What’s In Our Blood?
SURPRISE!

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

July 31, 2022

 

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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Leaky Gut … Leaky Mouth
– Both Must Be Treated –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

January 2, 2022


A “leaky gut” and a “leaky mouth” are like “leaky plumbing pipes”. If your plumbing pipes are leaking, you’ve got to get them fixed – all of them, not just one of them!

Think about your home’s plumbing pipes.

If they were “leaky”, toxic stuff could leach out of your pipes and infiltrate into the surrounding ground. From there, all the toxic elements could affect the immediate area but also spread to other areas of your yard and neighborhood. These toxic elements could slowly penetrate deep into the earth contaminating wells, aquifers, and other sources of groundwater. Entire communities could be poisoned without realizing the source of the toxic junk was leaky plumbing pipes.

Why is the pipe “leaky”?

One cause could be something in the pipe had damaged the structure of the pipe. Corrosion and other chemical changes could affect the integrity of the pipelining itself. And once the structure of the pipe was weakened and began to break down, stuff inside of it that should have stayed inside the pipe starts leaking out.

Of course, a specific question would be, “What is in the pipe to cause it to break down?”

And another obvious question would be, “How do you repair the leak?”

I’ll take this analogy and apply it to two areas of the body that can become “leaky”. They could cause havoc not only in the immediate area of the leak, but also throughout the rest of the body. I’m referring to a “leaky gut” and a “leaky mouth”.

 

A Leaky Gut

Our gut is a tube – like a plumbing pipe. What is inside of the tube is isolated from the rest of our body. Our body produces a variety of enzymes to break down ingested food. The process of digestion changes the food we eat into the smallest of molecular nutrients. These basic nutrients are allowed to slowly penetrate the lining of the gut to get into your circulation to give the body all the nourishment it requires to be healthy and stay healthy.

To assist our digestion and the overall function of our gut, about 38 trillion microbes make the gut their home. These microbes help with (1) breaking down some food into bioavailable nutrients, (2) creating their own bioactive substances to support the health of the gut and the rest of the body, and (3) signaling the immune system when they sense something is not right in the gut. Without this friendly and balanced garden of microbes in our gut, we would die.

Yes, die!

If pathogenic microbes in the gut begin to overgrow and damage the healthy bacteria, then these bad guys could erode the healthy lining of the gut. The integrity of the gut lining would break down, and stuff inside the gut that should never enter the circulatory system would begin to leak out. Also, certain elements in the food we eat could change the integrity of the lining of the gut.

This pathological condition is called a “leaky gut”.

Just like a leaky plumbing pipe, the damage can spread far and wide in the body. Because of this toxic waste causing chronic systemic inflammation, every organ system in the body is at risk of developing chronic diseases and autoimmune diseases. And the manifestations of these diseases may take months, years, or decades to make themselves known. All along, the person with a chronic leaky gut could be having a variety of symptoms that seem to be unrelated to the gut.

 

Do You Suffer from a Leaky Gut? 

Many of the symptoms of a leaky gut are commonly mistaken for other ailments. Unfortunately, by only treating the symptoms, they will continue to flare up until the underlying cause is diagnosed and treated appropriately. Also, many chronic illnesses stem from a leaky gut. You can fix the problem once and for all by fixing your gut health. Do any of these symptoms or illnesses sound familiar?  …

  • Acid reflux
  • Allergies and food sensitivities
  • Anemia
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Bleeding gums and tooth decay
  • Brain fog
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Overweight as well as underweight
  • Skin lesions, rashes, and pimples

 

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.

 

 

A 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”.

One problem is that most healthcare professionals don’t realize that a “leaky gut” could be a dominant causal factor in a “leaky mouth”. A PubMed abstract published in December 2021 demonstrated how this could happen. In my mini-eBook, Is Your Gut Killing You?, I go into details citing over 295 peer-reviewed medical articles about the gut and its causal effects of chronic diseases, especially dental diseases.

 

Healthy Mouth – 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.

 

 

The Solution

According to Alessio Fasano, MD, probably all chronic diseases start with a leaky gut. And periodontal disease and tooth decay are chronic diseases.

But don’t despair! Here’s what to do about it.

If you only treated a “leaky gut” but there already were advancing dental disease, the existing diseases in the mouth still will leak into the rest of the body if not treated appropriately. And if you only treated the dental problems without addressing a “leaky gut”, then there still would be chronic systemic inflammation coursing through the body from the damaged gut microbiome and its broken epithelial barrier.

Both niduses of infection must be treated simultaneously. Both the gut and the mouth are critical areas to be addressed.

A biologically oriented dentist could treat the mouth and gut at the same time. However, if the dentist was unfamiliar with the treatment of a “leaky gut”, he or she must refer the patient to a healthcare professional who knows the gut protocols for regaining gut health.

If a gut specialist is treating the gut but is unaware if there is a mouth infection, then he or she must refer the patient to a biologically oriented dentist for a thorough examination to determine if dental treatment is required.

Once again, I want to emphasize that both areas of infection and inflammation – a “leaky gut” and a “leaky mouth” – must be treated correctly and concurrently to stop the spread of disease to other parts of the body.

 

More Information

While a biological dentist can diagnose a “leaky mouth”, a “leaky gut” is harder to diagnose.

In my one-on-one, customized coaching program, I review your dental health, diet, gut health, medical history, and current symptoms. We take a holistic approach to your health and understand that everything is connected (because it is!). Also, I can work directly with your biological dentist.

What if you do suffer from a “leaky gut”? It is very treatable! A change in diet, enhancement of the gut microbiome, repair of the gut lining, and modification of some lifestyle choices make all the difference.

If you are wondering if you are suffering from a “leaky gut” or “leaky mouth”, let’s talk. I offer a complimentary 30-minute consultation. I’ll answer your questions, and together we’ll determine if we need to pursue a more detailed consultation process to get you back on track.

 

Schedule a ”30-Minute Free Consult” with me to answer some of your questions and determine if we are a good fit for a coaching program! CLICK HERE.

 

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