Dentistry,  Health Literacy

With All the Current Fuss About Our Gut Microbiome, Where Does That Leave Our Mouth Microbiome?


The gut microbiome has received a lot of attention from the medical and nutrition professionals recently. Areas they focus on include its effect on mood and weight among other aspects of your physical and mental health. Many studies have confirmed a link between the gut microbiome and major organs such as the heart, brain, and even the liver.

In this article, we explore a less-talked-about microbiome: the oral microbiome.

Everything starts with the oral microbiome, meaning improve the health of your mouth and oral microbiome improves your chances of having better health in your gut and immune system among other important parts of your body. Let’s have a look at some basics.

Your mouth – your gut’s gatekeeper

Everything that finds its way into your gut passes through your mouth, meaning that thousands upon thousands of bacteria, both good and bad, start a journey to your gut every time you swallow. Contrary to what many might imagine, killing all the germs in your mouth is not a good idea. Like the good bacteria in your gut, the good bacteria in your mouth promote good oral and overall body health.

Probiotic bacteria fend off pathogens in the mouth. For instance, some of them release acids that keep tooth-decay-causing bacteria at bay. Other probiotic bacteria fight bacteria that cause bad breath and gum disease. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation in the public that has led many people to use harmful antibacterial mouthwashes that destroy all oral bacteria, even the good probiotic variety.

Your mouth – your body health indicator

Gut microbiome affects our wellbeing and psychophysiological health in important ways that experts are still trying to figure out. It plays a role in dementia and other degenerative diseases. However, the health of your gut is directly linked to the health of your mouth, which feeds your gut microbiome. That raises the question, do oral health problems such as inflammation and gum disease spill over to the gut?

Studies have shown a strong association between oral and systemic illnesses, with oral pathogens having been discovered to play a role in cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis. That means that taking proper care of our oral health might help keep these diseases at bay.

Your mouth – your starting point for treatment of the body

Simple carbs such as flour and sugar don’t harm our teeth in the way many people imagine they do. Instead, they cause an imbalance in the oral microbiome. Your body is always informing your gut about what is coming in from the outside and while it plays the main role in digestion, your mouth determines what path the entire system follows.

The key, therefore, lies in maintaining a diverse, balanced oral microbiome. Essential as brushing and flossing may be, your diet is your first line of defense. The next time you settle down to have a meal, keep in mind that you are responsible for feeding an entire universe of microbial lives, so hearken to the advice of experts such as those at

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Charles Brown is a freelance writer and blogger. He contributes to various blogs.

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