Our Microbiome have been co-existing with us, serving and protecting us for thousands of years. They arrived on the earth millions of years before we did, and when we saw all the wonderful things they can accomplish we ingested them and incorporated them into our bodies so we wouldn’t have to work so hard.
What Is The Microbiome?
The healthy Microbiome consists of more that 100 trillion friendly bacteria and fungi found in our sinuses, mouths, digestive tract, skin and even the brain. Every part of our body surface in communication with the environment is colonized by the Microbiome.
We have co-existed with these healthy bacteria and fungi for thousands of years. They work hard to make necessary vitamins and micronutrients for daily functions like digestion and sleep. Our friendly Microbiome make natural antibiotics to fight competitors and also protect us from oral infections, skin infections, sinus infections, ear infections and GI infections. They help prevent allergies and improve our glucose metabolism. They improve our gut motility so we can enjoy the foods we love.
Read this article in The Economist journal to see just how important our healthy Microbiome is for our survival. They have been called The Forgotten Organ. When they are happy, we are happy. When we are in a healthy balance with the Microbiome this is called Eubiosis.
But if we lose the healthy Microbiome then the bad bacteria overgrow and we can become very unhappy. When we lose the healthy Microbiome, the bad bacteria and fungi that overgrow can cause infections, disrupt our digestion, our sleep, our immune system and metabolism. The overgrowth of bad bacteria is called Dysbiosis. The changes caused by Dysbiosis include a reduction of health-promoting bacteria, an increase in invasive and inflammation-inducing bacteria, an increase in genotoxic bacteria and an increase in cancer-promoting metabolites.
Thousands of research articles support the finding that our Microbiome is even more important than our own genome in determining whether or not we get cancer. You can read more about the Microbiome and cancer by clicking here.
How Does The Microbiome Affect So Many Illnesses?
While we have trillions of healthy bacteria and fungi, the Fantastic Four ancient phyla are dominant in the gut Microbiome. These are Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. Mostly they are found in our poop.
These Fantastic Four Microbiome are best friends. They feed each other by making the 8 Vitamin B’s for each other, something they all need to survive. In case you ever wondered why they are called Vitamin B’s, it’s because Vitamin B’s are growth factors for the healthy gut Bacteria. The 8 Vitamin B’s are:
- Thiamine (Vitamin B-1)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2)
- Niacin (Vitamin B-3)
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B-5)
- Vitamin B-6
- Biotin (Vitamin B-7)
- Folate (Vitamin B-9)
- Vitamin B-12
And Vitamin B’s are not just necessary for the Fantastic Four healthy bacteria to grow, they are critical for our own daily functions. They make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is necessary for sleep and our calming parasympathetic nervous system. They make cortisol to keep us out of pain and keep our immune system in balance. They are necessary for our nerves to work properly and for numerous metabolic functions . When we lose the Fantastic Four not only do we become dysbiotic, we also become Vitamin B deficient and very ill.
How Do We Lose Our Healthy Microbiome?
The primary cause of losing the Microbiome is a Vitamin D deficiency. Our healthy gut Microbiome rely on the sun hormone Vitamin D to help them grow. It’s no wonder that since the 1980’s when we started to use sunscreen, watch daytime TV and live inside air conditioned homes while avoiding the sun that our Vitamin D levels dropped and we started to see an epidemic of sleep disorders, autoimmune disease, asthma, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and the list goes on. As our Vitamin D levels dropped, we lost our healthy Microbiome, became Vitamin B deficient and became more and more sick.
You should not miss this You Tube Video with one million views where Mike Mutzel interviews Dr Stasha Gominak, a Harvard-trained MD who pioneered the relationship between Vitamin D and sleep and the gut Microbiome.
The second main reason we lose our healthy gut Microbiome is by exposure to toxins in the environment like Round Up (Glyphosate) and antibiotics in the foods we ingest. You can read my blog post on the dangers of glyphosate by clicking here.
