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The Oral Microbiome

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

The oral microbiome
ID: A wide open mouth with a stark bright yellow background and microbes surrounding.

Microbes in the mouth can contribute to heart disease risk…

The oral microbiome plays an important role topping up our nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide is a molecule important to cardiovascular function with important roles including widening of blood vessels to reduce blood pressure.

Oral microbes can convert nitrates found in food to nitrite for nitric oxide synthesis!

Main sources of dietary nitrates are fresh leafy greens and beets.

The use of anti-microbial mouth wash for as little as one week can disrupt the oral microbiome, reducing nitric oxide production and increasing blood pressure.

A recent study suggests this is a bi-directional relationship, with nitrates in food showing potential to contribute to a healthy oral microbiome…

Nitrates inhibited the growth of bacteria associated with bad breath and oral dysbiosis and promoted the growth of beneficial species. (Rosier et al., 2020)

So… steer clear of antimicrobial mouth wash, and eat your greens/beets for heart health!


Rosier, B. T., Buetas, E., Moya-Gonzalvez, E. M., Artacho, A., & Mira, A. (2020). Nitrate as a potential prebiotic for the oral microbiome. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 12895.


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