In recent years, we’ve become more aware of how important our gut health really is for different bodily functions and systems. The digestive system and immune system can depend on the bacteria that are in the gut. But did you know that your digestive and immune health actually begins in the mouth? They are closely related and can impact each other for better or worse. In this post, learn about this relationship and how you can optimize both.
Oral Signs of Digestive Distress
When you experience problems in your gut, your mouth can be among the first to show symptoms. The following are examples of conditions that manifest in the oral cavity:
Immune Imbalance or Autoimmune Diseases
Your immune system’s main function is to protect your body from pathogens and harmful viruses and bacteria. If you experience imbalance in your immune system or have an autoimmune disease, your body can be inefficient or even attack the wrong cells altogether. If you notice mouth ulcers, inflamed gums, discolored or poorly formed tooth enamel, your immune system could be to blame. Two examples of autoimmune diseases that often cause oral problems include Celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
If you are not consuming enough essential vitamins and minerals, your mouth can suffer the consequence. Some can experience burning mouth syndrome, which entails a burning sensation in the mouth with loss of taste, dry mouth, and oral inflammation. A swollen tongue could indicate a deficiency in folic acid and B vitamins as well.
It is important to regulate your blood sugar levels not only to stay healthy but also to protect your oral health. Patients with type 2 diabetes, particularly if it is poorly managed, often find that their ability to heal is impaired. As a result, they tend to have a higher risk of gum disease.
Oral Problems That May Impact Your Digestion
While medical issues in the digestive system can impact the mouth, the reverse is also true—what occurs in the mouth can affect your gut health. For example, gum disease is caused by inflammation from harmful bacteria found in plaque and tartar. As your food enters your digestive system, some of these bacteria may do so as well, potentially causing disruptions in your gut’s microbiome, or the population of bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tract.
If you would like to improve your digestive health, a good place to start is taking care of your mouth with your family dentist in Lincoln. By controlling the bacteria in your mouth, you can help your gut stay as healthy as possible. Also, if you pay attention to any unusual symptoms in your mouth, you may be able to catch and treat a larger problem within your digestive system.
About the Practice
At Pioneer Greens Dentistry, our three dentists are dedicated to helping patients maintain a healthy mouth, which in turn helps promote overall health. With decades of combined dentistry experience, Dr. Chris Haag, Dr. Claire Haag, and Dr. Sean Pauley can recognize signs of more serious conditions and help patients seek the treatment they need. To schedule an appointment with them, you can call (402) 483-7502 or click here.