Get my Sunday Times best selling book: Eat More, Live Well

Back

Heard of the oral microbiome?

Oral microbe
Back

I wanted to give you guys an introduction to an area of research which is SO exciting right now: the oral microbiome.

You know that you have trillions of microbes living in your gut – but you ALSO have billions of microbes living in your mouth. It can feel intuitive to associate these with unpleasant stuff – trips to the dentists to have cavities filled, anyone? – but they’re not always bad.

In fact, the RIGHT community of microbes in your mouth can be highly protective of your overall health.

Here’s your oral microbiome 101…

  1. Around 700 different species of oral microbes have been identified, so far
  2. These bacteria are now thought to influence your flavour profile (so, how you perceive the taste of food.)
  3. Studies show that moving to a plant-based, diverse diet can alter your oral microbiome. It’s possible that this is part of the reason why you start to crave more plants the more you eat!
  4. That’s not all: studies also show that the impacts of the microbes in your mouth do not finish at your oral health – in fact, they have been implicated in wide-spread health conditions (a person’s oral microbiome has been associated with rheumatoid arthritis and even depression in young adults, for example.)

The takeaway? The bacteria in your mouth are not always baddies. Much like your GM, an IMBALANCE can create problems. But, as with any party, the correct blend of attendees can be a beautiful thing.