What’s the Connection Between Gut Health and Enamel?
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
We have probably heard a thing or two about the gut microbiome and how it can have an impact on our weight, mood, and everything in between. With a lot of studies and researches confirming the connection of your gut with the heart, brain, and liver, very little is spoken about its association with the oral microbiome.
The mouth-gut axis is an issue that demands equal significance for healthy enamel and overall health. The oral microbiome sets the stage for everything that’s to come. Hence, a healthy mouth and oral microbiome will lead to a restored gut, immune system, and entire body.
Your mouth is the caretaker of your gut. Every time you swallow food, you are absorbing thousands of good and bad bacteria. The aim is not to destroy all the microorganisms in your mouth. In fact, just like the gut microbiome, there are good bacteria in your mouth that facilitate your dental health and the well-being of the rest of your body. Probiotic bacteria strains are known to perform defensive functions in the mouth. For instance, some strains discharge acids that help to keep the damaging bacteria causing tooth decay under control. Others guard against strains contributing to gum ailments and bad breath.
It is widely believed that the process of digestion begins in the mouth. Hence, healthy enamels facilitate in proper and adequate chewing of the food which in turn helps to easily digest the food in the gut. Hence, it’s important to uphold the good health and function of the enamels in order to keep the gut restored.
Karishma Jaradi, Head Dental Surgeon at Dentzz Dental, brushes up on a few of the basics that give a clear idea of the gut-enamel connection:
The link between an upset stomach and your teeth
Your digestive health can have an impact on your enamels. Recurrent abdominal upset can cause a steady wearing away of the defensive enamel on your teeth, a process known as tooth erosion. This can affect the appearance of your teeth paving the way for harmful bacteria that cause cavities. Your digestive tract tends to produce natural acids that facilitate your body in the process of digestion. Sometimes, these acids travel up the throat and into the mouth, particularly post the consumption of a large meal. Ordinarily, our saliva rebalances the acid levels in our mouths.
Impact of reflux-related erosion on the enamels
Acid reflux has the ability to wear away the teeth on your enamels inside and chewing surfaces. Unfortunately, tooth erosion is permanent. If your teeth have started to wear away, you may experience discomfort or sensitivity during the consumption of hot, cold, or sweet drinks. Discolouration of enamels, developing an abscess, experiencing tooth loss and cavities are other signs of tooth loss.
Our mouth is the mirror of our gut health
The oral microbiome tends to flow beyond the mouth and down to the digestive tract to become the gut microbiome. Hence any problem in our mouth like gum ailments and inflammation-causing bacteria can easily drip down into your gut. Researches indicate a clear association between dental and systemic ailments, with dental pathogens in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and even cardiovascular disease.
Moderate acid intake
Edibles like nuts, eggs, whole grains, plenty of water, and fresh vegetables should make up for a substantial portion of your diet to offset the impact of acid on your enamel. These edibles facilitate in protecting the enamels by working with saliva to neutralise dietary acids and offering the required calcium and phosphorus to reinstate these vital minerals to the enamels.
N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe can be contacted at email@example.com