Sore, Inflamed, Sensitive Gums?
– 9 Questions & 2 Solutions –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

September 19, 2021 [printfriendly]

Barbara is a new patient of a dental colleague I know well. He is a well-trained biological dentist. Barbara was at her wits end, and he was perplexed.

Barbara had sore, inflamed, sensitive gums frequently – especially after she had any dental procedure performed in her mouth. She also had many existing dental restorations.

Interestingly, Barbara had blood tests to determine the compatibility of these dental materials before they were placed. No problems were identified.  Also, her current biological dentist could not find any active periodontal disease, bone infection, or problems with her existing dental work.

Obviously, Barbara was confused and distraught. She wanted to know what was going on. And her dentist was confounded and needed answers too.


First Things First

First, her new biologically oriented dentist completed a thorough dental exam. Among other things, he was looking for at least 11 potentially irritating factors that might be in her mouth causing inflammation and infection. Obviously, if any of these were the problem, each must be resolved correctly.

Second, a medical doctor and various specialists were consulted. They were looking for any systemic medical conditions that could be the cause of her gum issues. If any were detected, they would need to be addressed and treated.

For Barbara, it turned out that the cause was not a typical cause that her dentist or medical doctors would generally investigate. But once Barbara’s dentist and she learned the cause, she responded well.


9 Questions

Barbara’s dentist called me to describe his dilemma and Barbara’s negative findings. I suggested that he ask Barbara these 9 questions:

  1. Do you avoid eating healthy beef or lamb?
  2. Do you eat bread?
  3. Do you eat processed sugars?
  4. Do you eat any vegetable or seed oils? (Canola, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, grapeseed, sesame, soybean, peanut, etc.)
  5. Do you eat chicken or pork more than once a week?
  6. Do you have allergies?
  7. Do you have frequent sinus infections?
  8. Do you have frequent skin lesions or rashes?
  9. Have you taken various regimens of systemic antibiotic therapy in the past?


If Any Answer is “YES”

Answer these questions for yourself. Are any true?

  • If you avoided eating beef or lamb from nose-to-tail, you could be missing many bioavailable nutrients in their natural state that are required by the body. I wrote about this in my recent Blogs titled, The Case for Meat and 4 Perfect Supplements – 1 Perfect Diet. If you are not eating this way, desiccated organs in capsule form could be included into your diet. Think about them as high-powered, multi-vitamin, multi-mineral whole foods with nothing added and nothing removed except water.
  • If you ate bread and/or processed sugars, they could damage your gut microbiome and the lining of your gut. Try to avoid or eliminate them from your diet.
  • If you regularly ate vegetable and/or seed oils as well as a lot of chicken and/or pork, linoleic acid could be a problem. Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) that can cause weight gain, immune system dysfunction, and mitochondrial damage when consumed in excess. Vegetable and seed oils should be removed completely, while chicken or pork should be eaten only once a week or every other week.
  • If you had a history of allergies, sinus infections, or skin irritations, these issues may be emanating from the same source that could be causing mouth problems.
  • Frequent use of antibiotics in the past could damage the garden of healthy bacteria in the gut as well as in the mouth.

A “Yes” answer to any of the 9 Questions might indicate a leaky gut. I already suggested some positive changes you might implement.


Leaky Gut & Mouth Problems

If you have sore, inflamed, sensitive gum tissues, they may be due to an imbalance of bacteria in your gut and damage to the epithelial barrier that separates the inside of your gut from your blood system and the rest of your body. Damage to the gut could cause improper absorption of nutrients even if you are consuming healthy nutrients. The breakdown of this gut barrier is called a leaky gut.

A leaky gut will cause inflammation coursing throughout your body. This inflammation will affect all organ systems negatively – including the mouth!

My suggestion is to improve the health and diversity of the bacteria in your gut and repair the gut epithelial barrier to help solve your mouth problems. In essence, you need to treat your Leaky Gut.

To do this, I have 2 Solutions that will help repair the gut lining and improve the gut microbiome.


2 Solutions

#1. Consume spore-based probiotics

These have been demonstrated in human trials to increase the diversity of the gut microbiome and help repair the gut epithelial barrier.

