Recent Studies Implicate the Oral Microbiome with Migraine Headaches

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Migraine Headaches and the Bacteria in Your Mouth, Are They Related?

Researchers see a potential link between oral bacteria and the triggering of migraine headaches

Here is an interesting bit of research news, recent studies have implicated the oral microbiome with the onset of migraine headaches.

(By the way, the microbiome and the microbiota are simply the community of bacteria and organisms that share your space. These groups of bacteria are normal, and are not normally disease causing, they are a working part of the host (that’s you). They are group together as colonies and are vital to living–basically a “neighborhood” of bacteria that form a part of your body’s composition)

While research has not shown yet that bacterial growth in the mouth is a cause or trigger for migraines, the studies do show that the makeup and composition of your oral bacteria, and the gut microbiota, could very well be related to the mechanism behind powerful migraine headaches.

How does the oral bacteria relate to migraine headaches?

woman, migraine, headache, oral bacteria, headache triggers, preventionWhile quite complex, the fundamental idea is that NITRATES are triggers for many forms of migraine headaches. Nitrate-containing-compounds, found in our foods and/or medications, are seen to be triggers for migraines. Anyone that suffers from migraines has certainly experienced this after eating processed foods such as hot dogs, or after taking certain medications.

The process here is that bacteria are capable of converting NITRATES to another form called NITRITES, and so lowering the presence of nitrates, which of course reduces the presence of the triggers that kick in the headaches. This process of conversion is something that our human cells cannot carry out, but the bacteria in our gut and oral biome have this capability.

While researchers are still studying this potential relationship, what is really interesting here–beyond the potential “trigger” relationship–is the additional support these studies give to the concept that what goes on in your mouth, and in your gut, has effects that are system wide. Without doubt, good oral health and a healthy, beneficial bacterial environment means so much more to you than just healthier gums and teeth–it can mean system wide health and an improved emotional state.

A leading researcher on the connection between the gut and the brain, Paul Forsythe PhD at McMaster University, had this to say:

“This paper is a reminder that we also need to consider the relationship between the brain and microbiota of other body compartments, particularly the oral and nasal microbiome.”

The takeaway from this?

It should be clear that the health of your bacterial colonies has strong implications for your overall health and well being, both physical and emotional. Scientific research is showing, more and more, that much of the future of our approach to healing and health will be based upon strengthening the powerful bacterial colonies that work alongside of our human cells.

As these bacterial colonies are threatened and thrown into imbalances by the onslaught of medicines, processed foods, chemicals, stress, electronics… the list of modern ills goes on and on… then it is critical that you take the effort to keep your microbiomes healthy and in balance.

Your health, your longevity, your production and your emotional well being depends upon a thriving and balanced microbiota. Improving your bacterial colonies is one of the simplest and easiest paths to improved health, so start today.

Coffee Can Help Boost Your Oral Health

Coffee Tastes Great and Can Help You to Fight Oral Cancer and Tooth Decay!

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Smiling girl drinking coffee

Personally speaking, it doesn’t take much to convince me that another cup of coffee is a good idea. While certainly not in the ranks of coffee “super-users” I do hold my own at 3 to 4 cups a day. With over 100 million coffee drinkers in America and with over half of us consuming coffee every day, I am certainly not alone.

While coffee and caffeine has long had a bit of a bad boy reputation, even banned in some circles, much of the negativity was long on belief and short on actual research.

Sure too much of anything is generally a bad thing–consuming 12 cups a day is hardly recommended–but more and more research is pointing to the many health benefits associated to moderate coffee consumption.

And you might ask, “What has all of this coffee buzz have to do with oral health?”

Interestingly enough there are two very positive oral benefits associated to coffee consumption, or at least supported by research.

Coffee Consumption and a Reduced Risk of Oral and Throat Cancer

A comprehensive study was completed in Milan, Italy. This study pooled the information from nine case-controlled studies on the subject of head and neck cancers (over 5,000 cases with cancer were compared to over 9000 cases that were cancer free). The results strongly support the relationship between coffee consumption and the decrease in risk of oral and throat cancer. Coffee drinkers in these tests generally consumed between 1 to 4 cups a day.

