Migraines are a highly prevalent, painful, and disruptive condition. Bacteria found in the mouth and gut could be responsible for migraines.
While dentists often refer to the mouth as the gateway to the entire body, it can be quite shocking to some, that current research has discovered that your oral microbes may have quite a bit to do with your susceptibility to migraine headaches.
Migraine sufferers have a significantly increased population of certain bacteria in their mouths.
What may be even further perplexing is that while your oral microbes have been found to contribute to the occurrence of headaches, but it’s not the only cause.
We know that some foods can be migraine triggers for some people. It differs from one person to the next. Some people have migraines that can be triggered by several foods or beverages while some of us have no food or beverage triggers.
Although the precise mechanisms involved in migraines are not known, a number of triggers have been identified. Certain foods can spark an attack such as hot dogs, lunch meats, other preserved foods, and leafy green vegetables and wine can be triggers because of the nitrates in them. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks) also trigger migraine. Cheese, salami, and chocolate should be avoided by people with migraine, too.
Aside from food, migraines can be trigged by stress, lack of sleep, jet lag, hunger, dehydration, strong or unusual smells, bright lights, loud sounds, hormones (making women more prone to migraines than men), weather changes and intense physical activity. Medication overuse contribute to migraine as well, especially common analgesics. Migraines can be avoided by staying away from these kinds of food.
Dentists in Delhi are educating patients that increased concentrations of oral microbes have an increased probability of migraine.
What Does the Oral Microbes Have to Do with Headaches?
Your oral microbes or rather the bacteria that live and thrive in your mouth are varied and as beneficial as it is harmful. We brush our teeth twice daily to remove the bacteria that build up and cause plaque, tartar. This plaque/ tartar can eventually lead to gum disease.
Yet, researchers have found that there are some bacteria in your mouth that can cause a reaction on the nitrates which may also be the cause of migraine headaches in some individuals.
Bacteria in the mouth have many roles; the first and foremost is to breakdown the food we eat to make it digestible for the rest of our bodies.
Dentists in India are taking care to study the effect of oral microbes on the entire body.
Bacteria were significantly more abundant in the mouths of people who have migraines than those who don’t, the researchers found. A slight increase in their abundance was also found in the faeces samples.
In some people, the consumption of nitrates seems to directly cause a migraine headache. This is because in the bloodstream, nitrates can be converted into nitric oxide, and nitric oxide can cause migraines in many individuals.
Having increased nitric oxide in your bloodstream is known to help bolster cardiovascular health by making blood vessels wider and improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure.
For this reason, some cardiac patients are given nitrate-containing drugs to treat congestive heart failure and chest pain.
This process is vital to a person’s cardiovascular health but too much of the bacteria can be harmful too. When there’s a huge amount of the microbes in the mouth, nitrates break down faster causing blood vessels in the brain and scalp to dilate, triggering migraines.
In reputed dental clinics in Delhi, patients are counselled about the relation between oral and systemic health.
Nitrates are found in foods like processed meats, like bacon, ham and salami, as well as in green leafy vegetables like lettuce, celery, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, some wines and chocolate and in certain medicines. The reduction of nitrates leads to the formation of Nitrites that can cause low oxygen levels in the blood as well as are responsible for headaches.
Study also show a difference in the gut bacteria of people with migraines compared with those who don’t have migraines,
The study showed that the nitrate-reducing microbes were present in higher levels in the mouths and guts of people that suffered from migraines with the potential to modify nitrates compared to those who do not get migraines.
The bugs that live in your gastrointestinal system could play a part in a lot of medical diseases and possibly migraine.
Other Oral Causes of Headaches
The gateway to the body is also very responsible for causing migraines in some people for a very different reason.
Migraines can be caused by bruxism and clenching teeth while sleeping. The pressure put on the jaw for prolonged periods of time can cause the muscles of the face to become stressed. This can also cause migraines for some people. Thankfully these can be easily treated by the use of a custom-fit night guard.
Counselling for bruxism patients in dental clinics in India is being followed now.
The difference between nitrate-induced migraines and bruxism-induced migraines is very different. One is a chemical response where the other is a physical response to stress.
Therefore, oral health care and treatment is essential to maintain good healthy living. Regular dental checkups and good dental health habits can help keep your migraine away. This is being systematically followed by the dentists in Delhi.
In dental clinics in India, six monthly clean and check is being encouraged to control oral microbes.
Posted By – Dr. Shriya