02.19.21

How Gut Health Impacts Oral Health

It may seem unrelated that what’s going on in your stomach affects what’s going on in your mouth. The two have a connection, sure, but why is it that the health of your gut matters to the health of your mouth? Let’s get gutsy and take a look. 

WHAT IS GUT HEALTH?

To keep it simple, gut health refers to the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. You may have heard of your gut microbiome. That’s it - about 300-500 different types of microorganisms living in your gut. While it sounds like you should be alarmed - don’t be. We need many of them, the good ones, to be healthy. 

For us to digest food in a comfortable, productive way, the intestines, stomach, and esophagus have to work together, and your gut plays a big part in that. Your food has to go from your mouth to your stomach to be converted into nutrients and energy, then out of your body as waste. 

Simple concept - super complicated. In fact, it’s so complicated to study how the gastrointestinal tract works and what bacteria is good and what bacteria is bad, it is not fully understood yet. But what is understood is that your gut microbiome affects your health beyond digestion. How? Immunity, stress, chronic illness, oral health, heart and kidney disease, anxiety, depression, and more. 

We know we need diversity in the microbiome. We are striving for equilibrium. The less types of microorganisms, the more likely you are to experience ‘unhealthy’ symptoms. These can include upset stomach, constant fatigue, dementia, unintentional weight changes, sleep issues, autoimmune issues and food intolerances. It’s amazing what the wrong mix of those micro-sized bacteria can do. 

How gut health impacts oral health

THE LINK BETWEEN THE GUT AND THE MOUTH

When the equilibrium in your GI is off, an issue referred to as ‘Leaky Gut’ happens. 

Healthy balance- the tract lining is good to go. Unhealthy balance- you get leaky gut. 

Acids that form in your gut end up in your mouth and toxins are able to move freely in the body. When this happens, it’s like your mouth’s immune system is compromised. It can lead to real problems in your mouth. 

  • Gingivitis (gum disease)
  • Eroding tooth enamel
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth loss
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Cavities

The link between what’s happening in the gut affecting the mouth is mirrored in that what’s going in your mouth greatly impacts the health of your gut. Your mouth is the gatekeeper for the gut. What goes in, including microbes, enzymes, and nutrients impact your entire body.

Sometimes poor oral health is the cause of some serious issues and infections, including heart disease, Crohn’s disease, and diabetes. As mentioned before, the exact cause and link between gut microbiomes and illnesses in other parts of the body aren’t fully known. 

The links are there and the importance of taking good care of your mouth and your gut are critical to overall health. RADIUS is here for you. With the products to help you get a clean, fresh, healthy mouth, RADIUS also focuses on being an innovator for a clean, happy planet

How gut health impacts oral health

THE ROAD TO HAVING A HEALTHY GUT

You know you have all these microorganisms living in your gut, and you know it’s critical for good health to keep them in check. But how do you go about getting a healthy gut? 

The biggest factor, as you can imagine, is what you put into your mouth and what you don’t.

Do: 

  • Leafy greens - spinach, kale, arugula
  • Fiber - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds
  • Antioxidants - green tea, broccoli, avocado, kiwi
  • Bonus foods - Garlic, turmeric, salmon, mushrooms
  • Probiotics - Supplements or foods like kombucha, kimchi, tempeh, kefir, and miso
  • Brush and floss your teeth daily  
  • Regular exercise
  • Stay hydrated
  • Get a good night’s sleep

Limit or just say no:   

  • Red and processed meats
  • Dairy 
  • Sugars - high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, table sugar
  • Antibiotics
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking

And if that isn’t enough, it can actually be a good thing to get dirty. That’s right, get some dirt on your hands - plant some herbs and items in your garden, play with animals, explore the outside. The bacteria in our environment can be a part of that mix to help establish a healthy gut. 

So next time your gut feeling isn’t so great, listen to it, for the sake of your teeth and the rest of your body!