Chronic Sinusitis Linked with Periodontal Disease, Candida, and Food Allergies

November 6, 2017 | Linda J. Dobberstein, Chiropractor, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

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Chronic Sinusitis Linked with Periodontal Disease, Candida, and Food Allergies
Sinus pressure, pain, drainage, and feeling like your head weighs a ton reflect sinus problems. Sinus concerns may last just a few days with a simple cold, or maybe a few weeks during allergy season, but many suffer with chronic sinus difficulties for months or longer. Chronic sinusitis affects about ten percent of the adult population. Many individuals still suffer despite treatment with multiple rounds of antibiotics, steroids, and even multiple sinus surgeries.

Chronic sinusitis is a common condition that involves the swollen or inflamed nasal passages or sinuses for 12 weeks or longer. Mayo Clinic describes chronic sinusitis as caused by infections and underlying changes like nasal polyps or deviated nasal septum that may interfere with nasal drainage. However, chronic sinusitis relates to more than a bacterial or viral infection in the sinus cavities and random nasal polyps. Periodontal disease, fungal infections, food allergies, TH2 dominance and gut problems are linked with chronic sinusitis and nasal polyp development. In order to stop treatment resistant chronic sinusitis, one must dig deeper and resolve the underlying inflammation and imbalances. Here are some recent findings and natural solutions.

Chronic Sinusitis Linked with Periodontal Disease


Dental health greatly impacts many sinus problems and may be easily overlooked. Until dental health is restored, chronic sinusitis will not resolve in many cases. This is due to the close proximity of the teeth roots to the cheek sinuses. The Journal of Endodontics October 2017 showed that individuals with periodontal disease had a 3.45-fold increased likelihood of chronic sinusitis than individuals who had healthy teeth and gums. Periodontal disease located in the upper jaw increased the likelihood of having chronic sinusitis, whereas if periodontal disease was in the lower jaw and teeth, the incidence of chronic sinusitis decreased 2.5 fold. Studies also show that if the roots are actually in the cheek (maxillary) sinuses, then the risk of chronic sinusitis almost doubles.

Periodontal Bone Loss Increases Sinus Swelling


In healthy sinuses, the mucosal layer is one millimeter thick. In chronic sinusitis, the mucosal layer thickness may increase an amazing 10-15 times, causing symptoms of enormous pain and pressure. Studies using specialized CT scans can now see that periodontal disease causes thickening and swelling of the maxillary sinus mucosa. The presence of sinus mucosal swelling is three times more likely to occur with periodontal disease. Failure to identify dental distress and the link with chronic sinusitis can lead to unresolved sinus concerns and even affect heart health and diabetes

Chronic Sinusitis and Yeast/Mold Overgrowth


Chronic sinusitis is in large part due to fungal or yeast overgrowth rather than bacterial overgrowth. The July 2017 journal Lancet Infectious Disease published a study on the topic of fungal problems with chronic sinus and other respiratory diseases.  Indoor mold or fungal exposure is seen as a major concern that causes or worsens allergic inflammation within the sinuses and respiratory tract even in healthy, non-immunocompromised adults. The Lancet article recommended that anti-fungal treatment should be used in almost all patients with chronic sinusitis and other chronic upper respiratory infections.

Other studies have found that nearly 50 percent or more of chronic sinusitis problems are due to fungal overgrowth. Mold allergies and mold toxins create chronic sinus problems, but their toxic effects often go far beyond that. The two most common causes for chronic fungal infections affecting humans are Candida yeasts and Aspergillus molds

Antibiotics and Antifungals Are Ineffective Against Chronic Fungal Sinusitis


Treatment with nasal or systemic steroids and antibiotics is ineffective for chronic sinusitis due to fungal overgrowth. Ten years ago, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that antibiotic treatment failed to help most sinusitis concerns. Antibiotic treatment is still recommended though by practitioners if they feel that a bacterial sinus infection cannot be ruled out.

Ask your provider to do a culture rather than guess. If your provider has recommended anti-fungal treatment, be aware that just like with antibiotic resistance and loss of effectiveness, the same thing is happening with antifungal drugs and fungal infections. Medicine is experiencing increased antifungal drug treatment resistance for serious Candida infections. Those who are hospitalized and immunocompromised are at the highest risk for multi-drug resistant candida.

