Introduction: This is Your Brain Health with noted Neuroscientist, Dr. Kristen Willeumier. Your Brain Health explores strategies to maximize your cognitive functions through life. Here’s Dr. Kristen Willeumier.
Dr. Kristen Willeumier: I’m Dr. Kristen Willeumier, and welcome to Your Brain Health on Radio MD. Today’s guest is going to speak with us about the role of oral health in maintaining optimal brain and body health. Dr. Bina, a third generation Dentist, has been involved in the field of dentistry his whole life. He moved to Los Angeles in 2002 after moving to Los Angeles. Dr. Bina used his extensive dental training in a unique way by working as an independent contractor providing oral surgery, root canals, and gum surgeries to over 30 offices around Los Angeles. He truly loves what he does for a living and enjoys helping patients get the smile they’ve always dreamed of. He is admired by his colleagues for his exceptional diagnostic skills. Dr. Bina makes educated and informed decisions based on his extensive experience in dental specialties as well as cosmetic and implant dentistry, and is highly demanding of himself in order to provide quality service at all times. His friendly, easygoing approach, sense of humor and personal warmth, puts patients at ease the moment they meet him. Dr. Bina recently opened Encino Cosmetic and Dental Implants in order to provide quality dental services all under one roof. So I want to welcome my special guest, Dr. Bina today. Hello, Dr. Bina. Thank you so much for joining me.
Dr. Bina: Hello. Thank you very much for having me on your podcast. And I also want to thank you for a wonderful job you’re doing in providing some information for your listeners because I think everybody can benefit a lot from all your programs. You’re doing an amazing job.
Host: Oh my gosh. Bless your heart. Thank you so much for that. Wow. So the reason why I wanted to have you on today is every time I come into the office, so disclosure to everybody listening. This is my personal dentist and I love him. Every time I come in to get treated by Dr. Bina, I’m always learning something new. And I thought to myself, I needed to have him come on and share some of his wisdom with my listening audience. So when I was in your office getting my last checkup, I was actually surprised with some of the information that you shared that I was not even aware of, which is the link between oral health and cancer. So I’ve read that poor oral hygiene increases your risk of a variety of diseases in the body, including heart attack, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, infertility, and diabetes to name a few. So I just wanted to share and have you share and expand on how these diseases are exacerbated in patients who have poor dental health.
Dr. Bina: Yes. A lot of people don’t realize that oral health is really directly related to our general health because our mouth is the gateway we eat with, we talk with, have everything that enters in our body. That’s the first port. And we have always have bacteria in our mouth. We’d always have tissues contaminated with bacteria that can potentially cause a lot of harms with the toxin that they produce and can effect our other organs, their whole body. And there have been a lot of studies about related oral infections and the organs that are affected for decades. The earliest one was core relation between increased heart attack and heart problems. And what they found was bacteria that is in our oral cavity and our gums was found in packs on the heart valves and that goes back to 40, 50 years ago. And that’s why there was a lot of regiments suggested back then that patients should take antibiotics before dental cleaning if they have heart conditions or high risk. And that has been modified for over years. But that was one of the early ones. And there have been many studies showing how our whole body and other organs and everything gets affected by bacteria that is in our mouth.
Host: Well, and you know, what’s so interesting about what you just said, so if by taking antibiotics, you’re saying you’re seeing an increase in the number of issues in the mouth. Can you expand on that again?
Dr. Bina: Yes. That was just providing antibiotic pre, before dental treatment, they wanted to get it. That’s for people that have heart issues, just as a protection to reduce the bacteria that gets released in the bloodstream. That’s just like one of the protocols that they still use it for some people who actually go for either have heart issues or they have actually like implants, like knees, hips and other replacements. That’s one of the protocols that we still use. And to give like some dose of antibiotic that is, I just want to emphasize that the reason is that the bacteria get gets released after dental procedure in their bloodstream. But aside from that, the bacteria is always there. So we always have issues. We always have bacteria surrounding of gums and they directly get into our system. Either we eat the byproducts or it gets into the bloodstream and the toxin gets released. That’s why it is extremely, extremely, extremely important to keep our mouth clean. A lot of people skip the hygiene because everybody thinks they’re brushing enough, they’re flossing, nobody does the perfect necessarily the time that is required. So it’s always, we have it the easiest, the simplest form is gingivitis that we have inflammation around the gums. That if you brush or you floss and you see it you have some bleeding that is gingivitis. That is the earliest sign that you have some kind of inflammation in your gum and that’s caused by a bacteria and plaque accumulation in the mouth. That’s the easiest example I can mention, but it goes on.
Host: No that makes sense. First of all, when we were talking, you were telling me about specific cancers that tended to be linked to poor oral health. Do you want to expand on that?
Dr. Bina: Actually, about few years ago, I’m talking, I can go on about all the other things I mentioned about few years ago. Actually, I saw an article in the American Dental Association newsletter that showed that this study pointed to this study that was done that shows that people who don’t have good oral hygiene, they have a increased rate of acquiring pancreatic cancer, which for me, that is even for me it was a shock because I always knew about other problems but never thought that they actually can, you can increase your cancer rates and that was a shock for me too. There were, in particular in men, about 65%, 64% study said, so about 65% higher risk of pancreatic cancer in people don’t have oral hygiene or good oral hygiene. And these are the studies that it comes with one at a time, like we have the problems with the heart, the kidneys and liver and pancreatic cancer, and I can go on all the other organs, I wouldn’t be surprised that we find out more problems as the studies come every year. That’s linking bad oral hygiene or poor oral hygiene to other issues that we haven’t even mentioned it yet, we are not aware of it yet, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to me because they have this bacteria that is circulating all around the body. Is not going to affect just one organ, it’s circuiting all over.
