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Heart Disease

Heart Attacks
Chronic Fatigue
Chronic Infections
Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes
Lung Disease
Auto-Immune Disorders
Chronic Degenerative Diseases

How chronic, silent infections from toothbrush germs cause damaging,
long-term and SILENT INFLAMMATION throughout the body

James Song
The Toothbrush
Germ Theory

How Chronic, Silent Infections from

Toothbrush Germs Cause
Damaging, Long-
Long-Term, and Silent
Inflammation Throughout the Body

James Song

American Health Conferences

This book is intended as a reference volume only, not as a
medical manual. The information given here is designed to help
you make more informed decisions about your health. It is not
intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been
prescribed by your doctor. If you suspect that you may have a
medical problem, seek competent medical help.

2006 by American Health Conferences

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic
or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any other
information storage and retrieval system, without the written
permission of the publisher. For such requests, or to quote brief
sections in publications or newspapers, contact:

American Health Conferences

451 Mirror Court, Suite 103
Henderson, NV 89015

ISBN: 0-9763173-4-6
SAN: 256-2960

Printed in the Unites States of America

Cover designed by PIE Design & Marketing
Henderson, Nevada U.S.A.
For my Family.

And for everyone who brushes their teeth

and cares about longevity
and quality of life.
Dedicated to:
Dr. Ignac Semmelweis,
Dr. Paul Ewald,
Dr. Barry Marshall,
And the germ visionaries and
germ mavericks of history who
have advanced the boundaries of
modern medicine and disease
Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Chapter 1:
The Toothbrush Germ Theory 18

Chapter 2:
Germs, Not Genes Cause Most Diseases 34

Chapter 3:
The Mouth as a Mirror 53

Chapter 4:
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart,
Healthy Body 68

Chapter 5:
Inflammation: The Secret Killer 92

Chapter 6:
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! 115

Afterword 141

References 152

Index 174
Superior doctors prevent disease.
Mediocre doctors treat the disease before evident.
Inferior doctors treat the full-blown disease.

Huang Dee: Nai-Ching

2600 BC, Chinese Medical Textbook
My story is starting to spread like the flu bug in
a kindergarten class! Over the past few months, Ive
been in airports, malls, and restaurants where people
recognize me from television and say, Hey, arent you
the toothbrushgerm guy? After all the time and the
tens of millions of personal dollars that Ive spent on
my mission, my message is finally being absorbed,
understood, and certified!

I recently received an email from my old college

roommate with whom I havent spoken in years. He
told me that he had seen the Germ Terminator
infomercial on TV and that I looked good for being so
old (42) and for being a father of five. He also
reminded me of what a germ freak I had been in
college, relative to his reckless disregard for health
and hygiene and deplorable lack of tidiness.
(Nevertheless, he was still an incredible roommate.)
Now he is a father of two, and he says that he tries to
be much cleaner than when we roomed together in
the dorms. He also said that I really grossed him out
with the vast majority of toothbrushes are contamin
ated with E. Coli factoid from the commercial. What
was especially satisfying for me in hearing from him
was that his email made me realize that my story is
affecting so many people, even people who have never
given much thought to their health, and probably
never thought about the serious health dangers
connected to chronic toothbrush germs. (As of this
printing, my mission is moving to Japan, Australia,
and Europe!)
8 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Ever since I was a kid, I had a suspicion that

my toothbrush was coated with disgusting germs;
living germs that grew and multiplied while I left my
toothbrush in that grimy cup that my family shared.
I couldnt see those invisible buggers, but I sensed
that they were there. Its obvious when you think
about it when we remove plaque and bacteria from
our teeth, our toothbrush becomes contaminated with
germs, blood, and saliva. And though many of us rinse
our toothbrush with tap water after brushing, studies
show that, without a doubt, toothbrushes remain
contaminated with germs.

But when I inform people about this problem,

the typical response is, Thats disgusting! Then they
giggle uncomfortably and say, Well at least theyre
my germs, so I guess its alright. Unfortunately,
those germs, even though theyre technically yours,
can be very harmful and potentially pathogenic, and
despite the fact that most of them emanated from
your mouth, they still are, as USA Today reported,
The Most Serious Threat to Your Everyday Health.
Why do you think your dentist requires (or should
require) antibiotic treatment before oral surgery? The
answer is because the germs in your mouth can be
extremely toxic, and if they leak into your
bloodstream, they can cause all kinds of serious
health problems. Heres a fact that you probably
didnt know our digestive tracts safely harbor the
bacteria E.coli because E.coli is necessary for our
bodies in order to breakdown the foods we eat. But if
you take the same E.coli bacteria found in our gut and
put it in our bloodstream, it can be deadly.
Introduction - 9

In addition to our own germs left on our

toothbrush bristles after brushing, studies also show
that tap water in most cities is contaminated with bad
bugs like giardia and many other dangerous species of
bacteria. No wonder that a British study found 100
million germs on a single, ordinary toothbrush.
Importantly, the Office of the United States Surgeon
General has concluded that mouth infections can act
as the Silent Xfactor
X factor that may promote the onset of
lifethreatening diseases such as heart disease,
stroke, pneumonia,
pneumonia, diabetes,
diabetes, and other chronic

As a college student, I studied biochemistry at

the University of Wisconsin and I took used
toothbrushes from my classmates and actually grew
toothbrush germs on Petri dishes. In just days the
dishes were thick with millions of colony-forming
germ units that looked awful and smelled worse (no
wonder we can have bad breath!)

Many of you who have seen our television

program probably think that I really did go off on the
germ thing. Maybe I did, but rest assured, I am not
some kind of chronically obsessed germ freak I
studied biochemistry and microbiology and I realize
that the majority of germs are beneficial germs that
we desperately need and have their place in our
ecosystem. But I draw the line when it comes to my
toothbrush. My toothbrush has to be sanitized before
it goes into my mouth; my toothbrush has got to be
clean. It just makes sense. After all, my mother
always said that cleanliness is next to Godliness and
that applies specifically to my toothbrush. Believe it
or not, this is something Ive believed my whole life.
10 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Get this the toothbrush is actually classified

and regulated by the FDA as a medical device. As a
medical device, the toothbrush is designed to remove
germs, plaque, and debris from our teeth, gums, and
tongue. During the course of each and every day, a
multitude of germs, plaque, and food particles
accumulate in our mouths and stick to all parts of our
oral cavities. Its up to you and your trusty toothbrush
to remove those germs, plaque and particles in order
to avoid long term oral health problems like cavities
and gum disease.

The new research on oral biofilms

bio films is
absolutely amazing. These biofilms
bio films,
films once attached to
the oral cavity, develop a culture and a defense
mechanism of their own. Imagine what they can do
when they get into the bloodstream!

Needless to say, the mouth is one of the dirtiest

parts of the body; not only are there millions of germs
in there, it is the prime portal for infection to enter
the body, and it is a major site of chronic and often
undetected silent disease. Bottom line is, every time
we brush, we coat our toothbrush with millions of
disease-causing germs. Then we rinse our toothbrush
under the tap for a few seconds, and throw it in the
community cup with all the other germinfested
toothbrushes. We store that cup in the dirtiest room
in the house the bathroom near the germladen
germ laden
toilet (a toilet with no trap which avails the room to
sewer-line gases each time the toilet is flushed) and
sink and we return to brush with the same
toothbrush 6 to 12 hours later! Gosh! We wouldnt
hang our forks or spoons in the bathroom exposed to
bathroom vapors, germlaced dust and bathroom
bacterial mist, but we have no problem doing this to
Introduction - 11

our toothbrushes which are, again, FDA-regulated

medical devices. Treating our toothbrushes this way is
truly a much more dangerous habit because you dont
lacerate your gums and tongue with your silverware
as you do with the sharp bristles of your toothbrush.
A USA Today article said that after only a few uses,
the bristles of your toothbrush become tiny little
needles that cause tiny cuts in your mouth each time
you brush. Everyone has seen blood in the sink from
time to time after brushing. Even when you dont see
any blood, your toothbrush is still microscopically
cutting and abrading the soft tissues of your mouth. I
cant make this point any more clear: We are literally
injecting toothbrush germs directly into our
bloodstreams every time we brush with an
unsanitized toothbrush.

