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

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

September 19, 2021

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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Our Cats & Dogs are Suffering
– They Have Leaky Gut! –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

January 10, 2021

 

 

I love “Cricket”. My wife adores Cricket. Cricket is our beautiful, fluffy, and oh-so-spoiled Ragdoll cat. Here she is above, posing after her appointment with the cat groomer. I would not be surprised if my wife loved Cricket more than me (well, at least as much).

 

We would do anything to assure that Cricket is healthy. That’s why we feed her raw, desiccated cat food. This food is close to what cats eat in the wild. Wild animals thrive because they live off the land. Cricket has no diseases, a beautiful coat, and a healthy mouth.

 

Wild Animals vs Domesticated Pets

When we look at animals in the wild, one thing stands out – none are obese. Another observation is that chronic diseases are mostly nonexistent. Also, dental decay and periodontal diseases are rarely problems.

 

But our domestic cats and dogs are plagued with chronic diseases, gum disease, and tooth decay. When we investigate a cause, we find that our pets suffer from a leaky gut – just like humans.

 

 

Human Food & Lifestyle

The far majority of humans live an unhealthy lifestyle and eat foods that are inflammatory and lack sufficient and bioavailable nutrients. Many of us also drink tap water, which includes chemicals like fluoride and chlorine but lacks beneficial trace minerals. The result of these actions helps develop a leaky gut.

 

People suffering with a leaky gut develop chronic diseases, compromised immune systems, and unhealthy mouths. And just like the majority of the US population, our precious pets are suffering and dying because of similar causes emanating from their unhealthy gut.

 

 

Petfood

New research clearly shows that our fluffy friends are dealing with poorly conceived diets just like humans. The foods we feed our cats and dogs are causing them to develop leaky gut. And providing your furry companions with tap water to drink or to rehydrate dry pet foods can cause their gut microbiome to become further compromised.

 

Animals in the wild are physically active and eat what they’re metabolically designed to eat. Unfortunately, most of the commercial foods that are available for our domesticated pets are causing ill health requiring attention by veterinarians.

 

Look at the ingredients in the cat and dog food you buy at the store. Most petfood includes wheat, corn, soy, emulsifiers, preservatives, other chemicals, and various processed products along with low-quality animal byproducts.

 

Cats are obligate carnivores; dogs are more carnivorous within the spectrum of omnivores. Obviously, wild animals don’t cook their meals before they eat them. That means cats must eat other raw animals and dogs prefer eating raw animals. And they eat nose-to-tail. That’s the way their digestive system has evolved. So why do most pet owners feed their four-legged buddies inappropriate commercial petfood?

 

The answer is, “Many pet owners don’t know that most petfood is unhealthy for pets.”

 

 

Leaky Gut

Unhealthy and unsuitable pet foods will damage our pets’ microbiome causing gut dysbiosis. Other factors disturbing the garden of gut bacteria include environmental chemicals, medications, stress, and vaccines. As in humans, dysbiosis will weaken the epithelial lining of intestines. The result is leakage of unwanted toxic elements and pathogens into the blood circulation. This is called a “leaky gut”. And this triggers immune responses and inflammation coursing through their body. Just as it can do in humans!

 

Some of the common symptoms of leaky gut in our pets include:

 

  • Allergies (itchy skin, ear infections, chewing at the feet, hot spots and rashes)
  • Digestive issues (diarrhea, gassiness, vomiting, bloating)
  • Behavior issues (anxiety, aggression, separation anxiety)
  • Poor wound healing
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Seizure disorders
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Bad breath
  • Joint pain

 

Importantly, and often unrecognized, our pets’ teeth and gums become compromised. Resulting mouth diseases can seriously affect our pets’ overall health and digestion.

 

 

The Cure

Cats and dogs want raw food, just as it is available in the wild. They also don’t want to ingest toxic elements. For me, the best compromise is to purchase high quality frozen or dehydrated raw foods for my cat. Two excellent raw dehydrated food brands I have purchased are Stella & Chewy and Primal. Dehydrated foods are simple to prepare. I only need to add water.

 

Cricket loves both of them. I even add 1/3 capsule of the spore-based probiotics I consume along with the powder from a capsule of desiccated organs I eat daily. She gobbles them up. I use natural spring water not only to rehydrate her food but also to fill her water bowl. And she is a healthy specimen of a 5-year-old indoor Ragdoll cat.

