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Did you know that having a healthy body starts with a healthy smile? Both affect your digestive system and vice versa. To eat the healthy foods your body needs, your teeth have to masticate (chew) and break down the food. If you are missing teeth or your dentures don’t fit very well preventing you from chewing fibrous or solid foods such as nuts, bread, meat, fruits and vegetables, then you may be missing out on important nutrition your body needs.

Saliva
Digestion starts in your mouth where you chew and break down the food you eat so your body can do the rest of the work. Your teeth are tasked with breaking down your food supported by the enzymes in your saliva secreted from the salivary glands as you chew.

Teeth
Your incisors “cut” your food, which is then pushed back to the molars with the tongue so they can break it all down to be swallowed. With their pits and grooves, the molars can grind up your food during mastication. The canine teeth, located next to the incisors tear the food and premolars crush your food. All of these actions performed by the teeth helps break down the food into small pieces to mix with your stomach fluids and bile for nutrient absorption and create healthy gut microbiome.

Alignment
Unhealthy, broken or missing teeth can affect both chewing and digestion, causing problems with digestion or makes it difficult for people to have a healthy diet. Aligned teeth allow for proper chewing so the bite works without injuring the oral tissues like your tongue or inner cheeks as you chew. It also means treating tooth and gum infections as well as replacing missing teeth which might otherwise cause the surrounding teeth to shift out of alignment.

Dental Care
Keeping your digestive system healthy with healthy teeth starts with diligent oral hygiene care. Seeing the dentist annually is important to prevent small problems developing into bigger problems. Daily brushing and flossing, along with routine dental cleanings and checkups help you maintain the healthy smile you need! Healthy saliva flow to promote proper digestion means staying hydrated and avoid drying out your mouth.

Our team at Northwest Center for Prosthodontics can help you maintain healthy teeth and gums and replace missing teeth with high-quality dental restorations, dental implants and dentures. Our prosthodontists provide tooth replacements that look, feel and function like your natural teeth so that you have can have a healthy diet and better overall health. If you live in Olympia, Washington, or the surrounding communities of Tumwater, Lacey, Aberdeen, Shelton, Yelm, and DuPont, we invite you to give us a call. We are happy to address your oral health questions and concerns!

To learn more about how your teeth impact your digestive system, check out this article, How Your Teeth Affect Your Digestive System