In our last episode, we met Emily who was dealing with fatigue, brain fog, dry mouth, bad breath and problems with her gut health. We discovered that the root cause of her health issues was in her mouth – namely that she was suffering from undetected infections and was experiencing Mercury leaching from her silver amalgam fillings. Dealing with this root cause carefully while supporting her immune health resulted in a massive improvement in her day-to-day well-being. Plus, she even reduced her Hashimoto’s antibodies significantly!
If you missed that surprising episode – listen to it here.
Helping me out with the last case was dentist to the stars, Dr. Kourosh Maddahi. Our conversation went well beyond the dangers of mercury fillings and hidden dental infections. We also talked in depth about the importance of paying attention to the microbiome of your mouth (yes, your mouth – it’s not just your gut that has a microbiome!) That conversation was so important that I wanted to make sure to share it with you. So, this week, we are continuing our conversation about obtaining optimal dental health to support your overall well-being.
How Food Impacts our Dental Health
Most of us know that sugar can cause tooth decay, but Dr. Maddahi says that our diet has a bigger impact on our oral health than this. He believes that pesticides we ingest (when we are not eating organic food, for example) can seriously impact our mouth’s natural biome.
The Microbiome of the Mouth
When people hear ‘microbiome’ chances are their thoughts go to the gut. It’s what we talk about the most! But, your body has other biomes including a delicate one in the mouth. And, like the one in your gut, the mouth needs both good and bad bacteria to balance out to optimal. Dr. Maddahi says that the mouth’s microbiome has been under attack with the increasing focus on eradicating all bacteria in the mouth. Mouthwashes, sprays, toothpastes all promote being anti-bacteria (usually in their promise to get rid of bad breath). However, these products don’t just kill the bad bacteria, they kill the good bacteria too, leaving the cells in the mouth unprotected and the mouth’s microbiome in an unhealthy state.
In addition, the body requires certain bacteria to stimulate the creation of certain vitamins. For example, it’s required for the production of Vitamin K. Without proper levels of vitamin K, blood may not coagulate properly.
Digestion Starts in the Mouth
When we think about digestive issues, we don’t often think about where the process starts. In order to digest our food properly, we have to first chew it properly. We also need a healthy mouth biome for the food to start breaking down. The gut has 144 strains of microbiome and about half of those are also found in the mouth. So, the process of digesting our food really does start in the mouth.
Dry Mouth Can Cause Big Problems
Saliva is a part of the defense mechanism in the mouth as a natural antibiotic. It plays a role in maintaining a healthy microbiome. However, there are over 450 medications that cause dry mouth. This is more than a discomfort. Dry mouth increases the chances of cavities. Without sufficient saliva, these cavities can develop very quickly – even with good oral hygiene.
Maintaining Healthy Microbiome in the Mouth
Ninety-eight percent of the bacteria in your mouth is good bacteria. However, that percentage can fluctuate when bad bacteria spikes. These spikes are caused by things like eating sugar, nutrition, not cleaning the mouth regularly and allowing plaque to harden on the teeth. The fear of bad mouth bacteria causes some people to reach for an antiseptic mouthwash. While these products do kill the 2% of bad bacteria, they also kill off the 98% of bacteria that’s good – the bacteria that’s protecting your mouth (and your gut). It’s much better to avoid sugar, toxins, and practice good dental hygiene to control the bad bacteria.
Brushing Your Teeth Properly
Brushing and flossing regularly is key to removing plaque before it can harden on the teeth. However, Dr. Maddahi says that most people are doing it wrong. In fact, he says improper brushing or use of the wrong kind of toothbrush causes 50% of the recessive gums he sees in his practice. Toothbrushes should have soft bristles otherwise, it will damage the gums. He also says that you should not be scrubbing your teeth or going back and forth with the brush because it can damage the gums and remove important tooth enamel. Instead, he recommends holding the toothbrush at a 45°, starting at the gum level and brushing down (or up for the bottom teeth) followed by a very gentle circular motion to remove plaque.
If using an electric toothbrush, don’t use it the same way you would a manual toothbrush; let the mechanics do the work instead.
Select a Non-Toxic Toothpaste
Dr. Maddahi says that it’s important to select a toothpaste that is not going to disrupt the balance of your mouth’s microbiome and that is not going to introduce toxins. He has developed a dental care product line that naturally neutralizes the toxins and bad bacteria without destroying the good bacteria. Dr. Maddahi has created a natural tooth-care product line called Oral Essentials that he says is proven effective in 51 clinical research studies. There are a variety of products including one for whitening (without the enamel damaging peroxide) and one for kids.
After my conversation with Dr. Maddahi, I changed the way I brushed my teeth and was inspired to try the Oral Essentials. We can’t take our teeth for granted but there is so much more to caring for them than just making sure they are sparkling white. Since the mouth is the gateway to our guts, how well we take care of it will directly affect our gut-health which we know is so central to good health.
Eliminating Health Mysteries
Could a simple change to your oral health practices have a big impact on your overall health? There are so many health mysteries that could be caused by the microbiome in the mouth. Could this be the missing clue for you or someone in your life?
Thanks to my guest, Dr. Kourosh Maddahi. You can connect with him through his website or on Instagram. You can also check out his line of natural dental care products – Oral Essentials here and make sure you use the promo code INNA15 to save 15%!
OralEssentials.com (save 15% with promo code: INNA15)
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