The Digestive tract begins at our lips and travels all the way through our entire bodies and end at the anus. All the way through this tubular pathway, the sides are lined with mucous membranes and millions of microorganisms live and breed.
This blog post is all about the begins of digestion and health – Our Oral Cavity
The mouth is the entrance to 2 of our bodies systems and has a host of differing functions, no less than talking – our prime means of communication! Both the digestive and the respiratory systems are gated by our Mouths.
When our mouths are in optimum health, the oral mucosa appears reddish pink well perfused with blood. The gums (gingivae) are slightly paler pink and fit snugly around the teeth.
The palate, which is the roof of the mouth, is divided into two parts
1. The front part has ridges and is hard (hard palate).
2. The back part is relatively smooth and soft (soft palate)
If you run your tongue around the roof of your mouth now you should be able to feel those clear definitions.
The uvula is a narrow muscular structure that hangs at the back of the mouth and can be seen when a person says “Ahh.” The uvula hangs from the back of the soft palate, which separates the back of the nose from the back of the mouth.
The tongue lies on the floor of the mouth and is used to taste and mix food. The tongue is not normally smooth. It is covered with tiny projections (papillae) that contain taste buds, some of which sense the taste of food.
Many tiny salivary glands are distributed throughout the mouth producing saliva which passes from the glands into the mouth through small tubes (ducts).
Saliva has a host of differing uses
• aids in chewing and eating
• dissolving foods so that they can more easily be tasted.
• coats food particles with digestive enzymes and begins digestion.
• the flow of saliva washes away bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
• keep the lining of the mouth healthy and prevents loss of minerals from teeth.
• neutralizes acids produced by bacteria
• kills bacteria, yeasts, and viruses
The mouth is amazing, the gateway into our bodies; it interfaces, absorbs, and assimilates our nutrients and oxygen. The endocrine, immune, and digestive systems are intimately bound to the microbiome of our mouths.
Interestingly, recent research has been conducted to look at how bacteria from the mouth and specifically the teeth and gums, can spread through the body challenging the immune system and setting up patterns of disease that might appear to be unrelated. Bacteria form the mouth can travel into the gut causing dysbiosis and gastrointestinal issues, that may range from mild symptoms of loose stools or wind, to more chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
Many of our oral-care practices especially heavily chemical toothpastes and mouthwashes suppress immunity, we need to reconcile with our bacterial community. Oral flora is essential for good mouth health, it is time to make friends with our own body’s bacteria. These incredible efficient microbes support our bodies by digesting food and secreting beneficial biochemicals. They are also protective sentinels that strengthen our immunity while preventing pathogenic periodontal from proliferating and colonizing the community.
Dental plaque is a biofilm that can either entrap existing oral pathogens from flourishing or provide a refuge for pathogens to hide from alkalinizing salivary flow. Under healthy conditions, an oral-ecological balance of bacteria keeps biofilms healthy and stable. But plaque is an ideal nest for germs. This blocks the teeth from respiration and prevents the saliva and dentinal-lymph fluid from doing its job of cleansing the teeth with a protective coating.
To restore balance to the mouth’s microbiome, here are some strategies
Supercharge the mouth’s microbiome by swishing with probiotics; simply pop a capsule in water with a pinch of baking soda or sea salt, and a drop of peppermint essential oil. Swish a freshly cleaned mouth for one minute and then swallow.
Or try our own herbal mouthwash
Liquefy coconut oil in a jar in a warm bowl of water and add in the other ingredients. Mix together, (pour into smaller jars, a different jar for each person in the family, if desired), and pop in the fridge to solidify. Once solidified, it can be stored out of the fridge.
30 ml Coconut Oil
20 ml Baking Soda
20 drops Peppermint E.O.
10 drops Fennel E.O.
Oil Pulling Practices
Oil pulling, originates from India medicine and is also known as “kavala” it is an Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. This practice is said to draw out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health