 

 

FidoSpore

There is a spore-based probiotic designed specifically for dogs. It is called FidoSpore and is available from Microbiome Labs. Although the label says that it is for dogs, cats also may benefit since their microbiome is similar to that of dogs. However, cats have not been studied to the extent of dogs. (If you want to order FidoSpore from Microbiome Labs, you will need to enter a “Patient Direct Code”. Email me, and I’ll send you the code: Al@DrDanenberg.com.)

 

Microbiome Labs described the research regarding spore-based probiotics for dogs. These studies have shown that the spores in FidoSpore produced digestive enzymes, strengthened the immune system, produced short-chain fatty acids, and maintained the gut barrier. This product treated digestive symptoms like constipation and diarrhea. Another benefit was that the spores crowded out unwanted pathogens in the gut. Gut symptoms from dysbiosis were greatly reduced or disappeared entirely. Total body inflammation and leaky gut markers were dramatically reduced.

 

 

Our Pets & Us

It is important to note that spore-based probiotics will not solve gut dysbiosis alone. Diet and environmental factors must be addressed too.

 

Aren’t these facts interesting? The causes of chronic diseases in our pets are similar to the causes of chronic diseases in humans. If we improve lifestyle and diet, remove toxic substances, and heal the gut, amazingly the body will respond – the body of our pets and the body of ourselves.

 

Think about the processed foods that are sold in supermarkets for our own consumption. Just getting rid of processed foods from our own diets can go a long way to help our guts heal. That is why I emphasize putting quality food into our body as well as perfecting lifestyle and gut health in my one-on-one coaching program and consultations.

 

In reality, it will take time to change all the factors that cause leaky gut in our precious pets. But the goal of wellness begins with changing the diet and improving the gut microbiome.

 

My slogan is: Your Gut. Your Health. Your Choice.®

 

 

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My Cancer Journey
COVID-19
And My Gut

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

March 23, 2020

 

COVID-19

 

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!

[1] https://www.biolab.co.uk/docs/peginst.pdf

[2] https://c.nutriintervention.com/order?fbclid=IwAR1gPG1I18rVFJTAJoghXyGjb4BxXjCAYiVe0z8XTtWaiaJnIc10mx_P5ug

 

 

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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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Stress – The Quiet Destroyer

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS  Nutritional Periodontist
January 29, 2018

 

 

stress- the quiet destrooyer

 

Recently, Chris Kresser wrote about Mark (one of his patients who had serious Crohn’s Disease). Mark had done his homework and learned a great deal about diet and nutrition. As it turned out, Mark was a fanatic about researching methods to resolve his disease. He implemented various healthy diets and food restrictions to try to get his gut healthy. But, to no avail. On examination, Chris Kresser identified Mark’s primary source of his gut dysfunction to be significant psychological stress. Stress is the quiet destroyer. Stress disturbed Mark’s gut microbiome, which went on to create gut and systemic problems. Mark would not be able to get his health issues under control with just nutrient-dense food regimens. The first thing Mark would need to do would be to address his psychological stressors.

 

I have written about stress and the damage it can create in the mouth. In this article, I wrote about a woman who was under extreme emotional stress. Her stress resulted in multiple serious lesions in her mouth. These lesions were not the result of bacterial infection. Once she completely removed the stress in her life, the lesions in her mouth healed. No dental treatment was needed. No medical treatment was needed. Just the complete reduction of the stress!

 

In addition, I wrote several articles describing many causes of stress and some ideas on dealing with these stresses. (HERE, HERE, HERE) The following two research projects prove that stress creates gut problems.

 

Two Studies on Military Soldiers

Military personnel in training and in combat are under significant stress. In each of these studies, acute stress resulted in unhealthy gut outcomes for these soldiers:

 

This first study, published in 2013, looked at 37 military troops. They were involved in prolonged and intense combat-training. As expected, this training induced increases in stress, anxiety, and depression. However, the results also showed GI symptoms, pro-inflammatory immune activation, and increased intestinal permeability – all resulting from acute stress.