Here is a link to an abstract of the study on Coffee Use and Lowered Risk of Oral Cancer

Coffee and a Reduction in Tooth Decay and Cavities

coffee; cup of coffee; black coffee; health benefits; oral health

Espresso Cup with smiley face on wooden table,

Several studies have provided some great news for us coffee drinkers. (Note that these tests were done using higher grade coffee roasts, think Arabica) The studies found that compounds in coffee showed a very positive effect in inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the dental biofilm–specifically the s. mutans bacteria that is the primary villain in the tooth decay process.

Ideally the exact compounds in coffee will be identified and isolated for use in oral health care as there are some downsides to consider:

One, if you use sugar and milk (also a sugar source) in your coffee then these will promote the tooth decay process.

Two, coffee is highly acidic and this can prove detrimental as well to your tooth enamel.

Three, it is no secret that coffee will stain your teeth and give them an unsightly yellowish-brown color.

For best results it would be recommended that you drink your coffee black and it certainly would not hurt to keep consumption on the moderate side.

With over a 1000 compounds in coffee it may be a while before the responsible compounds are isolated, but I sincerely doubt that the isolated compounds will beat the fun, joy and satisfaction of great cup of coffee to start the day.

And while certainly not a replacement for twice-a-day brushing and once-a-day flossing, if you are a coffee lover it is good to know that a smart intake of coffee could actually be beneficial for your oral health as well.

So, in summation, enjoy that cup of joe knowing that a moderate intake of high-quality coffee could be helping out your teeth and health, providing support for great oral health.

Hydrate for Fresher Breath, Healthier Gums and Less Tooth Decay

Our Bodies Are Mostly Water and Hydration Is Vital to Both Oral and Overall Health

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Water drop falling into water making a perfect droplet splash

Water and proper hydration play a significant role in fighting periodontal disease and in maintaining great oral health.

While we all know that an adequate daily intake of water is an essential component of overall wellness it may come as a surprise that hydration is also quite important in promoting vibrant oral health.

The underlying reason is that saliva plays a critical role in combating the negative effects of bacterial growth in our mouth. For example:

  • Saliva helps to balance the pH level and this counteracts the bacterial acids that erode your teeth and are the prime cause of tooth decay
  • Adequate saliva flow is also a key part of handing chronic bad breath (halitosis). Inadequate saliva in turn contributes to bacterial growth, particularly in the back of the tongue, and this then leads to truly bad breath

While there are medical reasons behind chronic dry mouth (technically called Xerostomia), such as nerve damage, cancers and/or drug side effects, it is certainly true that getting adequate hydration is a simple and helpful step that you can easily do yourself.

Simple takeaway–drink adequate amounts of water and where possible avoid tobacco, alcohol and non-vital medicines or chemical products.

An additional and equally simple use of water to boost oral health is the “easy-peasy” swish and rinse after eating (or drinking).

The foods and sugars that remain in your mouth are the source of energy and life for bacteria. By simply swishing and rinsing your mouth after eating/drinking you can clear out much of the residue and lower the food supply for these bacteria. Less food=less growth=healthier mouth!

You can even swish and then swallow (politely of course) as the main objective is to just rinse away what you can.

And while certainly not a replacement for twice-a-day brushing and once-a-day flossing, it makes sense to “clear the decks” after consuming anything that bacteria can feed upon.

Can You Rebuild Your Enamel and Dentin?

Can Teeth Regrow, Rebuild and Remineralize?

Is there hope for healing cavities and rebuilding a healthy mouth?

teeth, oral health, smile, fixing teeth, cavity prevention, remineralize teethThe answer may be surprising.

For years and years most people have adopted the idea that teeth are rather like stones in your mouth, once they begin to erode or decay (cavities and enamel loss) they are only salvageable by crowns and repairs, or implants and false teeth. Perhaps because teeth are hard, and so do not appear to have life, or perhaps because of lack of education, we have come to believe that the only answer lies in dental restorations, repairs or replacements.

Of course no one is suggesting that dental work should be skipped or avoided (as much as we might like to hear that!) as often teeth are so damaged and far gone that there is no other realistic option.

But the truth is that diet and supplementation can do more than reduce cavity formation, they can actually assist the regrowth and healing of your teeth to a healthier state.