The two spore-based probiotics I take personally and recommend are …

  1. MegasporeBiotic
  2. TerraFlora Deep Immune


#2. Swish and swallow bovine colostrum

When you swish with bovine colostrum, some of its beneficial elements will enter the blood system rapidly because they are absorbed through the soft tissues in your mouth. After you swallow the colostrum, all of it gets into the gut to bind to toxic elements and to help heal the damaged epithelial gut lining.

I personally use and recommend ProColostrum-LD.

If dairy is a problem in any way, colostrum may cause gut discomfort. I suggest taking a very small dose of the ProColostrum-LD and titrate to higher doses over the next week or two. If you cannot tolerate colostrum at any dose, then I recommend MegaIgG 2000 capsules to swallow. MegaIgG 2000 is like colostrum but derived from bovine serum instead. It has the immunoglobulin antibodies IgG, IgM, and IgA as well as transferrin, but it does not have all the other beneficial bioactive elements which bovine colostrum provides.


Barbara’s Experience

As I said, Barbara’s biocompatibility blood tests for her existing dental restorations were negative or inconclusive. Also, her medical doctor specializing in allergy medicine was uncertain to the actual cause of her reactions. And additional medical complications were ruled out by other medical specialists.

When Barbara’s dentist finally asked her the previous 9 questions, he discovered that she ate mainly plant-based foods and possibly was missing some very important nutrients.

In addition, Barbara gave a medical history of frequent sinus infections and antibiotic usage.

To solve the puzzle, Barbara’s dentist helped her transition to some animal-based foods – especially the desiccated organs. Also, he had her begin the 2 Solutions I suggested.

Within 45 days, Barbara resolved most of her mouth soreness, inflammation, and sensitivity. Also, she said she felt more energy without any gut disturbances.


Final Thoughts

My 2 Solutions are not a cure. But they support the body in healing. What’s fascinating is that every cell in the body communicates with every other cell in the body in some way. And the gut microbiome, which is made up of 38 trillion microbes, has a significant influence in our overall health and wellbeing.

By the way, the human body only has 30 trillion human cells. So, we are more microbial than human! Think about that!


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Stress Destroys the Gut

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
August 20, 2018 [printfriendly]



Stress Destroys the Gut


We all are exposed to stress. Some of us deal with it well. Many of us don’t. Did you know that chronic stress can destroy the gut? All of us must respect the damaging effects of continuous stress on the body.

Here is an article I updated about a patient who experienced a severe reaction to chronic stress that manifested in her mouth. It may seem incredible that stress caused so much damage in her mouth. In addition, it is noteworthy that total elimination of her unique stress allowed her gum tissues to heal without further medical or dental treatment. So, how does stress damage the mouth? The path, which progresses from psychological to physiological, may seem circuitous and bizarre.


Effects in the Gut

Stress can be the initial insult to the gut.

Although many articles have been written about stress in our lives, science had not uncovered specifically how stress can cause damage to the gut. Newly published research attempts to explain the specifics of what is going on.

Gao and colleagues revealed how chronic stress affects the gut. The investigators’ research used four groups of mice: (1) a normal group, (2) a stressed group, (3) a chemically-induced colitis group, and (4) a stressed plus chemically-induced colitis group. Mice in the stressed groups were stressed by being restrained in their ability to move forward and backward in their cage for 3 hours a day for one month. The chemically-induced colitis groups received a chemical for 7 days to induce colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Various tests were performed on each group before they were sacrificed, and the colon tissues were examined following sacrifice.

The scientific team determined that stress initially caused unhealthy changes in the gut microbiome. The immune system became compromised only after stress had induced gut dysbiosis. The end result was an increase in the severity of the chemically-induced colitis.

Although this research uses a mouse model, it has implications for humans.

Diet, exercise, and sleep are all important to support a healthy gut microbiome, a healthy immune system, and a healthy body. However, stress often is not appreciated for its powerful influence. Stress, all by itself, can be the cog in the wheel that sets off some unhealthy consequences.

