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A New Saliva Test Finds Hidden Dangers

Our doctors focus on risk that centers around 11 specific oral bacteria that research says can move through bone and gum tissue into our bloodstream, affecting overall health—even when patients don’t show signs of periodontal disease.

That’s right. Some patients—whose mouths appear healthy—still have harmful bacteria that can affect overall health.

Do You Know Your Personal Bacterial Blueprint? With research leaving no doubt about the need to eliminate or lower levels of these dangerous oral bacteria, our doctors and hygiene therapists are zeroing in on each person’s “Bacterial Blueprint.” A personalized plan begins with a thorough exam and a special “Saliva Test” to get an accurate picture of oral bacterial presence. For example:

  • Oral bacteria called, Pg (Porphyromonas Gingivalis), also known as a “Gorilla Bacteria,” as well as En (Eubacterium nodatum), actually trap cholesterol in the wall of the artery, leading to the formation of dangerous heart-threatening clots. These Pg bacteria also raise risk for heart attack by 13.6 times. That’s twice the risk of a heavy smoker! They are also found to be a cause of Alzheimer’s.

  • Other harmful oral bacteria include Aa (Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans), which are involved with heart disease, brain abscesses, Alzheimer’s, dental decay, plaque in arteries, oxidative stress.

A simple non-invasive swish-gargle-collect saliva test (it’s really easy) allows us to identify and measure bacteria in your mouth. Since bacteria are not visible to the naked eye, this saliva test makes it possible to “see” the bacteria, just like an x-ray helps to see bones and teeth. The saliva sample is sent to a specialized lab. The resulting report, a “Personal Bacteria Picture,” provides important information about health risks.

Treatments include therapies that remove biofilm (bacteria) layers as well as personalized prescriptions for at-home microbial rinses, probiotic tablets, as well as, in some cases, oral anti-biotics.

What Has Led to This Change? Landmark Study.

Some of the game-changing research related to oral-systemic health grew out of a landmark, peer-reviewed study by Dr. Bradley Bale and Amy Doneen, DNP. They are the first researchers to report that oral bacteria from periodontal disease can travel through the bloodstream—causing damage and inciting inflammation—and contributing to, if not causing, arterial disease.

How do oral bacteria raise risk? The bacteria that get into the bloodstream give off chemicals that make it easier for cholesterol to invade artery walls—which can lead to formation of life-threatening blood clots that rupture, causing a heart attack or stroke.

  • These chemicals also make the inner layers of the artery (where dangerous plaque forms) stickier, like Velcro, so cholesterol is more likely to be trapped there and clump into unwanted—plaque.

  • These bacteria make arteries more open, making it easier for bad cholesterol (LDL) to pass out of the artery wall and “stick” there, forming dangerous plaques.

  • The invading bacteria also cause the lining inside blood vessels to become inflamed.

  • The body’s response to inflammation causes clots of plaque to rupture through the artery wall, causing heart attack or stroke

  • Oral is “systemic” because of these bacteria.

Oral Bacteria Cause Blockage!

It is now known that blockage of coronary arteries is caused not only by deposits of bad cholesterol, but also by movement and entrapment of oral bacteria, such as Porphyromonas gingivalis, or Pg. Dr. Bradley Bale and Amy Doneen ARNP, in their bestselling book, “Beat the Heart Attack Gene,” describe how oral bacteria contribute to heart attacks.

  • Bale and Doneen note that people with infected gums are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks as those with healthy gums.

  • In fact, they state that oral bacteria in high concentrations have been found in the blood clots of people who have had heart attacks and strokes!

  • And the study authors also report that at least 50 percent of unexpected heart attacks and strokes are triggered by dangerous oral bacteria!*

  • Bale and Doneen cite a 2016 study that people with severe gum disease were 70 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease than those with healthy gums.

*Bale, BF, Doneen, A L, Vigerust, DJ. High-risk periodontal pathogens contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis Postgrad Med J. 2017 Apr;93(1098):215-220

“The sea-change we’re seeing is old-style dentistry and medicine going from a “reactive” fixing-problems approach to “proactive” personalized—preventive—care,” says Dr. Deutsch. “Now, there is a way to see risk not seen before, and go beyond mouth-health to body-health. The giant step forward with saliva testing helps prevent dental infections and high risk that can lead to serious medical problems.”

Inflammation is the ‘match that lights the fire’

Inflammation is a Hidden Cause of Heart Attacks and Strokes. The good news is that Bale and Doneen promote a proven way to avoid heart and stroke events, an approach practiced by a growing number of medical and dental clinicians. The success of this approach focuses on identifying and controlling inflammation.

  • Chronic inflammation from obesity, stress, high cholesterol, poor diet, arthritis, insulin resistance, infection, pre-diabetes, makes the body respond as if normal cells are alien invaders and attacks them—inflammation!

  • Think of plaque as kindling. “Inflammation lights the match” and causes plaque to rupture. A clot is formed, choking off blood flow to the heart—a heart attack.

  • That explains why some people with little plaque buildup still have heart attacks and strokes, while others with a lot of plaque buildup never suffer these dangerous events. Inflammation is the culprit.

  • We know that gum disease is an inflammatory disease triggered by specific bacteria and the body’s response to those bacteria. Research now is conclusive that certain dental bacteria, penetrating gum and bone, travel through the body, incite inflammation and increase health risks for heart disease, strokes, pregnancy complications, diabetes, tooth loss, bad breath, dental decay, Rheumatoid Arthritis.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.