Why tending your oral microbiome is the secret to a long, healthy life (NewSci)

This has been getting a lot of press the past few months, and many of the longevity clinics (I saw at the conference a few weeks ago) are tracking this, but I’m really not too up on the science behind it and wonder how rigorous it is… any good data you’ve seen on this topic, on how to optimize microbiome?

There are untold legions of viruses, fungi and bacteria living in your mouth. It now seems we can stave off conditions from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer by keeping them in a healthy balance

Alzheimer’s and gum disease

But perhaps the most striking example is Alzheimer’s disease. We have known for a while that people with gum disease are at increased risk of developing this condition, which slowly robs people of their memories, personalities and cognitive function. However, until recently, it was unclear whether poor oral health was a contributing cause of Alzheimer’s or a consequence of it.

Then, in 2019, scientists discovered species of bacteria known to cause gum disease – including one called Porphyromonas gingivalisliving inside the brains of people who died of Alzheimer’s disease. There were also gingipains, protein-degrading enzymes produced by P. gingivalis, in their hippocampi, a region of the brain responsible for memory. Meanwhile, mice with chronic gum disease were found to have inflammation, neural damage and build-ups of beta-amyloid protein plaques in their brains – one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. If the mouth bacteria were getting into the brain, that lent weight to the idea that they could be a cause of Alzheimer’s.

Full article: https://archive.ph/UQCwt#selection-971.0-995.170

Source: Why tending your oral microbiome is the secret to a long, healthy life | New Scientist


Poor oral health is linked to a number of conditions, and AD is not exception. Interestingly picking one’s nose also (not sure how self reported nose pickers are an accurate data point – maybe a sign of dementia to admit you are a nose picker?).

One of the interesting trials with Rapamycin notably seemed to indicate that periodontal disease would be rare in those taking Rapamycin. I think Dr. Green also indicates this.

The one thing I know is that a high percentage of people with unexpected (based purely on age) bad health outcomes have poor dental health. This however is somewhat confounded by poor dental health correlating with a whole host of poor lifestyle factors.

I think that beta-amyloid will end up being an effect, not cause of the pathogenesis of AD. I doubt that therapies focused on beta-amyloid will achieve anything.

I have one ApoE4 allele and this is among my motivations for using Rapamycin personally.

For those who haven’t tested - I used to think there was no value to testing. I however think Dr. Green’s experience with lack of progression to AD in patients he has with ApoE4 (hetero or homozygous) to clinically having dementia is anecdotal, but is the best thing we have today.

I doubt a trial will be done any time soon - thus the need for this forum - we are biohackers and try to overall not harm ourselves, and on average do things to help healthspan.

Interested in other’s ideas.

Excellent post RapAdmin!


Life Extension sells a probiotic to optimize the oral microbiome : FLORASSIST® Oral Hygiene, 30 lozenges - Life Extension. You dissolve one tablet in your mouth after brushing your teeth.

Life Extension also sells a special flouride-free toothpaste with small amounts of supplements for oral health (CoQ10, Green Tea, Hydrogen Peroxide, Lactoferrin, Aloe Vera, Xylitol, Folic Acid) : Life Extension Toothpaste (Mint), 4 oz (113.4 g) - Life Extension

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But do we have any third-party evidence that these products “improve” the microbiome?

Do we know what an optimal microbiome looks like?


Chewing on a clove actually works and I have checked my NO for a few tests after and I still had it:

Don’t know if this means anything.

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Yes indeed as always. Interestingly enough, improvement in gum health is the first thing that I noticed. I am also trying to get into the Seattle trial so we will see if they accept me.

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I saw a youtube on Oil Pulling, so I’m trying that with coconut oil. It is at least inexpensive & I can’t see how it could do harm. [You spit out the oil after swishing it around.].

It seems to me that my mouth feels better. I have a tooth that will be pulled because the pocket is too deep & it’s susceptible to bacteria. It has been uncomfortable lately, but ok when I do the oil pulling.

Another study in children concluded that coconut oil was as effective as a standard chlorhexidine mouthwash at reducing S. mutans

The mouthwash is prescription, so if oil works as well, it’s much easier to obtain.

Very good. There is a lot of evidence that oral health is important. I have been lucky (genetics) on that point but I still am taking more care than I used to. Dentist twice a year. Flossing everyday. For anyone who has weakness here, the upside is big and the risks of interventions are low.

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I would like to mention that Streptococcus salivarius K12 (BLIS K12) is beneficial for maintaining the balance of microbial flora in the oral and nasopharyngeal regions. Numerous studies have shown that this oral probiotic is effective in eliminating chronic inflammation in the oral cavity, such as pharyngitis, otitis media, periodontal disease,streptococcal infection、gingivitis、upper respiratory tract infectionand bad breath. It plays a significant role in promoting overall oral health


For some reason Life Extension Florassist uses BLIS M18, also L. Plantarum L-137


There are numerous studies showing that both BLIS M18 and BLIS K12 strains of Streptococcus Salivarius are beneficial for maintaining the balance of microbial flora AND raising NO levels. Not clear if either has any advantage over the other. I decided to hedge my bets and get both and use them on alternate days. You can get NOW brand BLIS K12 from amazon, around $0.20/lozenge, but the serving size is 2 lozenges, so around the same price as the Life Extension BLIS M18 + L-137 for $0.39/serving : Both provide 1 billion CFU per serving of Streptococcus Salivarius (and Life Extension adds some unknown amount of L. Plantarum L-137)


Great ideas and practices

Here’s some advice from a wise dentist on X


I alternate with LIfe Extension oral probiotics and ProBiora’s. Also, floss everyday not 3x/week. It’s just not enough. Or use a Waterpik daily. (careful, most people do not use it correctly)

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Flossing is obsolete, interdental brushes are the only proven way

Is there research that these brushes are better than the other options now?

Absence of evidence for flossing.


I’ll get back later with evidence FOR interdental brushing

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What do you think of BioMin toothpaste?

Great list!

The one consistent thing I see is poor dental health = premature aging and premature vascular disease.

The question is whether it is causative? The things that cause poor dental health typically including poor diet, poor attention to health, drug use, smoking, etc … all of which impact poor health outcomes.

Working in the ER it is shocking to me how many individuals in their 20’s literally have not a single non diseased tooth in their mouth, and are already missing half of them. Yesterday I saw 5 individuals aged 20-30 years for dental issues, all of them with advanced disease. I bet most of these will have serious health outcomes before their 40’s are over.

It is important on that list to eliminate mouth washes that can harm normal oral microbiome. We know that with cruciferous vegetables and other plant based items that generate nitric oxide natively once absorbed, that lack of normal oral microbiome, and also use of acid blockers (especially proton pump inhibitors) likely eliminates this effect.

We know that endogenous nitric oxide synthetase (eNOS) goes down with aging which contributes to vascular oxidative stress … so eating these substances (beets are the classic), really requires that we have normal oral flora, and normal stomach acidity.

I figured this might be an interesting thing for folks to consider in addition, as we are, I suspect all at an age where our eNOS is decreasing, and there are too many people using acid blockers and mouth wash without realizing what adverse effects might occur.

One more reason for good oral health!


Yes, I’ve seen this before, and the evidence is pretty clear, no benefit. No harm … but good brushing with a good quality soft brush, including the gums is where the evidence is.
If ones wants to floss, go for it … but it probably won’t help your oral health.