From the mice study published in March 2018, we now have an appreciation of how the gut is affected by stress. The research showed that stress caused an unhealthy change in the diversity of gut bacteria. The resulting imbalance of gut bacteria caused a decrease in quality and quantity of the mucus layer, which is a protective covering of the intestinal lining of the gut. Once the mucus layer is degraded, the gut’s epithelial lining becomes susceptible to damage. As a result, the immune system can become activated, causing chronic inflammation. In this study, chronic inflammation caused exacerbation of the chemically-induced colitis.


Effects in the Mouth

How does this relate to the mouth?

In other published medical research, investigators showed that IBD has a direct effect on the health of the gum tissues. Increased severity of IBD increased active gum inflammation. When IBD was in remission, gum inflammation decreased.

The pathway from the gut to the mouth is interesting. Research has shown that the gut microbiome can affect the function of the immune system. HERE, HERE.   Additional studies have shown that the gut microbiome can affect host resistance and other organ systems via a “communication process”. Interestingly, this 2015 paper suggests that all mucosal tissues can communicate with one another.

Medical research continues to provide more insights about the results of stress on the body. Here are three peer-reviewed papers that explore the body’s decreased ability to heal as a result of chronic stress. HERE, HERE, HERE


Bottom Line

What may be obvious may also be complicated. The bottom line is to reduce external chronic stress as much as possible. I have posted several articles about stress in the past. However, for me, stress reduction has been the most difficult lifestyle change to learn and adopt. It’s not easy, but it can be lifesaving.


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5 Situations:
Raw Honey May Heal Swollen Gums

        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       November 21, 2015


Raw HoneySeveral weeks ago I wrote about the health benefits of raw honey. I want to share some more information about this nutrient-dense whole food as it specifically relates to swollen gums, gum inflammation, and healing.


While anecdotal reports are interesting, they are only stories that might be exaggerated. As a matter of fact, most anecdotal stories have not been proven to be true. That being said, I want to tell you about two of my patients who are eating raw honey to improve their severe gum inflammation. Both of these patients have an autoimmune disease that has caused painful and raw gum surfaces to develop on a regular basis. Prescription drugs have been used in the past to soothe these conditions. Recently, I suggested both of these patients to eat about 3-4 tablespoons of local, raw honey everyday. After two weeks, both patients told me that their gum irritation improved significantly. The caveat here is that these stories are not controlled studies. The results are interesting but inconclusive.


When stories like these have been researched with human trials and published in peer-reviewed journals, they start to take on a totally different meaning. The scientific community begins to heed. Unfortunately, the medical community may take many years before taking notice of this new information.


So, I want to share some of the published scientific research on oral conditions that have benefited from natural, raw honey. The major benefits have been credited to honey’s health properties of wound healing, antimicrobial effects, and antioxidant activity.


Some notes of caution:

  • There are many different types of honey from all over the world. They have different components and may have different effects.
  • Some of the research is only short-term covering a test period of a few weeks to several months. Long-term research is mostly lacking.
  • All studies relate averages. Obviously there are individual differences. So, although the average result could be very encouraging, a particular individual may not get the same result or may actually experience a negative result.


Here is a summary of 5 outcomes that may seem too good to be true. I suggest you read these studies and make your own decision:

  1. Raw honey has been shown to reduce the specific bacteria that cause gum disease. (Here, Here, Here)
  2. Sometimes when a tooth is extracted, a “dry socket” occurs. A “dry socket” is when the area in the jawbone after the tooth extraction does not heal normally and becomes very inflamed and painful. Raw honey when placed into the “dry socket” soothes the pain, promotes healing, and prevents further infection in the area. (Here)
  3. Yeast as well as the herpes virus can cause very sore and painful lesions in the mouth. Raw honey helps these lesions heal at least as well as prescription medication. (Here, Here)
  4. Raw honey has been shown to speed up the healing process after mouth surgery. (Here)
  5. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, autoimmune diseases might manifest in the mouth. Raw honey has improved the healing for some of these painful sores. (Here)


I have been impressed with these papers. More research appears to be in the pipeline that might continue to support raw honey as a natural medicine. Recent science has allowed me to recommend local, raw honey to my patients as a natural treatment for various oral conditions.