We all know how important it is to brush and floss our teeth every day, but with new understandings of healthy and harmful mouth microbes coming to the foreground, the case for consistent oral hygiene is getting even stronger.
Oral hygiene, in fact, goes way beyond just brushing and flossing every day. It’s also about managing bacteria in the mouth, which as we’ve mentioned in a lot of our other articles, can be practiced in various ways. These include tongue scraping, oil pulling and making sure you’re getting adequate vitamins, minerals and probiotics through your diet.
As research continues to reveal, undesirable mouth bacteria can be linked to a whole host of health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, gut issues, and Alzheimer’s. And if this wasn’t bad enough, a recent study has now linked mouth bacteria to esophageal issues.
Common pesticide glyphosate (also known as Roundup), which has been labeled “carcinogenic” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has made its way into almost all non-organic food and has been shown to completely eradicate healthy microbes present in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. These microbes help manufacture important digestive enzymes that are needed for the digestion of wheat, grains, and dairy, so without them, we’re in serious trouble!
Repopulating good mouth microbes
Repopulating beneficial bacteria in the mouth might be one of the most important things we can do for our health. After all, it was first on our body’s list the moment we were born!
Straight after birth, Streptococcus salivarius first colonizes the oral cavity, esophagus and small intestine and continues to play an important role in maintaining a healthy balance of good bacteria in the mouth and upper digestive tract throughout our lifetime.
Unfortunately today, many adults and even children have lost healthy populations of S. salivarius, which is mainly due to alcohol-based, toxin-filled mouthwashes that strip away the healthy bacteria. It is, therefore, very important that we use only natural products in our mouth, that help to maintain the integrity of the microbiome in the mouth.
When bad mouth microbes take over
A species of mouth bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis, or Pg, is a major pathogen associated with periodontitis.
Jan Potempa, a professor at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, head of the department of microbiology at Jagiellonian University in Krakow says, “Pg is full of surprises and deserves far more attention than it gets…it’s a true gang leader converting good microbes into bad ones.”
Pg has been linked to many serious health concerns including rheumatoid arthritis, pneumonia, heart disease, hepatitis, and esophageal cancer.
Researchers are now finding that Pg can affect the functioning of the brain and interfere with the network of cells that protect the brain from harmful substances. Potempa and other researchers observed the presence of Pg in the brains of deceased people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Potempa says that what she found truly surprising was “finding Pg major proteins, called gingipains, in the brains at a level much higher than in mentally healthy people of the same age.”
Another discovery was also made when mice who had been orally infected with Pg, were found to have the same DNA fingerprint and changes in their brains, as seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Potempa concludes, “this result not only strongly supports that Pg brain infection may underline Alzheimer’s disease, but it pinpoints gingipains as major factors.”
It is clear that migration of bacteria from one part of the body to another is inevitable and cannot be completely prevented, however, the number of bacteria that can get into the bloodstream can greatly be reduced by improved oral hygiene and diet.
How to boost good bacteria in the mouth
- Ayurvedic practices such as oil pulling and tongue scraping
- Eating organic, plant-based food
- Probiotics – preferably from fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, kimchi, natto, and, sauerkraut
- Cutting down on sugar
- Avoiding acidic drinks
- Quitting smoking
- Getting regular dental cleanings
- Use of a healthy all-natural tooth and gum powder
Good oral hygiene is what we believe to be the foundation of good health! Traditionally, this has been defined as brushing, flossing and using a mouthwash. However, what you use to brush your teeth is extremely important. Using a brand like Good-Gums all-natural tooth and gum powder is designed especially to put essential nutrients back into your gums to help boost the good bacteria in your mouth and eradicate the bad bacteria.
Good-Gums is made with 100% natural ingredients that neutralize the pH balance in your mouth to ensure a healthy balance of oral microbiome. This healthy, thriving habitat of the mouth helps you to chew and digest food more efficiently, as well as allowing the probiotic strains (healthy bacteria) to perform protective functions in the mouth. When your mouth and oral microbiome are healthy and thriving, the rest of your body will thrive too!
Remember, a healthy mouth equals a healthy body!