The mouth is the gateway to the body
Similar to your gut, the mouth has its own microbiome. In fact, it is the second most diverse microbiome after the gut and houses approximately 700 different species of bacteria that make up 2 billion bacteria. What people may not know, is how important their oral microbiome is for not only their oral health, but also their general health. When the oral microbiome is imbalanced and there are more bad bacteria than good, problems occur. In the mouth, these problems can show as tooth decay, gum disease, ulcers and bad breath to name a few. For the rest of the body, an imbalanced oral microbiome can cause problems in a few ways.
Having lots of bad bacteria in the mouth can trigger the immune system and create a low level of inflammation. This is what we call ‘low grade chronic inflammation’. This inflammation isn’t enough for you to notice but enough to contribute and impact the rest of your body. For example, if you had a chronically infected toe, you may still be able to walk on it and use it, but the infection would be impacting your immune system and making it work harder than it needs to. This is the same if you have gum disease. If this happens for a very long time, the immune system is weakened and prone to other attacks and diseases. Secondly, if you have high levels of bad bacteria in the mouth, these bacteria can be either swallowed or travel through the blood to other parts of the body, causing infections elsewhere.
Unlike the other microbiomes, the oral microbiome is constantly under attack, hence why it is called ‘the gateway to the rest of the body’. Every time we smoke, change our diets, take medication or even kiss, our oral microbiome is vulnerable to changing. Its not all doom and gloom however! The oral microbiome is also one of the easiest microbiomes to change with a good diet, regular visits to your dentist and hygienist, and a good oral hygiene regime at home.
At The Health Society, we believe that optimising oral health can directly impact your general health. That is why we focus on balancing your oral microbiome, reducing inflammation and stabilising disease. That is also why we work very closely with our medical colleagues and functional medicine practitioners to help achieve full body health. We are also the only clinic in Europe to use salivary diagnostics to monitor bacterial levels, inflammation and enzyme activity that relates to the rest of your body.
The mouth body connection
Patients with gum disease are: