HOW TO IMPROVE AND MAINTAIN A HEALTHY ORAL MICROBIOME
8 steps to promote a healthy balance of mouth bacteria, and also make sure that your system is protected when imbalances are present.
1. Maintain good oral hygiene with brushing and flossing. Brush preferably following a meal. Flossing is important to rid material not just between teeth but below the gum line where your toothbrush may not reach. Bonus points if you add tongue scraping to your routine too.
2. Eat a diet low in added and excess sugars and simple carbohydrates. Bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars, promoting the growth of unwanted strains and an increase in the acidity of the mouth - the body buffers this acidity with calcium release from the tooth enamel leading to decay. Eventually, the calcium release is not enough to buffer the acidity and more pathogenic strains behind gingivitis and periodontitis can start to grow as the oral environment becomes more favorable to their growth.
3. Consume alcohol responsibly. Too much alcohol is antiseptic and can kill wanted bacteria - plus it’s a source of energy for unwanted microbes. Alcohol is often consumed in carb-heavy beer, wine, or clear liquors with sugary liqueurs and mixers which can feed bacteria and yeast. The breakdown product of alcohol is acetaldehyde which is highly toxic and creates a systemic inflammatory state and depletes you of valuable antioxidants like glutathione.
4. Proactively maintain a good balance of microbes in the mouth with the help of tongue scraping, and microbially-active toothpaste like das experten SYMBIOS and microbime-freindly mouthwashes.
5. Maintain good bile flow. Bile acids are antimicrobial in nature and bile flow can get sludgy with SIBO, leaky gut, and gastrointestinal overwork and inflammation.
6. Maintain good acidity in the gut.
7. Treat H. pylori when overgrown and irritating the stomach mucosa and lining. Recent research has shown that H. pylori can also live in the oral mucosa - making dental hygiene important to prevent H. pylori overgrowth or infection, as well as mitigate risk of recurrence.
8. Treat stress seriously. Stress inhibits immune activity and also overrides “rest and digest” signals of the body - contributing to impaired bile flow, acid and enzyme secretion, as well as degradation of the stomach and intestinal linings. Take periodic 10-14 day breaks from coffee. Watch chocolate intake. Watch for hidden sources of wheat and cow’s milk in your diet. Alcohol is used as a relaxant but it also is a source of cortisol release. High stress can reduce saliva production as well. And, although saliva contains mouth bacteria, it also contains enzymes and immune cells that start the process of digestion and immune protection.