When you really think about it, using an

unsanitized toothbrush is a nasty, disgusting practice
that makes absolutely no sense at all. We throw any
concept of oral hygiene right out the window with this
unhealthy practice. What good is it to see your dentist
or oral hygienist for preventative care when you use
the same infected toothbrush day after day, month
after month? Last year I found the following excerpt
from a New Haven Department of Health Bulletin
article. It speaks volumes about the seriousness of
this health problem:

With the evolution of more and more sanitary

precautions for the prevention of infection and
reinfection the menace of an infected
toothbrush now presents itself for considera
12 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

The toothbrush after once using, is never a

sanitary instrument,
instrument, and what pathogenic
germs it must contain when used day after day
in an ulcerated mouth! Of what possible value
can a prophylactic treatment for pyorrhea of
the gums, given by a skilled dentist or his
prophylactic nurse, be when the person
continues to use the same infected toothbrush?

Water cannot cleanse the toothbrush, and so

called antiseptic solutions and pastes cannot
destroy the pathogenic germs which the brush
has acquired. Keeping the brush in strong
antiseptic solutions for twentyfour hours may
destroy some germs, but also generally destroys
the brush, and with most solutions would cause
the brush to be unpleasant or actually danger
ous to the person using it.

In mouth and throat infections, including

diphtheria, tonsillitis, scarlet fever, measles,
etc. the toothbrush used just before the patient
became sick must be destroyed. It is a menace,
and may cause the convalescent patient to
become a carrier of the disease with which he
was affected.

Children will rarely so care for their

toothbrushes as to keep them ordinarily clean,
and if one child of a family acquires a
contagious disease the contaminated tooth
brush may probably allow infection of other
closely adjacent toothbrushes which are
reposing in the bathroom. Also a toothbrush
exposed to dust and vapors in a bathroom is
unsanitary and far from aesthetic. One would
Introduction - 13

not hang his spoon and fork in a bathroom and

then use them for the next meal.

With tender, bleeding gums the toothbrush is

an implement of injury, and the bristles may
prick the gums and cause the very infected
areas that it is supposed to prevent. The
toothbrush is not the proper implement for
massage of the gums.

School teaching of mouth hygiene must place

more emphasis on the care of the toothbrush,
having in mind the likelihood of its dirtiness,
its ability to cause injury, and that it may be
frequently a carrier of germs that cause serious

Laboratory cultures made from used tooth

brushes have shown many of the dangerous
pathogenic germs.

This article was published over 75 years ago and for

75 years the medical establishment has done
absolutely nothing to inform the public about this
serious toothbrush health threat! Hello, Dr.
Semmelweis, et al!

To make matters worse, according to a survey

by ColgatePalmolive, most Americans replace their
toothbrushes every 9 months. 9 months? Can you
imagine how many germs and food particles have
accumulated on the bristles of an unsanitized
toothbrush in 9 months? It scares me to even think
about it. Most Europeans replace their toothbrushes
on average every 12 months and one country (I will
withhold the name to save the embarrassment),
14 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

replaces their toothbrushes on average once every 2


Maybe you are one of those people who think

that somehow, your toothbrush is different. If youre
one of these people please, give me a call, I have
some amazing oceanfront property in Nevada that Id
love to talk to you about.

Tap water will not sanitize your toothbrush,

and mouthwash (generally 1625% alcohol) and
toothpaste cannot and will not destroy the pathogenic
germs that can infest your toothbrush. Keeping your
brush in strong antiseptic solutions like rubbing
alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other chemicals for 12
to 24 hours may destroy some germs, but it can also
destroy the brush, and with most socalled antiseptics
the brush would be unpleasant and, most
importantly, become potentially toxic to the person
using it for the very same bloodstream reasons that
weve been discussing; you dont want to inject
concentrated alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other
potentially cancer-
cancer-causing chemicals into your

A Chicago dentist said this: The typical

toothbrush is reused for months, never cleaned
thoroughly, and usually is stored under warm, moist
conditions conducive for bacterial growth. Hey, the
toothbrush is the very foundation of home dental care.
For many people, especially people in lowincome
brackets and people without dental insurance,
toothbrushing is the only from of dental care they
receive. I think we should show the toothbrush some
respect. Think about all of the massive and habitual
procedures that doctors, dentists, and dental
Introduction - 15

hygienists go through to steam autoclave their

instruments, decontaminate their counters and
chairs, and the extents they go through to use gloves,
goggles and masks.

But I bet most dentists and dental hygienists

never sanitize their own toothbrushes. They, like
everyone else, simply rinse their toothbrushes with
tap water for a couple of seconds and throw it in that
typical grimy community cup. What kind of infection
control procedure is that? What
What sense does that

And do you know that millions of people never

see a dentist or dental hygienist on a regular basis?
And do you know that millions of people share
toothbrushes, especially in the low income sector?
Again, for many people, using a toothbrush is the only
dental care that they receive. Or, should I say using a
dirty toothbrush is the only dental care they ever
receive! Recently, CNN Headline News reported,

Hiding in those bristles is a multitude of oral

microorganisms that can lead to several health
problems, including oral inflammatory diseases
that you can get from your own self self
contaminated toothbrush.

Ironically, we are hurting our health every time we

brush our teeth, unless we are brushing with a
sanitized toothbrush.

Believe it, cavities are caused by a certain oral

bacteria that are contagious.
contagious The bacterium that
causes gum disease is also contagious.
contagious The virus that
causes cold sores, Herpes Simplex Type1, is also
16 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

contagious So are the viruses that cause the flu, the
cold, Hepatitis, and HIV. Strep, Staph, and Candida,
which causes thrush, are all contagious.
contagious Get the
point? Toothbrushes not only harbor these germs, but
they can transmit them as well. This fact, known as
crosscontamination, is well documented but, the
good news is, its preventable.

Like cigarette boxes, its my belief that

toothbrush packaging should have a mandatory
Surgeon Generals warning. It should read:

Surgeon Generals Warning: An unsanitized

toothbrush is hazardous to your health.

For me, its a dream come true that the Germ

Terminator story is moving from household to
household. Its a story that must be told about a
problem that many people have never considered, a
problem that quite possibly may be the reason for
many unexplained health ailments, and a problem
that now has a solution. And the keepitsimple
stupid solution is my baby the Germ Terminator.

Thanks for reading my book and listening to

my theory about toothbrush germs. I believe that the
chronic attack by germinfested toothbrush bristles
on our immune systems is killing us, slowly. After
reading this book, its up to you to form your own
opinion and decide whats better, a dirty toothbrush or
a sanitized one.

We know that toothbrushes harbor and

transmit disease. To what degree is this needless
overexposure to germs responsible for rising rates of
inflammation, including Creactive protein (CRP)
Introduction - 17

levels, and Interleukin6 levels? Right now, we dont

know for sure. But why take the chance when we
dont have to? Extensive studies should be conducted
on this serious health issue, but in the meantime,
when common sense tells us that something is dirty,
it should be common sense for us to have it cleaned
before we stick it in our mouths.