Host: Well, I’ll tell you part of the reason why I wanted to have you on my podcast. This is called Your Brain Health. I happened to been to read a study, one of our peer reviewed studies showing that the bacteria implicated in periodontal disease was discovered in the autopsied brains of patients with Alzheimer’s. Again suggesting a link between the two disorders. So it’s been reported that gums inflamed by infection can kill brain cells and lead to memory loss. So again, for me, somebody who’s in the brain health space, it really made me think twice about what are my protocols in, what am I doing daily to help prevent degenerative diseases. I mean, this is something I’ve studied for 20 years. So it’s part of the reason why I wanted you to come on and speak about the importance of having a great protocol, an oral hygiene protocol. And I want to share with the listener some of the things that I’ve done over the course of years and the changes that I’ve made. So now I floss twice daily, morning and evening. I’ve sometimes had issues with my gums and I was brushing my teeth every morning and every night, but I didn’t realize not only the importance of flossing, but the importance of even using an electric toothbrush.
Because there are areas in the mouth, the teeth that I wasn’t getting. So sometimes we have brushing habits. And I learned this from my hygienist. We have brushing habits and we tend to miss certain teeth, sometimes ones in the very back of our mouth. So having an electric toothbrush has really helped me. I now use a brushing rinse in the morning to help eliminate bacteria that accumulates in the mouth while sleeping. So I’ve heard, again, while we’re sleeping at night, you get all of this bacteria. So before you do your brushing, you can use this brushing rinse to help clean out some of it. Then I do the brushing and the flossing. And then I also use a rinse after I brush that has some essential oils to help keep the teeth clean. So to keep my gums healthy, I drink Aloe Vera juice, which helps support healing the lining of the oral mucosa. And you know, in our last visit, I’m now contemplating getting a Waterpik. I haven’t made that purchase yet, but I’ve heard the Waterpik can help to get the bacteria out. So you’ve got the flossing, but even with flossing, sometimes that bacteria can stay in the gums. So now I know that you need the Waterpik to kind of use the force of the water to flush the bacteria out. So you know, what are your recommendations now for optimal oral health? I mean, I’ve just shared with you mine, but you’re the expert here, so.
Dr. Bina: Well, actually you are doing a fantastic job. And every time I see you in the office I thought it’s a pleasure to see you in the, they’re in the office doing a checkup. You are the true gem. I’ll tell you that. But at the same token, you are a dentist nightmare. Because of all this good care, there’s nothing there for us to do for you.
Host: Ah, I will take that compliment. Thank you.
Dr. Bina: That’s actually the key for prevention and in short, what happened is that, if you do like a complete brushing and flossing and clean your teeth sparkling clean, within an hour there’s a layer forms on your teeth that we call it biofilm. And that’s actually how it starts. It’s called biofilm and that’s how everything starts the precursor to plaque. Then with the food that they have and the bacteria and other things that accumulate. Now they just make complex that becomes like the initial form of the plaque that is very soft, but it is sticky. The reason we have to brush is to, because it’s sticky. It’s not something that we can rinse off that comes off. I wish it was that easy and that’s one of the problems that we see because a majority of people think they can just get Listerine and rinse and everything is fine. It doesn’t work that way because you have to mechanically remove that biofilm or plaque. So the, and it builds up. So anything you can do, the more of the tools that we use to clean it is always better.
Host: That’s why I added the electric toothbrush because I don’t know if the, just the brushing with the toothbrush, I noticed there was one region that I just don’t brush back there. You don’t realize the brush isn’t getting to the teeth in the very back of your mouth.
Dr. Bina: It is. It is a excellent tool. I recommend to my patients, but at the same time I must add that I believe in the operator, the operator department, even if you have a regular toothbrush but you do it properly, by I mean I’m spending enough time, good two, three minutes, four minutes, and get all the areas and clean and do it properly. A proper way of brushing, I’ve seen a lot of people doing just that and it’s fine and it’s good, but unfortunately not everybody does that. And when they do the studies and they time actually people who brush their teeth, they found that everybody’s doing 15, 20 seconds.
Host: I was just going to ask you.
Dr. Bina: Yeah, when you ask them, how long did you brush? They always say like two minutes.
Host: I guarantee you, I bet you I brush less than a minute. I did not know I should be brushing for two to four minutes. So you just shared something with me and now I have to change my protocol.
Dr. Bina: Exactly. Some of those electric toothbrushes have a timer. So the timer is actually is two to three. The three minute depending on the brand you get, is actually even with the electric toothbrush, there’s a timer over there that you can actually, the one that has two minutes that indicates that you’re doing half a minute each quadrant. And that’s something electric and doing much faster than yourself.
Host: I actually like that.
Dr. Bina: Most people only Brush for 15 seconds and 20 seconds, but in their mind they think they’re doing two or three minutes or 20 seconds. That means like five seconds spend on each quadrant. That means two and a half seconds on each side of the cheek side and the tongue side. You cannot clean your teeth in two and a half seconds.
Host: You know what? That’s again, that’s why you have to add the electric toothbrush. So I do both because of the electric toothbrush, I actually think that’s what’s getting that biofilm off.
Dr. Bina: Much faster. Is has more strokes and, a lot of people ask me which brand they should get, it really doesn’t matter.
Host: We’re going to return to our conversation with Dr. Bina in part two. I invite you to join us. I’m Dr. Kristin Willeumier.
Conclusion: You’ve been listening to Your Brain Health with Dr. Kristen Willeumier. For more information or to contact Dr. Willeumier, visit DrWilleumier.com. That’s D, R, W, I, L, L, E, U, M, I, E, R.com.