Thursday, October 27, 2016

Challenged Oral Microbiome

When did I become such a mouth breather?


I have consumed a lot of "health and wellness" information somewhat indiscriminately over the last few months. I've read a good many books and listened to a good many podcasts put out by people of various credentials and levels of expertise on topics that did not necessarily relate to my specific concerns. While it is reasonably easy to weed out the ridiculous, it's harder to discern what is the most useful among the non-ridiculous  information.

"The Microbiome" is a hot topic lately, as a potential source of all sorts of disparate problems. Most of the conversation is about the gut.

But the microbiome of the digestive system begins in the mouth. There is less information on this aspect...but theoretically, all the things that we do to clean our mouths- the brushing and scraping and rinsing- might actually be depleting the ecosystem. 

And some say that persistent mouth breathing is also injurious to the biome.

I would not have described myself as a mouth breather, but now that the weather has turned colder, I am finding that I have to constantly remind myself to shut my mouth and use my nose.

Is this really improving my microbiome's health?...hard to say. 

But maybe best not to be a mouth breather anyway.

(On a side note: this image is a definite callback to a photograph I took 14 years ago. At least this time I did not have to shove a small sculpted head covered in oil paint into my mouth- something that was certainly not good for my oral microbiome)

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