Bacon. Bacteria. And… migraines? You may be surprised to learn that there is a connection, according to a study from the American Society for Microbiology. Your “dentist near me” has the facts in this week’s blog post!
Oral Bacteria + Nitrates = Headache City
Nitrates are well-known migraine causers, and bacon is full of them. A cohort of migraine and non-migraine sufferers were studied to find out how many nitrates were present in their saliva. As it turns out, the people who were likely to suffer from lots of headaches also had a specific type of bacteria in their mouths and guts. When that bacteria comes into contact with nitrates in bacon and other foods, it reacts in a way that leaves people with pounding headaches.
So not only will bacon elevate your risk of clogged arteries and heart attack, but it may also leave you with a pounding headache! It’s just one more thing to add to the growing list of evidence that our oral and overall health are closely linked.
Foods Containing Nitrates
While there is no way to really stop the bacteria that may cause headaches when it interacts with nitrates, you can reduce head pain by eating less bacon and other foods containing nitrates. Here are some of the foods you may want to consider removing from your diet if you suffer from migraines. Try it for a little bit and see if it helps — if not, there’s nothing saying you can’t add them back into your diet if you wish.
- Hot dogs
- Processed lunch meat and cold cuts
- Some canned beans (the ones that are flavored with bacon)
Stopping the Bad Bacteria, Keeping the Good
Our mouths and bodies are naturally full of bacteria — and a lot of it is “good” bacteria that we want to keep there. Eating yogurt is a known way to keep the bacteria in your gut in check, and washing your hands with an antibacterial soap is important for general health.
But when it comes to your mouth, how can you make sure things don’t get out of whack? Gum disease occurs when you have too much of the bad bacteria and not enough of the good. Prevent it with regular dental hygiene habits and smart choices, including:
- Brushing your teeth for two minutes, after each meal or at least twice a day
- Using fluoride toothpaste to remineralize the tooth enamel
- Flossing daily
- Maintaining a balanced, low-sugar diet
- Drinking plenty of water
- Chewing sugar free gum
- Visiting your dentist regularly
- Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash for added cleaning
Come See Dr. Parker, Your Dentist in Marshall!
When was your last visit to the dentist? If more than six months have passed, it’s time for you to come in. We accept patients of all ages in our comfortable office. Request an appointment with the dentist in Marshall, TX today!