Health should be holistic- meaning that every aspect of a persons health should be considered.
An area which is often overlooked is oral health, and the impact that it has on the rest of the body.
Many studies have shown that the impact of oral health on the rest of the body is vast.
The digestive tract in particular can be greatly impacted. Gut bacteria has been found to be lowered in people that have poor dental and periodontal health. There is a greater presence of bad bacteria in these people's digestive tract as well. A study has also been done that links poor oral health with an increased risks of oesophageal cancer.
Several studies have also been able to link oral hygiene, health and dentist visit with an increased prevalence of diabetes. While the mechanism of this is still unknown its important to consider the systemic effect that oral health can have on the body. One long term study has even linked elderly people that don't wear dentures and have fewer teeth with an increased risk of experiencing falls.
So how can you protect your oral health.
Lets start with the basics.
1. Visit your dentist regularly- at LEAST once a year
2. Brush your teeth morning and night
3. Floss every day
4. Avoid excess sugar
I'm assuming that everyone will know the above points. And if you don't, well book an appointment with your dentist now and come back to this article later.
But did you know that there are other ways to support good oral health along with the above points?
Oil puling refers to the ancient Ayurvedic practice of pulling oil around your mouth for 15-20min each morning before you break the fast. It is said to help gently detoxify the body. If it is done with coconut oil it can be fantastic for maintaing healthy teeth and gums through the oils natural antibacterial and anti fungal properties, removing plaque without impacting the health of the teeth and gums.
Pro-Tip: make sure you spit the oil out and rinse your mouth after you are done. If you swallow the oil the whole exercise is redundant as you are consuming the toxins and wastes that you have just drawn out.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol which is used as a natural sweetener in many sugar free products. Xylitol is antibacterial and can help to fight tooth decay in the mouth. It works to balance the pH of the mouth, keeping enamel and gums strong and healthy. Toothpastes and chewing gums that contain xylitol are beneficial for reducing tooth decay, although it all depends on the concentration of xylitol present.