My Cancer Journey
And My Gut

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

March 23, 2020




First, an update about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and me. I am in the high-risk group because I’ll be 73 years old in April, and I’m challenged with incurable bone marrow cancer. So, I am staying away from people and washing my hands more than ever. Also, I’m adhering strictly to my Unconventional Cancer Protocols to support my immune system. Remember, the immune system is the body’s “armed force” to protect us from harmful invaders including COVID-19. And the gut is the center of our immune system.



Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases start in the gut. And cancer is one of those chronic diseases. Do you know the method of action starting from the gut leading to chronic disease?


Think about the gut like the hub of a bicycle wheel. Consider the pathways from the gut leading to the rest of the body like the spokes of the wheel spreading out from the hub to its rim.



If the hub of the wheel were broken, then the spokes connecting the hub to the bike’s rim would become weakened. If enough spokes became weakened, then the outer rim could collapse. If the rim broke down, then the wheel would cave in. The entire bicycle would no longer function.



And so, if the gut were to become damaged, then the pathways leading to all the body’s structures would be affected. Ultimately, all organ systems could suffer.



The Gut

Based on my analogy, the gut is like the hub of the wheel. The circulatory and nerve pathways (like the spokes of the wheel) lead from the gut to all cellular structures in the body. These pathways feed the body’s ability to function properly. If the gut becomes compromised, then anything and everything along the paths can break down. The ultimate result could be the development of chronic diseases.


The nutrients we consume and the toxic substances we avoid determine the health of our gut. The gut can become compromised from non-nutritious and harmful foods as well as from environmental irritants. Also, sleep, exercise, and psychological stress affect gut health. Once the inside of the gut breaks down (including its garden of bacteria and the mucus layer), the outer epithelial barrier could fail.


The outer epithelial barrier is only one cell layer thick. It separates the contents of the gut from the rest of the body. Importantly, the gut is the most highly regenerative organ in the human body. And the gut regenerates its barrier epithelium every five to seven days. It has amazing self-healing potential. This is critical to understand.


However, continued failure of the integrity of this barrier allows junk to enter the circulation (i.e. Leaky Gut) along with cascading inflammatory events stemming from our immune system. The immune cells are just outside the epithelial barrier. The circulatory and nerve tissue complexes are the pathways for the immune system’s inflammatory chemicals. These biologically active chemicals spread out in all directions to anatomical structures. Over time and with continued disturbances in the gut, chronic diseases can emerge.



Your Health

Who will take responsibility for your health and welfare? No one but you!  Certainly during this time of COVID-19, all of us must take the charge. We have to be proactive as well as reactive:


  • We must be sure that our diet is nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory. If not, we will suffer the consequences.
  • We must be effective in removing and avoiding toxic elements as best as we can. If not, we will suffer the consequences.
  • We must take measures to assure that the garden of gut bacteria and the internal workings of the gut are in balance. If not, we will suffer the consequences.


If we do our part, then the gut barrier should function and regenerate properly. If there is leakage, it can repair itself.


In my recent blogs, I wrote about how I discovered the Carnivore Diet, which is a healthy diet based on our body’s physiology and ancestral evolution. (For detailed references, I refer you to the recently released book by Dr. Paul Saladino titled, The Carnivore Code. It is a treasure trove of information.) I’ve also written about the large number of toxic elements that can harm our gut. (Check out my Blog Page to read more.)


If we’re doing the right things for our body, we may want to determine if our gut barrier is functioning properly. To do this, we need to know if we have a leaky gut and to what extent it might be “leaky”.



Gut Permeability Test

There are several biological tests that claim to detect a “leaky gut”, or more specifically “increased and abnormal intestinal permeability”. All of these tests have their problems and are not 100% reliable. One test that is used in Europe is the “PEG 400 Gut Permeability Test”. The test consists of drinking a tasteless liquid made up of various molecular sizes of polyethylene glycol (PEG) that is mixed into 250 ml of filtered water.


The test is available from BioLab Ltd[1] in England and from Paleomedicini[2] in Budapest, Hungary.


The PEG 400 Gut Permeability Test is a 6-hour test. To perform the test, you fast for 3 hours before starting the test. Probably the best time to start the test is immediately after waking up in the morning. Prior to starting the test, you urinate. Then, mix the PEG liquid into 250 ml of filtered water and drink it. For the next 2 hours, don’t eat or drink. Thereafter, you can. Just after drinking the PEG/water concoction, you begin collecting all urine until exactly the 6-hour mark. At the completion of the test, record the total volume of urine, and then pour a small sample into the 20 ml collection bottle, which is included in the test kit. That’s it. You’ll pack up your urine specimen with the necessary paperwork and send it off to the lab by FedEx.


