Candida Got Your Tongue?
For years I was plagued with poor dental health despite a low sugar diet. My tongue was thickly coated white with yeast that no amount of tongue brushing could undo. Even prescribed anti-fungals were no match for the overgrowth in my mouth.
At dental checkups my dentist chided me for my high sugar and high alcohol diet even though I consumed neither. It took 13 fillings and numerous gag inducing tongue scrapings for all of that to change.
All I needed was a new toothpaste.
Gut health and dysbiosis talk are currently all the rage but few remember that the gastrointestinal tract begins in the mouth. Unhealthy overgrowth of certain bacterial and yeasts species, as seen in small intestinal bowel overgrowth (SIBO), frequently manifest as poor dental health, oral thrush, and malodorous breath. Getting to the root cause and improving gut health frequently improves dental health. If the influential dentist Weston Price were alive today, he would agree that the microbiome of the mouth is just as important as the microbiome of the intestinal tract.
Oral Microbiota Changes in ME/CFS
Several studies have examined the gut microbiome in ME/CFS. These have revealed shifts in bacterial populations that differ from healthy individuals. There has also been a reported lack of bacterial diversity in the gut of those with ME/CFS. What about in the oral cavity? A Chinese study of 46 CFS patients (Fukuda criteria) and 45 healthy controls evaluated microbes in the saliva to assess microbial diversity. Though less apparent than the gut studies, there were clear differences in bacterial diversity in those with ME/CFS compared to healthy controls. Taking it a step further, the group examined what functional processes these altered bacteria were involved in by using a database that maps molecular pathways and interactions. In general, the oral microbiota in ME/CFS patients seemed to have different functions in the categories of pathways related to energy metabolism, environmental adaptation, enzymes, metabolic diseases, and metabolism of amino acids (1). Surprisingly suggestive, indeed.
Take Care of the Friends in your Mouth
The deep connections between changes in gut microbiota and specific disease continues to manifest in the research. By comparison, there is strikingly little study of the role oral microbiota play in overall health outside the mouth. Thanks to advances in dentistry, we can all enjoy relatively few dental concerns with proper care. However, there now may be a reason to be even more prudent with your oral care. Beyond cavities and gum disease, there is an alarmingly link between oral bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease. The bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis, responsible for gingivitis, releases destructive enzymes and these were found in 99-96% of the 54 human Alzheimer’s brain samples taken from the memory area, the hippocampus (3). Does this bacteria cause Alzheimer’s disease? While this is still a hypothesis, the figure above is hard to ignore.
Given this new information, it is wise to treat the microbiota of our oral cavity with the same consideration as we do our guts. Proper oral hygiene is naturally the norm. However, we should also be wary of the products we choose. Some common dental products are known to contain PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl) chemicals which pose possible health risks all their own. Just as we may take a probiotic for gut health, why not also a probiotic for the mouth?
The toothpaste I can never be without is Periobiotic Toothpaste from Designs for Health—a probiotic toothpaste. It contains Dental-Lac, a functional lactobacillus paracasei strain of probiotic. Research shows that it competes with unhealthy strains of oral bacteria including streptococcus mutans, helping to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study with 40 subjects who had periodontitis showed it significantly inhibited the growth of periodontal pathogens, decreased total bacterial count and improved probing pocket depth (3). Furthermore, a specific Lactobacillus paracasei strain, demonstrated its ability to kill off harmful strains of oral bacteria including streptococcus mutans--a significant contributor to dental caries, tooth decay and periodontal disease (4).
After 3 days of brushing with this toothpaste, my candida coated tongue was gone much to my dentists’ surprise. I’ll keep using it.
No more cavities. Have you tried it?
1 Wang T, Yu L, Xu C, Pan K, Mo M, Duan M, et al. (2018) Chronic fatigue syndrome patients have alterations in their oral microbiome composition and function. PLoS ONE 13(9): e0203503.
2 Abbayya, K. et al. (2015) Association between Periodontitis and Alzheimer's Disease. N Am J Med Sci. 7(6): 241–246.
3 The efficacy and safety of ADP-1 (Lactobacillus paracasei GMNL-33) for periodontal pathogens, a placebo-controlled trial; Ching Ria Chen; GenMont Biotech, Inc. 17 August 2007.
4 Lactic acid bacteria from healthy oral cavity of Thai volunteers: inhibition of oral pathogens; Sookkhee S, Chulasiri M, Prachyabrued W.; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University; J Appl Microbiol. 2001 Feb;90(2):172-9.