Think about it, you started life without teeth and they grew in. They did not just suddenly appear from nowhere. Then, once they grew in, your baby teeth fell out and new adult teeth GREW. The simple fact is that your teeth have life and the cells do grow. They may be “slow growers” and maybe pretty dang hard, but they do have life.

Unhealthy teeth are not necessarily a lost cause

To a marked degree they can heal and remineralize themselves but they do need help. The answer lies primarily in diet and in supplementation. Just as a poor diet and a lack (or non-absorption) of minerals can ruin your teeth, the reverse is true–a proper diet and the adequate absorption of minerals can assist new dentin and enamel to form.

(Dentin is the bone-like substance that makes up most of the tooth. It is found just under the enamel, which is the cover of the tooth. Dentin is organic and can grow, enamel is inorganic but it can remineralize.)

Amazingly this information is not new news. It was researched and discovered close to a century ago by the brilliant husband-and-wife team, the Mellanbys, in England. They did a tremendous amount of work in the field of nutrition (most famously for solving the condition known as rickets) and one of their studies clearly showed the relationship between diet and cavity formation, as well as cavity HEALING.

“… When the enamel and dentin are injured by attrition or caries, teeth do not remain passive but respond to the injury by producing a reaction of the odontoblasts (note: odontoblasts are cells in the dental pulp that make dentin) in the dental pulp in an area generally corresponding to the damaged tissue and resulting in a laying down of what is known as secondary dentine.

In 1922 Dr. May Mellanby proceeded to investigate this phenomenon under varying nutritional conditions and found that she could control the secondary dentine laid down in the teeth of animals as a reaction to attrition both in quality and quantity, independently of the original structure of the tooth.”

Dr. May Mellanby went on to establish that a diet high in calcifying qualities (for example, rich in vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus) could not only reverse dental attrition and decay but it also produced NEW dentin. This new dentin was abundantly produced and even regardless of the original structure the new dentin was well formed.

More famously she went on to do a set of trials on groups of children. These were children that lived in institutional facilities thus giving her complete dietary control. A six-month trial was done with full dental examinations at the start and at the conclusion.

The children were divided into three groups:

Group One: Ate a normal diet plus oatmeal. (Oatmeal, like many grains and cereals is rich in phytic acid, which actively inhibits mineral absorption.)
Group Two: Ate a normal diet plus vitamin D.
Group Three: Ate a grain and cereal free diet (thus reducing the blocking of mineral absorption) and also took vitamin D.

(Note: This was a “normal diet” circa the 1920’s that one might find in England. It included carbohydrates and even milk, sugar and jam.)

The results were quite interesting.

  • Group One did not fair too well and saw no improvement in the teeth plus continued with the formation of new cavities.
  • Group Two saw significant healing in the teeth and fewer cavities were formed (simply by adding vitamin D to their diets).
  • Group Three saw dramatic results with a healing of most all of the cavities and very few new ones formed.

These findings were validated in later studies by other researchers and while there is much that could be said about them the point to be made here is:

The study demonstrated that teeth can heal themselves, when given the right nutrients and minerals, and when those minerals were not blocked from absorption.

As Dr. Edward Mellanby said:

“The hardening of carious areas that takes place in the teeth of children fed on diets of high calcifying value indicates the arrest of the active process and may result in “healing” of the infected area. As might be surmised, this phenomenon is accompanied by a laying down of a thick barrier of well-formed secondary denture… “

The key elements to healing were found to be:

  • A diet high in minerals, especially calcium
  • A diet that is loaded with fat-soluble vitamins, such a vitamin D, and fats such as cod liver oil or grass fed butter
  • A diet low in phytic acid (mostly found in grains and nuts)

Interesting side note: Prior to the 20th Century bread was not only whole grain but it underwent a process of rising and fermentation that a. was much longer and b. involved the use of naturally occurring yeasts. This process naturally broke down the phytic acid, so these early breads did not have the same mineral blocking capacity that today’s modern grain based foods possess.

GREAT ORAL HEALTH Oral Probiotics and the Healing of Teeth

oral probiotics, healing teeth, oral health, remineralize enamel. regrow dentin, tooth decayIn developing our advanced blend of probiotics it was quite important that we also addressed the problem of healing your teeth as well. And, while advanced cavities and serious dental issues will require address by a dentist there is much that can be done to strengthen your teeth, support the healing process and fight off beginning stages of cavity formation.