The rationale for the PEG test is that the consumed liquid contains a mixture of inert, water-soluble molecules of different sizes, which may or may not pass through any “holes” in the gut barrier. There is a range of normal permeability of the gut barrier. Those molecules of the PEG that are large should not pass through an intact barrier. The test determines which molecules of the PEG get through the damaged barrier – all of which are reported in the test results. The bottom line is that the PEG Test reportedly helps to determine if you have a “leaky gut” and the extent that your gut is “leaky”.



Results of My PEG 400 Test

Unfortunately, I was not aware of this test until recently. So, I didn’t have a baseline when I started my Cancer Protocols in September 2018. But, better late than never.


I submitted my first urine sample on 3/1/20. That is 2 months after I started the Carnivore Diet. But it was only 5 days after I received both of my regularly scheduled immunotherapies at the Cancer Clinic. I sent the sample to BioLab Ltd.; the turnaround was 16 days.


My report clearly suggested that I have increased intestinal permeability. (Here is the PDF of my test results.) However, I have no way to know if I had more severe permeability at the time I was diagnosed in 2018 or when I started the Carnivore Diet at the beginning of 2020.


Clearly, I was hoping that I would not have a leaky gut. After I received more detailed evaluation and interpretation of my results, I learned that my limited permeability was not severe but was of concern although I was cautioned that I should not rely completely on this test. However, I will use this result as my “baseline” to compare with future tests.


So, after I got over the disappointment, I reevaluated my diet. I was using MCT Oil and eating zero-carb, high-fat, low-protein cheese – both to improve my fat consumption. As of this writing, I gave them up completely. Hopefully, eliminating these potential irritants to my gut will improve my gut barrier.


My goal is to have an intact gut barrier as best as I can. However, I realize that my immunotherapies could be the culprits for any increased intestinal permeability. Because my blood chemistries are improving and my cancer cells are decreasing, I’m not going to make any changes with my immunotherapies or my other cancer protocols. As I have mentioned many times, my Unconventional Cancer Protocols support healthy repair by my body. Why would I want to change them?


I’ll give my gut about a month to respond to my dietary changes, and then I’ll retest. Once I get the new results back from the lab, I’ll be writing about them.


Wish me luck!





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Periodontal Disease
Could Be Killing You

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

December 30, 2019




Periodontal Disease Could be Killing You


Periodontal disease could be killing you. It is often considered a causal factor for many chronic diseases. But you need to know the complete story – not just part of it. While periodontal disease could be a nidus for chronic systemic inflammation and spread of infection, this is only part of the story. The story has a Beginning, a Middle, and an Ending. Let’s start in The Middle.



The Middle

Dental plaque is healthy until it’s not healthy.[1]


Periodontal disease develops from unhealthy dental plaque. Unhealthy plaque results when healthy plaque is transformed into unhealthy dental plaque because of an underlying compromised immune system and unhealthy food choices. It’s fundamental for you to appreciate that a compromised immune system has its roots in unhealthy changes in the gut (i.e. gut dysbiosis) [2],[3], which causes chronic systemic inflammation.


A compromised immune system and unhealthy food choices could allow the hundreds of bacteria in dental plaque to get out of balance and become unhealthy.[4],[5] Then, unhealthy bacteria could proliferate and cause the progression of advanced gum disease[6].


One of the most virulent bacteria in periodontal disease is Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis).[7],[8] Among other self-protective measures, this bacterium produces a biofilm, which is resistant to the body’s immune defenses.[9] As the body continues to fight the resistant P. gingivalis, additional chronic inflammation results. This chronic inflammation can cause the tissues surrounding the infected gum spaces to break down allowing their toxic elements to leak into the general circulation. Additionally, autoimmunity may play a role in the progression of periodontal disease.[10]


It is important to remove unhealthy plaque through an efficient personal oral hygiene protocol performed daily. However, it is also critical to understand that gut dysbiosis leads to pathological changes in the healthy community of bacteria in the mouth. Therefore, gut dysbiosis must be treated to restore oral health, along with removing unhealthy dental plaque. I must emphasize that it is unhealthy to indiscriminately kill bad bacteria as well as good bacteria in the mouth by using antimicrobial mouthwashes or antibiotics on a daily basis.[11]


It also is vital to be aware of periodontal disease because its prevalence is at epidemic proportions. In 2010, a published paper demonstrated that 93.9% of adults in the United States had some form of gingivitis.[12] And in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published their results in the Journal of Dental Research. The report was recently updated in 2015 in the Journal of Periodontology.[13] It showed the prevalence of periodontitis was estimated to be 47.2% for American adults (approximately 64.7 million people). For adults 65 years old and older, the prevalence jumped to 70.1%. These findings were the result of the most comprehensive periodontal evaluation performed ever in the US.


