Breast health - and all of the challenges that can come with the cells in our breasts and surrounding area - is something that we are all aware of, but still don’t talk about enough. Despite there being tons of fundraisers, charities, and research going into ‘the Big C’ more than ever before, particularly in the breast area, there is still so much education to do on the root cause of breast health issues. The big C is not just a disease that is cellular and shows up in the physical body. It is one with so many drivers and multifactorial root causes and I strongly believe that we need to look at it in a more holistic manner. Breast health is something that is deeply connected not only to the health of our entire terrain (which is why it is important that our body is detoxing properly at all stages of the detox process and that we are following a low-tox lifestyle too) but one that is also is connected to areas like suppressed emotions (read our Agent blog on this here) as well as many other terrain imbalances (like estrogen dominance, insufficient iodine, excess iron that get overlooked. I have a ton of great content on this so you can also read more about the top 7 terrain imbalances that drive poor breast health here - this is such an important blog.
However, something that people aren’t learning about enough is the connection between oral health and breast health. Yes, really. This is deeply important stuff.
The connection between oral health and general health is one that is just starting to be taken seriously both in the holistic wellness world and, to some extent, the mainstream wellness world. At the moment, the connection between gut health and gum health is probably what you might hear people talking about holistic dentistry and the body but, the truth is, it goes deeper.
Over a decade ago now, a 2011 journal linked here noted that over 100 medical conditions can often be spotted first in the mouth by dentists, and this is because of the connection between diseases, the mouth, and inflammation of both the gums and the body. Periodontitis (deep red gums, bleeding when you brush and the onset of receding gums and bone structures) is an inflammatory disease in the mouth that is often suggestive of inflammation not only in the connected biomes throughout the body but also across the body more generally (we call this systemic, chronic or low-level inflammation). The journal (and an increasing number of journals since) have also set out the connection between oral health and breast health too.
The journal orchestrated a study that concluded that periodontal disease is associated with increased prevalence and rates of Breast C. The study suggested that the risk of developing cellular malfunctions in breast tissue could be ‘amplified through experiencing chronic gum disease’. A crazy stat is that among the women in the research study, those who suffered from or lived with chronic gum disease or had lost teeth (more on why this is important later on in the blog) were found to be more than *twice* as likely to be diagnosed with the big C in their breast area than those with healthy gums who showed no signs of periodontal disease.
But why? What is the connection between breast health and the oral biome?
It’s all to do with inflammation. Periodontal disease is associated with increased inflammation within the body and increased production of reactive oxygen species which, if not fought off properly by free radical fighting agents (like antioxidants) can cause cellular damage to host cells and tissues. The byproducts of oral inflammation (things like nitrate and potassium) can also not only leave the oral biome and enter into the bloodstream, at which point they can travel all over the body and drive dangerous processes like mutagenesis but also can lend to an inflammation-related environment that can shift the oral microbiome from a eubiotic community to a dysbiotic one (think: out of balance).
There is a cause and effect between dysbiosis in all of the biomes in the body and inflammation. Out-of-balance biomes (like the oral microbiome and gut microbiome - and chances are if one of yours is out of balance, the other one probably is too) can lead to inflammation all over the body - not just in the area that is out of balance, Inflammation exacerbates and fuels the growth of tumors and other cellular malfunctions as well as interfering with cellular function, driving the aging process and really reducing how our body is supposed to work and function best.
These studies aren’t alone and this isn’t just a hypothesis. A 2017 journal in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Publication also confirmed that gum disease can increase the risk of total C in older women, regardless of whether they were smokers or not.
Other studies also agree that there is a connection between inflammation in the mouth, inflammation in the body, and disease states and they also go further to state that there is an interesting connection between pathogens in the mouth (ie. human cytomegalovirus & Epstein barr) and Breast C. The thought process here is that bacteria that can live and harbor in the mouth can proliferate here, take over (if not fought off by healthy bacteria in the oral biome) and at this point, can enter into the bloodstream from a dysbiotic and out of balanced biome, and then head into the body and breast tissue.
