When it comes to health, the focus usually lands on maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. These things are important; however, there is a crucial aspect that often goes unnoticed—the oral microbiome. Emerging scientific research has shed light on the profound influence of the oral microbiome on overall health and why we need to dive deeper than tooth brushing.
The oral microbiome refers to the diverse community of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses, that reside in the mouth. It is estimated that the mouth is home to over 700 species of bacteria alone, making it the second largest microbiota after the gut . While the term "bacteria" often raises red flags, it's important to note that these 700 species include both beneficial and harmful microorganisms. The key lies in maintaining a balance between them. While the majority of oral microorganisms are beneficial to your health, certain species such as fungi, viruses, and yeast are unwelcome and can cause a major imbalance to your immunity. These unwanted microorganisms are often indicators that a natural detox cleanse may be in order.
Signs of an unbalanced oral microbiome may include:
- Increased plaque
- Bad breath
- Gum disease
- And several other conditions linked to poor oral health. 
So what are the benefits of taking care of your oral health? From preventing health problems to keeping your breath fresh, your body (and other people) will thank you for keeping your oral microbiome in balance.
- Oral Health: A balanced oral microbiome helps protect against oral health issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Harmful bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, can dominate the oral cavity when the microbiome is imbalanced, leading to dental plaque formation, enamel erosion, and cavities . Conversely, a diverse and balanced microbiome helps maintain a healthy pH level, promotes remineralization of teeth, and supports gum health.
- Systemic Health: The oral microbiome has far-reaching effects beyond the mouth. Imbalances in the oral microbiome have been linked to various systemic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and even certain types of cancer. Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream through gum tissue inflammation or oral infections, potentially contributing to inflammation in other parts of the body and exacerbating existing health conditions .
- Immune System Support: A balanced oral microbiome supports the immune system's ability to fight off pathogens. Beneficial bacteria in the oral cavity, such as certain strains of Streptococcus and Lactobacillus, help to create a protective barrier against harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses. They also stimulate the immune response, promoting the production of antibodies and enhancing overall immune function .
- Digestive Health: The oral cavity is the starting point of digestion, and a balanced oral microbiome contributes to optimal digestion. Certain beneficial bacteria in the mouth aid in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates and contribute to the production of short-chain fatty acids. These byproducts play a role in intestinal health, nutrient absorption, and overall digestive well-being .
- Breath Freshness: An imbalanced oral microbiome can contribute to persistent bad breath or halitosis. The presence of certain bacteria that produce foul-smelling sulfur compounds can lead to unpleasant breath odors. By maintaining a balanced oral microbiome through practices like tongue scraping and proper oral hygiene, you can help combat bad breath and maintain fresh breath .
Our tongue serves as an essential indicator of our internal health. According to Ayurveda, the tongue is seen as a reflection of the health of the digestive system and the body as a whole. Since the tongue connects to the health of the rest of your body, it has often been used as a tool to diagnose and study organ function. For instance, a coated tongue may indicate an impaired immune system and poor digestive health, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, and muscle aches .
The digestive tract is your body’s first line of defense, and it all starts in your mouth. The appearance, color, coating, and texture of your tongue can provide valuable insights into imbalances and potential health issues.
Tongue scraping, known as Jihwa Prakshalana in Ayurveda, is a simple yet powerful oral hygiene practice that has been passed down through generations. It involves gently scraping the surface of the tongue with a tongue scraper to remove the accumulated coating. Ayurveda highly recommends using a pure copper tongue scraper due to copper’s antibacterial properties. Studies show that it kills harmful bacteria, yeast, and viruses on contact, making it an effective antimicrobial property .
Did You Know? the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently registered copper as the first solid antimicrobial material.
Here's how to do it:
Health Tip: Want extra antioxidants and antimicrobial power on your side? Use a copper cup for drinking water as part of your daily routine to reap the most health benefits!
Tongue scraping is an easy, effective way to take your oral health to the next level, and it takes less than 20 seconds a day! If you’re looking for a pure copper handcrafted tool that will detoxify your oral microbiome on a daily basis, look no further! Plus check out our array of detox tools that will help restore your health and your confidence.