So, statically you most likely have some form of periodontal disease, and it must be treated completely. Otherwise, once periodontal disease is established in the mouth, its pathological byproducts can seep into the bloodstream, lymph fluid, and bone structures to cause spread of infection and inflammation to all areas of the body. This mechanism of seeping into the body’s circulation is similar to the way that an unhealthy gut causes leakage of toxic elements into the bloodstream (i.e. leaky gut) – both creating chronic systemic inflammation.


The eventual result of chronic systemic inflammation is chronic disease.[14],[15],[16] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 60% of Americans live with at least one chronic disease, and chronic diseases are responsible for 70% of deaths each year in the United States.[17] Therefore, periodontal disease could be a source of degenerative chronic diseases originating from chronic systemic inflammation.




The Beginning

Interestingly, there are three human research studies that showed a healthy diet alone can improve the health of the mouth. These studies also determined that removing dental plaque by brushing and flossing was not essential to improve oral health as long as diet was corrected. Specifically, the investigators demonstrated that changing from a diet abundant in high-processed-carbohydrate and inflammatory foods to a diet excluding high-processed-carbohydrate and inflammatory foods will decrease signs of gum inflammation.[18],[19],[20] However, active periodontal treatment will be necessary if gum inflammation progresses into periodontitis, which destroys the jawbone surrounding the teeth.


In February 2019, a medical research article was published in Biomedical Journal[21] entitled, “Association between periodontal pathogens and systemic disease”. The authors describe the correlation between periodontal disease and various chronic diseases and outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal and colorectal cancer, diabetes and insulin resistance, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory tract infections, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The authors go on to state that there are conflicting studies, which try to prove causal relationships. However, there is significant research to show a strong correlation.


In another article published in August 2019 by Hashioka et al[22], the authors reviewed medical research that indicates a causal relationship between periodontal disease and various neuropsychiatric disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, major depression, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, as well as the neurological event of ischemic stroke. The initiating cause of these neurological diseases is neuroinflammation, which is induced by chronic systemic inflammation. Periodontal disease causes chronic systemic inflammation by the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the invasion of periodontitis bacteria (specifically P. gingivalis) along with their inflammatory components (lipopolysaccharide or LPS) into the systemic circulation. Chronic systemic inflammation will activate the microglia, the immune cells in the brain, creating neuroinflammation.


But I want to emphasize again that systemic chronic inflammation is the result of a leaky gut from gut dysbiosis in most cases.


In essence, my research suggests that periodontal disease is not the seed of all systemic disease. As I suggested above, periodontal disease is just one of many chronic diseases occurring on the continuum of the spread of chronic systemic inflammation that starts in the gut. Since the mouth is visible and easy to examine, the mouth may be the first clinical area where disease is diagnosed. And as I mentioned earlier, the prevalence of periodontal disease is at epidemic proportions.


Once systemic disease spreads, a vicious cycle begins because all tissues affect all other tissues in the human body. All mucosal tissues use “crosstalk” to communicate with other tissues.[23],[24],[25]


I should point out that unhealthy bacteria in the mouth in turn can interact further with unhealthy bacteria in the gut, and vice versa.[26]  In the case of periodontal disease, treatment for cascading chronic diseases must include healing both the unhealthy gut and the unhealthy mouth. But for the most part, the origination of mouth disease is in the gut before becoming visible in the mouth and other areas of the body.



The Ending

To stop periodontal disease and prevent this infection from entering the systemic circulation, the infection must be treated efficiently. Treatment may often consist of a dentist, hygienist, or periodontist removing irritants that have become lodged under the gum tissues and initiating inflammation and infection. Removing these irritants will assist the body in healing.[27] In more advanced stages, surgical procedures may be necessary to arrest this disease. Whatever treatment is necessary, an effective oral hygiene program should be instituted at a frequency based on the patient’s ability to take care of his or her mouth. The individual also must have a personal oral hygiene protocol to maintain a healthy mouth.


