Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
January 2, 2022
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.
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
- Autoimmune diseases
- Bleeding gums and tooth decay
- Brain fog
- Depression and anxiety
- 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.
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.
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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