Microscopes and Oral Spirochetes: Visual Images With Impact

Five years ago, I purchased a phase contrast microscope for our hygiene department. My intention was not to become a microbiologist but to observe and identify live samples of the bacterial activity occurring in our patients’ mouths. I was particularly interested in the subgingival areas (below the gum level) where it’s difficult to clean with regular brushing and flossing.

Under normal, healthy conditions, our microscopic slides show acceptable level of bacteria, such as rods, cocci, vibrios, white blood cells, and a few red blood cells. Compromised situations in our patients’ health usually reveal a different picture. These slides show a high level of bacterial activity. The bacteria, especially the rods and spirochetes, are responsible for the bleeding and destruction of your periodontal pockets.

When the oral cavity begins to break down with the presence of inflammation and disease, the tooth and body connection concept reminds me that this is a local event occurring in response to a more serious systemic complication.

The information that I discovered about the biological effects of oral spirochetes was alarming. These long, slender, thin, corkscrew shaped microbes are found in the oral cavity in various numbers and forms. They have been strongly implicated as playing a role in the etiology of periodontal disease.

If these microorganisms are discovered, irrigation of the tissue with a bactericidal agent should be employed prior to any dental treatment to avoid causing a bacteremia (bacteria circulating throughout the blood stream). These include diluted bleach, chlorohexidine, or a product that I like to use in our office called Tooth and Gum Tonic which consists of botanical anti-microbials. All of these will kill any active pathogenic organisms.

Antibiotics do not eliminate oral spirochetes as in other spirochetal diseases. Antibiotics only force the spirochetes into a more protected spore form thus triggering a survival strategy that allows them to resurface at a later date.

Even more dangerous are long term exposures to spirochetes. Long term exposure can develop into systemic chronic inflammatory diseases that catch up with people during later, more vulnerable, years. Oral spirochetes associated with chronic conditions are similar to those found in syphilis, Lyme disease and atherosclerotic heart disease. Another spirochete that is thought to populate the gingival sulcus is Helicobacter pylori which is the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and cancer.

Most spirochetes are free-living and anaerobic. Therefore, they flourish in an environment that supports this condition. Acidosis (an acidic condition of the body) which reduces available oxygen to the cells can contribute to the increased presence of this bacteria.

The only way to fight the disease when it reaches this stage is to keep the immune system strong by practicing good oral hygiene, physical health, proper nutrition, and appropriately handling chronic stress. My personal experience has taught me to provide a microscopic evaluation of the saliva when its pH is measured below 6.5. At this level, spirochetal activity is often observed.

Biological dentistry has shown that not only the mouth needs to be treated but that the entire body also needs the appropriate attention to support and maintain one’s overall health and well being. If oral spirochetes are detected during an examination, appropriate measures will be taken to avoid this insidious bacterium from causing any further ill effects to our patients.

Introducing the phase contrast microscope’s real time visual images to our patients, of their own saliva, during their regular checkups has made a significant contribution to both their understanding of the impact of spirochetes and their motivation to maintain a healthy oral environment. A periodic microscopic evaluation should be the norm during regular checkups.

We offer this examination to our patients once a year and at no charge. It provides a quick, easy and painless evaluation of oral bacteria and offers immediate feedback before the patient leaves the office. It has become an excellent patient motivator to promote healthy lifestyle changes when needed.

About Dr. Michael Rehme, DDS, CCN

Dr. Michael Rehme, DDS, CCN is one of the few Biological (Holistic) Dentists in St. Louis, MO and the U.S. that are Certified Clinical Nutritionists (CCN). He practices Biological Dentistry that includes mercury free, tooth colored fillings; healthy dental materials; balancing body chemistry; and nutritional therapy. For articles and information about Biological Dentistry (also referred to as Holistic Dentistry) and patient success stories visit www.toothbody.com or call his office 314-997-2550.

Attend a free monthly presentation and discussion by Dr. Rehme on Biological Dentistry the third Tuesday each month at 6:30 pm and his dentistry office in St. Louis. Please call to verify the date.

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12 Responses to Microscopes and Oral Spirochetes: Visual Images With Impact

  1. wanda pauer October 29, 2014 at 2:11 am #

    I’m pretty sure I am late stage lymes with co-infections in my skin. But whats going on in my mouth is really strange!!! Every time I eat something no matter if it soft like applesauce or a harder food, within in minutes I start feeling these hard particles in my mouth sometimes it’s one or two, but the last couple days I’ve been having extreme skin outbreak, fever, muscle pain, heachache, and neck stiffness. When these things flair up, the hard thing in my mouth get bigger and more abundant. For example I just ate a meat sandwich, when I finished there was no sign of any food particles in my mouth but, within three-5 minutes I started feeling something hard around my gum line and sure enough out one of those white flattish things, a BIG one, easily a 1/4 inch big. afew seconds larer I felt another one, only this time it was pink and oval with a tail, still flatish. ther were three more exactly like it. and one more white one. the white one’s are usually rectangular”ish” in shap and always flat. do you know what these are?????

