Oral Dysbiosis: Gut and Health Problems
The oral microbiota comprises over 700 different microbes. Yet they can affect your digestive system and wider health. Oral microbiota is an integral part of your body’s ecosystem. Dysbiosis in the oral microbiome is associated with different oral diseases.
What is oral microbiota?
Your mouth is home to a complex microbial community of bacteria, viruses or fungi. Because of its relatively warm temperature and its inherent nutrients, the environment in the mouth is ideal for microbes. In the human body, the oral microbiome is second only to the gut in terms of abundance. Microorganisms in the oral cavity coexist in dense communities called biofilms.
How oral microbiota affects the gut?
The gut is a complex ecosystem where bacteria, viruses, or fungi thrive. These microorganisms work in harmony in keeping your body healthy. The beneficial bacteria provide a range of benefits, such as:
- Boosting your immune system
- Strengthening the gut barrier
- Protecting your body from harmful pathogens
Immune cells, probiotics, and stomach acids are all barriers that prevents harmful microbes from entering. Despite the gut’s numerous barriers mouth bacteria can still infiltrate the gut and disrupt the balance. Unbalanced microbiomes in the gut are known as dysbiosis, and they're associated with a number of health problems.
Gut dysbiosis may cause harmful bacteria to dominate your gut, resulting in poor gut health. These bacteria can negatively affect your health by:
- Triggering inflammation
- Release unhealthy metabolites and toxins
Saliva transports oral bacteria throughout the body, including your gut. Some are destroyed by stomach acids, but others are acid-resistant. P. gingivalis for example, is linked with gut dysbiosis. Your gut lining will generally not be colonized with the bacteria you swallow. In certain serious diseases, however, there has been an increase of oral bacteria in the gut, suggesting that the two may be linked.
Gut health and oral microbiome
Evidence is emerging that the oral microbiome is connected to gut health. There are certain bacteria present in the mouth, including P. gingivalis, that could cause gut dysbiosis. P. gingivalis that causes periodontitis can also cause diseases linked to gut dysbiosis.
Also, having mouth issues like gum disease can result in gut dysbiosis when you swallow the saliva with bacteria. These bacteria can withstand the stomach acidity as it travels down the gut. Then, it triggers the immune system and promotes inflammation.
In a separate study, P. gingivalis can significantly alter the gut lining, affecting its integrity and function. The gut lining serves as a barrier. It allows nutrients to pass through. At the same time, it prevents harmful microorganisms and toxins to pass through.
A compromised intestinal barrier allows harmful bacteria to get in resulting in inflammation and immune response. This increases your risk from diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and colon cancer.
Probiotic supplements for oral and gut health
It might seem strange to take probiotics for your teeth and gums. However, it turns out that the supplements may help you maintain a healthy mouth. Regular consumption of probiotics can lower your risk of gum disease and other problems associated with oral health. Supplements with beneficial bacteria may help manage cavities and gum disease. It does this by restoring the balance of good bacteria in the mouth, which can’t be achieved with traditional dental treatments.