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Health emergency leads Dr Emily Stein to create microbiome-focused total oral health solution

Last updated Monday, November 27, 2023 09:12 ET

Dr Emily Stein shares how her grandmother’s stroke and the health struggles of her rescued dog led her to develop a way to restore balance to the oral microbiome of both humans and pets.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, 11/27/2023 / SubmitMyPR /

One day in 2009, Dr Emily Stein, a microbiologist and postdoctoral fellow in rheumatology and immunology at Stanford University, was waiting for her grandmother, who was living in a care facility in Wisconsin, for their daily game of online scrabble. When her grandma didn’t go online, she started to become worried. She then learned from her mother that her grandma had suffered a major stroke after having a tooth extraction the previous day.

Soon after the incident with Stein’s grandmother, a study of thousands of US Medicaid claims was released, showing an increased risk of stroke/heart attack up to four weeks after a tooth extraction or dental implant surgery, which was something researchers had been looking at for quite some time. The invasive procedure creates an opportunity for microbes in the mouth, which are normally blocked by healthy gums, to enter the bloodstream and cause trouble somewhere else in the body. This is also why many people wind up with transient bacteremia ( or bacteria in the blood) after a tooth cleaning procedure.

Stein was determined to find a solution to her grandmother’s predicament, so she flew to Wisconsin to take oral samples from her grandmother and set up a miniature laboratory back in her apartment in California.

“I studied her oral microbiome, doing a high-throughput screening of any naturally safe ingredient I could give her,” Stein said. “I was trying to find a way to prevent the microbes in her mouth from causing any further problems. So that's what I did for several years – I literally biohacked my grandma.”

This incident was one of the reasons why Stein founded Primal Health, a company that seeks to combat and rehabilitate oral dysbiosis, or an imbalance in the mouth’s microbiome. However, another incident a few years later added another dimension to her work.

In 2012, Stein adopted a dog named Tinzley, a 10-year-old female Cocker Spaniel from a rescue organization in Washington State. She had been told that the dog needed dental cleaning, and, on the long drive home to the Bay Area, Tinzley became distressed and lethargic. Stein rushed her to an emergency vet and it was determined that her gum disease had progressed into a bloodstream infection. A total of 21 teeth had to be removed, plus a course of IV and oral antibiotics to clear out the infection, resulting in a vet bill of $6,000. Statistics show that 80% of pets have dental disease by age 3, which could result in them losing up to 1/3rd of their lifespan.

According to Stein, current antibiotic and antiseptic approaches are ineffective in curbing the harmful microbes in the mouth, and these may contribute to antimicrobial resistance, creating more “superbugs” in the future. The incidents with her grandma and with Tinzley have inspired Stein and Primal Health to take a different approach to oral health for both humans and pets through its human brand Daily Dental Care and animal care brand Teef for Life.

Both brands focus on the importance of having a strong and properly aligned oral microbiome for both humans and pet dogs and cats. With billions to trillions of cells, microbes, bacteria, viruses, and fungi inside the mouth, maintaining balance in that environment improves overall health and well-being.

Daily Dental Care’s pHossident™ lozenge uses a combination of ingredients generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA to help prevent acid and oral biofilm (plaque) production, as well as limits the growth of disease-causing bacteria associated with cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. It also helps create conditions conducive to the growth of beneficial bacteria that are essential for dental health.

Teef for Life offers three types of drinking water additives, Protektin42™ (for dogs), Protektin30™ (for cats), and Protektin42+K™ (for both dogs and cats), made from plant-derived ingredients that are gentle on pets’ digestive systems. These naturally remove plaque and tartar, prevent smelly breath, and extend the benefits of teeth cleaning at the vet.

Put simply, both product lines bathe the bacteria in the mouth with nutrients that shift them to a keto diet, stopping the microbes from consuming carbohydrates and sugars and switching them to processing proteins, creating less harmful byproducts. Combined with proper diet and toothbrushing, these result in better oral health and lower risk of gum disease.

“Through personal experiences and my study of microbiology, immunology, and rheumatology, I’ve learned how important having a strong oral microbiome is to the general health of both humans and pets,” Stein said. “Over millions of years, we evolved alongside numerous microbes inside and outside our bodies. Most antibiotic/antiseptic methods are toxic and do more harm than good. Instead, we subject microbes in the mouth to a nutritional ‘carrot and stick’ method, applying dual pressure points to steer the whole community away from pathogenic behaviors towards a more beneficial existence.”

Despite the fact that $390,000,000,000 is spent annually on oral healthcare worldwide, and with 1 in 2 people suffering from some form of dental disease, it’s clear that the current status quo is inadequate. Stein aims to change that as she continues to innovate in the oral healthcare landscape.

Media contact:

Name: Angelic Brown

Email: [email protected]

Original Source of the original story >> Health emergency leads Dr Emily Stein to create microbiome-focused total oral health solution