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Oral and Dental health

From something as simple as a smile there is a lot that happens with our teeth and oral cavity that you might want to know about.

Oral biome:
The oral microbiome is the second largest biome in our body, the largest being our gut. Some people say it is an extension of the gut.

When we don’t get the balance of oral health right it is a constant onslaught onto the rest of the body, as we swallow up to 140 billion bacteria every day.

Bacteria highlight. 
Streptococcus mutans 
This is the most well known and researched bacteria in relation to the oral cavity. Streptococcus mutans has been shown to produce acid within the mouth and this leads to dental caries (cavities). 
This is not only relevant in relation to the dental and oral health but when there are lower levels of S. Mutans there is a 42% decrease in middle ear infections in children.

There is a relationship between taste sensitivity and oral bacteria associating taste perception with the growth of specific bacteria in our mouth.

The overloaded toxicity produced in the mouth from the abnormal microbial environment⁠ makes eating fruit, vegetables and other detoxifying foods very uncomfortable in the mouth. This discomfort can be associated with stinging, itching or burning or simply produce a reaction that alters the taste.⁠
This is because these foods have strong detoxifying substances that try to bind to the toxins in the mouth to remove them. The problem is, these foods don’t get a chance to do that because they⁠ are overtly avoided. Imagine spraying perfume into your mouth. It tastes like a chemical, may sting and is certainly not enjoyable. This is the associated uncomfortable feeling experienced by children when they attempt to eat healthy food containing detoxifying substances. ⁠

Many children who are fussy eaters and who have communication problems are unable to communicate the uncomfortable feeling⁠ in their mouth and parents are left unaware of the degree of this discomfort.

Signs and conditions linked to an unbalanced/unhealthy oral microbiome can include:⁠
🍃 Increased plaque on the teeth that is thick, sticky, smelly and off-white (it can form a film on your teeth in the morning)⁠
🍃 Bad breath.⁠
🍃 Bleeding gums and receding gums.⁠
🍃 Sensitive teeth.⁠
🍃 Mouth ulcers.⁠
🍃 White coated tongue

The magic of saliva:

Saliva is such an amazing liquid (when healthy). It is equipped with antimicrobial elements, minerals, vitamins and other lipids to keep your mouth at the optimal pH.

Chronic stress, food additives and medications can all reduce the amount of saliva your body makes which can lead to dry mouth. 
Chewing breaks our food down into smaller pieces and mixes it with saliva, but this doesn’t happen if you are not chewing your food properly! Our oral care routine is most important at night as our saliva production is naturally lower when we are sleeping so this means that if the ecology is imbalanced in this overnight timeframe, then the negative effects are magnified.

Orthotropics - 
You might be thinking, what is this word? I’ve never heard of it. 
This is a practice that refers to the proper oral posture (where our tongue rests in our mouth) and impacts how our mouth and jaw grows and develops. 

This is because the tongue gently pushes out onto the hard palate of the top of our mouth, causing the top jaw to grow forward rather than down (which is becoming increasingly common and not proper development).

This changes a range of different things - from how well we breathe as the soft palate of the mouth in linked to the bottom of your sinus cavity,

Nutrition and facial development. 
There are key nutrients that are involved while growing that create a wider jaw and therefore space for the teeth to grow into, these nutrients were in ample supply in traditional diets. 
It has become increasingly common for western cultures to be chronically low in these nutrients that leads to narrow jaw and therefore crowding of the teeth. 
Proper development means that there is ample room for all the teeth to come through (yes including the wisdom teeth).

Not all oral care products are the same: 

Mouth washes
Alcohol based mouth rinses will kill bacteria indiscriminately within the oral cavity (the good with the bad). This over time can shift the balance away from ideal oral health. 

What to look for:
There are probiotic mouthwashes that help to shift the balance of the pH and bacteria in your mouth. Some products will support saliva production which then also helps to protect from cavity formation

Toothpastes can be formulated without synthetic preservatives, carrageenan, triclosan (the ingredient that is used in hand sanitisers to kill bacteria) and artificial sweeteners.

What to look for:
Balances pH levels-neutralizing microbes that contribute to bad breath/dry mouth/swelling.
Encourages remineralization of tooth enamel by supplying your teeth with essential vitamins and minerals-calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Made with a hydroxyapatite is a form of calcium - makes up 97% of enamel, 70% of the dentin, 60% component of bones. This means that you can literally fill in mild cavities! 

Mints and gums
Those containing sugar sweeteners accelerate and support the growth of S. Mutans which then speeds up the decay of teeth.

What to look for: 
A gum that is exclusively Xylitol based as this stimulates flow of alkaline saliva as well as pulling saliva from palatal gland that contains rich mineralized saliva coating the mouth that neutralize acids.
In 1970 1st dental research showed a 50% reduction in plaque levels eating foods with xylitol-better results than brushing!

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