The three-prong attack can be summed up in:

  1. Introducing powerful and beneficial probiotic strains that crowd out and kill off harmful bacteria overgrowth
  2. Using bacterial strains that work to rebalance your mouth’s pH to healthy, non-acidic levels
  3. Utilizing mineral supplementation that provides a form of calcium that is highly effective for remineralizing your enamel–making the surface dense,strong, and and resistant to breakdown

Ongoing use of our oral probiotics can buffer the acids in your mouth, creating a more healthy alkaline environment, lower the levels of acid-producing “bad bacteria” and then boost the protective hardness of your enamel on a microscopic level… quite a one-two-three knock out punch to the chances of further dental decay.

Conclusion:

Work to limit cereals, grains and sugars in your diet, cut back on nuts and add our oral probiotic blend to your daily oral regimen and you can super boost the health and strength of your teeth!

Periodontal disease and healthy gums

Note: Periodontal disease can be quite complex, this is a simple explanation of healthy gums and the importance that they play in your health and wellness. So please forgive us for avoiding hefty medical terms and complex biochemistry. Our intention is to simply communicate the vital importance of healthy gums.

Healthy gums are pretty amazing… and they look good too!

Think of everything that your teeth and gums have to withstand. Chewing forces alone can average 70 pounds per square inch–unless you are a night grinder as this condition can exert force up to TEN TIMES that amount!

And these forces can be up-and-down or side-to-side, and while this can all get quite technical the simple facts are that your gums have their work cut out for them to keep your teeth stable and capable of doing their job.

Anyone that has lost teeth or suffered from gum disease can attest to the fact that life is not so much fun when you can’t chew, or sometimes even talk right.

But your gums do quite a bit more than just hold teeth in place.

Your gums may look like “pinkish putty” but they actually are composed of lots and lots of fibers that connect in many directions to the bone. This allows for a marvelous process that:

  • Keeps your teeth stably in place, but still enough “wiggle room” to absorb and deal with the force and stress of living
  • Detect force levels by communicating “stretch factors” to the brain, so the brain can tell how much force is being applied
  • Play a very dynamic role in mineral absorption and the process of actively replacing your bone tissue cells
  • Provide immune support by buffering against the invasion of “bad bacteria” into the bone and the body

Covering these strands or fibers is an outer layer with a fancy name of “gingival epithelium” (gingiva is just a Latin name for gums!). This is a really important layer as it provides the protection against the bacteria rich environment in your mouth and the inner gum tissue, the bone tissue and your body.

Think of it as a wall that keeps out the unwanted food particles and bacteria. It protects you and it is a major player in your immune system and as it fails you become exposed to unhealthy bacteria, infections and inflammation.

periodontal disease, gum disease, gingivitis, inflamed gums, bleeding gums, gum disease treatmentNow you might begin to understand why unhealthy gums, particularly as they begin to “pull away” from your teeth and form pockets, can pose such a health hazard. In fact, gum disease has been linked to heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic inflammation and other health problems.

As gums fail this then accelerates the erosion of your teeth, weakens the bone structure in your jaw, aids the spreading of infection into your blood stream and body, and imperils your immune system.

We think we have made our point, healthy gums are vital and important to overall health and wellness.

What should healthy gums look like?

Generally they are a pink-tone with some variations from person to person. Gums that are red or white indicate unhealthy conditions. They should be tight to the tooth and have a nice rounded, snug fit around the tooth (not a deep arch or a loose fit). They should feel firm and not puffy or inflamed. There should be the most minimal of indentations around the tooth and certainly not any pockets.

When it comes to maintaining healthy gums and fighting periodontal disease there is a senior rule to follow:

Keep unhealthy bacteria UNDER CONTROL.

There are many ways to do this but the most basic and effective are:

  • Routine, consistent basic dental hygiene such as: brushing, flossing and, in some cases, tongue scraping
  • Regular dental cleanings, with deep cleanings recommended for those that already have gingivitis or periodontal disease
  • The use of oral probiotics to seed the mouth with beneficial bacteria that will control the growth of “bad bacteria”

Understanding the basic mechanics of unhealthy gums and gum disease should make it clear why ROUTINE and CONSISTENT dental hygiene regimens are so important. The bacteria that contributes to most gum disease grows consistently and so it is important that their growth is consistently disturbed. This is why DAILY flossing is so important–it disrupts the growth cycle of the bacteria as well as cleans out food sources for those bacteria.