The Gut Microbiome And The Mouth
Our mouth is part of the GI tract and has more than 700 species of beneficial bacteria that are part of the gut Microbiome. They help us digest food and keep our teeth and gums healthy.
Vitamin D is a growth factor for the healthy gut Microbiome and is also the main hormone for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D receptors are found all over our teeth and jaw bones.
I use the term Double Deficiency to describe a Vitamin D deficiency that led to a loss of the healthy Microbiome and a secondary Vitamin B deficiency.
The weak bone from a Vitamin D deficiency and dysbiosis from losing the healthy mouth Microbiome can result in gum disease, tooth decay, root canal problems, tooth loss and infected dental implants.
Both Vitamins D and B are necessary for a good night’s sleep that is peaceful and restorative. A Double Deficiency can cause poor sleep. You might find yourself feeling tired when you wake up in the morning, fatigued throughout the day, you might grind your teeth in your sleep and develop TMJ pain and headaches.
How Do I Know If I Have Lost The Healthy Microbiome In My Mouth?
You have to pay attention to your body for symptoms. If you have gum disease and bone loss around natural teeth or you have infected dental implants or you have poor sleep and you grind your teeth at night or get headaches, there is a good chance you have a Double Deficiency syndrome. If you have autoimmune disorders that show up in your mouth there is a good chance you have lost your healthy gut Micobiome and you are not making enough of the 8 Vitamin B’s.
Vitamin D deficiencies also contribute to nasal congestion and asthma that can lead to mouth breathing. Mouth breathing leads to snoring and sleep apnea and poor sleep.
Dysbiosis and Double Deficiency syndrome, of course, are not the only reasons you can get these symptoms. But if you have anatomical and genetic predisposition to these illnesses then the loss of the healthy Microbiome and Vitamin D deficiency will make these symptoms worst.
If you developed gum disease or decay and then lost your teeth and then got dental implants and now you are losing those too, you are showing the signs of Vitamin D deficiency and dysbiosis and loss of the healthy Microbiome. If you feel like you are just chasing your tail trying to feel good about your mouth you are showing the signs of Vitamin D deficiency and dysbiosis and loss of the healthy Microbiome.
It’s not normal to keep having problems with your teeth and TMJ and to be in pain and to snore and stop breathing in your sleep at night.
So What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk Of Gum Disease and Failing Teeth And Dental Implants?
It is ideal to keep your Vitamin D levels between 50-60 ng/mL and to keep your blood Vitamin B-12 levels above 500. We don’t have reliable tests for the other seven B Vitamins so you also need to be in tune to how you feel. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, infected dental implants, tooth wear or TMJ pain pay attention to your D and B levels in addition to undergoing the dental services to treat the active disease.
Vitamins D and B are very powerful and affect every human function. They should not be supplemented without the supervision of a knowledgeable doctor and regular blood draws to check your levels. While it is tempting to think that over the counter supplements can not be harmful, this is not the case. The dosages need to be tightly regulated. Your Vitamin D3 levels should be between 50 ng/mL to 60 ng/mL for the best sleep. And a single Vitamin B should never be supplemented in isolation. All 8 B’s should be taken together in specific dosages in order to get your healthy Microbiome back.
My goal is to help my patients have the best oral health possible. In addition to providing LANAP laser treatment for gum disease and infected dental implants and AlloDerm minimally invasive treatment for gum recession, I help my patients get the right Vitamin D levels for the best sleep and strong jaw bones, and to re-establish their lost healthy Microbiome so that the gum disease doesn’t keep coming back. While we are planning for specific periodontal procedures my patients have the option to have their Vitamins D and B-12 levels checked and request guidance on how to supplement safely over a 3 to 6 month period.
I find that all of my procedures work better when my patients are getting deep restorative sleep and have the healthy Microbiome and the Fantastic Four poop bacteria. If we pay attention to our sleep and Microbiome, we can be self healing the way Mother Nature intended.
If you are suffering from gum disease, gum recession, teeth grinding, TMJ pain or infected dental implants please feel free to call my office at (310) 205-0900. I look forward to meeting you to see how I can help.