What’s In Our Blood?

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

July 31, 2022 [printfriendly]


We’ve talked at great length about your gut health being an indicator of chronic illness, but have you given much thought to what’s in your blood? Recent studies have shown that it’s not as sterile as we once believed! So, what does this mean for you?


What’s In Our Blood?

Our circulatory system contains microbes that were never believed to be there because old methods of culturing bacteria would not grow them. But recent DNA sequencing methods reveal that each milliliter of blood contains around 1,000 bacterial cells. These cells are dormant in the blood and can reside in healthy individuals. But they can be revived.

When iron is available in the blood, the dormant bacteria may be revived and can begin secreting lipopolysaccharides (LPS). LPS are molecules on the cell walls of gram-negative bacteria that stimulate the immune system which in turn creates inflammation. LPS is a highly toxic element. And systemic inflammation is a major initiating factor in the manifestation of practically all chronic diseases.

Researchers who published their study in 2016 in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface[1] stated, “We think bugs are involved in all these diseases”. They observed that the addition of tiny concentrations of bacterial LPS to both whole blood and platelet-poor plasma of normal, healthy donors led to marked changes in fibrin and caused progression of chronic inflammatory diseases.

The body normally keeps levels of free iron in the blood low to keep bacteria dormant and block their growth.

Another group of researchers published a paper in 2022 in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.[2] The authors explained that these dormant bacteria come from the gut and the oral cavity. Microbial translocation into the bloodstream can occur via different routes, including through the oral and/or intestinal mucosa. As I said, these contribute to chronic inflammation.[3]

The authors of that study also described how science has developed equipment that is sensitive enough to find microorganisms among the body’s own cells. Studies in both animals and humans have shown that bacteria can be in tissues and organs like the liver, adipose tissue, and brain tissue. Often these findings are linked to disease. For example, researchers have found bacteria and fungi in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Also, bacteria have been detected in cancerous tumors.

However, there is controversy about the ultimate relevance of these blood microbes. Some researchers have concluded that the same bacterial groups often seem to recur in healthy individuals. In other words, these scientists suggest that a level of microbes in the blood of healthy individuals may be normal.[4]


Leakage of Microbes into the Circulatory System

As I said, the research suggests that microbes can enter the bloodstream via different routes, including through the intestinal mucosa as well as the oral mucosa.[5] And there is easy access to the bloodstream when there is a “leaky gut” and when there is a “leaky mouth”.


Healthy Gut – Leaky Gut

Below is a graphic of a healthy gut and a “leaky gut”. The picture to the left shows a normal, healthy gut with a balance of good bacteria within the top light blue area and a healthy mucous layer protecting the one-cell-layer-thick epithelial barrier below. To the right is a picture of a “leaky gut” where unhealthy bacteria and toxic elements are breaking down the mucous layer and weaking and penetrating the epithelial lining (the red-colored cells) on its way to affecting the entire body.



Healthy Mouth – Leaky Mouth

Chronic systemic inflammation caused by a “leaky gut” will affect the mouth. This inflammation could cause the mouth’s healthy garden of bacteria and immune system to become unhealthy resulting in periodontal disease and tooth decay. If periodontal disease or tooth decay becomes severe, teeth could be lost. Infection and inflammation could spread into the jawbone, blood vessels, nerve canals, and soft tissues of the body. Debilitating and life-threatening diseases could occur just from this leakage of infection and inflammation from the mouth into the body. This is called a “leaky mouth”.

Below is a graphic of a healthy mouth and a “leaky mouth”. The picture on the left shows a normal, healthy tooth in the jawbone. To the right is a picture of periodontal disease (the red area) beginning to penetrate the jawbone on its way to affecting the entire body.



When it comes to periodontal disease, there is a specific bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis. This is an aggressive gram-negative bacterium with some unique qualities. One of these qualities is that it can enter cells and become dormant.[6],[7] It also can bind to red blood cells and enter the circulatory system. In fact, the red blood cells protect P. gingivalis from contact with circulating phagocytes from the immune system without affecting its viability. In this way, P. gingivalis could be transported to other organ systems to reemerge and cause serious diseases.[8]


Unique Treatment to Destroy P. Gingivalis

For the six years leading up to my leaving private practice in 2018, I was using a unique laser (PerioLase Laser) to treat advancing periodontal disease. This laser uses a wavelength of 1064 nm (nanometers). It is the 1064 nm wavelength that enables the laser to selectively kill P. gingivalis that resides in the periodontal tissues and blood around the tooth without harming healthy cells.[9],[10],[11]

The beam from the PerioLase Laser also can penetrate epithelial cells where P. gingivalis can enter the cell and become dormant. The laser will destroy the dormant virulent bacterium without destroying the cell.

In addition, the laser beam can stimulate precursor bone cells in the jawbone around the periodontally damaged teeth to regenerate damaged bone.

