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The Surprising Connection Between Oral Bacteria and Heart Disease

Bacteria Linked to Atherosclerosis In The Least Expected Place

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., DACBN, MS, CFMP

Medical literature is very clear that oral dental health plays a significant role in your cardiovascular health. As odd as it sounds, regularly brushing and flossing your teeth could be what stands between you and a future heart attack. Research has linked bacteria from the Streptococcus genus to fatty plaque buildup in heart arteries. A new study published in the journal Circulation has pinpointed two specific oral microorganisms that play a role in whether we develop atherosclerosis (clogged arteries).

In all people, there should be a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in our mouth (teeth). However, when this balance is upset, it kicks off a chain of events that makes atherosclerosis far more likely to occur.

The researchers used advanced technology to reexamine the gut and oral bacteria assessments and cardiac imaging from 8,973 volunteers in the earlier SCAPIS study. A search in the medical literature has actually identified three bacteria associated with atherosclerosis when they were found in large numbers in the mouth. They include:

  • Streptococcus anginosus

  • Streptococcus oralis

  • Streptococcus mutans

The scientists who have published their research have two theories about why these bacteria might be a contributing factor to atherosclerosis.

  1. These bacteria (streptococcus species) set off systemic low-grade inflammation that leads to plaque accumulation in heart arteries.

  2. In an attempt to evade our immune system, the bacteria in our mouth enter our bloodstream and set up shop in our arteries.

Steps to take to decrease the potential of Streptococcus genus compromising our cardiovascular health include:

  1. Regularly brushing your teeth

  2. Flossing

  3. Consider using a Waterpik water flosser (this is my dentist's strongest recommendation to clean out bacteria deep in the back molars.) This oral health appliance provides a stream of pulsating water to floss between your teeth and below the gumline.

  4. Don't forget the most important step of ideal dental health and that is regular dental cleanings.

Here are some additional recommendations to ensure your oral health has the best opportunity to be bacteria-free.

  1. Stop the Sugar

  2. Salt Water Rinse

  3. Tea Tree Oil and/or Oregano oil products. These essential oils have natural antibacterial qualities. If you battle gingivitis, look for mouthwash or toothpaste made with tea tree oil (never use straight oil) and/or Oregano oil.

  4. Olive Leaf Extract: Olive leaf extract is another natural antibacterial that can be used in mouthwash or toothpaste.

  5. One of my personal go-to preventive measures to ensure optimal oral health is the Dentalcidin Oral Care System by Biocidin Botanicals. See PDF below for more details on this dental care system.

Download PDF • 771KB

Start protecting your heart and reducing your risk of heart complications today by focusing on your oral care.

You can find a qualified and certified functional medicine practitioner by going to: References: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University's Certification Program (CFMP) This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation, and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required

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