Migraines May Be Linked to Mouth Bacteria

Individuals who suffer from migraine headaches are often counseled to avoid certain trigger foods – for example, chocolate, wine and foods containing nitrates. A recent study, however, shows that it may not be the food causing the headaches but rather the bacteria from the food that is left in the mouth.

The research from the UC San Diego School of Medicine found that people who have migraines also have more bacteria in their mouths than do those who don’t get migraines. These bacteria can break down the nitrates found in foods like processed meat, green leafy vegetables and some medications.

Here is what happens: Under certain conditions, the mouth bacteria change the nitrates into nitric oxide which is normally good for cardiovascular health as it improves circulation. But too many of these bacteria will break down the nitrates too quickly, causing the blood vessels in the scalp and brain to dilate and result in a migraine.

The researchers stress that although there is a link between nitrates and migraines, the nature of this link and how nitric oxide forms is elusive requiring more studies.

Mouth Bacteria Causes Dental Disease

The bacteria in your mouth create an acidic environment that leads to tooth decay. With inadequate oral hygiene and infrequent professional dental care, harmful plaque stays on your teeth and gums causing decay and also oral infections.

It only takes about 48 hours for dental plaque to harden into tartar. You can’t brush away tartar – only a professional cleaning can remove tartar hiding under the gum line or between your teeth.

Fight tooth decay and gum disease with good, consistent oral care. Brush twice daily and floss your teeth every day. Be sure to come in for a dental exam and cleaning every 6 months.

Call for a Dental Cleaning and Examination Today!

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.