I am the @oralhealthactivist and brainchild behind the ‘Let’s Get Oral’ Podcast. Although I am no dentist or hygienist, my PhD thesis was centered around Porphyromonas gingivalis endotoxin which led me on a circuitous pathway through oral pathology, oral immunology, oral hygiene, and clinical study in oral health. I have so much excitement to share about what we have been learning over the last 20 years that has not yet been adequately communicated. We are at a frontier regarding oral health and our understanding of whole-body health. I had to initiate a conversation with the world to share my enthusiasm and I thought a POD would be the best platform to get the word out!
‘Let’s Get Oral’ is a new Podcast centered around all things oral health. The intention behind the podcast is to create interest and, hopefully, excitement for the general public and provide critical updates to oral care professionals around all aspects of oral biology. There are so many factors that play into your smile, how you interact with the world, and how your oral health can impact the rest of your body. My goal is to get people interested and revel in all the fascinating biological events occurring right under our noses.
To set the stage, our first episode is with Dr. Purnima Kumar who has been at the frontier of the oral microbiome research throughout her career. She continues to pioneer with a laser focus on the oral ecology during all stages of life including lifestyle changes such as smoking, diet, and dental implants. She introduces thinking beyond the oral-pathogen-mindset of the 1950’s to bring us up to date with a nuanced understanding of the individualized ecological fingerprint that is our own, unique microbiome.
Next, we sought to explore the taste receptors in the oral cavity! There is some very intriguing research that points to our taste receptors as potential regulators of oral and immune health. We have an individualized capacity to taste bitter flavors, and this can shape our microbiome, health outcomes, and predisposition to cavities. There is evidence that increasing our exposure to bitter flavors/foods might improve our oral health status, which is a provocative lead in for new types of oral hygiene products potentially!
We have also covered other subjects like saliva, oral inflammation, the power of a smile (both aesthetically and physiologically) and how it can affect your success in the world and impact your mental health. I hope this information is compelling and drives your curiosity to the POD. More than anything, I want to inspire people to start thinking outside the box of traditional oral care. It’s time we rewrite oral health and frame it from an empowered, health and beauty mindset.