Microbiome Mysteries

by Alison

Another week, another really good movie to talk about. “Life on Us: A Microscopic Safari” is an Amazon Prime movie that I found super interesting. It’s all about the microbiome that is all around us, helping us to do things like digest food and generally stay healthy.

About 50 minutes into the movie they talk about my favorite subject - teeth. As we have always known, the mouth is loaded with bacteria. What is the newer idea is that some of these bacteria are helpful to us. It’s not so much keeping bacteria away or killing them as keeping them in a happy balance that seems to be the key to healthy living.


In this movie, you can see the link above, John Kaidonis, a researcher from the University of Adelaide in South Australia calls tooth decay a plague and an epidemic. He sites that 90% of children in the world are suffering from tooth decay. And Professor Alan Cooper a molecular evolutionist in Adelaide discusses how prehistoric man had great teeth before the advent of farming, even though those humans didn’t brush.

Cooper goes on to talk about how modern humans don’t give bleeding gums the attention they deserve as, “bacteria leaking through inflamed gums into our blood system and stimulating all sorts of immune responses linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, premature birth, and cancer.”

Hello!! People! Hello!! Bleeding gums are so much more than ugly, and bad smelling, they are dangerous to your overall health. This isn’t me saying it, it’s science! I don’t know what Paleolithic man had going for him that we don’t (seemingly it’s helpful bacteria) but I do know how to deal with bleeding gums and the answer is ALWAYS the same. Brush for two full minutes, with a soft bristled brush, twice a day, remove bacterial plaque from between your teeth every 24 hours preferable with tooth picks or a proxabrush, use fluoride toothpaste, and drink fluoridated water. See your dentist at least twice a year. It’s not sexy, it’s the same thing every dentist has told you ever since you can remember hearing dental advice. It will take about 3 minutes twice a day. Just do it! Or be unhealthy, whatever, it’s your life.

And if you want a 15% discount on your next dental appointment (one per patient per month, not applicable if other discounts have been applied) write a response to this blog.