Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS • Nutritional Periodontist
February 27, 2017
The most obvious signs of gum disease are bleeding gums and gum infection. The most obvious causes are unhealthy clumps of dental plaque around the gum margin and irritating tartar located under the gums. I’ve written about dental plaque and dental tartar in the past. But, before there is unhealthy dental plaque and irritating tartar, there usually was something bad going on in the gut.
Something makes the normal level of healthy bacteria in the gut become out-of-balance. The bad microbes become “bullies”. They start to overwhelm the garden of healthy gut bacteria. These “bullies”, along with remnants of undigested foods and toxic irritants, can damage the one-cell-layer-thick gut lining. Once this lining is breached, these irritants can leak into the blood system. Then, cascading problems develop:
- The immune system gets out of control
- Chronic inflammation begins circulating throughout the body
- Other organs become damaged
- The bacteria in the mouth start to change for the worse
The obvious and necessary treatment for unhealthy gums includes removing the unhealthy plaque and the irritating tartar. But, that is not all that needs to be done. In addition, the gut must be made healthy; and nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods must be introduced into the diet to replace bad food choices.
But after all this, what if gum diseases still persist? What could be the causes of further gum bleeding and gum infection? The answer might be that stubborn and virulent microbes still are playing havoc under the gums. These bad guys could leak into the blood system, creating problems throughout the body. Let’s take it to the next step.
Brad Wilson, DDS from Houston, TX has been doing cutting-edge research with PathoGenius Laboratory. Dr. Wilson has created a protocol to discover the bad bugs that continue to be out-of-control in the mouth. I am using this test to investigate those bad guys in my patients’ mouths.
The protocol begins with the patient brushing into his or her gum tissues. This will loosen dental plaque. Then the patient will give a saliva sample. Next, the sample is sent to PathoGenius Laboratory, which will test the saliva for microbes.
This innovative analysis determines ALL bacteria and yeast species in the sample using each bug’s unique DNA structure. The resulting lab report identifies the most harmful, disease-producing bugs in the mouth. The report also points out antibiotics that could kill the bad guys with minimal harm to the good bacteria. It is important to avoid a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which kills bad as well as good bacteria. Only the bad guys should be targeted, leaving the healthy bacteria to function normally.
If the lab results show harmful bacteria detected in large numbers, the patient moves on to the next stage to destroy them.
Methods to kill the bad bugs
If there are no deep pockets of bacteria and if there is no advanced jawbone destruction, I will recommend an antimicrobial to destroy these bad bugs. Choices are a systemic antibiotic or a localized antibiotic as suggested by PathoGenius Laboratory. Sometimes I recommend a natural product like raw honey to eliminate the bad bugs. I have written about the medical benefits of raw honey several times. (HERE. HERE. HERE.)
However, if gum infection is advanced and significant bone destruction has occurred around the teeth (known as periodontitis), I recommend a unique laser protocol called LANAP® (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure). LANAP will destroy any remaining harmful bacteria and will assist the body in regenerating new bone.
Gum disease is usually the direct result of unhealthy clumps of dental plaque and buried tartar under the gums. Deep tartar irritates the gum areas like embedded splinters irritate the skin of a finger. Unhealthy plaque and irritating tartar need to be removed. But, nutrient-dense foods and a healthy gut are critical for ongoing health of the mouth. I teach my patients how to change their diet to improve their mouth and to improve the rest of their body.
If there are any significant amounts of pathogenic bacteria in the mouth, they must be identified and eliminated. Bacteria-specific antibiotics or natural remedies may be necessary to reduce these bad guys. In advanced periodontal disease, not only resistant bad bugs need to be destroyed but also damaged jawbone needs to be regenerated. For the patient with advanced periodontal disease, the LANAP protocol has been documented to be an excellent treatment to return the area to health. LANAP is my choice of treatment for patients with this level of periodontitis.