One other important factor is maintaining the saliva flow in your mouth.

Saliva is not just spit or liquid. It is a powerful agent that buffers the acid produced by bacteria. An acidic environment in your mouth does not just erode your teeth. Acid actually promotes the growth of bad bacteria, so saliva will fight this by stabilizing the pH levels. Plus saliva is critically important in the remineralization process of your teeth, it provides a steady source of minerals that continually feed and rebuild the enamel on your teeth. So a dry mouth is a bad thing!

Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, so if this is the case then discuss alternatives with your doctor. Chewing promotes saliva flow and many people find relief by using healthy chewing gum choices.

Additionally, our oral probiotic blend has been shown to increase saliva flow. This is the result of certain key probiotics we have included that stimulate healthy saliva flow.

We certainly hope that this has helped you to better understand why healthy gums are so important to you. We also hope it has inspired you to seek great oral health for you and for your family.

Diabetes and Periodontitis, a Two-way Street

Oral health, diabetes and periodontitis

diabetes, gum disease, doctor, oral health, periodontitis

GUM DISEASE CONCEPT Medicine doctor hand working

Diabetes is a major concern for tens of millions of Americans. While most of us are familiar with the insulin and metabolic complications associated with diabetes there are far fewer that are aware of the increased prevalence of gum disease, tooth decay and other oral health problems amongst diabetics.

What is even more surprising is the increased evidence from medical studies showing that there is a “two-way street” relationship between diabetes and oral health. In other words, evidence suggests that:

  • Diabetics are more likely to suffer from serious gum disease, periodontitis and
  • Periodontitis decreases the body’s ability to control blood glucose, thus gum disease is a factor in aiding the progression and development of diabetes

This was covered in a clinical study that researched the link between treating periodontal disease with SRP (scaling and root planing, or a deep cleaning) and the effect upon glycemic control in diabetic patients. Clinical study on periodontal disease and diabetes, glucose management

The following is taken from that study:

“Periodontal disease and diabetes mellitus (DM) share a two-way relationship. It can be hypothesized that successful management of periodontal infection in diabetes will lead not only to reduction of local signs and symptoms of the disease, but also to better control of glucose metabolism… The result indicates that SRP is effective in improving metabolic control in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus patients”

Another respected site, www.diabetes.org, also supports these findings with their statement that:

“Emerging research also suggests that the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way. Not only are diabetics more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. Research suggests that diabetics are at higher risk for oral health problems, such as gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (serious gum disease). Diabetics are at an increased risk for serious gum disease because they are generally more susceptible to bacterial infection, and have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums.”

“If your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you are more likely to develop serious gum disease and lose more teeth than non-diabetics. Like all infections, serious gum disease may be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise and may make diabetes harder to control.”

The relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease is well established and it is a recognized fact that diabetic patients are more likely to experience gum disease and tooth loss. It is an increasingly recognized fact that those with gum disease have an increased risk of developing glucose intolerance issues that contribute to the progression of diabetes.

What is also recognized is that these increased risks and prevalence factors are far more likely to be found in uncontrolled cases. Simply put in those that do not take adequate care of their mouth and gums or their glucose management.

As this earlier study showed, effective periodontal treatments, in this study a SRP–Scaling and Root Planing–was used, demonstrated the added benefit for diabetic patients of an improved blood glucose and diabetic condition.

However, as other clinical studies show, the SRP treatment is limited in that the “bad bacteria” rapidly grows back and the condition returns. These treatments can be greatly enhanced in efficiency by the addition of using oral probiotics to support a healthy bacterial culture in your mouth and gums. (See our earlier blog post on this subject: Lactobacillus reuteri and chronic periodontitis).

As those that suffer from it know, diabetes is a serious disease with multiple complications that severely impact one’s quality of life. Taking effective measures to control diabetes can provide strong positive benefits and extend one’s life. One such effective measure is to address the state of your oral health. Deep cleanings, periodontal treatments, ongoing hygiene and the regular use of oral probiotics are all effective in promoting superior oral health and combating periodontal disease.

