Are you suffering from headaches and migraines? You might have to blame your mouth. Though it has long been considered that certain foods trigger migraines, a new study suggests that the bacteria from the food left in the mouth may be one of the reasons causing the unbearable headaches.
According to a new research, people with migraines also had significantly larger amounts of bacteria in their mouth. This bacteria has the ability to break down nitrates found in certain foods. Nitrates, when converted to nitric oxide, widen blood vessels and help circulation.
What are Nitrates?
Nitrates are found in foods such as leafy green vegetables and processed meats as well as in certain medicines. They can be modified into “nitrites” by the bacteria in the mouth. The nitrites can be converted to nitric oxide under certain conditions.
Nitric oxide can actually improve cardiovascular health by improving blood flow and decreasing blood pressure. On the other hand, it can be dangerous when there is too much of it in the person’s bloodstream.
If there is too much of this bacteria, it can break down nitrates faster, which causes blood vessels in the brain and scalp to expand, thereby resulting in migraines. In addition, roughly 4 in 5 cardiac patients taking medications that contain nitrate for chest pain or congestive heart failure suffered from severe headaches as a side effect.
The study, which was conducted by the researchers from the University of California’s San Diego School of Medicine, examined bacteria in the mouth and stomach of individuals who suffered from migraines. It showed that there was a connection between the consumption of nitrates and suffering from migraines.
“There is this idea out there that certain foods trigger migraines — chocolate, wine and especially foods containing nitrates. We thought that perhaps there are connections between what people are eating, their microbiomes and their experiences with migraines,” said Antonio Gonzalez, the senior author on the study (analyst in the laboratory of Rob Knight, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at University of California San Diego)
Mouth and Bacteria
Though it’s still uncertain that good oral health can control the bacteria in the mouth that may cause migraines, what is really certain is that bacterial plaque is the main cause of 90% of all oral health diseases.
Over time, if you practise poor oral hygiene and dental care, the plaque that sticks to teeth can progress to under the gums and lead to oral infections. Plaque that is left alone for 48 hours can harden into tartar and is extremely difficult to remove by simple brushing or flossing. At this stage, you require professional dental cleaning to remove the plaque build-up.
Regular dental cleanings, along with consistent, careful home care, is the best way to prevent bacterial plaque, which can cause tooth decay, gum disease and other health concerns.
Quality Dental Care at Simply Smiles Dental in Mernda
At Simply Smiles Dental, your overall health is our ultimate goal, and this is the guiding principle in everything we do. To provide you with the best dental care, we strive to use the most modern technology available and apply the latest techniques when it comes to long-term oral and dental health wellness. With our experienced doctors and high-quality services, you will get the best care possible from us.
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