Heres wishing you the best of healthbecause

after its all said and done, there are few things as
important as your health and the health of those you
James Song
18 - Why Your Toothbrush May Be Killing You SLOWLY

The Toothbrush
Germ Theory
Studies have shown that contaminated
toothbrushes not only harbor, but also transmit
both viruses and bacteria that cause systemic,
localized and oral inflammatory diseases.
The Journal of the American Dental
Association (Vol. 132, September 2001)

I came across an interesting article in Time

Magazine entitled Wash those hands! The article
was about how doctors and nurses working in
hospitals can actually make us sick by forgetting to
wash their hands or failing to wash frequently or
effectively. In doing so, they spread infectious germs
to the patients they treat. After reading the article, I
started to contemplate this daily personal hygiene
task and how much we may or may not take it for

According to Time Magazine, nearly 90,000

Americans die in hospitals each year from infections,
and apparently the situation is much worse in other
The Toothbrush Germ Theory - 19

countries. Shockingly, many of these deaths could be

prevented by doctors and nurses simply washing their
hands more often.
often Whats even more frightening are
the results from a study that show hospital staffs
generally adhere to handwashing guidelines less
than 40% of the time and sometimes a lot less.

Since reading the Time article, I came across

another article in Newsweek Magazine that cites
needless hospital deaths from infection at an
average of 195,000 per year in 2000, 2001, and 2002.
Thats the equivalent of 390 jumbo jets full of people
dying each year, says Dr. Samantha Collier, Vice
President of Medial Affairs at HealthGrades, a
healthcarerating organization that conducted the
study. I wonder how many of these deaths could have
been prevented by hospital staff practicing better
infection control procedures, like washing their hands.

Did you know?

80% of all infectious disease is transmitted by both direct
and indirect contact, according to Dr. Phillip Tierno, the
director of clinical microbiology and diagnostic immunology
at New York University Medical Center.
Center. This means that
nearly all infectious disease could be prevented by paying
more attention to infection control procedures.

Now maybe Im wrong, but I thought that

hospitals are places we go to get better, not to become
even more sick or even to die from an infection!

After learning about this problem, I started to

speculate as to what the hand washing habits of the
general public might be. If our health care
professionals are so lax about washing their hands,
then what could I expect of the general public?
20 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Although I was somewhat hesitant as to what I might

find out, I decided to do a little research on the

Not surprisingly, I learned in my investigation

that the American public is far worse at remembering
to wash their hands than hospital personnel.
(Furthermore, they wash their hands in a way that
makes germ killing very ineffective.) A study released
in 2003 at the Interscience Conference of
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC)
found that 74% of men wash their hands after using
the restroom, and 83% of women wash their hands
after going to the bathroom. But just because you
dont wash your hands doesnt necessarily mean that
you are a disgusting person in the restroom arena.
Some of us dont wash our hands in public restrooms
for fear that there is a higher risk of exposure to
germs from touching public faucets, soap dispensers,
towel dispensers, or handdrying buttons.

Another study reported by CNN found that less

than 35% of people wash their hands after coughing
or sneezing, 20% after handling money, and 45% after
petting a dog or cat. All in all, a lot of Americans
simply dont wash their hands.

This is what got me thinking that the purpose

for handwashing has somehow been forgotten. Do
we not remember the reason why this simple activity
is so necessary? Washing our hands is almost like a
trend something we feel we have to do out of
societal obligation, not because we know why. Some
of us feel we have to wash our hands or our mothers
will yell at us or the other people in the restroom will
look at us like were gross. When questioned in a
The Toothbrush Germ Theory - 21

written survey, 95% of the people surveyed said that

they wash their hands after using the restroom,
although several different studies have shown that
this is not the case at all. Weve all seen the signs in
restaurants and food places that read: Employees
MUST wash hands! We know that we should do it,
and some of us do, but why? Aside from habit, there
has to be a real fundamental reason why we wash our
hands in the first place. So what is the reason, what
is the use?

The answer is, simply enough, so we dont get

sick. Deep down we already know this, and the
number of people who die each year from infection
proves this. But I believe that the reasoning behind
handwashing has somehow been lost with habit. We
do it or dont do it without even thinking about it.

I would argue that the same thing goes for

brushing our teeth. It is something we just do. Most
of us dont think about the reason or the purpose for
brushing. Its just like when we wash our hands, do
we really think about the nasty germs that are being
lathered away when we wash or how many nasty
germs still remain? I dont think so! Most people
simply use soap, rinse, dry, and think nothing else of

Similarly, many of us dont consider the

millions of microscopic germs and bacteria that are
being removed from our teeth, gums, and tongue by
our toothbrush when we brush and few of us think
about the fact that those disgusting germs and food
particles continue to live, breed, and rot on thethe
bristles of our toothbrush in between brushings.
22 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Well, I do think about those germs. In fact, over

the past few years some would say that I have spent
too much time thinking about those germs. Ive taken
the last ten years researching killer germs, germ
theories, health problems related to germs and
infections, and the definitive link between the health
of the mouth and the entire body.

After years of research and all my work

towards developing a solution to the toothbrushgerm
problem, the most significant conclusion that I have
realized is that brushing with a sanitized, germ
toothbrush is critically important for your overall
health. Obviously, its got to be better than using a
dirty, bacteria
bacteriaridden toothbrush. Its as simple as
that. Clean
Clean wins.

I think that every dental, medical, and health

practitioner will agree with the fact that brushing
your teeth is pretty much essential to maintaining
oral health. Whether they agree that it is essential to
maintaining overall health is another question. Most
dentists that I have come into contact with are
concerned with the state of the mouth only and less
aware or cognizant about the health of their patients
beyond the oral cavity. Utilizing a toothbrush
whether it is germfree or germinfested is
something that we have to do every single day, twice a
day at the minimum (or better yet, after every meal,
soft drink, or snack). If youll allow me to make a
quick analogy, I would say that our hands and fingers
are also things that we have to use everyday at
least in order to function normally. But we have a
choice as to whether we decide to go around touching
people, food, and other things with washed and
disinfected hands or leave our hands contaminated
The Toothbrush Germ Theory - 23

with nasty germs and bacteria. For most of us, the

choice seems obvious when it comes to our hands, but
why is it different with our toothbrushes something
we put in our mouths and scrape against the delicate
mucousmembrane tissues of our gums? Why is it
that practically no one (or at least less than 0.5% of
the worlds population) sanitizes their toothbrush
before every brushing? The fundamental reason for
washing our hands is absolutely the same
fundamental reason why we should sanitize our
toothbrushes: so we dont
dont get sick, either in the short
term or in the long term. Furthermore, its so much
more important to sanitize your toothbrush than it is
to wash your hands because with your toothbrush
bristles, you are directly micro
microcutting and abrading
your gums and tongue
tongue and thereby bypassing your
immediate immune defenses by injecting germs
directly into your bloodstream you dont do this
with your fingers.

To understand this idea more, it will help to

take a detailed look at why we take the time to clean
certain things like our hands in the first place.

