The human body is home to a vast ecosystem of microorganisms responsible for keeping everything in check - from the gut to the oral cavity. When it comes to the mouth, this bustling community of microorganisms, known as the oral microbiome or oral microbiota, plays an essential role in maintaining our oral health. The oral microbiome is a complex and diverse environment composed of various types of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms - so let’s break it down:
WHAT IS THE ORAL MICROBIOME AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The oral microbiome refers to the collection of microorganisms that inhabit the mouth, including the teeth, gums, tongue, and cheeks. It is a dynamic ecosystem that evolves throughout our lives, influenced by various factors such as diet, oral hygiene practices, and genetics.
The oral microbiome is important for several reasons:
- Dental Health: The balance of bacteria in the mouth is closely linked to oral health. An imbalance in the oral microbiome can lead to dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
- Immune System Support: The oral microbiome interacts with the immune system and can influence systemic health. A healthy oral microbiome helps to strengthen the body's defences against harmful pathogens.
- Digestive Health: The oral cavity is the starting point of the digestive system. A balanced oral microbiome aids in the initial breakdown of food and the promotion of proper digestion.
- Overall Well-Being: Emerging research suggests that the oral microbiome may have an impact on overall health, including cardiovascular health, respiratory health, and even mental health.
COMMON ORAL MICROBIOME BACTERIA
The oral microbiome is home to numerous species of bacteria, some of which are considered "good" bacteria that support oral health, while others are "bad" bacteria that can contribute to dental problems. Some common oral bacteria include:
- Streptococcus mutans: This bacterium is infamous for its role in tooth decay. It metabolises sugars and produces acids that can erode tooth enamel.
- Porphyromonas gingivalis: This bacterium is associated with gum disease and periodontitis. It can lead to inflammation of the gums and eventual tooth loss if not controlled.
- Salivary Bacteria: These bacteria help to maintain a neutral pH in the mouth, preventing the growth of acid-producing bacteria.
HOW DO YOU BUILD A HEALTHY ORAL MICROBIOME?
Building a healthy oral microbiome is essential for maintaining oral health. Here are some tips to help you cultivate a balanced oral microbiome:
- Oral Hygiene: Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily to remove food particles and plaque.
- Diet: Consume a balanced diet that is low in sugary and acidic foods. These can feed harmful bacteria and contribute to tooth decay.
- Probiotics for the Mouth: Consider using dental probiotics to support your oral microbiome. Dental probiotics, like those containing the BLIS M18® strain, are specifically designed to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth, specifically the teeth & gums..
- Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings. Your dentist can identify and address any oral health issues early.
- Limit Alcohol and Tobacco: Excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use can disrupt the oral microbiome and increase the risk of oral health problems.
HOW DO YOU RESTORE YOUR MOUTH MICROBIOME?
If your oral microbiome has been disrupted due to factors such as illness, medication, or poor oral hygiene, it's possible to restore it to a healthier state. Here are some steps to help restore your mouth microbiome:
- Probiotic Supplements: Consider taking oral probiotic supplements that contain beneficial bacteria, like ToothGuard® with BLIS M18®. These supplements can help replenish and rebalance the oral microbiome.
- Antibiotic Awareness: If you've recently taken antibiotics, be aware that they can disrupt the oral microbiome. After completing a course of antibiotics, consider taking probiotics to restore balance.
- Healthy Diet: Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which can promote a healthy oral microbiome.
- Hydration: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Adequate hydration supports saliva production, which helps maintain a balanced oral microbiome.
- Limit Sugar: Reduce your intake of sugary foods and beverages, as sugar can promote the growth of harmful bacteria.
SUPPORT ORAL HEALTH WITH BLIS DENTAL PROBIOTICS
Nurturing a balanced oral microbiome is essential for maintaining good oral health and supporting overall well-being. Incorporating practices like oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and the use of dental probiotics can help you support and maintain a harmonious oral microbiome. Shop the range of dental probiotics by BLIS Probiotics today.
To learn more about microbiomes, read our blog: What is a Microbiome?