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A Powerful, Functional Approach to a Healthy Oral Microbiome

The importance of oral health as required for systemic health is well-accepted in the functional world. However, with up to 77% of American adults over 30 years of age suffering from periodontitis, there is an urgent need to actively address oral health as a routine part of clinical practice. 1 It is important to identify causative factors and effective treatments. Diets high in refined carbohydrates, smoking, pregnancy, and immune suppression are well established risk factors for periodontal disease. Additionally, a healthy mouth requires balance in the oral microbiome.  In the mouth, there is a complex interplay between microorganisms, the immune system, and a variety of habitats in the body. The microbiome shifts between different body sites, due to prevailing properties of the local area (termed “ecological niche”), where a number of different habitats are present even within the oral cavity. The oral and the gastrointestinal communities exhibit the greatest diversity and are innately linked to one another. A flourishing, heterogeneous microbial community is essential both for oral and systemic health. 2

We now understand that there are 700+ species of bacteria in the mouth, with a mean of 296. In one milliliter of saliva, there are 108 microorganisms, and as we swallow one liter or more of saliva each day, it is important to maintain optimal health in the oral microbiome. 2 Microbial diversity in the mouth includes bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungus and protozoans. 3

 

 

Microbes in the Mouth 2, 4

 

Class

Notable Bugs

Associated Illness

Bacterial – a mix of commensals, symbionts, and pathogens

Porphyromonas gingivalis 

Periodontitis and systemic illnesses

Streptococcus mutans

Biofilm/plaque formation

Treponema denticola 

A main etiological bacteria of periodontitis

Fungal

Candida albicans

Biofilm/plaque formation, esophagitis, thrush, GI infection, disseminated systemic illness

Viral

Human papilloma virus

Oropharyngeal cancer

Cytomegalovirus

Esophagitis, gastritis, enteritis, colitis 

 

Biofilms Play a Significant Role in the Oral Microbiome

Bacteria commonly live in biofilm communities that can sense each other using chemical signaling molecules, a mechanism known as quorum sensing. Biofilms are responsible for 80% of all infections and for most chronic infections. In the oral cavity, biofilm is plaque. Biofilms are complex, dynamic structures that react to stimulus in a coordinated behavior via intracellular communication. Biofilms are 10-1,000 times less susceptible to antimicrobials than a single bacterium. Teeth provide a non-shedding surface, ideal for biofilms (plaque) development, whereas the epithelial tissue of the oral mucosa is in a constant state of turnover. 2

Neutrophils are the primary immune defense in the mouth but are not effective against biofilm-associated bacteria. As they attack biofilms, they set off an inflammatory cascade that develops into a gingivitis lesion and increased infiltration of T cells and macrophages. Gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, the characteristic periodontal pocket, and destruction of surrounding tissue. Due to the anatomical proximity of the periodontal biofilm to the gingival blood stream, pockets may act as reservoirs for pathogens and their metabolites, as well as inflammatory mediators and immunocomplexes that can disseminate systemically. 5 

In fact, “less than 1 minute after an oral procedure, organisms from the infected site may have reached the heart, lungs, and peripheral blood capillary system”. 6

Oral health requires balance in the immune-inflammatory state. When there is a dysregulation in the complex interplay between salivary components, immune activity, and existing microbes, dysbiosis occurs, causing negative health implications such as caries, periodontitis, endodontic infection, alveolar bone loss, and tonsillitis. 5 Systemically, the effects of oral dysbiosis are far reaching:

 

Diseases Related to Oral Pathogens 2, 5, 7, 8, 9

Cardiovascular Disease – release of mediators that have a systemic effect (e.g.: cytokines and prothrombin). Individuals with untreated tooth infections are 2.7 times more likely to have cardiovascular problems, such as coronary artery disease. 

Autoimmunity – 1,676 subjects aged 30–40 years old were randomly selected from the registry file of Stockholm region (Sweden) to participate in a 30-year study starting in 1985. The result showed that subjects with a higher plaque index, a marker of poor oral hygiene, were more likely to develop autoimmune diseases. 

Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes - Analysis of the placenta and fetal gastrointestinal tract show transient occupation by microbes most closely aligned with the maternal oral commensal organisms and may assist in fetal development of the immune system. Conversely, periodontal disease and oral infection during pregnancy are a hallmark of preterm delivery. 

Other Systemic Illnesses - Inflammatory bowel disease, cancer (oropharyngeal, esophageal, colorectal), respiratory tract infection (bronchitis, pneumonia), meningitis, abscess (brain, lung, liver, spleen), appendicitis, obesity, and diabetes mellitus. 

 

Clinicians Can be a Key Influencer on their Patients’ Oral Health

Modifiable factors that drive oral dysbiosis include, poor oral hygiene, changes in saliva (flow or composition), diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, and stress. Clinicians are in the unique position to influence most of these areas with patients. Counseling about oral hygiene practices and lifestyle choices can go a long way toward improving and ultimately maintaining health. Encouraging regular brushing and flossing helps with the mechanical reduction of biofilm. 2 In addition, there are also natural and gentle, proven therapeutics that have a positive impact on the oral microbiome. 

Effective Botanicals in Dental Hygiene

Botanicals have a long history of use in oral health; with excellent research on their ability to disrupt pathogenic biofilms and function as broad-acting antimicrobials. A recent study by Dr. John Rothchild, DDS, illustrated the potential of a liposomal botanical formula to significantly reduce pathogen load. In this study, 35 pathogens were detected, followed by 1 month of treatment with the botanical formula. The result can be seen below, with the bacteria reduced to four remaining pathogens. The study showed clearance of bacterial, viral, amoeba, and fungal pathogens.

 

Botanicals in Dental Research


 

“The Liposomal botanicals used in our study appear to be a wonderful adjunct in the treatment of periodontal disease. This statement is based on actual controlled pilot studies that I have performed clinically in my office. The periodontal study was utilizing classic clinical periodontal parameters and phase contrast microscopy. Based on these studies, I am using these as an adjunct in my office every day and would highly recommend them." 

~John A. Rothchild, DDS, MAGD, IMD, DAAPM, NMD, IBDM. 

 

The oral health protocol that was prescribed by Dr. Rothchild included LSF Biocidin a liposomal botanical formula. He prescribed swishing for three minutes with 2 pumps of the product, and spitting, three times/day. You can learn more about the liposomal oral care solution that sprang from that research here. The Dentalcidin™ Toothpaste can be used daily along with the oral care solution for additional support.

Here is a real-time example of the effect of Dentalcidin™ LS on the microorganisms in a 6 mm periodontal pocket.

 

The human microbiome plays a pivotal role in human biology through its influence on many physiological functions such as human development, physiology, immunity, and nutrition. Botanical therapies in the form of toothpaste and/or an oral rinse, represent a low intervention, effective, and easy-to-implement method for supporting overall health. 5 

To learn more about the curated line of 10 products Bio-Botanical Research offers, including the oral care line, please visit: http://www.biocidin.com/

Healthcare Practitioner Support

Bio-Botanical Research prides themselves on a level of customer service that is reflective of the high standards of the products. The company offers on-going educational resources, including free personalized training on products and protocols, to assist practitioners in clinical practice. If you are a practitioner working with a case of microbial dysbiosis anywhere in the body, consider the Biocidin® suite of products along with the 4 support formulas from Bio-Botanical Research Inc. For more information, visit biocidin.com or call 800.775.4140.

 

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6057715/
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/sj.bdj.2016.865
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5274568/
  4. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/internalmedicine/advpub/0/advpub_2908-19/_article - HPV
  5. https://www.mdpi.com/2304-6767/6/2/10/htm
  6. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0757.1994.tb00019.x?sid=nlm%3Apubmed
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29563402
  8. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20002297.2019.1650597
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5797574/


About the Author

*This article was written by Dr. Jocelyn Strand and may not be reproduced without consent from Bio-Botanical Research, Inc. 


The views, information, and opinions expressed in this content are solely of the individual author, and do not necessarily represent those of AAOSH or its employees. The primary purpose of this content is to educate and bring you the latest information. The information does not constitute medical advise.