A Little Germ History

The very first handwashing advocate was a

Hungarian physician named Ignac Semmelweis. He
was the maverick who in the 1840s suggested that
doctors wash their hands in between seeing patients
in order to prevent the spread of disease, and he is the
reason that we wash our hands today, some of us
religiously, whether we know why or not. Whether we
do an effective job of removing the germs from our
hands is another story.
24 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Semmelweis handwashing concept seems

obvious now, but in the late nineteenth century when
he suggested the idea, it was common practice for
physicians to operate on cadavers in the basements of
hospitals and then go upstairs to deliver babies
without ever washing their hands! The babies and
the mothers who were treated by the doctors with
dirty hands would often die from infection. So, Dr.
Semmelweis proposed that doctors wash their hands
in between seeing patients in order to reduce this high
rate of death. Nearly 40 years later, Semmelweis
theory was finally proven and accepted by the medical
establishment, thanks to the work of other revolu
tionary scientists like Louis Pasteur and Joseph
Lister (and the advent of the microscope) who showed
us that invisible germs are in fact responsible for the
proliferation of many dangerous acute and chronic
illnesses. Consequently, we now know that one of the
best defenses we have against germs (and illness) is
simply keeping our hands clean, which is easier said
than done.

These are things that we know today, things

that both science and our mothers have taught us
over the years. Nevertheless, a little over one hundred
fifty years ago, medical establishment leaders
ridiculed Dr. Semmelweis theory and nearly had him
exiled from the medical community. Can you believe
that he was actually ridiculed and laughed at? That
he was nearly thrown out of the medical community?
Just for imploring that physicians wash their hands?
Nowadays, Ignac Semmelweis handwashing
theory is universally accepted and practiced so much
that it is common knowledge to almost every person
in the world even little kids know that we need to
wash our hands.
The Toothbrush Germ Theory - 25

Weve known for a long time that germs cause

disease and that we can protect ourselves by doing
simple things like washing our hands and necessary
things like sterilizing medical instruments. But why
hasnt this wisdom been extended to our
toothbrushes? For that matter, is there another
medical device that comes into contact with human
soft mucous
mucousmembrane tissue that isnt supposed to
be sanitized before each and every use? The
toothbrush is an enigma, but I am on a mission to
change that.

Poop Germs?

We cant see the microscopic germs that are on

our hands but somehow we know they are there,
which is why we wash them. Dr. Semmelweis and
our mothers for that matter taught us that the
germs on our hands can make us sick and we should
take care to clean them every chance we get before
eating, after coming home from public places, or after
using the restroom. Again, we cant see the germs, but
we make sure to wash them off. So, what makes us
think that our toothbrushes are so clean? What
makes us think that we shouldnt have to wash our

Like the germs on our hands, we cant see the

germs that are on our toothbrushes. But let me assure
you, your toothbrush is home to literally hundreds of
thousands of germs and other bugs. A recent British
study found 100,000,000 (one hundred million) germs
on a single, ordinary toothbrush. I am sure that your
mother never told you to wash your toothbrush. Its
not her fault. Somehow, long ago society mistakenly
formed a mindset that suggests that the toothbrush is
26 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

an instrument used to clean the mouth and therefore

it doesnt need to be cleaned itself. No governing
entity, regulatory body, infectiousdisease organiza
tion, or health association that I am aware of has
taken the time to issue a public health warning on the
dangers from germs that are on our toothbrush
bristles. Germs that were removed from our mouths
the last time we brushed in addition to other germs
gathered from external sources like airborne
contaminates in the bathroom, including sewerline
and ventilationduct gases and droplets (especially in
apartment settings), direct contamination from hand
touching, and surrounding toothbrushes. And beyond
all of the other germs, youre not going to want to
believe this, the vast majority of toothbrushes are
contaminated with fecal (yes, poop) poop) germs.
Disgusting, right? Can these germs make you sick?
Absolutely. Are these germs a danger to your long
term health? Well, what do you think? What does
common sense tell you?

Maybe you dont believe me because its too

gross to contemplate, but to help convince you that
Im not making this up, here are some pretty
disgusting facts from some very credible sources:

It may surprise you or sicken you to know

that if your toothbrush is stored near the toilet,
the chances are great that it is covered with
E.coli bacteria. Each time you flush the toilet,
bacteria disperse in the air in the form of tiny
- A Professor of Risk Analysis, Harvard
University School of Public Health
The Toothbrush Germ Theory - 27

Did you sanitize your toothbrush today? Fecal

matter and bacteria,
bacteria it turns out, can spray as
much as twenty feet upward when a toilet is
flushed. Toothbrushes
Toothbrushes can be contaminated
with fecal matter
- Wall Street Journal article entitled
You May Not be as Clean as You
Think. November 5, 2003

49% of used toothbrushes tested positive for

fecal coliforms [i.e. poop germs]
- Independent Australian Biotech
Laboratory Study

In spite of all the evidence, some people try and

fool themselves into thinking that these things arent
true or that they dont apply to their toothbrush. But
make no mistake, your toothbrush
toothbrush is like a toilet
brush, a bacterial hotzone filled with all kinds of
disgusting germs. You can be sure that allowing
these germs to enter your mouth and bloodstream
each day is harmful to your longterm health. Aside
from poop germs, several studies have proven that a
multitude of potentially pathogenic bacteria and
viruses can survive and multiply on the bristles of
your toothbrush. The Chicago Dental Society cites
research that establishes that thousands of microbes
can grow on toothbrush bristles and handles. Among
these microbes are Influenza viruses, Herpes simplex,
Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Candida, Porphyrom
onas gingivalis, and other bacteria that cause gum
disease, chronic infection, and inflammation. The
United States Centers for Disease Control has stated,
28 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Even after being rinsed visibly clean,

toothbrushes can remain contaminated with
potentially pathogenic germs.

Furthermore, your trusty toothbrush can also

function as an ideal breeding ground for these bugs,
meaning they can grow and multiply in the dark,
moist areas in between bristles and where the bristles
attach to the toothbrush head. The Journal of the
American Dental Association has confirmed that the
toothbrush is a moist, fertile breeding ground for
bacteria. To make things worse, the toothbrush serves
as the perfect vehicle for germs to enter the
the body (via
the tiny lacerations made in your gums by the
bristles). USA Today reported that the sharp tips of
toothbrush bristles can cause tiny lacerations in the
gums that allow infections to enter the body. A
professor of oral pathology at the University of
Oklahoma Health Sciences center says that, Your
toothbrush is a perfect breeding ground for bugs

Still think you are safe from toothbrush germs?

Studies show that toothbrushes become contaminated
after just one use. The Journal of the American
Dental Association states, contaminated tooth tooth
brushes not only harbor, but also transmit both
viruses and bacteria that transmit systemic, localized,
and oral inflammatory diseases.

There Are Always Skeptics

Even with all the evidence and the common

sense (more of which I will share with you), there are
loads of skeptics out there and, as Dr. Semmelweis
experienced, Ive just got to deal with them, endure
the ridicule, and go on with my mission. Im doing my
The Toothbrush Germ Theory - 29

best to bring this important issue to light since I

started airing my thirty minute Germ Terminator
SilentEpidemic TV infomercial; however, there are
some people who just dont get it, including many
health practitioners. Some television media experts
have told me that people dont want to hear about
germs and fecal bacteria on their toothbrushes. In
fact, they find it so distasteful that theyll turn off my
program. But, you know, the truth is the truth. I
believe that these disbelievers are not unlike the
critics Dr. Semmelweis encountered during his
crusade for proper handwashing. Like Dr. Semmel
weis, I have encountered much opposition to my
theory, but I believe that the truth must be told about
toothbrush germs no matter what. Besides, I have
common sense on my side, which says that clean has
got to be better than dirty, especially when it comes to
something you put in your mouth. Ive made it my
mission to educate people about the health risks from
toothbrush germs.

Its a fact that many people either still dont

believe the aforementioned quotations about poop
germs even though the citations are from reliable
sources, or they are perplexingly unconcerned with
the potentially hazardous consequences. Thats
probably because they dont want to believe that their
toothbrushes can be that nasty. Even some doctors
and dentists dont believe that germs on toothbrushes
are dangerous, and its also because there hasnt been
a safe, simple, and effective solution..

