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Oral microbiome and mental health link
November 15th, 2021 + The Naturopathic Co.

Oral microbial health is a reflection of systemic wellbeing. There are several influences affecting microbial balance, however dietary and lifestyle factors are the most significant.

New research shows a link between oral microbial health and mental health.

It has been discovered that inflammatory proteins associated with periodontitis may exacerbate or increase susceptibility to mental health disorders.

Similarly, research has suggested a link between Alzheimer’s and translocation of inflammatory bacteria across the blood brain barrier. Oral pathogens such as Treponema denticola and Porphyromonas gingivalis may be implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Periodontal pathogens may translocate from the mouth to the brain via the bloodstream or peripheral nerves, activating localised neuro-inflammatory responses. This triggers Alzheimer’s disease initiation and progression.

Research indicates that the probability of having periodontal disease in individuals with panic disorder is three times greater than those without the disorder.

Remarkably, the likelihood of having periodontal disease was 50 times greater in patients with severe mental health issues, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Needless to say, the mind-altering effects of the oral microbiome are far reaching, and there is sure to be further research in this area to support the link between a healthy microbiome and good mental health.


A meta-analysis which included 19 studies and 334,503 subjects revealed a significantly increased risk for dental decay and tooth loss in individuals with anxiety and depression. Moreover, panic disorder was correlated with a higher risk for periodontal disease. Remarkably, the likelihood of having periodontal disease was 50 times greater in patients with severe mental health issues, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Maintaining a healthy oral microbiome

Reduce or completely avoid the ingestion of simple sugars.

Consume a whole food, plant-based diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, fibre, phytonutrients, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Increase dietary prebiotic intake to optimise oral microbial health.

Take a probiotic containing Lactobacillus reuteri strains

Ensure optimal micronutrient levels – calcium, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B complex nutrients.

Practice good oral hygiene – brush teeth twice daily and use floss or other interdental plaque removal device, tongue scraping.

Minimise the ingestion of highly acidic foods such as soft drinks, vinegar.


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Yvette is a qualified Melbourne-based Naturopath and Nutritionist, MINDD Practitioner, member of the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia, and Complementary Medicine Association. Yvette specialises in the treatment of digestive complaints, skin issues, mood disorders, hormonal concerns, fatigue, and also has a key interest in children’s digestive and neurological conditions. Click HERE to book your free discovery call, Australia-wide.


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