But whatever periodontal treatment is required, complete treatment must include repairing the gut, restoring the healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, and avoiding unhealthy processed foods and inflammatory foods.
































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Crazy-Good Living


Dr. Michael Ruscio
Dr. Al Danenberg

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
July 4, 2018




Dr. Michael Ruscio Interviews Dr. Al DanenbergI met Dr. Michael Ruscio at the Paleo f(x) meeting in Austin in April 2018. Michael suggested we do a Podcast together. So, we made it happen.


Dr. Michael Ruscio is a chiropractor, clinical researcher, and author whose practical ideas on healing chronic illness have made him an influential voice in functional and alternative medicine. Michael also provides post-doctoral continuing education. His research has been published in peer reviewed medical journals, and he speaks at integrative medical conferences across the globe. Currently, he is a lead researcher in a pending IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) study.


In this interview, Dr. Ruscio and I discuss the profound connections between the gut, the mouth, mitochondria, and chronic disease. I talk about my Periodontal Disease Clinical Study that will be implemented following approval by the Institutional Review Board. We also discuss how improper flossing could lead to receding gums, new testing showing that mouth tissue is a window into your mitochondrial health, and how mouthwashes could lead to high blood pressure.


Tooth decay and periodontal diseases are chronic diseases. My research suggests that the gut could be the initial source for chronic disease to manifest. But, once oral diseases take hold, then both the gut and the mouth must be treated in order to gain control of chronic inflammation and further manifestation of chronic disease.


Listen to the Podcast. It lasts a little more than an hour, but I think you’ll find it loaded with “pearls” to take home and act upon immediately.



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Leaky Gut & Periodontal Disease
And All That Jazz

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
June 18, 2018




Leaky Gut and Periodontal DiseaseLeaky gut, periodontal disease, and all that jazz (meaning all those bacteria) play an important role in chronic disease. The tube that courses through the body (called the digestive tract, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, or the alimentary canal) is the initial setting for many chronic diseases that could manifest over time.


The GI tract starts with your lips and mouth and finally ends at the anus. Interestingly, all of the tissues that line this tube are affected in similar ways. What happens in the small and large intestines will affect the mouth, and what damages the mouth will affect the tissues of the small and large intestines.


The living inhabitants on the surface of the digestive tract are bacteria and other microbes that outnumber the quantity of human cells. These microbes are critical for human survival and affect human metabolism, nutrition, physiology, and immune function. When the microbiome is disturbed and when unhealthy microbes take control, then all Hell could break loose resulting in various chronic diseases.


One portal of entry for toxic elements to move into the systemic system is a leaky gut (increased intestinal permeability). Eventually, chronic inflammation and chronic disease can result. Periodontal disease is just one of those chronic diseases that can manifest once the gut becomes unhealthy. However, once periodontal disease exists, then it provides another major portal of entry for toxic elements to move into the systemic system – a “leaky periodontal pocket”.


Both a leaky gut and a leaky periodontal pocket must be treated.



Current Medical Research

Recently published medical papers provide an increased understanding about the interplay between a leaky gut, periodontal disease, and all those bacteria inhabiting the mucosal tissues of the GI tract.


Read these papers, which offer important medical outcomes. I believe we can connect these “dots” of knowledge and develop a clinical protocol for adjunctive treatment of periodontal disease and more.


This 2015 paper pointed out that damage to the gut actually would decrease the body’s ability to maintain a healthy immune system causing potential for various chronic diseases to manifest.


This 2018 review described intestinal permeability and resulting multiple sclerosis as well as other chronic diseases.


Figueredo, et al. in 2017 demonstrated that inflammatory bowel disease can cause periodontal disease, which is a chronic disease.


Bale, et al. in 2017 reviewed the evidence that periodontal disease contributes to atherosclerosis.


McFarlin, et al. in 2017 performed a double-blind study where individuals significantly improved intestinal permeability by taking a spore-based probiotic for only 30 days without changing their unhealthy lifestyles.


Li, et al. in 2016 showed how periodontal disease is a disease of mitochondrial dysfunction within the gingival fibroblasts.


In 2012, Vos, et al. reported that vitamin K2 could rescue damaged mitochondria in fruit flies. 