(Youd think that doctors would say, Sure, a

clean toothbrush has got to be better than a dirty one.
Show me a simple, effective, safe, and inexpensive
solution, and I will recommend it to my patients.)
30 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Heres an email I received from the wife of a

physician who purchased a Germ Terminator and
had to return it:

To Whom It May Concern:

I recently received the Germ Terminator in the

mail. The box is unopened and I would like to
return it. My husband, who is a doctor, feels
that since the human mouth is home to
thousands of germs that having a clean
toothbrush makes little difference. He has
consulted his dentist friends and they agree
with him. There is no use trying to talk to him
when his mind is made up. Could you please
email me back with your procedure for
returning it?

So there you have it. This doctor and his dentist

friends have pushed themselves back 150 years by
stating that a dirty, germinfested toothbrush is okay
that it is no different from a health standpoint than
a clean, sanitary, germfree toothbrush. Thats okay
though Ill continue with my Semmelweislike
stand and theory, take the abuse and criticism, and
stick to my beliefs and my mission.

You might even be thinking along the same

lines as the doctors wife. If so, you are among the
99+% of the worlds population who use a
contaminated toothbrush each day, and you are
among those who believe exactly what our present
day oralhygiene culture believes. Heres the
mainstream philosophy:
The Toothbrush Germ Theory - 31

Ive been brushing my teeth ever since I can

remember and I am not sick, and therefore,
brushing my teeth with a germfree toothbrush
cant be that important. The millions of germs
that accumulate, grow, and multiply on my
toothbrush between the times that I brush are
harmless. Besides, my mouth is home to a
multitude of germs. Why should I care about a
clean toothbrush?

On the surface, this philosophy seems

plausible. Its the same philosophy of the doctor
whose wife returned the Germ Terminator. But my
research and the research of others demonstrate that
this kind of thinking is absolutely wrong. Sure, there
are a lot of germs already present in the mouth, but
having fecal bacteria and other germs in your mouth
and injected into your bloodstream simply cannot be
good for your health. Even the television media are
starting to believe the facts Ive presented.

Not long ago, the Discovery Channel Network

aired an episode of its continuing show called Myth
Busters. The show features two guys who investigate
the truths and untruths behind urban legends. On
one edition of the show, they tried to debunk my claim
that toothbrushes are rife with germs,
germs, especially fecal
germs. Conducting their own investigation, they
tested my claim that nasty germs jump from toilets to
toothbrushes by either airborne or direct contam
ination. They tested 24 toothbrushes and 2 controls
that they themselves used for 30 days.

The result? Of the 24 toothbrushes, all 24

tested positive for poop germs thats 100%! Even
32 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

the 2 control toothbrushes they stored in the kitchen

cabinet tested positive for fecal germs!

But here is the most disturbing element: When

they asked the University of California San Francisco
microbiologist who tested the toothbrushes and grew
the poop germs on Petri dishes whether having fecal
germs on our toothbrushes was hazardous to our
health, she replied, No, its not dangerous. After all,
we all brush our teeth and were all healthy. At the
end of the sentence, she seemed like she knew that
what she said wasnt particularly convincing because
her voice trailed off and clearly did not exude 100%
confidence. And, regardless of her scientific
statement, the hosts of Myth Busters werent too
impressed with having poop germs on their

This microbiologist claims were all healthy.

Actually, I would argue that as a nation we have
never been unhealthier. Perhaps life spans have
increased in the past fifty years and Americans are
living longer than they used to, but living longer does
not necessarily equate with living better, and its
obvious that health care and health insurance issues
have never been more pressed. Why? Because chronic
illness in America is at an allalltime high. Heart
disease is widespread. So is is cancer.
cancer. Who doesnt
know someone suffering from diabetes,
diabetes, rheumatoid
arthritis, Alzheimers, Parkinsons,
Parkinsons, chronic fatigue,
fatigue, an
autoimmune disorder or some other chronic
degenerative disease?

At the moment, the leading causes of death in

America are: 1) Heart Disease, 2) Cancer,
Cancer, and 3)
Infectious disease.
The Toothbrush Germ Theory - 33

Infectious diseases are obviously caused by

germs, but how much of an effect do germs have on
heart disease and cancer? The shocking answer is
that germs have a more instrumental role in the onset
of chronic illness than we ever imagined. On March 7,
2002, ABC News reported the following:

Can you catch a heart attack? Is cancer

contagious? The conventional answer is no;
these diseases are caused by bad genes and bad
diet. But a revolutionary band of scientists
thinks these sicknesses are actually caused by
infectious bugs. If theyre right, it will be a
medical revolution

So why is the medical establishment dragging

its feet on this issue?

Many millions might be suffering

suffering and dying
from heart disease, cancer, and other illness as
a result of the medical establishment conserv

Germs could turn out to be more harmful than we

expected. Could we be saving lives and improving the
quality of life just by improving hygiene? Could we
help prevent or at least slow down some of todays
chronic illnesses by simply changing our lifestyle
habits being more germ conscious and by using a
clean, sanitized, germfree toothbrush every time we
Germs, not
not genes,
cause most diseases
The Associated Press
(January 7, 2001)

Did you know that 90% of stomach ulcers are

caused by a type of infectious bacterium? Its true.
And the same bacterium is now thought to also cause
stomach and colon cancer. If youre like most people,
however, this might be the first youve heard about
this. I was surprised when I learned this fact myself
some years back. After all, physicians had been saying
for decades that poor diet, stress, and aspirin overuse
were the causes of stomach ulcers; back then the word
bacteria was not even in the picture when it came to

Throughout history, germs have been drastic

ally underestimated in their ability to cause
destruction and death. Germs have repeatedly been
overlooked and rejected by the medical establishment
as causes for disease. Why? Perhaps this is because
germs are invisible to the human eye and it is hard
for us to believe that something we cannot see can
have the ability to cause great harm to our bodies.
Germs, Not Genes, Cause Most Diseases - 35

Whatever the case may be, the fact remains that

microscopic germs can be, in fact, very harmful to our
health. As scientists discover more about them and
their connections to certain diseases and conditions,
germs are turning out to be more dangerous and than
we ever thought. In the past few years, several new
studies and laboratory conclusions have pointed to
germs as the instigators of many devastating non
acute diseases chronic diseases that doctors used to
think were caused by poor lifestyle and bad genes.
What we are discovering is that the symptoms of
longterm bombardment by germs are generally
undetected until they turn into something devastating
like heart disease or cancer later in life. The damage
that germs can do is analogous to cigarette smoking,
obesity, and lack of exercise. A little wont kill you
but year after year, decade after decade, the snowball
causes an avalanche that buries you.

Since scientists like Semmelweis, Pasteur, and

Koch revolutionized modern medicine with their
respective discoveries and germ theories; doctors and
scientists have achieved medical advances in the last
50 years that have enabled the prolonging life and
eradication of many infectious diseases. As a result,
the experts thought that science and medicine had the
germthing beat. What was left to worry about were
health problems that both science and medicine
believed werent instigated by germs; problems like
heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

But all that is changing. The latest medical

research is demonstrating that the primary causes of
many chronic diseases are germs, and not lifestyle or
genetics as previously believed. Not a week goes by
where some new discovery isnt made that implicates
36 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

a virus or bacteria as a primary factor in the

development or onset of illness. The traditional face of
modern medicine is being forced to transform itself as
more research and clinical data accumulate in support
of this new germtheory of disease. Based on this
research, the medical establishment is having to re
examine its strategy for maintaining and improving
the health of human beings, which has predominately
been to concentrate on the early detection of a disease
and the treatment of the disease.