Follow the Link: Chronic Sinusitis, Yeast, and Gut


Chronic sinusitis and gut concerns are also connected. Candida or other fungal infections in the sinuses may be associated with gut disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease has been implicated as a cause for chronic sinusitis. Epithelial barrier disruption in the sinus, respiratory tract, and gut from inflammation appears to be the link for the interconnection. Scientists don’t know exactly why yet, but I suspect the disruption is likely due to similar changes seen with leaky gut syndrome

Chronic Sinusitis and Food Allergies


Food allergies cause chronic sinusitis and chronic nasal polyps. Of the food allergies tested, dairy is considered the most problematic food. Other foods tested and found commonly problematic include egg whites, wheat, potato, and tomatoes. These foods were linked to medically resistant chronic sinusitis that occurred with or without nasal polyps. IgE testing was used to determine allergic reactivity. Delayed food allergy testing or ELISA IgG testing may bring about further findings.

IgG reactions or delayed food allergies can occur 3 hours to three weeks after exposure to the food trigger. Each person is different when it comes to food tolerance. Food allergy and intolerance testing may just save you from the perils of unresolved chronic sinusitis. Adenoid enlargement and ear infections in children and adults may correlate with chronic sinusitis. These too can be linked with food allergies.

Chronic Sinusitis and TH2 Dominance


Chronic sinusitis, fungal infections, and food allergies are associated with TH2 dominance or insufficient TH1. TH2 dominance refers to how various groups of white blood cells in the immune system function and if they are dominant or insufficient. One white blood cell group is lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are comprised of T cells and B cells which have their special function. A simplistic view is that T cells are TH1 and B cells are TH2. TH1 and TH2 are kept in balance when the immune system is healthy and behave much like a teeter-totter. However, the balance can be disrupted and TH1 dominance or TH2 dominance can occur with different immune disorders. This information helps point one in a direction of optimal recovery.

Chronic Sinusitis Support


Several nutrients are known to help relieve TH2 dominance and improve TH1. These include zinc, vitamin E, colostrum, glutamine, grape seed extract, chlorella, ashwagandha, lemon balm, panax gingseng, and mushroom extracts like cordyceps and beta glucan. Oregano oil which is a well-known antifungal also falls into the category of reducing TH2 dominance and supports TH1. We have used oregano oil for chronic sinus concerns, irritable bowel, gut flora imbalances and even dental problems for well over 20 years. It has an outstanding track record of helping many with these concerns. Research shows that oregano oil keeps working even when antifungal medications fail.

Cinnamon oil extract also shows superior effects against treatment-resistant Candida infections and also fights bacteria. Quercetin, a natural bioflavonoid, is also very helpful for sinus congestion and allergies. It may be used with oregano oil or other germ killing nutrients.

Vitamin D deficiency leads to increased inflammation within the sinuses. Without adequate vitamin D, research shows that nasal sinus immunity suffered and led to worsening of imbalances of TH2 and TH17. Vitamin D deficiency and the VDR gene SNPs are also related with nasal polyps

A number of other nutrients are also beneficial for managing the inflammation of the mucosal lining of the sinuses and balancing the immune system regardless of TH1 versus TH2 status. Key nutrients include probiotics, vitamin A, essential fatty acids or fish oil (EPA/DHA), bromelain, and glutathione or glutathione precursors like r-alpha lipoic acid and NAC. Many of the nutrients listed also help dental health

The primary takeaway from this article is that chronic sinusitis means that something more is going on in the body. It is not a deficiency of antibiotics. Nasal polyps which occur as a result of tissue irritation and inflammation don’t just appear. There is a reason. Repeat “roto-rooter” sinus surgeries are not the answer in these cases. Chronic sinus problems identify that one or more concerns exist with dental health, gut health, fungal infections, food allergies, vitamin D deficiency, and immune imbalances. Natural plant nutrients do not run the same risk of treatment resistance as drugs. Consider using a foundation of support for sinus health such as oregano oil, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin A, and quercetin. You can help energize and restore your immune system!

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