This 2018 review described how vitamin K2 transports out of the liver and then disseminates throughout the body to assist in various biological functions including the prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction.



My Thoughts

I believe we can connect these “dots” of knowledge.


Apparently, there is a relationship between gut issues and periodontal disease. It appears there is a progression from dysbiosis to leaky gut, then to decreased host resistance, and finally to mitochondrial dysfunction and the development of various chronic diseases including periodontal disease.


Research suggests that there might be an adjunctive treatment for periodontal disease by treating dysbiosis, repairing the gut membrane with spore-based probiotics, and utilizing vitamin K2 to prevent and repair mitochondrial dysfunction.


My goal is to investigate this possible causal relationship. To that end, Andrew Campbell MD, John Abernethy MD, and I wrote a protocol to study my theory. We submitted our Periodontal Disease Clinical Study to the “Institutional Review Board” (IRB) on 5/31/18.


If our study is approved by the IRB, Microbiome Labs will sponsor our research, which will be double-blind involving approximately 50 individuals with active periodontal disease. Participants will take a placebo or a supplement for 6 weeks. The daily supplement will consist of spore-based probiotics and vitamin K2.


To determine the potential benefits of this supplement, we will measure the depths of infected gum pockets, bleeding in these pockets, and the status of the participants’ mitochondria. At the end of the study, we will repeat these three measurements.


I project that there will be a reduction in pocket depth and bleeding as well as an improvement in the health of the mitochondria.


If our work demonstrates significant benefits, then other investigators could repeat and elaborate on this research. There might be far-reaching inferences that could be considered if our results are positive.


I’m excited to see where this study might go.



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Getting Older Doesn’t Mean Getting Old

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     March 24, 2016  


Getting Older doesn't mean Getting OldGetting older is just a numbers thing. Chronological age is just a way of telling how many years are behind you. Obviously, bodily changes occur with normal aging. Changes occur in our physical and mental abilities. That is part of a healthy process of getting older. We can gracefully get older.


In contrast to getting older, getting old is a decline in the quality of life.


Many of us may be sick or may get sick with debilitating illnesses. Chronic disease has never been a part of getting older – only getting old. The history of human evolution suggests that developing chronic disease is not part of the normal human life cycle.


Our options to deal with the complications of getting old with these illnesses compromise our quality of life. There are in-home nursing care, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. There are numerous medications we must take, doctor’s appointments we must keep, and life goals we must change. But, all this is not inevitable. If triggers of chronic disease were addressed in a timely fashion, we could prevent or improve this decline in the quality of our life.


Even as far back as 1980, James F. Fries, M.D. published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine that discussed his concept of compression of morbidity. In his article, Dr. Fries explained that chronic disease affects the quality of life. The amount of years that are affected depends on the onset of disease. He suggested that the years of decreased quality of life could be shortened and possibly reduced completely if only we controlled the environmental causes of chronic disease early on.


I have written about how we can manage as much as 90% of the causes of chronic disease. That includes the chronic infection of gum disease.


Some people have suggested that as we age, we will eventually lose our teeth and require false teeth to replace our natural teeth. That is not true. A healthy mouth reflects a healthy body – a body that has been nourished with both nutrient-dense foods and an effective lifestyle.


Here are two photos of a man and a woman. These pictures may be disturbing to some readers because they may look unnatural. However, the photography was done with the lips pulled back to show the teeth and gums for better viewing. Both have healthy mouths; both have healthy bodies:

Healthy Mouth 76 MaleThis is a 76-year-old man.


Healthy Mouth 83 FemaleThis is an 83-year-old woman.


Getting older is what I strive for; getting old is not in my vocabulary.


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We All Wear Shoes:
But Not The Same Size

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     February 29, 2016  


We all wear shoesIt may sound like I am going off the deep end again. Not really. This is a metaphor.


We all live in homes, but not the same ones. We all talk, but not with the same voice. We all eat, but not the same food.


Even if we all were to eat a Paleo-type diet, it would not be, and it should not be, the same for everyone. One size does not fit all.


The facts are that nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods are the healthiest foods for our individual cells to function, as they should. Eating these foods is also the major means to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other chronic diseases. A Paleo-type diet is a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet, but there is a huge variety of foods that can be eaten.


Some “experts” say that you must eat a low-carb, high-fat Paleo diet. That may be good for some.


Other “experts” say that you can never have milk products. That may be good for most.


Still, other “experts” say that you can never have beans if you say you are on a Paleo-type type. That also may be true for most.


