Dental Health and the GUT!

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Happy February!!! Did you know that this month is “Children’s Dental Health Month”?!? What a great way to celebrate this month by focusing on our kids and their health and well-being.

As a Chiropractor who specializes in wellness and nutrition, especially in children, over the years we have been blessed to work with thousands of families. Two things most of the families and kids we have worked with have in common:

  1. They all have a digestive system
  2. It’s usually NOT healthy!!!!

I’m going to focus most of this blog on kids and how much the health of their gut affects the health of their teeth, but this will apply to EVERYONE. And since we have Valentine’s Day in February and sugar consumption usually goes up, it’s a perfect time to cover this to help you live your best life.

The digestive system is one of the systems that affects almost every other system in the body. Now, everything is connected in our bodies no doubt…..but this system is uniquely designed to integrate into so many things.

Your gut is 1/3 of your immune system….

Your gut is 1/3 of your nervous system…

And your gut is responsible for the breakdown and assimilation of ALL of the nutrients you take in through your diet.

The gut is many times to starting point or the initial point of breakdown in health for people and can be the source for major conditions like Autoimmune Disease. In fact, the more unhealthy the gut is, the more inflammation you will have in your system and studies have shown a direct link to elevated inflammation and sickness and disease.

There are so many things I could teach on in relation to this system, but let’s talk about 2 main things. In fact, I’ll cover one major problem, and one major solution…how’s that?!

The Problem: Sugar

If there is one major issue or problem we have as a society with our health and the function of our gut and it’s relation to our dental health, it’s in the amount of sugar we take in.

Did you know that the average American eats 152 pounds of sugar a YEAR?!? That’s over 3 pounds of sugar a WEEK!!! And that’s just the average. Some of you reading this are below average and do really well, but some of you reading this and most of the people who won’t read this eat MORE than that a year. That’s an insane amount of sugar.

Besides depressing your immune system and affecting circulation…the list could go on forever, sugar directly affects your dental health as well.

Streptococcus Mutans is a bacterial commonly found in the mouth and one of the things it will do is to convert excess sugar to lactic acid which can lead to dental decay and cavity formation!!! YIKES!! This is so so important to understand in your children and in the way their bodies work.

The Solution: Probiotics

Obviously one of the solutions to the sugar issue I talked about above is to just reduce how much sugar you are getting in your diet and the diet of your kids, but one key way to help protect both your gut and your teeth from the damaging effects of sugar and to promote health period is in adding Probiotics to your children’s diet or to supplement with them.

Probiotics are the “good” bacteria your digestive system needs to properly function and to help support your immune system among other things. Probiotics are responsible for helping produce B Vitamins and help with mental health as well! So many benefits you receive from them and your body is designed to HAVE to have them.

Probiotics can help prevent cavities because when you give your children (or yourself) probiotics, they fight against that bacteria we talked about: Strep Mutans. So good bacteria can help prevent cavity formation!!! Super awesome!

Other things that Probiotics can help with in dental health are things like bad breath, gingivitis, and reducing inflammation in gum disease! WOW!!

So how do you get good probiotics into your child and yourself? Getting them in the diet is important and is super simple.

Foods like:

  • Saurkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Fermented Pickles (Bubbies Brand)
  • Greek Yogurt (make sure it doesn’t have lots of sugar)
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Sourdough Bread

Those are all great ways to make sure you are getting it from your diet on a daily basis. But sometimes you may need to supplement it as well. There are great companies out there that are great for you and your child.

Hopefully this gave you a few awesome things to think about as it relates to supporting your gut AND your mouth by incorporating something as simple as probiotics into your routine!

Sometimes it’s the simplest changes that can product the biggest results.

Be well!

Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton

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