The advanced oral probiotic blend from Great Oral Health provides a broad spectrum of beneficial bacteria along with key ingredients designed to help remineralize your teeth. If you, or someone you care for, is diabetic then improving the level of oral health is a key step in effective management of that disease.

Oral Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri and chronic periodontitis

A Clinical Study Shows Significant Periodontal Results from Oral Probiotic Lactobacillus Reuteri

periodontal disease, image of healthy gums, unhealthy gums, oral probioticsThere are multiple clinical studies on the use of oral probiotics in the treatment of periodontal disease. This 2013 study focused on the use of the oral probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri together with the standard and commonplace treatment of “Scaling and Root Planing” or as you probably know it, a deep cleaning. SRP is how your dentist or periodontist would first tackle heavy plaque build-up, deep gum pocket depths and gingivitis.

The question that the clinical researchers had was “Would the oral probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri be effective as an adjunct to a SRP treatment?”

This clinical test was the first to measure the benefit of combining a deep cleaning (SRP) with oral probiotics. A primary purpose of doing a deep cleaning (SRP) is to disrupt the growth of the pathological bacteria that is largely responsible for periodontal disease. The problem is that although SRP does a great job of disrupting the bacterial growth the stuff grows right back! So, the researchers were studying to see if a longer term and beneficial effect could be obtained by using oral probiotics as an adjunct to SRP.

The clinical study results were published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology in 2013 and conducted by several universities, two in Belgium and one in Turkey.

They tested two groups of chronic periodontitis patients, both groups received the SRP treatment, then one group took oral probiotics and the other took a placebo.

The patients were measured and monitored for such things as: probing pocket depth (how deep your gum pockets are), the gingival recession (the gingiva are basically your gums), the bleeding on probing and also measured for bacteria that were present in the mouths of each patient.

The patients were measured throughout the 12-week clinical test.

Results of Using Oral Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri along with a Deep Cleaning

While both groups saw improvement over the baseline (starting point measurements) the results showed significant improvement in the group that took oral probiotics over the group that took a placebo.

The group that took oral probiotics saw a significant reduction in pocket depth (meaning that the gums were attaching) and less bleeding on probing.

Using Oral Probiotics to Reduce the Future Risk of Periodontitis Disease Progression

Most interesting was the assessment done on all patients at the end of the trial to determine their future risk of “disease progression” and in the high risk group the numbers were 67% for the non-oral probiotics patients versus only 27% in the group that took oral probiotics. In the low risk group it was even more impressive as 60% of the oral probiotic users fell into the low risk group for future disease progression versus only a mere 13% for the non-users!

Moral of the story is that combining SRP with the use of oral probiotics is significantly better than just SRP alone, particularly if you want to avoid future treatments and improve your gum health.

And these results were measured after only 12 weeks and by using just with one oral probiotic, L. reuteri, so we will await any clinical studies that look at longer time periods and/or a blend of oral probiotic strains.

One of the reasons we built our Great Oral Health formulation with a total of seven strains of beneficial oral probiotics is that they each bring a benefit to your mouth and work synergistically for a healthier oral environment. We think that taking a daily oral probiotic supplement is preferable by far to ongoing deep cleanings, and more economical to boot!

The study can be found by search for: J Clin Periodontol 2013; 40: 1025–1035. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12155.

BLIS K12, an anti-bacterial “bullet”

BLIS K12, a super powerful oral probiotic

oral probiotics, BLIS K12, anti-bacterial, natural cold remedyA patented strain of oral probiotics, known as Streptococcus salivarius K12, is a naturally occurring bacteria found in a very small percentage of the human population (2% or less of people have this bacteria in their mouths).

Scientists discovered BLIS K12 by studying people that were unusually free of illness, particularly oral ailments.

These people almost never got ill with sore throats or colds and had few oral ailments, including a low incidence of bad breath, halitosis. Further study showed that these individual’s mouths were naturally populated with a powerfully beneficial bacterial strain, now called BLIS K12.

This was a finding that was of great interest due to its potential for naturally boosting immunity and oral health, so further studies followed. Researchers were particularly interested in how this strain was able to provide such beneficial results, what was the mechanism behind it all?