Medicine will have to take on a much more

preventative position against the causes of illness,
namely a strong position to prevent the longterm
damage caused by silent viruses and bacteria.
Hopefully, the medical establishment will show a
faster response than it has demonstrated in the past.

Old and New Discoveries

The New Causes of Disease

As recent as 1982, Australian scientists Dr.

Barry Marshall and Dr. Robin Warren shocked the
medical community by announcing that most peptic
ulcers are caused by a strain of bacteria called H.
pylori (and not stress, stomach acid, aspirin overuse,
or spicy foods, like doctors had believed for years).
Before Drs. Marshall and Warren, everyone believed
that bacteria couldnt survive in the stomachs acidic
environment; everyone understood that ulcers were
caused by stress, spicy foods, and physicians
(ineffectively) treated their patients with medications
that blocked acid production and prescriptions that
included destressing exercises and less work. For
decades the medical establishment had dealt with
stomach ulcers this way; when Dr. Marshall and Dr.
Germs, Not Genes, Cause Most Diseases - 37

Warren came around, what they were suggesting, for

many in the establishment, amounted to nothing less
than medical heresy.

Dr. Marshall recalls that when he was in

medical school he was given the impression that
everything had already been discovered in medicine,
so from the perspective of the medical establishment,
there was absolutely no need to question accepted
medical facts that had been practiced for decades.

So, unsurprisingly, when Marshall and Warren

began to share their discovery with other doctors, they
encountered much opposition. In fact, the vast
majority of the medical profession, not only in their
native Australia but across the globe, considered the
scientists to be quacks. Dr. Marshall in particular was
intensely ridiculed by his peers because of his refusal
to back down.

Marshall was so determined to prove his

discovery that he made the rather drastic decision to
use himself as the human guinea pig to test his
theory. He prepared a concoction of live H. pylori and
drank it. Marshalls plan was to give himself a peptic
ulcer then cure himself with antibiotic treatment.
Sure enough, the infection induced by the H. pylori
gave Marshall the results he was looking for
stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting classic signs
of gastritis and the early signs of an ulcer. Within a
few days of drinking the H. pylori cocktail, Dr.
Marshalls stomach revealed marked inflammation
he had selfinduced a fullblown stomach ulcer. Then
he cured himself through antibiotic therapy, just as
he had planned.
38 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Today, physicians and health organizations

recognize H. pylori as the cause of more than 90
percent of ulcers and treat their patients accordingly.
However, just prior to Marshalls guinea pig test, one
of Americas leading researchers laughed at the
scientist and called Marshalls idea preposterous
(remember, this occurred in 1983, not 1893!)

Marshalls and Warrens H. pylori discovery

and their ensuing struggle to convince the inflexible
medical establishment are noteworthy today in light
of the latest medical research that implicates germs
as the causes of other diseases that doctors once
believed were caused by lifestyle and genetics.
Marshalls story is the most famous recent example of
a common ailment for which an infectious germ has
proven to be the cause of disease. I anticipate that
there will be many more discoveries like this one that
will significantly alter the way in which doctors and
patients approach germs and their connections to
common, chronic, and even fatal diseases.

The H. pylori discovery also demonstrates how

germs have been and still are overlooked and
underestimated by medical professionals. For some
time now since the lifesaving effect of vaccines
and antibiotics have helped eliminate or slow down
certain diseases germs have simply been ignored as
the culprits for most health problems, especially
chronic ones.

A standard medical textbook published in the

1970s says beneath a section called Etiology of
Stomach Ulcers that environmental factors
smokingdiet drugs aspirin and psychonomic
factors are the primary causes of stomach ulcers.
Germs, Not Genes, Cause Most Diseases - 39

Ironically, the textbook makes no mention whatsoever

of any chance that the ulcer might stem from a germ
infection. Thanks to Drs. Marshall and Warren, were
now wise to the fact that the culprit for stomach
ulcers is the H. pylori bacteria. Further research has
since taught us that H. pylori is the cause of many
cases of stomach cancer.

Whats amazing and inspiring about Marshall

and Warrens story is that their discovery reversed
decades of medical practice in the treatment of a
disease. The story of these two scientists also
demonstrates the rigidity of the medical establish
ment to change their entrenched ways of thinking
about disease. Only after deciding to carry out a
rather extreme experiment by infecting himself with
an ulcercausing bacterium did the medical
establishment start to come around to the idea that
peptic ulcers might be caused by something other
than abnormally high levels of stomach acid. Even
after Marshalls selfinfection demonstration, it still
took the medical community nearly a decade to start
treating patients for H. pylori. A decade! How many
people suffered or died during this time because of
this rigid skepticism by the establishment? Are the
causes of many chronic diseases actually brought
about by germs that doctors never even thought about
or even looked for? Germs that doctors never thought
to blame? Germs like the ones that are on
contaminated toothbrushes?

There is no question that genes, lifestyle, and

the environment can contribute to chronic diseases,
but what if germs start the process or propel the
progression of some or many prominent diseases?
What if doctors and scientific researchers are looking
40 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

in the wrong places for cures because they missed

something about the causes? What if we have been
unknowingly infecting and reinfecting ourselves with
slowtokill toothbrush germs simply because doctors
didnt know, or are too stubborn to change their way
of thinking regarding this oral hygiene habit?

Cervical Cancer Question

Lets consider a disease that is diagnosed in

500,000 women each year cervical cancer. Evidence
that there is something infectious about this disease
goes back a long time. In 1842, Italian scientist Rigoni
Stern noticed that cervical cancer occurred frequently
in prostitutes while it almost never affected celibate
women. His observation led him to believe that this
cancer was somehow sexually transmitted. Sterns
hypothesis went nowhere for another century until
1951 when a Danish epidemiologist named
Clemmensen read Sterns study and wrote that the
findings were based on such sound research that the
medical community would be well advised to follow
up on Sterns work. A few decades later, a scientist at
the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg,
Harald zur Hausen, proved that the human
papillomavirus (HPV) is definitively linked to cervical
cancer. Then in 1999 an international group of
scientists reported that virtually every case of cervical
cancer stems from the sexually transmitted virus
HPV. This finding marks the first time that a virus
has been shown to account for every case of a
particular cancer.

Although genetics and other factors like

smoking and childbirth play a role in the occurrence
of cervical cancer in some women, there is little doubt
Germs, Not Genes, Cause Most Diseases - 41

that preventing the HPV infection all together would

all but eliminate this type of cancer. Fortunately, the
medical establishment now recognizes HPV as specific
the cause and works to treat patients accordingly, but
its a tragedy that Sterns observations werent
welcomed years ago. In the past 150 years, how many
women died because of this unwarranted skepticism?

Dont get me wrong, Im not out to discount the

advances that medical science has made in the last
century or discredit the discoveries that have been
recognized. Surely doctors and scientists have made
so many revolutionary discoveries that have helped to
prolong life and enhance quality of life for millions of
people, especially in the last 50 years. Im just
impatient for the establishment to take decisive
action when it makes perfect sense.