    • Office November 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

      That does sound strange – and something worth getting checked out by an integrative physician. If you’re in the St. Louis area, you may want to check the referrals on this page: http://toothbody.com/learning-center/links/. To find a physician elsewhere: http://www.icimed.com/member_search.php

    • Sophie Leduc December 9, 2016 at 7:52 pm #

      You should check the facebook group morgellons protocol. There you can post your observations and pictures and membres will likely know what you talk about. Also they have solutions for Lyme.

  2. Amanda Beaumont July 8, 2015 at 7:01 am #

    Hello I have periodontal disease with some deep pockets 6mm and puss/discharge coming from teeth/gums. After all treatments/extractions I have become increasingly ill getting progessively worse with each treatment. I am worried the nasty bacterias have got into my system/gut somehow. Is this possible ? All my blood tests are normal but even brushing my teeth now stirs up the nasty bacterias making me feel so ill. I have also started to have hallucinations…never had anything like this in all my life, I know its connected to the dental bacteria somehow…or perhaps the extractions have released lyme disease or oral spriochetes into my body ( I have ME?CFS). Any insight you can give me would be very much appreciated. Thank you

    • Office July 8, 2015 at 9:18 am #

      Unfortunately, we can’t comment or offer advice on specific, personal dental health situations on this blog. You can contact our office directly instead: (314) 997-2550 or use our main contact form.

  3. Cindy March 4, 2016 at 9:50 am #

    Does the Tooth and Gum Tonic mentioned above kill the Spirochetes- and does it also kill candida?

    • Office March 14, 2016 at 8:39 am #

      Yes, it’s effective against spirochetes. As for Candida, it may be best to ask the manufacturer directly: https://www.dentalherb.com/contact-us.html.

    • Pat May 29, 2016 at 11:44 am #

      I don’t see a
      Mention of it on the product

  4. vicki banyay October 23, 2016 at 7:44 am #

    I came about your post on the internet, to say the least I was shocked. 5 years ago I developed a huge ulcer in the right upper side of my mouth, the itched beyond anything I could describe. I took a razor to it, and scratched it, it was that bad. I went to 41 doctors and dentists, oral surgeon’s, specialists. I got MRI, Cat Scanned, many lab tests, an everything always came out negative. No infectious dr, or lyme specialist would see me without a diagnosis,, even Mayo and Cleveland clinic. The mouth ulcer removed many times came back, and expanded to other parts of my mouth, and eventually to all over my body. The oral surgeons 4 all together took out most of my teeth promising relief, never happened, the doctors and my family thought I was crazy. I was even put on halloo for awhile. I than got flies that flew out of my mouth, again nobody believed me even though I had 3 bags of them. Than I started to notice black pepper looking things all over the house and anywhere I went they followed. If only I had known about you. I have self diagnoised myself with Morgellons disease. I have the fibers the sores, have eaten up bugs, things from out of this world come out of my skin sores. I took another test for Lyme week ago, the last one came close to positive .90, but no cookies they said negative, waiting for the new test. Do you know of any doctors that can help me, I live in Florida, and am scared out of mind that the test will come back negative again, than what will I do? I know I can’t continue to live like this, I look like a leper, I itch and hurt so much, I am willing to go anywhere to get help with this. Thank-you and can only hope you have suggestions for me, I am going to buy tooth and gum tonic like you mentioned in your article as I still have the original ulcer. Ihope to here from you, thanks Victoria

  5. Reyna Contras June 1, 2017 at 7:28 am #

    I have two ulcers in my mouth behind my front bottom teeth & sometimes when I’m breathing out of my mouth it feels like something pushes my teeth shut. (not good at descriptions) when I try to keep my mouth open it feels like my teeth are straightening out & I can feel little bugs popping out of my mouth & they either go in my nose , back in my mouth or somewhere else on my body. I have gotten fever, fatigue, muscle pains, rheumatoid arthritis in my hands , my immune system is extremely weak now , I have even admitted myself to behavioral health because I thought I was having issues. I’ve tried several home remedies due to my financial stability but it seems like I can’t get rid of them.

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