Our microbiome is one of the most important contributors to good health. But did you know that the oral microbiome is vitally important because it’s connected to the gut microbiome?
So then what is the microbiome?
It’s defined as:
“The microorganisms in a particular environment (including the body or a part of the body)”
The human body is populated by an astonishing number of tiny organisms. In fact, there are trillions of them. There are more microorganisms in us than there are actual human cells – the estimates vary but it’s safe to say that there are at least three times as many non-human cells (bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses) in our body compared to our human cells. It may be as many as ten times more, or even higher. One thing we do know for sure is that the microbiome plays a huge role in our overall health.
The microbiome is an astonishingly complex ecosystem and it’s present in every part of the body.
Some of the microbes can be harmful, others are very beneficial, and many are just coexisting with us. In an ideal world, our microbiome would be in balance but we live in a challenging environment, with everything from the food we eat to the air we breath influencing our health and of course, the microbiome. when certain microbes get out of balance and become too prolific, or if we have too few of some organisms, there can be noticeable effects including inflammation, a lowered immune system, autoimmune conditions, fatigue and even mood disorders.
The gut microbiome is the best known part of the microbiome – many of us know that eating fermented food or taking probiotics supports the gut microbiome, while taking antibiotics can do a surprising amount of damage to the balance of these delicate organisms but mouth breathing is also bad news in that regard.
Mouth breathing is something I’ve discussed extensively on this site. Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose contributes to a wide range of health problems, and it can definitely have an adverse effect on the microbiome too! The mouth has its own microbiome:
“The human mouth is full of bacteria. This is totally normal, and the good and bad bacteria are usually balanced and cause no problems at all. But when you breathe through your mouth, you increase the chance of having a dry mouth, which can in turn allow the levels of certain oral bacteria to get out of control. When this happens, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll experience halitosis, better known as bad breath, and that’s something nobody wants to deal with.”
In this video, I’ll explain why the oral microbiome matters so much. The gut microbiome starts in the mouth (and the nose), and it’s affected by the way we breathe. This can in turn affect so many other aspects of our health. I hope you enjoy it!