Well these smart researchers did figure it out and a simplified explanation is given below, but first let’s define a couple terms:

BLIS: an abbreviation that stands for Bacteriocin like Inhibitory Substance (Bacteriocin is a compound word that means a toxin produced by one bacteria that is harmful or lethal to other bacteria).

Peptide: in very simple terms these are just groups of amino acids, proteins, that are bonded together. Basically a compound of amino acids.

OK, still with us? Good, because here is where it gets interesting.

This bacterial strain (S. salivarius K12) actually creates a couple peptides that are like bullets fired against incoming invader bacteria! It is quite clever, the BLIS K12 is actually able to recognize the other bacteria, target it and fire away with these peptide “bullets”. Just like being shot by a gun, these peptide “bullets” (technically they are called BLIS) pop a hole in the invading bacteria cell wall, and then these bacteria effectively bleed to death.

The BLIS K12 (K12 is just a random name given to this strain) bacteria are like roving immune squads, firing away at the “bad” bacteria that cause many types of ear-nose-throat infections as well as oral health ailments such as bad breath, gum disease and plaque formation.

Fantastic news, except if you are one of the 98% of humans that do not naturally possess this bacteria! Thankfully one can supplement with quality oral probiotics and populate your mouth–thus obtaining these great benefits.

But it is important to remember that BLIS K12 is not a drug but a living bacteria.

Why is this important? Well, it means that one is dealing with living entities and certain lifestyle habits, smoking and drinking in particular, can make it very, very difficult for the BLIS K12 to survive. In addition, the use of heavy chemicals and antibacterial oral products will also work against these beneficial bacteria, as they don’t just target and kill off the “bad” bacteria.

There is another important factor to consider in choosing an oral probiotic product. The oral probiotics have to be effective at the job of integration and adhesion into the oral biofilm (think of “biofilm” as a living, bacterial colony that coats, like a film, your mouth and teeth). Biofilms are like exclusive neighborhoods, they can be hard to get into and resist newcomers! If the oral probiotics can’t get into the “neighborhood” then they can’t go to work.

A quality oral probiotic, such as our Advanced Oral Probiotic Blend from Great Oral Health, is compounded with oral probiotics that have a proven capacity for working their way into the biofilms and extant bacterial colonies in your mouth. In addition, we manufacture our oral probiotics with proprietary ingredients designed to boost the chalky texture which boosts our adhesion factor tremendously.

Keep in mind that while it can take weeks, if not months, to see full results from any probiotic regimen, studies have shown significant results within weeks of taking BLIS K12.

Clinical studies have shown significant results in reducing illness, boosting gum health, improving bad breath and a number of other symptoms associated with the regular use of oral probiotics.

Find out more on our website: www.greatoralhealth.com

BLIS M18 in Clinical Study Shows Significant Results in Treating Cavity-Prone Children

BLIS M18 and Preventing Cavities

Blonde Smiling Kid Thumbs UpAre oral probiotics effective in preventing cavities, especially in children and young adults? This group of scientific researchers seem to think so and they found significant reductions in the key indicators that lead to cavities, plaque deposits and the presence of the S. Mutans strain of bacteria in the mouth.

The study was conducted by a team of research scientists in Italy to examine the effectiveness of the probiotic strain BLIS M18 as a preventive measure in reducing the incidence of dental caries (cavities) in at-risk patients.

Selected were a group of 76 children that were determined to be at-risk for the development of dental caries. The children were separated into two groups, both dissolved tablets in their mouths but only one group received tablets containing the oral probiotic BLIS M18. The children continued to take the tablets for 90 days, at which time results were measured.

The group taking the oral probiotic M18 saw a 50% reduction in the amount of dental plaque. Additionally, and quite importantly, this group also saw a 75% reduction in mutans streptococci-these are the bacteria that are closely associated with causing cavities. That was a huge result and improvement from a very simple daily action of sucking on a lozenge.

Here is what the researchers wrote:

“According to our results, 90 days treatment with this oral probiotic has increased the chances of avoiding new cavities in children”

They went on to discuss how the strain M18 actually releases bacteriocins (like natural antibiotics) that inhibit the growth of the S. Mutans bacteria. The M18 strain also releases enzymes that help to breakdown plaque and to balance the pH levels in the mouth.

