The Consequences of an Unhealthy Oral Microbiome Imbalance

Particularly interesting about Oral Microbiome is the fact that every species (with a mouth) on the planet has, and will always have an oral ecology or ecosystem. This oral ecosystem is unique to each species. Furthermore, according to "Darwins Law of Natural Selection," each of these oral ecosystems has contributed to the survival and longevity of their hosts.

Unhealthy Oral Microbiome is Analogous to a Garden of Weeds

If any of these environments become pathological to their hosts, the resident organism would themselves have less of a chance to thrive. Therefore, the oral microbiome is a vital, natural and supportive component to oral health and protection of our teeth, gums, and mouth linings.

The problem then is not that the oral microbiome exists, but rather it can become unbalanced and unhealthy. Disease will occur when the oral microbiome loses homeostasis or balance.

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Imbalanced Oral Microbiome is Like an Overgrown Garden with Weeds

The unhealthy or imbalanced oral microbiome is analogous to a garden that has become overgrown with weeds. One approach to this problem would be to “bulldoze” the garden down to the soil. However, we know that when there is bare soil, the very first kinds of plants that take root are the weeds.

"...The "bulldoze" method illustrates the past approach in oral care therapeutics, which attempts to strip away the oral microbiome, using any kind of detergent or emulsifier to do the trick - the kinds of detergents normally found in conventional toothpaste..."

By "bulldozing", we are creating an opening in the ecological niche, where “stripped bare surfaces” become recolonized quickly, often by a more virulent microorganism (i.e., The Weeds), rather than the friendly, helpful, odorless bacteria that take more time to develop.

Emerging science is teaching us another new understanding about "bulldozing." The virulent microorganisms are oftentimes the same “friendly” organisms that, in a balanced state, are helpful and cooperative (helpful). We are killing the good with the bad.

The second approach to an imbalanced oral microbiome or “garden of weeds” would be to introduce antimicrobials, analogous to the “pesticide approach” and “weed killers.” Once again, the presents an even bigger problem.

With the pesticides and week killers circumstance, we begin Darwin’s process of selective growth of resistant organism with consequences that are well understood by hospital-based infectious disease specialists who encounter the threat of microbial resistance with patients every day. In the mouth, antimicrobial use results in a destruction of the beneficial flora that protects and heals teeth, gums, and mucus membrane.

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Emerging Oral Microbiome Science - The Homeostasis Approach

Based on this emerging science of the oral microbiome, a more enlightened approach is found by treating this ecosystem as an organic garden. In this garden, there are no “bulldozers” and no “weed killers.” Rather, appropriate nutrients and micro minerals to “feed the soil and keep the garden

Rather, appropriate nutrients and micro minerals to “feed the soil and keep the garden healthy.” Create a healthy robust ecosystem with lots of nutrients for a balanced oral microbiome.

By choosing selected nutrients and trace minerals to promote homeostasis, the health of beneficial microorganisms is supported in this essential ecosystem.

In return, the presence of pathogenic, planktonic organisms, or analogously, “weeds” which never get a chance to grow.

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To state it more simply, the application of nutrient-dense “food” to an unbalanced biofilm, helps the “good guys” get healthier while “crowding out the weeds” on their own, thus restoring an essential balance to a very important community for vibrant oral health and wellness.

For more on this topic please visit "Oral Microbiome Homeostasis: The New Frontier in Oral Therapies" by Dr. Gerry Curatola.