Millennium Dental Technologies is the company the developed the laser and the clinical protocols. The procedure is called LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure). Recently, the name of the procedure was changed to LAR (Laser Assisted Regeneration), which emphasizes the regenerative capacity of the laser beam.

Here is a video simulation of the LANAP (or LAR) procedure in action:



Final Thoughts

The high level of chronic disease in the US population could be partly due to dormant bacteria in the circulatory system, which has gone undetected until recently. Some of these microbes may be bound to red blood cells, which offer protection to these bacteria. Some of these microbes may embed themselves into blood cells, which can transport these potentially virulent bacteria to other organ systems. And some of them may be floating freely in the bloodstream.

While some researchers believe that there may be a normal level of microbes living in the bloodstream of healthy individuals, my guess is that these microbes may be the culprits in the development of serious chronic diseases.


[1] https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2016.0539

[2] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2022.892232/full

[3] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2022.892232/full

[4] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2019.00148/full

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9110890/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557090/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2772519/

[8] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jre.12388#

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2772519/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8860761/

[11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15389740/


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Your Gut. Your Health. Your Choice.

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
December 17, 2018 [printfriendly]




Your Gut. Your Health. Your Choice.


A few days ago, I received an email from Dr. L. N., a board-certified periodontist. She was excited to share her exceptional results after incorporating Protocols for improving gut health. The Protocols included eating nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods as well as taking spore-based probiotics along with accompanying supplements. She requested that I share her email, which I have included with minor edits. Her testimonial reflected her son’s success, her personal success, and her patients’ successes.


First and foremost, you are in control of your own health. Yet, you may not know what is necessary to get your mouth and body into tip-top shape. Many internal and external lifestyle changes are critical including stress reduction, restorative sleep, and efficient exercise. But there are two other factors that must be considered if overall health is the goal: (1) nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods and (2) a healthy gut.


I give my patients Protocols, which I created for a healthy diet and a healthy gut. I encourage my patients to share these Protocols with others. I shared my Protocols with Dr. L. N. in March 2018. She shared them with her son and her patients. She also used them for herself. Dr. L. N.shared her success stories in her email testimonial below.


Here is Dr. L. N.’s testimonial with a few changes. I removed her name and added some grammatical clarifications.


Good Morning Dr. Danenberg:


I was so saddened to read your post regarding your latest health challenge. I wanted you to know how grateful I am that our paths crossed when they did.


When I first spoke with you, my son was dealing with a severe, full body, red, bumpy and itchy rash while away at college. He had been treated twice with systemic steroids for this condition. I had suspected gluten intolerance or even celiac but was unable to get his family doctor to notice symptoms and order the correct tests. And in hindsight, my son became sick beginning as a toddler after a course of antibiotics for viral pneumonia. Last December, I requested a new family doctor order the HDLAQ2/ HDLAQ8 test to see if he carried the gene for celiac. And sure enough, he was a dominant HDLAQ2 gene type. His symptoms and this diagnosis for celiac were critical for me to get him out of his eating plan at college and find a safe kitchen for him in which to cook. He stopped eating gluten, but his symptoms did not improve and even seemed to worsen.


Next, I found a functional medicine practitioner in Portland, Oregon (near where he is attending college). She completed Cyrex testing for food sensitivities. We discovered he had 30 additional food intolerances including most non-gluten grains.


When he came home from his first year in college this past Spring, I placed him on your total gut healing protocol and added in Microbiome Labs’ Megaprebiotic and IgG 2000 as soon as those products where available.


I wanted you to know that my son’s skin is totally healed, and he is growing again!! His personality has also changed and reminds me more of how he was at age 2.


He says he never knew what clear thinking felt like, and he is doing well as a computer science major hoping to work in healthcare with neural networks.


I know time is precious,and I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate that you took your time to speak with me and share your knowledge about gut health.


In addition, I have implemented a periodontal healing protocol at my office including Megasporebiotic, Megaquinone, and Megaprebiotic. For patients who are interested in healing their disease from the inside out, I share the diet recommendations from your 30-Day Reset Diet. I am seeing some really promising improvement in cases who have been refractory.


I also had myself genetically tested for celiac and am a dominant HDLAQ2 carrier. I am off one BP medication and have reduced my statin dose to 2.5 mg every other day from 10 mg per day. I also am on the healing protocol that my son is on and look forward to seeing improvement in my cardiac health.


I hope you’re are doing well in spite of a very difficult diagnosis and time for your family.


Warm regards,’


Diplomate, Board of Periodontology



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Crazy-Good Living

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary,
How Does Your Gut Garden Grow?

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
      June 16, 2016   [printfriendly]

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Gut Garden GrowDo you have a green thumb? Do you know how to make flowers grow in your garden? Simple! Provide water, sunshine, and necessary nutrients – and the flowers will please you with their blooms. Also critical: don’t add anything toxic that could kill them.