But the medical establishments lagging on the

germ issue worries me, and it should worry you too.
Weve seen that common ailments like stomach ulcers
and more devastating diseases like cervical cancer are
caused by germs when doctors and researchers
thought otherwise. Although these examples are
somewhat isolated, what we know now about ulcers
and cervical cancer serves as evidence that genes and
lifestyle have been overestimated as contributors to
disease and the best germ research lies ahead. There
is one scientist in particular who is leading the way
with this new germ research. Professor Paul W.
Ewald, an author and professor of evolutionary
biology, indicates that the concept of germs over genes
is a very simple argument that has been overlooked
and underestimated.
42 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

A New Approach

Professor Paul W. Ewald, an Amherst College

Biology professor, is undoubtedly the leader of the
modern germ theory. Ewald is the author of The
Evolution of Infectious Disease and Plague Time: How
Stealth Infections Cause Cancers, Heart Disease, and
Other Deadly Ailments in which he outlines his belief
that infectious medicine has always been under
estimated simply because infectious diseases [and
germs] are extremely diverse. As he explains it, the
range and capacity of infectious disease always turns
out to be broader than originally considered. Every
ten years we keep adding to the list, he says, but
mainstream medicine continually overlooks the
causes of the most enduring, widespread and harmful
illnesses of humankind microbes.

Professor Ewald believes that germs could be

the root of infectious and chronic diseases like heart
disease, breast cancer, diabetes, and even
schizophrenia illnesses that were thought to have
been caused by bad genes, poor diet, and unhealthy

Surprisingly, what got Professor Ewald

thinking about this revolutionary germ idea was a
bad episode of diarrhea. About twentyfive years ago,
the professor was on his way back from a Kansas field
trip when, unfortunately, he was hit with an attack of
diarrhea. His discomfort got him thinking about what
many scientists now call the Germ Theory Part II, or
what he calls The New Germ Theory. Was the
diarrhea the havoc of a particular germ that was
working on spreading itself? Or was the diarrhea part
of his bodys attempt to flush away the germ?
Germs, Not Genes, Cause Most Diseases - 43

Professor Ewald was curious whether the diarrhea

was the germ invaders evolutionary adaptation or the
evolved human defense against it.

After some research back at the lab, Professor

Ewald arrived at a startling conclusion mainstream
medicine is fixated on genes and lifestyle and
overlooking the primary cause of the most enduring,
widespread and debilitating diseases of humankind.
Quite simply, Prof. Ewald believes that germs are the
cause of heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and
other chronic diseases and I strongly agree. (Great
ideas can spring from something as accidental as

The professors Germ Theory Part II presents a

new outlook on the investigation of disease and the
causes of disease. What he has learned is that heart
disease, cancer, and chronic ailments may be caused
by a lethal combination of poor lifestyle and germs
instead of bad genes.

The background of Ewalds theory is

constructed upon what we already know about germs
based on Part I of the Germ Theory of disease that
was formulated by scientific mavericks like Pasteur,
Koch, and Semmelweis. Over one hundred years ago,
Part I propelled medicine out of the Dark Ages an
era that believed that such diseases were caused by
bad air or bad blood, rather than by pathogenic
germs transmitted by mosquitoes or by doctors
unwashed hands. Koch tracked tuberculosis to an
airborne germ, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and in
1905 he won a Nobel Prize for his work.
44 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

By the early 20th century, most of the common

killer diseases including smallpox, bubonic plague,
diphtheria, the flu, whooping cough, yellow fever and
tuberculosis were understood to be caused by
dangerous germs. Vaccines were devised against some
and by the 1950s antibiotics could cure many other
diseases caused by germs.

By the 1960s and 1970s, the prevailing mood

was one of great optimism because science believed
that they had the germ problem solved. Ewald
sarcastically quotes a 1972 edition of a classic medical
textbook: The most likely forecast about the future of
infectious disease is that it will be very dull. At least
in the developed world, infectious disease no longer
seemed threatening. Far scarier were the diseases
that doctors thought were not infectious: heart
disease, cancer, diabetes, and so on. Doctors rather
arbitrarily said that these diseases were hereditary
and/or environmentally induced illnesses. No one
foresaw the devastation of AIDS or the serial
outbreaks of deadly new infections such as
Legionnaires disease, Ebola and Marburg
Hemorrhagic fevers, antibioticresistant tuberculosis,
flesheating staph infections, Hepatitis C, SARS,
Rift Valley fever, and other dangerous infections.

Today the infections caused by germs, as well

as a handful of other lethal diseases like heart
disease, continue to devastate the health of millions of

Germs, Not Genes

In his new germ theory, Professor Ewald

portrays diseases and their microbe agents as players
Germs, Not Genes, Cause Most Diseases - 45

in a kind of primitive warfare. Viruses, bacteria and

other microscopic creatures penetrate our bodys
defenses. Once inside, they feast, multiply and then
look for new bodies to overrun. These invasive actions
are what manifest themselves as disease.

Ewalds Germ Theory Part II is also based

around the evolutionary success of an organism
relative to its competing organisms the survival of
the fittest. Genetic traits unfavorable to an organisms
survival or reproduction do not last in the gene pool
for very long. Natural selection weeds them out.
Consequently, any inherited disease or trait that has
a serious negative impact on fitness must fade out
over time, because the genes that cause the disease or
trait will be passed on to fewer and fewer individuals
in future generations. For example, if we allow germs
and bacteria to continually invade our bodies without
effectively fighting them off, our biological systems
will evolve into more and more comfortable environ
ments for these bad bugs. Germs will make our bodies
into their cozy homes in the form of chronic disease or
chronic inflammation.

Also important is Ewalds observation that

although humans try their best to evolve new
defenses and invent new protections like antibiotics or
vaccines, germs can breed new generations every 30
minutes, evolving rapidly to defeat sciences latest
defenses. Ewald argues that new antibiotics are
eventually bound to lose when put up against swiftly
evolving germs. According to Ewald,

There is a lot at stake here, because if people

drag their feet when it comes to investigating
the possibilities that infections are causing
46 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

these diseases and if they dismiss them

without really having evidence that warrants
dismissing them, then many people may die.

So is it germs, and not genes that cause most


I believe this theory to be true and one day we

will know for sure. But in the meantime, we have got
to protect our immune systems. Because, well, lets
take another look at Professor Ewalds statement:

if people drag their feet when it comes to

investigating the possibilities that infections are
causing these diseases then many people may die.

That is exactly why I am so passionate about

bringing the problem of contaminated toothbrushes to
light. The solution that I have invented is surprisingly
simple and inexpensive. It is as easy as washing your
hands and definitely more effective in that it kills
greater than 99.9999% of all germs tested in major
laboratory testing, but more on that later.

For the skeptics out there, and I know there are

many, lets go with Professor Ewald and NOT dismiss
the possibility that the germs from contaminated
toothbrushes are a potential cause for chronic
infection. We know germs can be bad, we know they
can cause infection and make us sick that is why
we wash our hands. We also know that the sharp
bristles of toothbrushes can allow potentially millions
of germs to enter the bloodstream by making tiny cuts
in the soft mucous membranes of our mouths.
Shouldnt we do our best to avoid the germs or
better yet, kill the germs on our toothbrush and
Germs, Not Genes, Cause Most Diseases - 47

thereby protect our immune systems! Doesnt it just

make sense?

