths which work naturally in protecting against gum disease and bad breath. When the ecosystems in our mouths are in tune, and everything is working well our teeth feel squeaky clean and are gums are blushing pink.
Stop the baddies
When there is an imbalance, we get bad breath and our gums can bleed, and it can be a contributary factor to several diseases. There are now studies that show a direct path between oral diseases and inflammatory bowel disease and cardiovascular disease. Looking after our teeth is like screaming STOP at the top of your lungs to an invasion of diseases that are slowly creeping towards you. Talk about an easy fix.
Ahhhhh sugar, you’ve done it again
A healthy diet is the best way to keep your oral microbiome in check. Too many sugars and refined carbs can change the delicate balance and trigger microbial imbalance, leading to tooth decay. That sugar really does attack our teeth but tooth decay is thankfully avoidable. A healthy body starts in the mouth, with a good diet and regular brushing and flossing, and don’t forget to say hi to your dentist.
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