 

In this second study, published in 2017, 73 soldiers were subjected to intense military training, which created significant psychological stress. No matter what these soldiers ate, stress caused unhealthy changes in the gut bacteria and the way bacteria metabolized nutrients. These changes resulted in increased markers of inflammation and leaky gut. The authors of the study wrote this in their paper’s abstract:

 

Military training, a unique model for studying temporal dynamics of intestinal barrier and intestinal microbiota responses to stress, resulted in increased intestinal permeability concomitant to changes in intestinal microbiota composition and metabolism. Pre-stress intestinal microbiota composition and changes in fecal concentrations of metabolites linked to the microbiota were associated with increased intestinal permeability. Findings suggest that targeting the intestinal microbiota could provide novel strategies for mitigating increases in intestinal permeability during stress.

 

The stress of military training cannot be avoided. However, if the gut microbiome could be enhanced prior to stressful combat training, then damage to the gut might be prevented.

 

Treatment

Ideally, a person needs to identify and resolve psychological stressors. A healthy diet will not solve the stress. But, based on these two military studies, there may be a means to improve the health of the gut bacteria to prevent inflammation and leaky gut once stress ensues. Research trials are beginning to evaluate the potential of consuming spore-based probiotics and specific prebiotics as proactive measures to improve the diversity and metabolic functions of the gut bacterial population. This supplementation might reduce or avoid gut damage following stressful events.

 

Stay tuned.

 

 

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Dentists & Physicians
Have Gum Disease

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
January 8, 2018

 

 

Dentists & Physicians Have Gum DiseaseMany dentists and physicians, whom I know, have some degree of gum disease. How do I know? I can diagnose gum disease when I do a periodontal examination. Sometimes, I can see gum disease when a person smiles. Occasionally, I can smell gum disease on the breath.

 

There are primarily two stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

 

Gingivitis is inflammation and infection in the gum tissues, which do not involve the bone of the jaw. Sometimes, gingivitis can progress to the advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis involves infection in the gum tissues as well as the surrounding jawbone that supports the teeth.

 

Cause of Gum Disease

So, why do these healthcare professionals have gum disease?

 

Occasionally, it is because they don’t brush and clean between their teeth properly. Just because a person is trained to be a healthcare professional, he or she doesn’t necessarily take care of his or her mouth correctly. However, there is an underlying cause of gum disease that is independent of how well a person cleans his or her mouth.

 

A change in the bacteria in the gut can change the bacteria in the mouth. Then, a give-and-take can occur between unhealthy bacteria in the gut and unhealthy bacteria in the mouth. [1] The change from a healthy balance of bacteria to an unhealthy level of pathogenic bacteria is called dysbiosis.

 

There are many factors that can cause an increase in unhealthy bacteria (or dysbiosis) in the gut. Some of these factors include poor food choices, chemicals in food, stress, poor sleep, some prescription and over-the-counter medications, low-level electromagnetic fields, over-exercising, and sleep apnea.

 

As I mentioned, medical research shows that dysbiosis of the gut microbiome and dysbiosis of the oral microbiome affect one another. Therefore, both the gut and the mouth must be addressed if a healthy result is the goal. If only the gut or only the mouth were to be treated independently, the other location of dysbiosis could continue to spread back and forth.

 

Prevalence of Gum Disease

Gum disease is not a stranger in today’s modern world. The prevalence of gum disease in the US is staggering, in my opinion.

 

A study was published in 2010 in the American Journal of Dentistry. This peer-reviewed paper demonstrated that 93.9% of adults in the United States had some form of gum inflammation or gum bleeding. [2]

 

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published their results in the Journal of Dental Research. [3] It showed the prevalence of periodontitis was estimated to be 47.2% for American adults. For adults 65 years old and older, the prevalence jumped to 70.1%.

 

Be Proactive

I encourage everyone to evaluate their diet and lifestyle. The choices we make can improve our overall health and the health of the mouth. [4] From my point of view, dental diseases are frequently a sign that healthy bacteria in the mouth have gotten out of balance. Pathogenic bacteria have taken control, leading to dysbiosis.

 

Poor food choices certainly feed gum disease, tooth decay, and pathogenic bacteria. However, published science [5], [6], [7], [8], [9] suggests that the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the mouth is a direct result of (1) the friendly bacteria in our gut becoming overwhelmed by pathogenic bacteria, (2) the gut lining becoming damaged, allowing toxic elements to seep into the blood system (called “leaky gut”), and (3) our immune system becoming compromised.

