November 18, 2016 3 min read

Migraine Headaches and the Bacteria in Your Mouth, Are They Related?

Researchers see a potential link between oral bacteria and the triggering of migraine headaches



Here is an interesting bit of research news, recent studies have implicated the oral microbiome with the onset of migraine headaches.

(By the way, the microbiome and the microbiota are simply the community of bacteria and organisms that share your space. These groups of bacteria are normal, and are not normally disease causing, they are a working part of the host (that’s you). They are group together as colonies and are vital to living–basically a “neighborhood” of bacteria that form a part of your body’s composition)

While research has not shown yet that bacterial growth in the mouth is a cause or trigger for migraines, the studies do show that the makeup and composition of your oral bacteria, and the gut microbiota, could very well be related to the mechanism behind powerful migraine headaches.

How does the oral bacteria relate to migraine headaches?

While quite complex, the fundamental idea is that NITRATES are triggers for many forms of migraine headaches. Nitrate-containing-compounds, found in our foods and/or medications, are seen to be triggers for migraines. Anyone that suffers from migraines has certainly experienced this after eating processed foods such as hot dogs, or after taking certain medications.

The process here is that bacteria are capable of converting NITRATES to another form called NITRITES, and so lowering the presence of nitrates, which of course reduces the presence of the triggers that kick in the headaches. This process of conversion is something that our human cells cannot carry out, but the bacteria in our gut and oral biome have this capability.

While researchers are still studying this potential relationship, what is really interesting here–beyond the potential “trigger” relationship–is the additional support these studies give to the concept that what goes on in your mouth, and in your gut, has effects that are system wide. Without doubt, good oral health and a healthy, beneficial bacterial environment means so much more to you than just healthier gums and teeth–it can mean system wide health and an improved emotional state.

A leading researcher on the connection between the gut and the brain, Paul Forsythe PhD at McMaster University, had this to say:

“This paper is a reminder that we also need to consider the relationship between the brain and microbiota of other body compartments, particularly the oral and nasal microbiome.”

The takeaway from this?

It should be clear that the health of your bacterial colonies has strong implications for your overall health and well being, both physical and emotional. Scientific research is showing, more and more, that much of the future of our approach to healing and health will be based upon strengthening the powerful bacterial colonies that work alongside of our human cells.

As these bacterial colonies are threatened and thrown into imbalances by the onslaught of medicines, processed foods, chemicals, stress, electronics… the list of modern ills goes on and on… then it is critical that you take the effort to keep your microbiomes healthy and in balance.

Your health, your longevity, your production and your emotional well being depends upon a thriving and balanced microbiota. Improving your bacterial colonies is one of the simplest and easiest paths to improved health, so start today.



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