The mouth is home to the second most diverse microbial community in the body, harbouring over 700 species of bacteria that colonise the hard surfaces of teeth. As individuals we each harbour, on average, about 100-200 of these individual species of bacteria. Recent technological advances have meant that we have a much better understanding of this ‘oral microbiome’ and the role it plays in health and disease and we now know that it contributes not only to oral health but to general well-being. After all, your mouth is the gateway to your gastro-intestinal tract and the rest of your body.
If you are suffering from bad breath and/or bleeding gums, these could be the first signs that the bacteria in your mouth, known as the oral microbiome, is out of balance and that you are suffering from gum disease, potentially increasing your chances of developing chronic inflammatory conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s
Dr Mark Ide, Reader of Periodontology at King’s College London, writes “Research has shown that gum disease can elevate the levels of molecules in the bloodstream that are involved in the inflammatory response throughout the body” and this in turn can lead to the development and progression of a range of chronic disease conditions throughout the body.
Regular trips to the dentist are not just about avoiding tooth decay and fillings, they should be seen as an essential part of maintaining general health, equally as important as visiting the doctor, going to the gym and eating a healthy diet. If you are concerned about the state of your mouth or want to know more about the signs of gum disease, fighting and/or reversing gum disease, or if you would like to know more about gum disease and its’ associated health risks, then read on and find out what we at Functional Medicine Associates are offering our patients when it comes to improving and monitoring their oral health.
Given the high prevalence of gum disease and periodontitis (advanced gum disease) amongst our patients we have for several years now explored and tested both the bacteria in the mouth and the associated genetic risk factors for periodontal disease. Our training and the continued scientific research means In effect, at Functional Medicine Associates we are bringing the mouth back to the body.
This content was originally published here.