How Your Oral Health Affects Your Digestive Health

Body diagram illustrating the organs of the human digestive system

Digestion begins as soon as you put food in your mouth, so it makes sense your oral health affects your digestive health. Here are three main ways:

  1. Bacteria From Your Mouth Can Travel to Your Gut
  2. The human body is packed with bacteria. Most of it is harmless and some are even beneficial! That’s true for the bacteria in your mouth, but some mouth bacteria can cause issues. Plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria always forming on your teeth, is responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for cleanings keep this bacteria at a manageable level. However, if you don’t maintain good oral hygiene, bacteria builds up and can travel to your gut, causing stomach issues.

  3. Dry Mouth Can Contribute to Indigestion
  4. Did you know the average human produces around three pints of saliva every day? Saliva washes away bacteria and neutralizes tooth-eroding acid. It also starts the digestion process by making food easier to swallow and break down. If you don’t produce enough saliva, you may experience indigestion. What causes dry mouth? There are a handful of triggers, including certain medications, high alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and dehydration.

  5. Tooth Loss Can Result in a Less Nutritious Diet
  6. Some of the healthiest foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are full of fiber. Fibrous foods are harder to chew if you’ve lost any teeth. The more teeth you’re missing, the harder it is to have a balanced, varied diet. This affects your digestive health, as well as the health of your whole body. To restore your smile, consider treatments like a bridge, dentures, or dental implants.

Protect Your Oral Health at True Dental in Odenton, MD

Your oral health could be connected to digestive issues you’re currently experiencing. Factors like bacteria buildup, dry mouth, and tooth loss can negatively impact your digestive health. At our office, we care about the health of your whole body. Please contact us today with questions or to schedule an appointment!

Contact Us