However, there is no specific way that you must eat to be on a Paleo-type diet. The natural foods that are available in the immediate environment and prepared properly are the foods that become part of a Paleo-type diet.


Primal societies around the world, who have never experienced chronic diseases or tooth decay or gum disease, eat differently. They still eat a Paleo-type diet.


But, here is where diversity ends: No healthy primal societies today (or over millennia) eat (or have eaten) processed grains, processed sugars, processed seed oils, or pasteurized and homogenized milk products. No healthy primal societies today (or over millennia) have allowed their food supply to be tainted with antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, genetically modified organisms and foods, insecticides, and other toxic chemicals and heavy metals.


Put nutrient-dense foods into your body, and remove or avoid anything that is toxic to your body, and you will be eating a Paleo-type diet. There is no one size to fit all.


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If You Did Nothing Else, Do These 3 Things to Reduce Inflammation

        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       November 18, 2015


evolution rInflammation is a major problem.


If you read my blogs, you know I personally follow a primal diet and lifestyle. Also, if you read my blogs, you probably are concerned about your overall health as well as the health of your mouth. But, unlike me, you may not be as passionate as I. Yet, you still may want to do the best you can do within your personal limitations.


If you did nothing else for your overall health, do these 3 things to reduce chronic systemic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is the most incipient factor leading to chronic disease. These 3 steps will put you on the right track for a healthier body and a healthier mouth.


1. Eliminate processed seed and vegetable oils from your diet.
These oils contain large amounts of Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Examples are soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil. Although omega-6 fatty acids are one of the essential fatty acids that we must consume, they should come from whole foods and be consumed in moderation. These processed oils are inflammatory. In addition, they generally are damaged from the industrial processing and frequently come to us in an oxidized state, which adds an additional unhealthy problem for our bodies.


2. Eliminate processed grains from your diet.
Processed grains come in the form of bread, crackers, cereals, pasta, muffins, bagels, pretzels, cookies, cakes, and the list goes on and on. These are made from wheat, rye, barley, rice, oats and other grains that have a high carbohydrate density with little nutritional value. Many of their proteins cannot be digested properly and may irritate the intestinal lining. Irritation of the intestinal lining creates inflammation in the gut and leads to leaky gut, which is a breakdown in the gut lining. From there, other food particles and bacterial remnants can invade the blood system through a breakdown in the gut lining creating serious chronic inflammation and immune responses that may damage other organs of the body.


3. Eliminate processed sugars added to foods.
Processed sugars are inflammatory, spike insulin, and have little nutritional value. These refined sugars are contained in candy, soda, syrups, and table sugar to name a few foods. They contribute to weight gain, tooth decay, and disruptions in various hormones. They also promote unhealthy growth of bad bacteria and yeast in the gut that can threaten overall health from irritable bowel syndrome to brain disorders.


If you effectively eliminated these processed foods from your diet, within 30 days you would notice significant positive changes in your health.


For example, in a paper published in 2009 in the Journal of Periodontology, researchers studied a group of 10 people who lived for 30 days in a replicated Stone Age environment near the Rhine River in Switzerland. The design of this research required a diet that was devoid of these types of processed foods. In addition, during the 4-week course of the study, these individuals were not allowed to brush or floss their teeth. At the beginning of the study, any existing gum problems were recorded and the types of bacteria present in their mouths were determined.


At the completion of the 4-week experiment, the quantity of bacteria at the gum line around the teeth increased as expected. However, researchers were surprised by a reduction in gum infection. Bleeding from the gum pockets also decreased significantly. Although good bacteria increased, bad bacteria decreased. As I stated, these 10 individuals could not perform any oral hygiene for the entire 30 days – the researchers were shocked by the results! Eliminating these processed foods made a huge health difference.

The Connection is Impressive

evolution rPeriodontitis and Metabolic Syndrome are manifestations of chronic inflammation. Could there be a causal relationship between the chronic inflammation of gum disease and the chronic inflammation of metabolic syndrome? The answer lies in the fact that practically all chronic diseases start with inflammation on the cellular level. If chronic inflammation could be brought under control, cells might have the potential to heal.
Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease where the gums are infected and the bone surrounding the teeth is breaking down leading to loss of teeth and spread of infection. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of disorders including high blood pressure, increased belly fat, high blood triglyceride, low blood HDL cholesterol, and increased blood sugar. These disorders lead to type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Current research has shown that there is a definite association between metabolic syndrome and periodontitis (Here and Here). A review paper published in April 2015 discussed the relationships between autoimmunity and various chronic diseases, and a paper published in May 2014 described the role of autoimmune responses in periodontal disease.
Possibly reducing the markers for metabolic syndrome will also reduce the prevalence of periodontitis.

