You may hear the word prebiotics and immediately think of gut health. In recent years, prebiotics and probiotics have become known as an integral part of a healthy stomach and can be found in certain foods. Probiotics are living organisms, while prebiotics are non-living. Prebiotics help microbiomes, which have the largest concentration in our guts. But what may be less known is that your oral cavity is home to the second-largest number of microbiomes in your body. Microbiomes are microorganisms that are linked to humans’ overall health. So, what exactly are prebiotics?
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are a substrate that is collectively utilized by host microorganisms to offer a health benefit. They are naturally found in specific foods and can promote the growth of healthy bacteria in our bodies. Prebiotics effectively help with digestion because they resist enzymes in the stomach that normally break down whatever enters the stomach. Since prebiotics can pass through, they continue to your small intestine and through to the colon. Many prebiotics are also considered a dietary soluble fibre, which helps with proper digestion and removing waste from your body.
How prebiotics can aid in oral health
So, what do prebiotics have to do with oral health? The second largest number of microbiomes are found in your oral cavity, so, by eating foods with prebiotics, you are helping to stimulate the growth of bacteria that are directly related to good oral health.
Prebiotics can also help combat factors that can lead to periodontal disease; a very serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and bone supporting the tooth. Prebiotics assist with gut-secreted hormones. These hormones can help the body regulate systemic inflammation and regulate blood glucose levels, both of which can play a part in a progression of periodontal disease.
The science on the benefits of prebiotics on oral health is still a relatively new concept, but the research has shown that keeping healthy microbiomes in your oral cavity also has a direct correlation with your gut health and oral health.
Foods to help increase your intake of prebiotics
There are many kinds of prebiotics found in many different types of food. Many of these prebiotics are found in fibre-rich food, so increasing your prebiotic consumption also has the dual advantage of getting more fibre into your body, which offers a plethora of health benefits for most healthy adults. Here are a few food choices to help aid in your prebiotic intake and oral health:
- 1 serving of oatmeal
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- ½ cup of raspberries
- 1 cup of cooked broccoli
- 1 cup of quinoa
- ¼ cup of almonds
- ½ cup of lentils.
Of course, ingesting prebiotics is just another element of proper oral health care. You must still always brush your teeth properly at least twice a day, floss daily, practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist at least once a year.
Contact the dedicated and compassionate professionals at Escarpment View Dental now to learn more or to book your next appointment!