As the researchers said “dietary supplementation with BLIS M18 significantly increases the chances of avoiding dental caries… ”

Our Advanced Oral Probiotics are packed with BLIS M18, and also BLIS K12 which is great for overall immune health and fighting ear-nose-throat infections. What a great and simple way to boost the oral health for the whole family.

How to Prevent Cavities and Inhibit Dental Caries

Your Basic Rules and Guidelines to Prevent Cavities and Inhibit Dental Caries

We covered a lot of territory in the last few posts, so a simple summation of what to do is in order.

Here you are, how to prevent tooth decay:

smiling people, healthy smiles, healthy teeth, prevent tooth decay, oral healthFirst, realize that dental caries don’t “just happen” and although we are all genetically different “poor genes” is not an excuse. Realizing that you CAN PREVENT tooth decay is step one.

Two, understand that the fundamental cause of tooth decay is the effect of corrosive acid on the teeth. This literally eats away at the enamel and sucks the minerals right out as well. Over time the enamel disappears and holes or cavities appear. So controlling the acidic pH in your mouth is the top preventative approach.

Three, acid does not just appear either. It is created by bacteria, the chief culprit being the group of bacteria known as mutans streptococci. Here is a very basic view of how the streptococci bacteria contributes to tooth decay:

These are highly adaptable and hardy bacteria. They have specialized properties that allow them to adhere to the teeth, this adhesion of bacteria (also known as BIOFILM) is what forms plaque. This bacteria uses SUCROSE to form the sticky substance that allows adhesion. The bacteria also metabolizes other sugars–such as glucose, fructose and lactose–into acids. The acid then eats away at the teeth.

Four, the important concept here is that a sticky biofilm, in constant and immediate content with your teeth, will lead to tooth decay WHEN that biofilm becomes ACIDIC. You will never get rid of the biofilm, nor do you need to. What you need to do is to fight the acidic conditions and control the balance of bacteria in the biofilm.

Five, dietary factors can help greatly in controlling the acidic pH levels in your mouth and in the biofilm. Sugars and simple carbohydrates are super-food for the mutans streptococci and so limiting these foods is an important step. Perhaps even more important is limiting the frequency and timing of such foods. Constant or ongoing exposure to such foods means that your mouth is always acidic and this is BAD.

Follow such foods with a water-rinse. An additional step would be to follow with non-acidic foods or drink (cheese or black tea-no sugar!). Saliva plays a huge role in lowering the acidic pH, so a sugar-free gum with Xylitol is a good way to follow up such foods–as this both stimulates saliva flow and inhibits bacterial growth.

Six, twice-a-day oral hygiene including both brushing and flossing. It is important to keep in mind that the purpose of these actions is NOT to just clean food from the mouth. The most important reason is to disturb the bacterial growth and formation of the biofilm. Brushing and flossing does just that and so is not something to “put off” or “catch up” on, it must be done regularly and twice-a-day for optimal disruption of the oral bacteria life cycle.

Seven, using our advanced oral probiotics (Great Oral Health) to “fight fire with fire.” Oral probiotics infiltrate into the biofilm on your teeth and into your gums. Here they stabilize the pH by a) crowding out the s. mutans bacteria, b) producing substances that actively inhibit the growth of the s. mutans and c) they produce non-acidic byproducts that actually counter the acids created by the s. mutans.

SV Bottle 375pxThe beauty of our oral probiotics is that they go to work as part of your body’s natural and native system, this means not only more powerful results but also “around the clock” protection as they become a part of the living, active biofilm in your mouth.

Unlike drugs or harsh chemicals that kill off ALL bacteria (fundamentally a bad idea) our oral probiotics will build a healthier and beneficial environment in your mouth. As this occurs, then your body is able to go about restoring the damage and healing itself. We have even included powerful ingredients to assist in the healing and remineralization of your teeth.

While this process does not occur overnight (the body does need time to heal once a healthy environment is reestablished) the reduction in cavity production and the restoration of gum health has been well documented in multiple medical studies and clinical trials.

There you have it, follow these guidelines–and add our oral probiotics to your regimen–and we can safely say that “Great Oral Health is in your future.”

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