 

Once gum infection is allowed to progress, toxic substances in the infected gum spaces could enter the blood system. Chronic systemic inflammation could result from a “leaky gum space” just as chronic inflammation could result from a “leaky gut”.

 

No one is immune to gum disease. My medical and dental colleagues certainly are not immune to gum disease. Since there is an epidemic of gum disease in the US [10] based on the prevalence of dental disease, it is no surprise that many dentists and physicians have fallen victims to this disease. The goal should be to regain homeostasis of the gut and oral bacteria along with practicing efficient oral hygiene.

 

 

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Gluten:
Weapon of Mass Destruction

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
August 7, 2017

 

 

Gluten: The Original Weapon of Mass DestructionMaybe I’m being too dramatic. But, I’ll still take the liberty to call gluten, the original weapon of mass destruction. Let me explain.

 

Gluten

Gluten is a family of proteins that is present in wheat, rye, barley, and some other types of grains. As a matter of fact, gluten could be an ingredient in many processed foods, cosmetics, prescription medications, and nutritional supplements. The human body cannot completely digest gluten. One of the remnants of the incomplete digestion of gluten is gliadin.

 

Gliadin

If gluten is the original weapon of mass destruction, then gliadin is the trigger that causes the destruction.

 

Gliadin has the potential to slowly and deliberately destroy your body. Its effects are cumulative, producing chronic inflammation over time. It opens holes in the gut lining, allowing substances to leak into the bloodstream that should never be there. Researchers have proven this damage occurs in every human whenever gliadin is present in the intestines.

 

Gliadin causes a chemical reaction in the intestinal wall. As a result, cells in the one-cell-layer-thick lining of the gut separate. Then, undigested particles of food and toxic substances can leak through the openings into the bloodstream.

 

However, the human body is resilient. The cells of the intestinal wall replace themselves every couple of days. If gluten were not reintroduced into the diet again, then there would be no permanent damage from this onetime occurrence. But, the problem is the process of repetition – constantly consuming gluten.

 

Leaky Gut

Unhealthy leakage from the intestines into the bloodstream is known as a leaky gut. Gliadin triggers the breakdown in the gut lining. When undigested particles of food or toxic substances get into the bloodstream that never should be there, the immune system becomes activated. The immune system is like an army that is called into battle. The immune system’s purpose is to get rid of foreign elements. The process to rid the body of irritating substances is called inflammation.

 

Inflammation by itself is normal and is necessary for a healthy body to function and heal. However, when holes in the gut lining occur regularly from continuous reintroduction of gluten in food, inflammation becomes constant. Constant inflammation is unhealthy. It affects the entire body and can cause damage to any organ or tissue anywhere in the body.

 

Through a complex system that is not completely understood, the immune system may go haywire. The immune system could begin destroying healthy tissues in the body. The result is called autoimmune disease.

 

Chronic & Autoimmune Disease

Chronic inflammation is the beginning of practically all chronic disease and autoimmune disease. Chronic and autoimmune diseases occur when (1) the gut becomes overly permeable on a constant basis, (2) chronic inflammation prevails and permeates through the blood system, (3) a genetic weakness in some remote tissue reacts to this chronic inflammation, and (4) the confused immune system starts to attack healthy tissues.

 

In essence, gluten (as the original weapon of mass destruction) provided gliadin (the trigger of the weapon) to ultimately become the precursor to most (if not all) chronic and autoimmune human diseases.

 

The manifestation of a chronic or autoimmune disease could take years to develop from repeated insults to the body. A person probably would not know these destructive changes were slowly occurring. Damage becomes cumulative until the disease becomes obvious many years after the first insult occurred long ago.

 

Role in Gum Disease

Systemic chronic inflammation may play a role in the development of gum disease. The chemicals that are released in the bloodstream from chronic inflammation may affect the cells around teeth, making them more susceptible to bone destruction and the progression of periodontitis. This article suggests various scenarios implicating autoimmunity in the progression of periodontal disease.

 

Take-Away Message

Our body is a marvelous machine. It will repair and replace its tissues on a regular basis. However, when there is constant and site-specific damage, the body’s reaction is to become chronically inflamed. Once the seed of mass destruction is planted and nurtured, chronic degenerative diseases ultimately result.

 

The first and most important action to take is to avoid whatever stokes the flames of inflammation. In this case, stop eating or using any product that contains gluten!