  • In a paper published in 2009, a Paleo-type diet reduced gingival inflammation, virulent bacteria around the gum tissues, and the depth of gum pockets.
  • In 2012, Ian Spreadbury described how acellular carbohydrates (processed grains and sugars) as well as remnants of harmful bacteria (lipopolysaccharides or LPS) could pass through the intestinal lining to create chronic inflammation.
  • In 2014, a Paleo-type diet was shown to improve the markers of metabolic syndrome.

Skeptics, and those who strictly adhere to the proof of randomized clinical trials, will argue that currently there is not sufficient long-term evidence to unequivocally verify a causal relationship between a Paleo-type diet and health. There is much research to be done and to be published in peer-reviewed journals before defined causation could be proven.
I don’t know how many years it will take for the scientific community to pronounce, “Now it is proven!” Personally, the current published research is enough to convince me. I believe a Paleo-type diet is part of the lifestyle to choose if you want to become and stay the healthiest your genetic code has designed for you. Embracing a Paleo lifestyle will not only help promote a healthy mouth but also assist in maintaining a healthy body. Heal one cell at a time, and your body will thank you. The backdrop for my conviction is the two-and-a-half million years of our species’ evolution.

What You Don’t Know Could Harm You

evolution rHave you ever…

  • kissed a person with gum disease? Then you know how it tastes.
  • spoken to a person with gum disease? Then you know how it smells.
  • seen a person smile who has red or swollen gums? Then you know how it looks.

Surprising as it may sound, many people with gum disease frequently do not know they have it until the late stages of destruction. Even when it comes to general infection and inflammation in the body, the majority of people don’t know they have them.
Let’s talk specifically about the mouth. The sad part is that the majority of individuals only realize they have a problem after their workplace buddies, or friends, or partners start to avoid being close to them. Others only may know that they have a problem after their teeth start to get loose and fall out. Damage that occurs on a cellular level anywhere in the body also affects the entire human complexity, of which the mouth is an intricate part. The mouth is often viewed by the general public as remote from the inner workings of the human body. Yet, the mouth may be the first area where systemic and chronic diseases manifest.
As a periodontist for 41 years, the mouth has been my professional area of expertise. The mouth is the portal to the entire human body and all of its inner workings.
Obviously, our primal ancestors did not have toothbrushes and did not see a dentist every 6 months, but they had relatively healthy mouths. They hardly ever had gum disease or tooth decay. Today, many people see a dentist every 6 months and also brush and floss daily, but some still have gum disease. Could it be that what we have learned to believe may not be so? Mark Twain put it so clearly: “It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble. It’s the things we know that just ain’t so.”
Oral health, as well as overall health, is critically dependent on four basic concepts or pillars. If any one of these is not functioning properly, then our body can become jeopardized. Unfortunately, we may not be aware if one of these pillars is out of kilter. The pillars of health include:

  • A nutrient-dense diet feeding our cells and promoting healthy gut bacteria
  • Efficient exercise
  • Restorative sleep
  • Reduction in all forms of stresses and toxins on and in our body

A study published in 2012 showed that 47.2% of the adult population over the age of 30 in the United States had periodontitis (which translated to 64.7 million Americans), and an astounding 70.1% of those over the age of 65 had this disease.
Periodontitis is more serious than gingivitis, which is inflammation only in the gum tissue. Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease where the gums are infected and the bone surrounding the roots of the teeth are breaking down. This disease leads to bad breath, loose teeth, loss of teeth, sensitive teeth, pain, gum recession, and even spread of infection to other parts of the body.
“This is the most accurate picture of periodontal disease in the U.S. adult population we have ever had,” said Pamela McClain, DDS, and President of the American Academy of Periodontology at the time of the paper’s publication. “For the first time, we now have a precise measure of the prevalence of periodontal disease, and can better understand the true severity and extent of periodontal disease in our country.”
So, if you have gum disease, you are not alone. If you have this infection in your mouth, you most likely have chronic inflammation in other areas of your body. Whatever happens on a cellular level anywhere in the body frequently will manifest in other organ systems as chronic disease. Gum disease is another type of chronic disease related to the nourishment we provide our bodies and the lifestyle we lead.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has made specific statements of the prevalence of other forms of chronic disease in the US today.

