Improving Oral Microbiome Health

Melissa Martin, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Certified Pilates Instructor |

I recently went to my dentist and was informed that I desperately needed to remineralize my teeth. During my pregnancy with my daughter, I was very sick and it took a toll on my teeth. I have also dealt with inflamed gums no matter how much I floss or use medicated mouthwashes. It seemed no matter what I did, I wasn’t making any headway. This was frustrating, as I was diligently following my dentist’s instructions. Enter the world the holistic oral health.

I started researching holistic and biological dentistry and realized there was an entirely different treatment paradigm available. It focuses on treating the root cause to various issues as well as improving oral microbiome health. You may be familiar with our gut microbiome, which determines numerous factors of our overall health. What I didn’t know is that we have an oral microbiome that also significantly correlates to our overall health and is relatively unknown by the general population. Similar to the gut, if this is out of whack, it is impossible to resolve or prevent many oral health issues regardless of other things you may be doing.

Signs Of an Unhealthy Oral Microbiome

Symptoms such as bad breath, bleeding and irritated gums, mouth breathing and upper-airway issues, a white film on the top of your tongue, and poor-quality enamel can all reflect or worsen an unhealthy oral microbiome. This started making a lot more sense when the conventional treatments weren’t working for me. Research has shown that the overall state of our health is directly tied to our oral microbiome, making this a particular area of interest and priority.

Ways To Improve Your Oral Microbiome

  1. Change your toothbrush every 3 months (or sooner). Bad bacteria can lurk around and be reintroduced back into your mouth.
  2. Use a tongue scraper. Cleaning your tongue is a vital part of your oral health routine to reduce bacteria and bad breath.
  3. Brush twice and floss once per day for optimal hygiene.
  4. Avoid all alcohol-based products, such as mouthwash and breath strips. Look for alcohol-free versions instead.
  5. Use a remineralizing toothpaste. Most adults have some kind of wear and tear on their tooth enamel due to many factors, such as whitening products or illnesses.
  6. Add in an oral probiotic mouth rinse and remineralizing toothpaste. My personal favorite is from the brand Boka. Using these two products together has been a game-changer in my overall oral health. They are completely non-toxic and taste great!
  7. Avoid fluoride-based products. Fluoride is a neurotoxin and can exasperate certain health issues, such as certain thyroid conditions.
  8. Oil pulling. This is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that helps the mouth and body detox by swishing oil in your mouth first thing in the morning. Start with 5 minutes and work your way up to 15-20 for optimal health. This also does an excellent job at reducing tarter buildup and improving gum health.

With a little effort and intention, we can easily and rapidly improve our overall oral health, and subsequently, our overall body’s health. I highly recommend checking out the brand Boka to make some oral microbiome-friendly swaps and seeing a biological dentist for a customized plan for your personal dental health.