How about your gut? Do you know how to make the healthy bacteria in your gut grow and flourish? You need to feed them what they need. You also need to keep any toxic substances out. A healthy gut will help your mouth stay healthy. Remember, your mouth is not an island unto itself. A healthy gut will reward your body immensely.


A major food source for a healthy gut garden is fiber – various types of fermentable fibers. Basically, these fibers are abundant in fruits and vegetables. Bacteria ferment these fibers and produce many substances that benefit not only the bacteria but also your body. But, some foods can damage the critical balance of bacteria in the gut. Some foods could be toxic to the healthy growth of the garden in your gut.


Here is a peer-reviewed paper, which I discussed in past articles. It shows how the choice of food can make a difference in the bacteria living in the mouths of this group of people.


The Study: This report was published in the Journal of Periodontology back in 2009. It tells an interesting tale. Ten individuals in Switzerland were challenged to eat foods that were only available in that area of Switzerland 5,700 years ago. These foods obviously were not processed foods. They were foods that could be fished, hunted, and gathered from the immediate area. The experiment lasted 4 weeks. At the beginning of the trial, the types of bacteria around their teeth were cultured, the degree of gum bleeding around their teeth was noted, and the depths of gum pockets were measured. Oh, by the way, the participants could not brush or floss for the entire 4-week experiment. Guess what happened?


The Results: At the end of the investigation, areas of gum bleeding decreased and gum pockets decreased – all statistically significant. The accumulation of dental plaque grew to a large amount, but the types of bacteria in the plaque were not virulent. The bacteria that would cause gum disease and tooth decay declined! How could that be? (And by the way, the participants lost about 5-7 pounds each, and their average blood pressure declined.)


The Reasons: The bacteria in the gut were nourished by healthy foods and natural fibers, which these primal foods provided. There was no contamination by toxic substances in this diet or lifestyle. The healthy bacteria balance in the gut supported a healthy bacteria balance in the mouth, while the entire body benefited.


Take Home Message: There is a way to naturally feed the garden in your gut, which has a profound effect on the health of your body. Eating primal foods and avoiding processed foods make the difference.


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What’s Up With Gums, Gut, and Paleo?

evolution rThe soft tissues in your mouth are an extension of your gastrointestinal tract. Your mouth is like the first tee in a golf game; like the coming attractions before the movie starts in the theater; like the entrance to Disney World. It’s where it all begins.
As a periodontist, I have been treating gum disease for 41 years. The traditional methods of treating gum disease have rarely included the concepts of healthy nutrition based on our evolutionary requirements. For my patients, I include the methods of assisting all the body’s cells to reach their peak nutritional performance along with my treatment of gum disease through patient-friendly techniques.
There is a relationship between the gums, the gut, and Paleo. Let me describe this correlation.
Your gastrointestinal tract is a tube about 25 feet long. The tissues lining the entire length of this tube from the mouth to the anus can and will respond in their own way to whatever occurs along this path.
Once you take the first bite of food, digestion begins. Assisting digestion are the teeth that chew the food, the muscles that move the food along, the enzymes and chemicals that are produced to breakdown the food, the friendly bacteria that further digest food particles and produce necessary biochemicals, and the absorption processes that allow the dissolved nutrients to migrate into the bloodstream to nourish every cell of the body. Whatever is left over from this digestion process is excreted.
If there were irritants to the gut from the foods we ate, damage to the lining of the gut and increase in unhealthy bacteria could occur. The result could be unhealthy particles of food and bacteria entering the bloodstream creating chronic inflammation. This inflammation and increase in unhealthy gut bacteria affect the entire body as well as the health of the gum tissues. Their pathways increase the potential for gum disease as well as increase unhealthy bacteria in the mouth. Unhealthy bacteria in the mouth and further insult from ingestion of unhealthy carbohydrates will cause gum disease.
Paleo is a lifestyle. A Paleo way of eating may go under various titles. It is sometimes called a primal diet, or an ancestral diet, or a caveman diet.  There are no specific foods that make up a Paleo diet. The common denominator is that all these diets DO NOT include processed foods or processed sugars or conventionally fed and farmed animal products or processed fats and oils. A Paleo diet avoids these unhealthy foods, which often lead to damage in the gut, increase in unhealthy gut bacteria, and eventually damage in the gum tissues.
To come full circle, a Paleo diet, which excludes all these bad foods, can maintain a healthy gut in addition to healing a damaged gut. A Paleo diet can help maintain gum health.
So the importance of Paleo is that its nutrient-dense foods will allow the gut to function properly. A healthy gut will allow nutrients to be absorbed properly and will maintain a healthy community of gut bacteria. All this assists the gum tissues in remaining healthy.