 

 

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Eat Better – Live Better – Feel Better
(Part 2 of 3)

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     May 5, 2016  


 
 
     
 

Eat Better - Live Better - Feel BetterIn Part 1, I described how inflammation could move from the healthy state of acute inflammation to the unhealthy state of chronic inflammation. In this part, I discuss how gut bacteria and the cellular lining of the gut are involved in chronic inflammation.

 

The Bacteria

 

Healthy bacteria make vitamins and other nutrients, and they affect the immune system. They support digestion and total health when they populate our guts in proper ratios, varieties of species, and absolute numbers. They specifically nourish the cells that line the gut and provide a first line of defense against invaders into the body. The gut microbiome also can influence the health of the blood brain barrier.

 

When the ratios of unhealthy to healthy bacteria soar, overall health is compromised. When the gut microbiome falls out of balance and the “bad guys” proliferate, the imbalance is called dysbiosis. The byproducts of bad bacteria, yeast, and parasites are toxic and inflammatory to the body and destructive to the cells lining the gut. HERE.

 

The Gut Barrier

 

The cells that line the gut are replaced every one to two weeks. This quick turnover helps maintain health and function in the gut lining. However, toxic substances and overpopulation of bad bacteria over a long period of time can lead to a breakdown in the cell lining of the gut barrier, allowing leakage into the bloodstream.

 

Think of the lining of your digestive tract as a fine mesh net with extremely small holes that allow only specific substances of a specific size to pass through. If the substances are smaller than the holes in the net, they can pass through. If the substances are larger than the holes, they can’t. If the bigger particles are not digestible, they eventually get eliminated. If they are digestible, they’re broken down into their smaller nutritional elements. Only then can they pass from the gut into the bloodstream. This is how a healthy gut should function. Your gut lining works as a barrier keeping out those bigger particles that can damage your system.

 

If the “fine mesh net” in your digestive tract gets damaged and bigger holes develop, some bad stuff could pass through into your bloodstream. This damage to the gut lining is called a leaky gut, or more specifically increased intestinal permeability. Some of the larger particles that should never seep through are able to penetrate. Unhealthy substances might include not-fully-digested proteins (such as gluten that is not able to be completely digested by the human gut), bad bacteria along with their harmful byproducts, and other food particles that have not been broken down into their biologically effective components. Toxic waste could also leak from the inside of the intestinal tract into the bloodstream. All substances that leak into the bloodstream (but should not be there) can initiate chronic inflammatory responses. The entire body becomes the playground for chronic inflammation.

 

Frequently, damage to the gut lining can cause symptoms that are well removed from their source. Examples are lesions in the mouth, damage to the joints, malfunctioning organ systems, and the list goes on. However, some gut symptoms resulting from chronic inflammation include:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Dark and foul-smelling feces
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable colon
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Colon cancer, etc.

 

Chronic Systemic Inflammation

 

Chronic systemic inflammation is a serious problem. It can make you feel really bad. It can stop your body from doing what it should. It also can contribute to cascading and cumulative problems like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and various autoimmune diseases (including rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel diseases, multiple sclerosis, periodontal disease, and many others). Many of the problems of chronic inflammation may not show up as obvious symptoms until years or even decades have past.

 

In Part 3 of 3, I’ll explore ways of reducing chronic inflammation

 

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Are There Holes In Your Gut?

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     March 3, 2016  


 
 

Holes in your gut?Bad things could be leaking from your gut into your bloodstream. It’s called a leaky gut or more correctly intestinal permeability.

 

You may not know if you have this problem. It’s not necessary for you to have obvious gut distress to confirm you have a leaky gut. You don’t have to have bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. In fact, most people with leaky gut do not have belly problems, but they have other problems in other parts of their body.

 

Sometimes, a leaky gut could result in thyroid disease, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, insulin resistance, neurological conditions, and various autoimmune diseases.

 

Interestingly, some mouth problems could be the result of a leaky gut. It is curious how this could occur.

 

Specific foods like processed grains and sugars (as well as other foods) could cause a change in the balance of bacteria in your gut. An overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut could cause inflammation and damage to the gut lining. This lining is only one cell layer thick, and damage could easily cause small holes to develop. Once this happens, toxic substances could leak into the bloodstream, which would cause various inflammatory reactions. Once in the bloodstream, inflammation could damage tissues in all areas of the body.

