How’s your dental health? Are regular dentist visits part of your fibromyalgia and chronic illness treatment plan? A few simple dental hygiene tweaks may help your body to function better. The result can be less pain, less fatigue, and better digestive efficiency.
So, what’s oral health got to do with chronic illness?
Below we’ll take a quick view of the role oral health plays in the fundamental process of digestion. Then we’ll review a few easy steps to add to your daily dental regimen.
Fibro Self-Care Missing Pieces
Self-care is a vital part of healing and recovery from fibromyalgia and chronic illness. It sure was an eye-opening experience for me in my healing journey. I had no idea how poor my self-care practices were.
This month, I’ll share several vital self-care topics. Not necessarily the ones needed most, but ones that you’re likely not doing; self-care missing pieces.
Other topics in this series include:
(with a practice you’re probably not doing now)
(with an easy remedy)
(with an inexpensive tool you probably don’t even own)
(uncovering hidden risk factors)
Perhaps you’re simply unaware of these missing pieces. If so, here’s a flashlight focus.
Dental Health and Fibromyalgia
I once had a colleague tell me that he could tell the condition of a person’s digestive system by simply by talking to him or her. Then he divulged this secret.
“It’s all in their teeth.”
He shared with me that he looks for gums that are red and inflamed. Or maybe they’re pale pink and receding from the teeth. He looks for a build-up of plaque, signs of gingivitis, and obvious tooth decay. He went on to discuss the coating on the tongue and the presence of halitosis (bad breath), obvious mercury amalgams and more.
The mouth has a lot to say! (Without a word.)
Since we don’t have time to talk about everything, today we’ll just look at the teeth and gums.
Dental issues have an interesting relationship with gut bacteria. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the gut microbiome and the importance of healthy bacteria. These all relate to our ability to fight off infections and properly absorb nutrients from our foods.
Dr. Steven Lin, a Functional Medicine Dentist, has this to say, “Your mouth and gut have a close bond. Oral health can have a direct impact on your gut health and vice versa. Oral health problems can be linked to poor digestive absorption and immune response. The very first signs of digestive diseases may also occur in your mouth. Irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis all may exhibit oral signs.”
For specific signs to look for and more of what he has to say, check out his article, here.
Dentistry and Fibro Connected
To take this one step further, there’s a definite connection between poor (or even marginal) dental hygiene routines and fibromyalgia. One doesn’t cause the other, but it can contribute to the problem.
Because digestion is so vital to recovery and restoration of any chronic illness, anything that inhibits proper digestion simply adds to the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
An inflamed body feels pain.
Lower the inflammation
and pain can diminish.
Simple Suggestions for Improved Dental Health
Isn’t brushing enough? Nope.
Check out these tips on how to keep your pearly whites looking good and your gut in working order.
- Daily brushing and flossing
- At least twice a year visit your dentist for cleanings and maintenance
- Drink plenty of water (download my free guide with Hydration tips!)
- Oil pulling
- Eat more veggies (and less processed foods)
- Reduce sugar
- Reduce soda and alcohol
- Reduce acidic drinks such as fruit juice (too much sugar, anyway)
- Let in the sunshine (get some safe sun exposure and amp up your vitamin D levels – also have your levels checked by your doctor and take a supplement as needed)
Are you running to grab your toothbrush, dental floss, and a glass of water? I hope so. A simple dental hygiene routine practiced daily can save money, time, and even chronic health challenges later.
I also hope you’re enjoying this series on self-care practices you may be missing.
Is there a topic you’d like me to cover?
Let me know in the comments below!