The Oral Microbiome: Healthy Mouth Healthy Body
ByJoanne Aponte, ND •November 3, 2021
Residing in our mouths are a variety of organisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa. These organisms make up our oral microbiome. Some of these organisms however, are disease causing and potential triggers of systemic illness, inflammation and immune dysregulation.
An unhealthy oral microbiome in which pathogenic organisms dominate are linked with several underlying health conditions including cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, pneumonia and even some cancers. If you have been diagnosed with one of these conditions, improving your oral microbiome is an essential piece of restoring health.
Signs of an unhealthy oral microbiome include: gum disease and gingivitis, periodontitis, excess plaque, dental caries, infected or abscessed teeth, history of root canal and bad breath.
Maintaining oral health should be one of the pillars and fundamentals of health alongside healthy diet, exercise, good sleep and stress management.
Here are some simple at home ways you can improve your oral health and maintain a healthy oral microbiome:
- Floss twice daily and have routine dental cleanings every 6 months.
- Maintain a healthy diet that is low in sugar and low in processed or refined carbohydrates.
- Drink Green tea – studies have shown that green tea can help control the bacteria residing in the mouth
- Use Xylitol – xylitol reduces risk of cavities and inhibits streptococcus mutans (the main microbe that causes cavities)
- Chew one piece of xylitol gum per day
- Rinse with Xylitol mouth wash. This can be purchased or you can make your own by mixing ¼ – ½ tsp of xylitol in water. Rinse mouth for 60 seconds 1-2x/day
- If you have oral health conditions such as gum disease, periodontitis, excess plaque, bad breath, history of root canal or dental caries consider oil pulling and using a germ fighting mouth wash twice daily.
- Coconut oil pulling
- Swish approx. 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the mouth. Start with 5-10 minutes/day and work up to 20 minutes/day. Swish in your mouth and then spit out (do not swallow). Do not rinse your mouth afterwards. You can do this in the shower, while you do your hair/makeup, while you sit at your desk working or when preparing a meal. Choose a time that works well for you.
- Oil pulling helps the excretion of toxic heavy metals by saliva, helps normalize biofilms in the mouth and can kill certain disease causing bacteria and yeasts.
- Germ fighting mouthwash – use twice daily, rinse for 60 seconds. Options include Glyco Thymoline or Dentalcidin oral care solution.
- Coconut oil pulling
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.