Because there are trillions of bacteria (the good kind) living in your digestive system, there is a significant link between the microbiome of our gut and our general oral health. An imbalance, meaning too many harmful bacteria or too few helpful ones could impact your immune system and have an effect on your oral health.
Some common oral health issues that could be related to your gut microbiome include:
When bacteria accumulate on your teeth, your gums could become inflamed. Gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease that could develop into a more serious condition called periodontitis and could result in tooth loss and other issues.
If you are unable to digest all of the food you consume or if the lining or your stomach is not healthy, harmful bacteria could grow and leak from the gut (known literally as “leaky gut”). The inflammation of the gut and the leak in the intestinal lining could allow toxins to move freely throughout the body, weakening the immune system and eventually causing tooth decay.
This condition is often caused by imbalanced gut flora. It could also be a sign of a zinc deficiency caused by digestive issues. Some of the causes of oral candida include, excess consumption of sugar or sugary products, antibiotic use, immunosuppression, diabetes metillus, or pregnancy.
Mouth Ulcers or Lesions
If you experience mouth ulcers or white, pus-filled lesions, there might be an issue like an immune imbalance in your gut microbiome, or potentially an issue (like Crohn’s disease) in your colon.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Individuals with the chronic autoimmune condition of rheumatoid arthritis will often experience similar symptoms to gum disease. In fact, those dealing with RA are at higher risk of developing gum disease than those who aren’t.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
A burning sensation in the mouth (often with loss of taste and oral inflammation), could be a sign of low vitamin and mineral levels.
Many people who suffer from autoimmune responses to gluten will develop Celiac Disease. This disease can cause oral ulcers and discolored or poorly formed tooth enamel. You might notice that your teeth have a brown appearance and might have rough patches that could result in further tooth decay.
How Can I Care For My Gut and Protect My Oral Health?
Because your gut and mouth are interconnected, bacteria can easily travel between. Bad breath, inflamed gums, or an excessive number of cavities might indicate unhealthy flora in your gut microbiome. Having a strong, healthy immune system will impact both your gut and your mouth, so it’s crucial to strive for a balance in both. How can you do this? Here are a few tips:
Consume Fiber and Probiotic-Rich Foods
Eating fiber and probiotic-rich foods will help keep your teeth clean and promote a healthy gut. Some examples are: apples, beans, lentils, and broccoli.
Brush and Floss Daily
You can keep your teeth and gums healthy by brusthing and flossing every day. This will remove food particles from your teeth and gums and reduce the buildup of plaque around the tongue and teeth.
Watch for Signs of Gum Disease
Bloody or inflamed gums should never be ignored. This could be a sign of serious dental issues that should be addressed right away.
Schedule Check-Ups and Cleanings Regularly
Make sure to schedule a checkup regularly with your team at Babylon Dental Care. Routine checkups and cleanings will help ensure that your oral health is covered, and could help identify issues that might indicate an issue with our gut as well. Call us at 631) 983-6665 and schedule your checkup today!