Many of the ways to nurture and enhance the probiotic bacterial activity in your oral cavity are similar to those used for your gut. For example, by eating high-fibre vegetables, you can nourish your good oral bacteria along with your friendly gut bacteria, further down the track.
However, there are slight differences between the needs of your probiotic oral bacteria compared to those of your gut bacteria. Additionally, your oral cavity is a unique microbial environment that is physiologically different from your gut. Improving its blood vessels & nerves, salivary glands, chemical signalling function to the brain and cellular efficiency can enhance oral probiotic flora and lower levels of oral pathogens.
The oral and gut microbiota work together to keep us healthy
Even though the oral and gut microbiotas appear to be separate entities, they work synergistically to nourish our body and protect it from infection and disease. So it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t effectively improve one microbiota without improving the other as well.
For example, you might take a daily gut probiotic supplement – but what about the billions of oral pathogens you swallow every day that make it through the stomach acid barrier and colonise the gut?
So, what are the most beneficial ways to give your probiotic oral bacteria a huge boost?
Tips to improve your probiotic oral bacteria and more
You can nurture your probiotic oral bacteria, optimise your oral PH and improve your oral health with the following foods and oral care/lifestyle habits:
- Eat, chew or drink (with pulp) nitrate-rich high fibre vegetables to maintain and improve the oral microbiome including celery, beetroot, rocket, chard, rhubarb, fennel and oak leaf lettuce.
- Eat, chew or drink (with pulp) prebiotic high fibre foods that help feed probiotic oral bacteria, including nuts, fruits and seeds.
- Chew more fibre to create an “oral garden mulch” to feed probiotic bacteria.
- Use your toothbrush, flosser and tongue scraper to manually remove bacterial plaque – helps keep bacterial numbers between species balanced and in check.
- Avoid excessive use of anti-microbial mouthwashes since they can harm the oral microbiome, taking out good and bad bacteria. Use mouthwashes with prebiotics that target specific bacteria.
- Avoid alcohol. Binge drinking can completely disrupt the diversity of your oral microbiome and enable harmful bacteria to flourish.
- Avoid smoking which can disrupt saliva flow and dry out the oral cavity.