 

It is also noteworthy that the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut could cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the mouth. Here, Here. All of a sudden, a vicious cycle might begin. Here’s how:

 

The processed carbohydrates that damaged the gut are also the food for the bad bacteria that are now overgrowing in the mouth. The bad bacteria in the mouth continue to grow uncontrolled. Bad bacteria in the mouth could cause gum disease and tooth decay. Also, sores in the soft tissues of the mouth could pop up. As more problematic food is eaten, more damage occurs in the gut, and more bad bacteria proliferate in the mouth. The vicious cycle continues.

 

So, do you have holes in your gut?

 

While there is a blood test provided by Cyrex Labs (Array 2) that could help determine if you have a leaky gut, that would not be my first suggestion. The simplest solution would be first to remove all the offending foods that could be the source of damage.

 

An elimination diet is one that removes all the potentially harmful foods. Here is my 30-Day Reset diet, which is an elimination diet that lists all the bad foods to remove as well as those foods that are perfect to eat. I recommend this first step to my patients who need more in-depth exploration of the cause to their problem. At a later date, other functional medicine testing (including the Cyrex Array 2) could be prescribed if necessary.

 

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We Were Born to be Healthy:
Part 5 of 7

evolution rThis is installment 5. Part 1 is HERE; Part 2 is HERE, Part 3 is HERE, Part 4 is HERE.

 

Leaky gut

 

Undigested proteins from grains, ingested toxins, and unhealthy levels of microbes can damage the one-cell-layer-thick lining of the intestines, creating small holes in the lining. This is called intestinal permeability or leaky gut. With constant exposure to indigestible peptides, toxins, and unhealthy bacteria, damage to the gut lining becomes more serious. Just like tears in cheesecloth, an opening or pathway is created for unwanted stuff to leak into the blood system.

 

Damage to the gut lining sets up a critical scenario.

 

Specific biological insults could occur:

  • Undigested peptides from grains and other undigested food particles could leak through these holes into the bloodstream.
  • Toxins and Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) that are very irritating could leak through these holes creating severe systemic inflammation.

 

The results:

 

Our immune system would react to these insults by creating a cascade of inflammatory reactions within the lumen of the intestines as well as within the bloodstream and throughout the rest of the body.

 

Complicating this process, some of these invading peptides might look like normal proteins in other tissues of our body. After enough insult to our body through this leaky gut, our immune system could become confused and begin attacking the normal cells of various organs that looked like these invading peptides (called molecular mimicry). Those tissues and organs that had the weakest genetic predisposition could become affected – possibly the Beta cells in the pancreas resulting in type 1 diabetes; possibly the skin cells resulting in psoriasis; possibly the thyroid cells resulting in hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; possibly the joint cells resulting in rheumatic arthritis; or possibly the periodontal tissues resulting in periodontitis.

 

We are more bacteria than human

 

Our human body is made up of 10 trillion human cells. However, our body is host to 100 trillion microbial cells. Most of these live within our digestive system, and the far majority of them reside in the colon. We are healthy when these microbes are in a state of homeostasis. We are unhealthy when this delicate balance goes astray.

 

There are probably 35,000 or more microbial species in our gut, most of which cannot be cultured through normal means. Gut bacteria affect our entire body including our mouths.

 

Studies have shown that patients with inflammatory bowel disease have unhealthy bacterial changes in their saliva. Research also has shown that species of gut bacteria have been able to become dormant, live intracellularly in red blood cells without detection, and then migrate to distant organs of the body, resulting in infections of apparently unknown origin. Healthy bacteria in fermented foods have been shown to improve the bacterial components in dental plaque in a randomized controlled trial involving a population of school children. All this research demonstrates how bacteria from the gut influence our entire body.

 

By returning the gut bacteria to a healthy balance is proving promising for various diseases. Some cutting-edge procedures like Fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT) (Here, Here) have replaced bad bacteria in the gut successfully with healthy populations to cure Clostridium difficile, an otherwise difficult infection to treat. These procedures currently are being investigated for the treatment of obesity, Alzheimer’s, autism, multiple sclerosis, and even ALS – all of which have been shown to have chronic inflammation as the underlying cause.

 

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, which may very well respond to reestablishment of healthy gut bacteria.