Gut Health Starts in the Mouth
The oral cavity houses over 700 different species of bacteria. It’s the second largest and most diverse microbiome in the body, only after the gut! The diversity and balance of these microorganisms aids us in feeling good, looking good, and having the strength and immunity to fight or prevent diseases.
Digestion Kickstarts in the Mouth
Some people take supplements and eat probiotic-rich foods (think kefir, kombucha, kimchi) to improve their gut microbiome. Yet the oral cavity is where digestion begins and even just by swallowing, we're sending billions of microorganisms into the digestive system. One research report stated that about 45% of bacteria in the mouth are also found in the gut! So if good probiotics are also coating the oral cavity as well as making its way into the gut, we’re on track towards balanced health and fending off infections and diseases.
Oral Probiotics are Helpful for Oral, Respiratory & Digestive Health
In addition to our genetics, nutrition, oral hygiene and frequency of teeth cleanings, supplementing with probiotics made specifically for oral health can directly aid overall health—especially for those who have teeth or gum sensitivities. These probiotics can prevent cavities, gum disease, bad breath, respiratory infections (common colds, strep throat, sinus infections, etc.), bronchitis, tonsillitis, and even oral cancer. They can boost immunity and our ability to heal and nourish our bodies efficiently. As a bonus, there are no known side effects associated with dental probiotics!
Dental probiotics exist in drink-form, as mouth rinses, lozenges or chew tablets. For maximum effectiveness, eating prebiotic foods with oral probiotics feeds the probiotic bacteria and helps them thrive. Snack on an apple or banana, have oats for breakfast, add garlic or onions to your home cooking, or savor some asparagus or shiitake mushrooms to feed your probiotic friends!
Sources: Ask the Dentist, US National Library of Medicine, Frontiers in Microbiology