Leaky Mouth? What does that even mean and how can it affect my health?
At this point, everyone has heard of a leaky gut, but something I see clinically is a concept we might call a ‘leaky mouth’. Remember, any barrier can be broken and if something is on fire then we actually have to point the fire extinguisher in the right place to put it out.
There can definitely be more well-known bacteria involved like Porphyromonas Gingivalis in someone’s gum diseases, but like most dysbiosis, there is usually more than one little critter contributing to the problem. The biggest contributors are commonly called keystone pathogens.
Below, we see how different kinds of strep interact with Candida Albicans (Both are fed by sugar – hint, hint, quit eating sugar). On the left, with one form of strep called S. oralis we can them making more plaque and breaking through the oral barrier. On the right, we can see Candida and a different strep called S. mutans where they are more resistant to oral enzymes and causing cavities.
But it is important to remember than not all Candida are bad. In fact, everyone has Candida. So what can help make it a problem other than sugar and different kinds of bacteria? Well stress can definitely do it. Candida have a lot of genes that are turned on when we as a host are stressed out. In this picture, if you look on the upper right, we can even see on a microscope the Candida (that are living with a bacteria) making hyphae (kind of like a spear) that is an indication that the Candida have now turned pathogenic.
By now, mostly everyone knows there is no good reason to smoke. Long gone is the terribly done research paid for by tobacco companies that said otherwise. Smoking can definitely be a form of chemical stress as well as aggravate the immune system in the mouth as well as the lungs. This has actually been shown in some genetically susceptible people to be a trigger for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
But more than just causing cavities and RA. A leaky mouth has also been demonstrated to contribute to atherosclerosis and neural autoimmunity.
Lastly, below we can see that some oral bacteria have been implicated in Sjrögren’s, Crohn’s, and even Lupus (on top of RA).
As we can clearly see, there can be far-reaching and detrimental consequences to a leaky mouth. It is important to properly evaluate this system as well, especially if there already appears to be a problem in the area as well a genetic predisposition and/or family history of autoimmunity.
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