Expert Contribution

What are your teeth telling you?

The eyes are the window to the soul, but what about our teeth? From a medical perspective, oral health can be a significant predictor of an individual’s overall health. For example, indicators of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer can all be potentially found in a person’s mouth. 

Mouth and teeth issues can cause digestive stress since the mouth is the first place that food begins to be broken down by the body both mechanically and chemically. If there is a challenge with saliva production, mouth or jaw pain, or an injured tooth then it’s easy to see how this first stage can easily be compromised. When our digestion is less than ideal then the health of the entire body is affected since all cells rely on the nutrients provided from our diet to function. 

Many issues can plague our teeth and mouth like: 

  • gingivitis 
  • cavities 
  • cold sores 
  • periodontitis 
  • cracked or broken teeth 
  • sensitive teeth 
  • dry mouth 

All these issues and more can lead to a difficult time supporting our first stage of digestion, which can lead to challenges further down in the digestive tract such as indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, gas, weight gain, heartburn and more. 

Bad breath is another sign of indigestion that many people try to cover up with mints, gum, or mouthwash. If you have good oral hygiene, brush your teeth after every meal, floss daily, get regular cleanings, eat a healthy diet, don’t have an active infection in your mouth and you STILL have bad breath then the problem is not in the mouth, but further down in the gastrointestinal tract. 

Overgrowth of certain bacteria, fungus, or yeast can cause an imbalance in the delicate ecosystem of the gut and lead to not only compromised digestion, but also bad breath. 

If you are suffering from poor oral health or bad breath, there are many lifestyle activities that can support improving your oral health. Diet plays a big role in our overall oral health, especially in relation to our teeth. I’m sure your dentist has told you before how damaging excess sugars and sweets can be to your oral health because it encourages bacterial growth in the mouth and can increase inflammation of the oral tissues. 

And did you know you can help keep your teeth clean and white through diet as well? Eating more raw, crunchy foods like nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits helps provide natural abrasion to the teeth to mildly prevent plaque buildup and certain fruits like strawberries and apples have natural acids in them that can create a whitening effect. 

What else supports oral and digestive health? 

  • staying hydrated 
  • chewing thoroughly 
  • eating slowly in a stress-free environment 

If you want to optimize your dental health or have some current challenges, email us at to schedule a free 15 minute consult with one of our health coaches to see if we can help you determine what the underlying cause could be. 

Visit our website at to learn more. 

By Shelise Irby, RD, Body Love Cafe

About The Author

Functional Medicine & Nutrition
Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC, IFMCP
Body Love Cafe

Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC, IFMCP discovered the power of Functional Medicine first hand when a “mystery illness” left her declared permanently disabled. Unwilling to accept that diagnosis, she fought back and launched Body Love Cafe, an award-winning holistic health clinic.

BLC is all about natural medicine that meets cutting-edge science to provide answers as to why you don’t feel well. We hear you. We see you. We believe you. It’s not in your head and we’ve got the technique and labs to show why.

Patients have said “Dr. Zachary figures out why you feel like crap but your MD says you’re fine.” 

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