In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview my friend and colleague Cass Nelson-Dooley, M.S. in a discussion on how to heal your oral microbiome. Cass recently published the book "Heal Your Oral Microbiome" and we discussed many important topics about this often overlooked health issue. We discussed what conditions may be connected to a dysbiotic oral microbiome, how oral microbiome dysbiosis affects your health, health sweeteners, strategies to heal the oral microbiome, testing, dental products and more. If you're struggling with healing your gut or have a health issue that won't resolve, your oral microbiome may be the missing link.
Full Transcript on How to Heal Your Oral Microbiome
Dr. Hedberg: Well, welcome, everyone, to "Functional Medicine Research." I'm Dr. Hedberg. And I'm very excited today to have my friend and colleague, Cass Nelson-Dooley, on the show. And Cass studied medicinal plants in the rainforests of Panama in 2003 as a Fulbright Scholar and then launched a career in science and natural medicine. She researched the pharmacology of medicinal plants at the University of Georgia and AptoTec, and then joined the innovators at MetaMetrics clinical laboratory and Genova. She enjoys teaching, presenting, writing, and researching how to address the underlying causes of disease, not just the symptoms.
She has over a decade of experience teaching doctors about integrative and functional laboratory results. In 2013, she started Health First Consulting, a medical communications company with a mission to improve human health using the written word. She created innovative videos and patient education handouts to improve practice efficiency and motivate patients. Miss Nelson-Dooley is the author of the book "Heal Your Oral Microbiome," which we'll be focusing on today. And has published case studies, book chapters, journal articles about natural medicine, nutrition, and laboratory testing. Her website is healthfirstconsulting.com. Cass, welcome to the show.
Cass: Thank you, Nick. So happy to be here.
Dr. Hedberg: Yes. It's been a while. We were just kind of reminiscing about the days at MetaMetrics and I read your new book, "Heal Your Oral Microbiome." So, I was excited to have you on about that because no one's really talking about it. So, why don't we talk about, kind of, the foundation of what we're talking about here, which is periodontal disease? And so can you just talk a little bit about what that is?
Cass: Sure. Sure. So, yeah, it's great talking with you after all these years and in the starting out, getting to know you in the functional lab industry. But, yeah. So, this book was a really fun book to write, especially from the jumping-off point of gut health, right, which is kind of a central tenet in functional medicine. And that's some of the testing that we used to talk about years ago. So, so much of what we know about the gut really just perfectly translates to the mouth. And periodontal disease, you know, I kind of like to just simply say that it is a dysbiosis. It's an oral dysbiosis that...and an aberrant or an over-reactive immune response to that dysbiosis.
So, one of the fascinating things, when I was writing this book, was realizing that so many of the things that plague our mouths are really just dysbiosis, you know, which we talk about all the time in regards to the gut. So, periodontal disease is an imbalance of oral bacteria that triggers an immune response that attacks and destroys bone and teeth. Cavities are a bacterial dysbiosis in the mouth. Root canal infections are bacterial imbalance in the pulp of the tooth. And then you can get cavities on the root of a tooth, which is, again, dysbiosis. So, it was pretty fun to realize, wow, all of these problems just go back to the oral microbiome and we just need to try to rein in that oral microbiome and make it healthier in order to prevent these diseases.
Dr. Hedberg: Yeah.