Migraines from Mouth Bugs
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Migraines from Mouth BugsMigraines can be debilitating, so people do what they must to prevent them. That includes avoiding foods like chocolate, red wine, and processed meats. But why? Well, we’ve known nitrates in these foods are somehow connected and now a study reveals a possible explanation. It may be the bacteria in our mouths!

You see, certain bacteria convert nitrates to nitrite. Once that happens and the food enters the stomach, nitrite is further metabolized to become nitric oxide. This is where the problem arises. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that expands blood vessels in the brain and scalp causing a migraine.

In this new study, scientists examined the genomes of bacteria found in twenty-two hundred people who are participants in the American Gut Repository. They then identified the migraine sufferers. Researchers examined bacteria in their stool and mouth for genes that code for enzymes capable of metabolizing nitrate into nitrite.

Even though some were found in the stool, far more were in the oral samples. The two most common were Pseudomonas and Streptococci. Two others which had previously been connected to migraines were Rothia mocilaginosa and Haemophilus parainfluenza. But this is the first time that scientists were able to isolate these bacteria to the mouth and link them to nitrate induced migraines.

If further studies support these findings, maybe oral probiotic treatments are in our future. They could alter the oral microbiome which is the bacterial population in our mouths. Who knew the bacteria that live in your mouth could influence your quality of life.

For more information…

Scientists May Have Found Migraine Trigger —in Our Mouths
Oral bacteria could be the key...

Migraine Facts
Migraine is an extraordinarily prevalent neurological disease, affecting 38 million men, women and children in the U.S. and 1 billion worldwide...

How Your Mouth Is Linked to Your Migraines
Your vision starts to blur. You see flashing lights. You feel that familiar throbbing pain in your head grow stronger and stronger...