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The oral microbiota, an ecosystem to be pampered

The oral microbiota, an ecosystem to be pampered Our mouths are full of "good" bacteria which prove to be essential for keeping them healthy. But what exactly is hiding behind this oral microbiota? Explanations.

We now regularly hear about the intestinal microbiota, the vaginal flora or the skin microbiota. Less known, the oral microbiota is however just as important as its companions. Here are the reasons.

The oral microbiota, what is it?

The oral microbiota, as its name suggests, is located in our mouth. It is made up of 700 bacteria, called microorganisms. It is the second most varied microbiota after that of the intestine.

"Each little ecosystem develops its own little ecosystem of bacteria. The bacteria that live on teeth exposed to light are not at all the same as those that live inside the mouth in the dark and damp," explains Marie Drago, founder of the brand specializing in Gallinée probiotic-based cosmetics.

All of these ecosystems - or microbiota - are called microbiome .

Why should it be preserved?

It is essential to take care of our oral microbiota for two reasons:

  • It prevents the arrival of bacteria that are much more dangerous for us.

  • It stimulates our immune system. If a bacterium ever crosses the yellow line, that is to say it becomes too aggressive, this small stimulation makes the immune response more rapid and targeted. This microbiota generates a basic monitoring action on the part of the organism.

What causes an imbalance of the oral-microbiota?

Oral imbalance can come from a multitude of causes:poor dental hygiene, a diet that is too sweet and/or the use of products that are too aggressive for our microbiota.

Sugar is your oral cavity's worst enemy because it "feeds bad bacteria, including streptococcus mutans cavities and gingivitis", explains Marie Drago.

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And forget the antiseptic mouthwashes. Using products that are too aggressive will promote, in particular, the reappearance of xerophilic bacteria responsible for bad breath.

So if your dentist doesn't prescribe them, you don't necessarily need to use them. The alcohol they contain may indeed unbalance the oral microbiota.

What can be the consequences?

Studies are underway to establish a link between imbalance of the oral microbiota and that of the intestine . The researchers "think that the mouth is probably a reflection of what is happening in the intestine", explains Marie Drago.

Many diseases would actually start in the mouth. This is the case with Parkinson's disease. Bad breath, dry mouth, cavities or gingivitis are also the result of an imbalance.

"Taking care of your mouth is taking care of much more," sums up Marie Drago.

How to take care of it?

The toothbrush (to be used rationally and correctly) is essential for your dental hygiene because the tooth is a stable surface conducive to the development of bacteria which can lead to a potentially "deleterious" inflammatory reaction for a person with other comorbidities.

The use of probiotics is increasingly common to fight against bad bacteria while promoting good ones in the mouth. The Gallinée brand has launched a special dental hygiene range consisting of a toothpaste and a mouthwash to suck on based on pro and prebiotics.

"It's a bacterial balance that you have to understand to favor the good bacteria rather than the bad ones", explains Marie Drago.

But beware, even if the use of probiotics is an interesting idea, it can be complex to adopt. The reason:the great diversity of bacteria present in the oral cavity. Breathe, swallow, drink, talk... All these actions will modify the microbiota. If you want to bet on probiotics, the strains must be those that you are used to hosting.

Finally, quitting tobacco, alcohol, and making an appointment with the dentist once a year will help everyone get well.

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