Dental health, whether it’s brushing teeth, flossing, using mouthwash, or going to see the dentist, can be traumatic for people on the autism spectrum or those with sensory processing disorder.
Today, we aren’t talking about dental hygiene specifically but about the space where it takes place – the mouth. More specifically, the creatures that inhabit the mouth.
Open wide. Let’s peer inside.
There's no such thing as good and bad bacteria or fungi. It's not good and bad. It's just whether there's too much of it or too little of it and things are out of balance, so the 'bad things' have an opportunity to prosper.
~Nigel Palmer, The Regenerative Grower's Guide to Garden Amendments: Using Locally Sourced Materials to Make Mineral and Biological Extracts and Ferments
Interesting tidbits about our mouth:
- The mouth (or oral cavity) is the beginning of the gastrointestinal tract. That’s why what goes in the mouth is so important to consider. Anything in the mouth has easier access to the body.
- The oral microbiome has its own balance of microorganisms which include bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa, including over 700 species of bacteria.
- As always, some of the microorganisms are helpful and some are hurtful when they get out of balance.
- The diversity of surfaces (cheek, tongue, teeth) increases the variety of microorganisms.
- There are many diseases that are related to oral health, such as heart conditions, pregnancy and birthing complications, and pneumonia.
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) eventually might have its own oral microbiome signature. It’s only correlational right now but might be useful in the future.
- Antiseptic mouthwash kills some of the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease, but it also kills good bacteria.
- Tongue cleaning is another way to control microorganisms. The cleaning, whether brushed with a toothbrush or scraped with a tongue scraper, starts at the throat end of the tongue and ends at the tip of the tongue. It loosens and removes bacteria and can be done with every toothbrushing.
P.S. Happy Ukrainian New Year! If you missed choosing your resolution, intention, decision, or nudge, or you need a second attempt, then here it is!
A fresh start to your next year of adventure (some adventures by choice, some not). 😊
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-19982-y - less diversity in ASD
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475 Oral health and overall health
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31893019/ Start of the gastrointensia system
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31110428/ Over 700 species