  • As of 2012, about half of all adults—117 million people—have one or more chronic health conditions. One of four adults has two or more chronic health conditions.
  • Seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2010 were chronic diseases. Two of these chronic diseases—heart disease and cancer—together accounted for nearly 48% of all deaths.
  • Obesity is a serious health concern. During 2009–2010, more than one-third of adults, or about 78 million people, were obese (defined as body mass index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m2). Nearly one of five youths aged 2–19 years was obese (BMI ≥95th percentile).
  • Arthritis is the most common cause of disability.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations other than those caused by injury, and new cases of blindness among adults.

As I suggested, gum disease is a chronic disease. Embracing a healthy eating lifestyle is congruent with adopting a Primal or Paleo Lifestyle. Eating a nutrient-dense diet, which is one of my four pillars of health, will support a healthy mouth as well as a healthy body. A recently published article confirms that this way of eating can also reverse the risks of metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, low levels of HDL cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides, and increased fat tissue around the waist), which leads to various life-threatening diseases. Here   Here  and Here
So, what should you do if you think you may have gum disease?

  • You should see your dentist or a periodontist to have a thorough periodontal examination to determine if you have a condition that requires treatment.

Much of what you do personally to clean your mouth properly and to eat healthy will assist in preventing gum disease as well as other chronic diseases in the future.

Longevity is Good; Quality is Better!

evolution rStatistically, we are living longer in the US today than ever before, but we are developing chronic diseases that significantly interfere with the quality of our golden years. Some of us are in distress and pain for decades before succumbing to these chronic diseases. This is not the way the human body was designed or evolved to be.
We were not born deficient in prescription drugs. We were not born to have to go to the physician every year to stay healthy or to see a dentist twice a year to prevent and treat gum disease and cavities. We were not born to require supplements of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for our bodies to function properly.
We were born to be healthy. We were born to retain our adult teeth throughout our lives until we die. We were born to move and jump and run and exert our bodies. We also were born to have pleasure and relax with nature.
Imagine this: Think of sitting on your four-legged dining room chair, and notice what happens. You are comfortable and stable. Now what would happen if one leg suddenly were removed? You’d topple over. How about two legs? Three Legs? You need all four legs of this four-legged chair to give you the support you need. Your healthy, productive body needs stability too. And, your mouth is just an extension of your functioning body. Your mouth is not an island unto itself; it is intricately and intimately connected to everything that happens to each cell in your body.
Just as there are four legs to this dining room chair, there are four pillars to a healthy “you”. Chronic disease occurs when one or more of these are broken. The four pillars are:
Nutrient-dense real foods
Restorative sleep
Efficient exercise
Stress reduction
Here is a brief description of each pillar:
Nutrient-dense real foods provide the energy sources that every cell in your body needs to do its thing. These foods consist of wild-caught and free-range animal products from nose to tail along with their wonderful fats, all veggies, some densely colored fruits, as well as nuts and seeds in moderation. These foods also support your good gut bacteria, which are critical for health.
Restorative sleep allows important systems of your body to replenish themselves. Your body needs at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night ideally in a quiet, cool, dark space. Your body can’t function properly if you try to catch up on sleep over the weekend. That’s not how it works.
Efficient exercise helps maintain and build your body with the least amount of effort for the maximum effect. A science-based, practical routine could include (1) a 10 to 20 minute workout of high-intensity sprinting once every 7 to 10 days, and (2) a 10 to 20 minute workout of strength-training exercises twice a week including squats, pushups, pull-ups, and planks. Also, science has shown that non-exercise movement throughout the day may be as important as efficient exercise. Standing as much as possible and sitting as little as possible should become routine. Simple walking is good movement, and a realistic goal to strive for each day should be 10,000 steps. A good tool to record how many steps you take everyday is a pedometer – a good brand is Omron.
Stress reduction includes removal of toxins from internal and external sources as well as removal of psychological stresses. Stresses from any source are toxic to all cells and eventually to all organ systems. As these stressors build up in the body to overload the system, clinical manifestations can appear like the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. These manifestations of toxic overload frequently are expressed differently for each individual.
Your body was designed to be a finely tuned machine. These four pillars of health assist every cell in your body to perform as it was meant to perform to create longevity and most importantly quality of life.

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