Root canals and tooth removal is also an area that can cause huge systemic inflammation too. The connection between chronic illness and root canals is gaining speed rapidly. Root canals, treated by traditional dentists as ‘the only way to save a tooth when it’s past the point of no return’ (which is actually incorrect) often fail to sterilize the tooth completely, leaving germs inside the cavities and holes, transforming them into bacteria and allowing bacteria to grow there. This, mixed with the fact that no blood flow can then reach the tooth, as well as teeth being porous and bacteria leakage being a given, means that toxins can release into the bloodstream, the immune system can’t get there to fight it, and the oral biome basically becomes leaky - something that is going to happen for the rest of the patient’s life. In functional and root cause medicine, this is what we call a stealth infection - something that is going to be causing issues for the rest of your life, even if you can’t see or feel it. Bacteria and viruses in the mouth are misunderstood as being leading causes of a number of cellular health issues.
So, what’s the answer?
The answer starts with protecting our breasts, and all other cells and organs in our body, by not only working on an entirely anti-inflammatory, low-toxin lifestyle but also by incorporating our oral hygiene as a critical and crucial part of this health journey.
Oral health gets so overlooked but I am truly realizing that this is just as important as so many other things that we spend time, money, and energy on getting right, to avoid them going wrong.
So, here are the top things I have learned from biological dentistry to help keep infections, pathogens and bacteria at bay in the mouth,
- First up, it seems unrelated, but get control over your gut health - our gut microbiome is directly connected to our oral microbiome so if you are dealing with inflammation, sore gums, bleeding when you brush or any other signs of gum disease, treat this as a sign that you need to start on your root-cause health journey, and oral health hygiene journey, ASAP. You might be struggling with leaky gut, gut dysbiosis and even if you heal your oral biome, you need to fix your gut microbiome too;
- Use electric toothbrush - always;
- Avoid toxic, chemical-laden mouthwashes and kinds of toothpaste. Instead, invest in powerful, holistic, non-toxic toothpaste, my favorites are Dentalcidin® Oral Microbiome Toothpaste & the mouthwash, They help to bust biofilms in the mouth that bacteria can hide in;
- Invest in an oral probiotic to help the good bacteria to grow and fight the bad guys - my favorite is the Bio.Me Oral powder, available online and at Planet Organic;
- Tongue scrape every morning when you wake up to remove excess bacteria from your mouth, and then coconut oil pull every morning too - this helps to lubricate the teeth to remove debris and bacteria sticking and forming plaque;
- Focus on mouth-taping if you are breathing through your mouth at night - holistic dentists strongly believe that this mouth-breathing can mineralize saliva in your mouth and drive plaque and gum inflammation further;
- Floss every day & use interdental sticks to remove the bacteria that can sit and hide between each tooth;
- Always consider holistic alternatives to mercury/amalgam fillings (these also slowly release toxic vapor into the mouth) and root canals - or, at the very least, get the procedure done so effectively that it properly eliminates all bacteria (using ozone therapy) to eliminate infection and decay before resealing the tooth;
- Avoid antibiotics where necessary. These can damage the gut microbiome and oral microbiome too by killing off all of the good bacteria, as well as the bad bacteria too.
So, these are the things I’ve learned on my holistic dentistry journey so far from some of the best in the business. I interviewed holistic dentist, Dr Grace Verishnina, in Beverley Hills and this was a fascinating interview, linked here for you.
I’ve learned that taking care of your oral health should be just as important as taking care of your diet or your skin care - particularly when you learn about the connection to breast tissue and the diseases that we could be working to avoid later in life.
I hope you found this as helpful and informative as I did writing and researching it. Excited for you to take control of your oral health too. It’s not sexy like skincare, but it’s so important!
Love Jena x
***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST