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There’s a Jungle in Your Mouth!

There’s a Jungle in Your Mouth!

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Today, most of us understand our mouths are the gateway to the rest of the body. There’s a whole microcosm of bacteria – both beneficial and, in some cases, not so beneficial, that travel to every nook and cranny. Our nutrition highly impacts what grows and flourishes in our bodies… But here’s something most do not know: How we sleep impacts what grows in our mouths!

We Are Filled with Bacteria!
There are billions of bacteria thriving in the oral cavity and, for that matter, in our gut. And what you “feed” them matters. Feed the good bacteria or feed the bad! In the past, the goal of traditional dentistry was to “kill” the bad bacteria. Biological dentistry has moved away from just “killing” bad bacteria toward managing the oral microbiome ecosystem to promote oral-systemic health.

We all have bacteria growing with us. Our saliva is beneficial in the oral cavity in so many ways. Saliva protects us from cavities, starts digestion, buffers the pH of the biofilm, and has biomarkers and hormone levels that today help the medical and dental professionals identify disease and metabolic disorders. There’s only one problem: many of us are sleeping with our mouths open!

Humans were not meant to sleep with their mouths open. When we do, the pH in our mouths is reduced; in other words, our mouths become more acidic, creating the perfect storm for cavities, gum inflammation, and overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria. This creates dysbiosis, which can lead to metabolic syndrome/imbalances, high blood pressure, and an overgrowth of harmful bacteria.

How Bad Can Bad Bacteria Be?
New research has found that some harmful bacteria are related to Alzheimer’s (Porphyromonas gingivalis, Borrelia, T. denticola, Stachybotrys) and breast cancers (Fusobacterium nucleatum). F. nucleatum inhibits the immune system and promotes the growth of malignant breast tumors in women.

Tumors have unique environments that can support the growth of various bacteria. They have numerous blood vessels with abundant blood flow, allowing bacteria from the bloodstream to easily enter a tumor and live there. Oral bacteria called F. nucleatum can travel through the blood from the mouth and stay in a breast tumor. F. nucleatum enters the bloodstream from infected areas of the mouth, such as swollen and bleeding gums, infected root canals, dental root residues, and even dental cavities.

It’s important to note that those who have already received cancer treatments such as chemotherapy may have a compromised immune system for a long time. This can create an environment that is favorable to the survival of pathogenic bacteria in the blood and their installation in breast tumors. F. nucleatum has been shown to cause resistance to cancer treatments and modify the immune system.

The High-Risk Pathogens That Are the Causative Drivers of Inflammation and Disease

  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa): Heart disease, ischemic stroke, Alzheimer’s, dementia, brain abscesses, aneurysm, altered immune response, arterial plaque, oxidative stress, pregnancy complications, bone loss, increase in dental decay, periodontal disease, Implant failures
  • Porphyromonas gingivitis (Pg): Heart attack, Ischemic stroke, arterial plaque, pregnancy complications, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, oxidative stress, appendicitis, multiple sclerosis, periodontal disease, implant failure
  • Treponema denticola (Td): Cardiovascular disease, arterial plaque, Alzheimer’s, joint replacement failures, cancer, stroke, dementia, periodontal disease
  • Tannerella forsythia (Tf): Alzheimer’s, dementia, arterial plaque, heart disease, pregnancy complications, diabetes, joint replacements, cancer, aneurysm, oxidative stress, stroke, implant failure, periodontal disease
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum (Fn): Pregnancy complications, cancer, arterial plaque, Alzheimer’s, dementia, altered immune response, intestinal complications, heart disease, arthritis, implant failure, periodontal disease

Biological Dentistry to the Rescue!
Oral hygiene should be a priority, not only in breast cancer patients but those concerned with autoimmune issues, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and many other risks. Frequent toothbrushing and flossing should be mandatory. The eradication of contaminated and infected areas of the mouth (including dental cavities, abscesses, swollen and bleeding gums, old contaminated prostheses, metal implants causing inflammation, and so on) must be diligently attended to. These areas can harbor not only Fusobacterium and Porphyromonas gingivalis, but at least five other species as well. We can now test for them with a simple saliva test: HR5.

There are several tests that can qualitatively evaluate each person’s saliva for bacteria present. We also have electron microscopes that can show us in real-time what is living in our mouths, such as Actinomyces, Fusobacterium, and even Amoeba.

The good news is we have ways to mitigate and even eliminate unwanted bacteria. Traditional dentistry uses chlorhexidine mouth rinses, but new research has found that these rinses (including Peridex and Periogard) inhibit fibrin formation, the cornerstone of the healing process.

Biological dentistry uses lasers that decontaminate, ozone treatments, and a whole army of biological treatments that can naturally help eliminate these bad guys and allow for healing. The first step in prevention is screening! Ask your biological dentist for the HR5 test to determine whether you are at risk.

Dr. Josephine Perez, DMD, has been practicing dentistry for 30 years. She is a graduate of Tufts University School of Dentistry in Boston and interned at New Orleans Coast Guard/Navy Base. Her holistic approach to dentistry encompasses each person’s unique and entire (or whole—holistic) state of physical and emotional well-being. The ability to maintain health through preventive measures and treatments of oral disease is her priority. Dr. Perez focuses on the underlying condition, rather than only treating the symptoms. She tests for biocompatibility to find pathways to reduce inflammation and apply biocompatible and biomimetic materials, supplements, essential oils to restore and strengthen the oral cavity and ultimately, the whole body. After decades of restoring and transforming smiles, Dr. Perez has integrated total wellness into her oral health enhancement practice—a revolutionary style of dentistry.

Visit Pure Dental in Naples at 4444 Tamiami Trail N, Ste. 6–7, call 239.692.9623 or go to: www.puredentalnaples.com.