Oral Care (beyond brushing!)

Taking care of your oral health isn’t necessarily on the top of everyone’s priority list…. but it should be! We now know that gum disease is a risk factor for a variety of health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, asthma, osteoporosis, different types of cancer, gut dysbiosis, and overall systemic inflammation. 

The point is, the health of your mouth is actually super important to your overall health. 

While brushing your teeth and flossing are certainly a daily essential, many of us don’t think beyond that, but oral health is so much more than brushing and flossing (although these are great cornerstones)! Lucky for you, we’ve got the scoop on what simple practices you can incorporate to increase your oral health and therefore your overall health and quality of life. 

 

The Oral Microbiome

Did you know that you have an oral microbiome? Awareness about gut health and the gut microbiome has skyrocketed, but it’s super easy to forget that every part of our body has its own microbiome. The gut, mouth, heart, lungs, skin, genitals, and more all together make up the human biome. The old model of oral care called for trying to eliminate all bacteria from the mouth, much like how we used to treat the gut. Now we know that certain bacteria are super important to oral health, as well as throat, sinus, and ear health!

We have an awesome product here at the pharmacy called Oralbiotic. This product is actually a probiotic for your mouth! It contains a strain of bacteria called Streptococcus salivarius K12, which evidence shows can prevent bacterial and viral infections such as strep, tonsillitis, and ear infections. Additional research is promising, with showing an ability to help get rid of halitosis (bad breath) and dental cavities, as well as possibly upregulating immunity against respiratory viral infections (1, 2).

Put simply, taking an oral probiotic works much like taking gut probiotics. When you populate your mouth and throat with health-promoting bacteria, it leaves very little real estate for any foreign pathogens to move in! This is an awesome remedy for anyone, adults and children both, who suffer from frequent bad breath, sore throats, or sinus and ear infections. All you have to do is suck on a yummy lozenge and voila, your defenses are improved and ready-to-go. 

 

Oil Pulling

The next trick we’ve got for you is oil pulling! This ancient Ayurvedic practice has gained popularity in recent years due to its variety of health benefits. Oil pulling consists of swishing a small spoonful of oil around your mouth and through your teeth from anywhere from a couple to twenty minutes. Oil pulling assists the mouth and body in detoxification by removing plaque, bacteria, viruses, and other toxins from the mouth. This of course promotes healthy teeth and gums, while some folks report better skin, less acne, less ear and sinus infections, and reduced allergies and asthma.

Traditionally coconut and sesame oil was used, and these are still what is most frequently used due to a variety of benefits. Coconut oil is antimicrobial and an emollient, meaning it soothes mucous membranes and reduces inflammation - which is great for your gums. Here at Remedy we have a super cleansing Oil Pulling Mouthwash by Georganics made from organic virgin coconut oil and a variety of added essential oils, which have their own added health benefits (see below).

 

Essential Oils

In very small amounts, essential oils are an awesome addition to an oil pulling routine and can be used in other ways for dental health. Many essential oils are antimicrobial, meaning they are antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, or all of the above. Tea Tree and Oregano are both powerful antimicrobial essential oils found in our Oil Pulling Mouthwash and Canker Soother products. These help to reduce inflammation, fight canker sores, and get rid of oral infections. Clove bud essential oil is another powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, but it also is a slightly numbing and therefore used as a topical anesthetic in the mouth. This is why it’s commonly used for toothaches and teething babies (used in very small amounts and diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil).

 

A few final tricks to improve oral health are: salt water gargles, tongue scraping, and drinking plenty of water. In addition to the products mentioned above, we also have an oral mouth rinse that combines the soothing properties of aloe vera juice with a variety of essential oils. This minty Organic Brushing Rinse is super refreshing! We hope that this blog post has empowered you with some new knowledge and tools to add to your toolbox. As always, please feel free to give us a call or stop by the pharmacy if you have any questions about how to improve your health and quality of life. We’re here for you!

 

What’s In Stock at Remedy:

-Oralbiotic by NOW

-Oil Pulling Mouthwash by Georganics

-Breath Freshener by Remedy

-Canker Soother by Remedy

-Organic Brushing Rinse by Essential Oxygen

 

Resources

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23231486

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=streptococcus+salivarius+k12

 

By Kelsey Conger, Herbalist