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.

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.

Natural Probiotic Rich Foods

What Foods Should You Eat for Probiotic Benefits?

healthy couple, healthy diet, lifestyle, wellnessHow about probiotic foods?

This is probably the simplest of these posts.

Probiotics were “discovered” by a researcher in Russia who was puzzled why certain groups of people had such good health. He determined that it was due to the intake of fermented foods, such as yogurt, and began isolating the beneficial bacteria that were responsible.

These foods have been around forever and vary from culture to culture but generally have one thing in common–they are fermented.

This covers yogurts and kefirs, pickles and sauerkraut, the Korean kimchi and fermented tea known as kombucha.

There are such a variety of these foods and so a bit of internet search will help you discover what works and what doesn’t.

However, some cautions, try to avoid fermented products that have been overly cooked, have preservatives or are loaded with sugar. Try to go natural or organic if at all possible and when it comes to yogurts and kefirs there is more benefit to keeping AWAY from the non-fat versions. These are often loaded with sugars, additives, thickeners that interfere with the healthy benefits, and the natural fat can assist in the better assimilation of the beneficial bacteria.

Well, there you have it, Probiotics 101!

PS. Need an oral probiotic? These build a healthy bacteria microbiome in your mouth for improved breath, stronger teeth, combat gum disease and even boost immunity against ear, nose and throat infections. You can buy our oral probiotics here: Advanced Oral Probiotics

Probiotics Supplements

A quick word on probiotic supplements or supplementation

woman, supplement, vitamins, healthy gut, probiotics,While arguably one could rebuild their gut with dietary changes and the introduction of probiotic friendly fibers and foods, the truth is that our modern lives, diets and medicines have stripped our guts of friendly bacteria and encouraged the heavy overgrowth of other bacteria… resulting in some pretty unhealthy guts and people.

There are many reputable companies out there, but here are some simple guidelines in choosing a probiotic supplement:

1. Make sure it is diverse. Your microbiome has quite a complex variety of bacteria, so rebuilding is helped by introducing more than just one or two strains.
2. The bacteria needs to make it into your intestines. This means through the harsh stomach environment. There are processes and encapsulations that assist in this process, so choose a probiotic supplement that is designed to make it into your gut.
3. Many probiotics require refrigeration to preserve the strength of the live bacteria. In this case make sure that the supplement has been stored properly. There are also probiotic supplements that have been specially manufactured for guaranteed potency at room temperature. “LiveBac” is one such process and is the one we use for our oral probiotics. If you can choose such a probiotic then this will be much more convenient and potentially have a stronger potency.
4. If you have the time, take a moment to research each strain. It’s pretty easy to Google and to get an idea of what each strain is best known for.

Finally, realize that rebuilding a gut could take months, so stick with it. Sometimes, when guts are truly deficient, there can be initial stomach upset and such. Use your judgment and perhaps cut back but do realize that this is a live process and can take time.

As a note: our oral probiotics have SEVEN strains of beneficial bacteria to provide a broader spectrum of benefits, they are manufactured using the LIVEBAC process for longer shelf life, ease of use and guaranteed potency PLUS they are engineered for enhanced adherence to assist in the process of “breaking in” to the microbiomes and biofilms in your mouth.

You can buy our oral probiotics here: Advanced Oral Probiotics

Getting Rolling on Building a Healthy Gut

Now a Word about the Next Step in Building a Healthy Gut

healthy lifestyle, healthy girl, smiling girl, probiotics, dietThe dreaded “D” word, DIET… yes, we know the first three letters spell DIE but seriously!

This is not an all encompassing diet post but there are some very simple and very easy steps to help build a healthy canvas for your microbiome to flourish. Doing these steps will help the supplements that you take, and the probiotic rich foods that you eat, have a real boost in establishing that healthy microbiome you need for a healthy life.

First, unless medically required (IMPORTANT), do try to cut back on antibiotic and germicide products… including mouthwashes, cleansers and such. If you don’t really and truly need them then they are doing you more harm than good.

Next, probiotics in your gut LOVE fiber. You can Google “prebiotics” for more information, but there are great fiber foods (asparagus, garlic, leeks, bananas to name a few) that provide fiber that probiotics THRIVE on. You should add these to your diet and perhaps even consider a prebiotic supplement.

Finally, try to limit sugars, simple carbohydrates and difficult food additive that one cannot even pronounce. Fruit juices, sugary yogurts and cereals, white bread… you know the culprits. If you can’t eliminate them, try your best to make them treats and not daily buddies.

The last step will help establish a more balanced environment for the probiotics to flourish… plus you might even be pleased when you step on the scale!

Could Eating Dirt Help Keep Your Gut Healthy? Well…

Is there a way to a healthy gut?

mature man, stomach ache, healthy gut, stomach pain, ibs suffererYes, but first some understanding of how we got to where we are.

Part of the problem lies with our civilized life. While none of us probably want to go back to living in huts or trade in the cleanliness of modern life or stop taking medicines, these factors in our modern lives have played a big part in our sick guts.

Humans built strong immune systems in no small part due to exposure to the dirt, filth and germs of the world. They ate foods that were fermented, or even bad, and were closely exposed to all kinds of bacteria. While this was, and is, not always a good thing the opposite is also true: antibiotics, chemicals, cleansers and “safe” foods have eliminated many of the bacteria we ingested as we evolved. Add to this the refined sugars, simple carbohydrates and major lack of fiber… it is no wonder that we are suffering.

It is so bad that one medical treatment for kids with intestinal problems is to feed them dirt (or worse) just to build up their bacterial microbiome.

While this course is not being suggested there is definitely merit in limiting the overuse of antibiotic or germicides, harsh cleansers and such.

This is also true of the microbiome in your mouth, the ongoing use of antibiotic mouthwashes, toothpastes and other oral products kills off the healthy bacteria as well. Then the consumption of sugars and such helps the “bad” bacteria to overgrow and the next thing you know one has a periodontal disease epidemic in America.

Remember a healthy microbiome will boost the immune system and a strong immune system is the BEST defense against illness and disease.

Part of the problem lies with our civilized life. While none of us probably want to go back to living in huts or trade in the cleanliness of modern life or stop taking medicines, these factors in our modern lives have played a big part in our sick guts.

Humans built strong immune systems in no small part due to exposure to the dirt, filth and germs of the world. They ate foods that were fermented, or even bad, and were closely exposed to all kinds of bacteria. While this was, and is, not always a good thing the opposite is also true: antibiotics, chemicals, cleansers and “safe” foods have eliminated many of the bacteria we ingested as we evolved. Add to this the refined sugars, simple carbohydrates and major lack of fiber… it is no wonder that we are suffering.

It is so bad that one medical treatment for kids with intestinal problems is to feed them dirt (or worse) just to build up their bacterial microbiome.

While this course is not being suggested there is definitely merit in limiting the overuse of antibiotic or germicides, harsh cleansers and such.

This is also true of the microbiome in your mouth, the ongoing use of antibiotic mouthwashes, toothpastes and other oral products kills off the healthy bacteria as well. Then the consumption of sugars and such helps the “bad” bacteria to overgrow and the next thing you know one has a periodontal disease epidemic in America.

Remember a healthy microbiome will boost the immune system and a strong immune system is the BEST defense against illness and disease.

Probiotics 101, is a great gut possible?

Building a Healthy Gut with Probiotics

Probiotics, word cloud, healthy living, eating wellMore and more news about probiotics is generated daily, in fact around the globe probiotic supplements are at the top of the field for some years now.

While these supplements for your gut are certainly beneficial there is a lot you can do for your intestine outside of taking a supplement.

The basic fact is that you are aiming to build up your microbiome.

What is the microbiome, you might ask? Simple answer is the complex bacterial environment where these little microorganisms gather, live and interact… a true example of the whole being more than the sum of the parts.

In your intestines you have such a microbiome and it is a CRITICAL player in the game of staying alive and being healthy. It plays a big role in just about every key function, from emotional health to digestive/nutritional processes to immunity and more. When it is functioning well, in a balanced and active state, then your chances of good health, high energy and even good mood are greatly enhanced.

When it is in a poor shape then all sorts of problems ensue and the stage is set for all kinds of health issues.

So, keeping it in good shape is important!

See our next post for more information!

Join the New Wave of Oral Health!

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Overgrowth of bad bacteria in your mouth contributes to gum disease, bad breath, tooth decay and other problems. Build a strong and healthy environment in your oral cavity for fresher breather and healthier gums, try out Advanced Oral Probiotics today!

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