In my previous post, I discussed how not only our mother’s diet played a major role in formulating our gut flora, but also the oral flora was found in the placenta of newborns. This had me thinking about gum disease and the correlation to our guts. For those of us who visit the dentist every 6 months to get scraped and prodded (my fav) we either leave there blooded and miserable or chippier and smiley. For 70% of adults, we are more the former. Why? Because flossing and brushing just aren’t enough. There is a deeper problem. No, its not the plaque being formed, or tartar, or whatever they try force feed you. The bacteria are being able to thrive thanks to the body failing to come up with the proper defense system to get rid of their destructive path.
You know when your mouth is inflamed. Bleeding, swollen gums aren’t normal. If it progresses below the gum line you develop periodontitis, which eventually could mean tooth loss. What up veneers! And then we have that whole connection of heart disease and oral health being linked together. The obvious solution is to rid the bacteria of the mouth with antibiotics, and brush those pearly whites until they shine bright like a diamond. Thats the band-aid effect.
My hypothesis leads me to believe our poor oral health has to do with not only poor oral flora, but our ability to combat the pathogenic wastes and reproduction in our mouths. This is due to lack of vitamins in our blood plasma, especially to treat inflammation in our mouths.
We absorb most of our water soluble vitamins in our small intestines, where molecules pick them up in the jejunum. There they travel to their necessary organs and we function just as normal. Also the villa in our guts absorb these vitamins too. These villa are finger like structures that grow on the walls of our intestines. They are essential for absorbing nutrients. Say, we have SIBO or we have a damaged gut due to pathogenic microbes eating away at our villa, there is a shortage of vitamins going to our blood system due to the receding villa.
The signs may be subtle at first, but this malabsorption of these vital nutrients continuously happens, this opens the door for pathogenic microbes to attack.
Normally these vitamins and nutrients would give the body what it needs to combat these pathogenic microbes. Removing their waste, and giving the body the fuel it needs to rid these selfish microbes.
In the case for our mouth, these wastes can come in the form of dog breath, biofilm aka plaque build up, and staining. Worse is when the microbes get below the gumline where our external defenses (toothbrush and floss) are useless. Its all on our body at that point. Pockets form, pathogenic microbes are just having a buffet on your gums. Eventually you’ll be like the main character from “How to Train Your Dragon”, TOOTHLESS.
What other problem leads to poor oral health, loss of teeth, and the inflammation of the gums? Oh, just scurvy. Scurvy occurs with the lack of Vitamin C being consumed and a major deficiency occurring. Symptoms include, gum disease, malaise, lethargy, bleeding from mucus membranes, jaundice, fever, death…
Here’s some quotes from Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 11th Ed.
“Inadequate nutrition can cause the oral epithelial to either break down or to be compromised, thus increasing the tissue’s susceptibility to infectious disease.”
You can eat all the organic produce and grass fed beef you want, but if your gut isn’t functioning properly, you will continue to have vitamin deficiencies. You need to have 1) the right microbes working for your gut 2) a healthy, flourishing villi in the small intestines.
“No scientifically sound evidence supports a direct relationship between periodontal disease and ascorbic acid [Vitamin C] status in any population other than smokers…”
But what about other key vitamins like Vitamin A and D? Those have been linked to the dreaded periodontal disease.
And here is the jugular.
“Optimal functioning of the host’s cellular and humoral immune system and phagocytic system and the integrity of the oral mucosa are important to the maintenance of periodontal health and prevention of periodontal disease.”
Boom sauce. With poor gut flora and and an inflamed gut that has lost the ability to absorb our nutrients we are left with a defenseless oral flora. An open attack with no back up. Thus repairing the flora is absolutely NECESSARY to not only heal your gut, but in making sure you don’t end up looking like this: