Investigating the links between a healthy mouth and your digestion.
Many people believe that digestion only begins the moment food is swallowed however it really begins at the very moment you put the food in your mouth.
Chewing begins the digestive process, releasing saliva, which creates digestive enzymes therefore helping to break down your food. For this very reason, your mouth and oral hygiene plays a huge role in your digestion process.
As we age, one big change is we begin to see changes in our mouth. When these changes occur, it can disrupt our digestive process, causing digestive problems.
Missing teeth can disrupt saliva production and your ability to chew and therefore swallow your food. The very act of chewing is what produces saliva and saliva is the key to producing healthy digestion enzymes.
A lack of teeth means that you can’t brake down your food into smaller pieces allowing for easier swallowing. Not being able to chew your food can lead to indigestion. The chewing process also helps to relax the lower section of the stomach called the pylorus. When saliva is produced through the chewing process, the pylorus relaxes, allowing the food to pass through more freely to the intestines.
Missing teeth can also promote bad gut bacteria as food is left in bigger pieces. When food is not chewed and broken down properly, the digestive tract cannot absorb essential nutrients properly and in turn, undigested food can become food for harmful bacteria and acid reflux issues. Suffers of gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) have repeated acid reflux that comes back up and can erode teeth.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene and your teeth’s ability to do their job properly is an integral part of the digestive process. This is why, eating well, chewing your food well and regularly visiting your dentist can go a long way in preserving your teeth to reduce your risk of digestion issues.
Because it’s time to think differently about your dental health……