A practicing dentist who writes for the Journal

of the Canadian Dental Association states, We
KNOW that toothbrushes and dentures can transmit
disease, and that the need for infection control is
critically necessary (the we refers to the practicing
dentists and oral healthcare professionals who
subscribe to the journal). This dentist implores his
readers to be more accepting of the need for overkill
when it comes to infection control, and less reliant on
tedious, clinical data and yettobesponsored

He goes on to state that one of the biggest

problems doctors and dentists face when it comes to
infection control is knowing the risk of acquiring an
infectious disease in a given situation. For instance, it
is impossible to know if a patient will be infected by a
virus or bacteria during a procedure or visit because
(i) germs are impossible to see with the naked eye,
and (ii) doctors have no way of knowing the current
condition of the patients immune system, and (iii) it
is unclear what germs might already be present inside
a patients body. Physicians go to incredible lengths
to sanitize their instruments and operating environ
ments, yet patients still face the risk of coming into
contact with harmful germs. If such risks were
known, they would help justify the importance of, or
the need for, a particular infection control procedure
(such as the daily sanitization of ones toothbrush).
Why not be more careful? Why not do everything we
can to avoid infection? That, too, makes perfect sense.
48 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

So many practitioners are so incredibly anal

and are simply not satisfied without volumes and
volumes of laboratory data and clinical tests to back
up precautionary, preventative actions. However,
certain things at least for now are impossible to
test inside a lab. The process of gathering an
exhaustive, accurate collection of bacteria, viruses,
fungi, and parasites that exist in everyday life is an
impossible task there are far too many. According
to David Relman, an Assistant Professor of Medicine,
Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University,
only about one percent of all the bacteria in the world
can be cultivated in a laboratory. This makes any
kind of lab test that would prove, beyond a shadow of
a doubt, the absolute necessity for infection control
measures simply unfeasible and unrealistic.

Given the fact that humans are nearly as

diverse in their biological functions as the millions of
types of germs that exist, clinical data that directly
supports the need for overkill or germ paranoia in
infection control simply isnt out there. Relman says
the reason that researchers fail to accept microbes as
a cause for disease, thereby rejecting the need for
more intense infection control, is because traditional
research cannot pinpoint the microbes. For now, the
Canadian dentist from the newsletter strongly asserts
that it is better to be safe than sorry and I couldnt
agree more. We can never know when we may be
exposed to a potentially virulent microbe, and we
cannot detect when the entrance of microbes into the
body may be enhanced by breaks in the skin or
mucous membranes (like the gums), and we do not
know when our immune systems ability to fight a
given microbe may be low.
Germs, Not Genes, Cause Most Diseases - 49

Fast and Sneaky

Germs are extremely sneaky and efficient over

time. Theyre impossible to see with the naked eye,
they can jump from location to location with
incredible speed, and they can maintain a stable
position where theyre able to live comfortably and
multiply rapidly while going undetected (like on our
toothbrush bristles). So how can we combat an enemy
with such furtive capabilities? And to make things
more difficult, germs are literally everywhere. They
are on everything we touch, eat, and inhale. In a
proper environment, especially a humid one like your
shower, a single bacterium call can sprout into 1
billion cells overnight. What can we do?

I have been researching germs for a long time

now, and I know that there are many types of
microbes that are beneficial and necessary for our
biological systems. So please dont get that Im
suggesting that all microorganisms are dangerous.
What I am concerned with, and what we are talking
about here, are those germs that can be harmful to
our bodies in both the long and the short term by
having constant and easy access to our bloodstreams.

We all know how it goes with a germ that

causes acute symptoms: one minute youre feeling
healthy and the next minute you are flat on your back
or should I say flat on your stomach on the
bathroom floor with salmonella, E. coli, or some
other infection. The scary part is that you dont know
when or how the germ enters your body until the
damage from the infection is fullblown.
50 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Many infections go without any acute

symptoms (the cold and flu viruses are examples of
acute illnesses) until over decades they manifest into
something so devastating that there are few solutions
that dont, at least for a period of time, drastically
alter the way we live and how we view the quality of

Not too long ago, I ran into a friend of my

daughters at a restaurant. She told me that she had
just returned to work after being out sick for about a
month. Since she seemed perfectly happy and healthy,
I asked what in the world could have made her so sick
as to take her out for a full month. She told me that
one day she started experiencing extreme pain in her
abdomen. She went to her doctor, who suspected
appendicitis. After an Xray and some tests, the
doctor found that she had a fullblown infection on
one of her ovaries that was spreading to the uterus.
The infection was caused by the bacteria Streptococci,
the bacteria responsible for strep throat, which in
many people is asymptomatic meaning that most
adults experience no symptoms when the bacteria
invades the body. For some reason, the bacteria that
infected my daughters friend had lodged itself in her
ovary and after having no symptoms over a long
period of time, this twentythree year old had to have
one ovary removed and may have to undergo
hysterectomy surgery in the future.

When I heard this story for the first time, I was

not only shocked, but also frightened. How could this
happen? This story also reminded me of an article
that I read about labcultured toothbrushes. The
testing laboratory cultured various used toothbrushes
in studies that showed the presence of the
Germs, Not Genes, Cause Most Diseases - 51

Streptococci bacteria like the bacteria that infected

my daughters friend. Ten used toothbrushes were
cultured from ten individuals. Staphylococci were
found on all of the toothbrushes and Streptococci were
present on all but one. Furthermore, the Journal of
Dentistry for Children states, Streptococcus and
pathogenic microorganisms can be transferred readily
when a toothbrush is used.

So, if Strep can appear on the bristles of your

toothbrush, then why, you ask, are you not sick right
now? Well, its as I mentioned before, germs are
sneaky, they work covertly and over long periods of
time. A unique combination of contaminations, under
a certain set of conditions, can trigger a longterm,
chronic, or immediate infection that can cause serious
harm to your health, even something as simple as
tooth cavities.

How can we know when our immune system is

particularly susceptible to a certain bug? We cant
know and that is why its so scary. Whether symptoms
are manifested immediately or fail to appear for
decades, infections set off by germs and bacteria can
enter your bloodstream easily through the sharp
bristles of your toothbrush.

Therefore I am a strong advocate of an overkill

position against germs, especially toothbrush germs.
Lets not be afraid to be too careful this is our health
were talking about. Fortunately, I am not alone.
Health writer Debra Bruce and Harvard University
Assistant Professor of Risk Analysis and Decision
Science, Kimberly Thompson, have authored a book in
connection with the Harvard School of Public Health
that takes a look at the ways drugresistant germs
52 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

are threatening our longterm health. Overkill: How

Our Nations Abuse of Antibiotics and Other Germ
Killers is Hurting Our Health and What You can do
About It, notes that despite the vast advances in
medical knowledge and technology, drug resistant
strains of tuberculosis, staphylococcus, pneumococcus,
and other germs are appearing with increasing
frequency and infecting us more than we know.
Antibiotics, they say, provide a false sense of security.
The authors therefore promote a more germ
conscious lifestyle and the development of beneficial
prevention and infection control practices against
germs. The toothbrush, they say, is an excellent place
to start.

Right now you are not likely to find any tedious

clinical data, sponsored medical research or scientific
textbook that will tell you that daily tooth brushings
over decades with a contaminated toothbrush could be
harmful to your health, but the evidence that
hypothesizes it is out there, and so is the solution.
The Mouth as a
Oral health
health means much more than healthy
teethNew research is pointing to associations
between chronic oral
oral infections and heart and
lung diseases, stroke, and low
premature births.
Oral Health in America:
A Report of the Surgeon General

In May of 2000 the Surgeon General of the

United States issued the firstever report of its kind
documenting a silent epidemic in oral health that is
affecting America. According to the Report, a series of
both minor and severe dental and oral diseases
quietly plagues millions of Americans, despite the
dramatic improvements made in oral health care over
the last fifty years. The most frequently occurring
problem is periodontal disease (gum disease), which
appears in strong association with other serious
health risks. The evidence presented in the Surgeon
Generals Report links chronic oral infections with
serious chronic and systemic diseases affecting the
entire body.
54 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

We have long known that the mouth reflects

overall health and well being, but as David Satcher,
MD, PhD, (U.S. Surgeon General, 19982002)
documents, recent research is showing just how much
the condition of our mouths can affect our overall
health. New studies have uncovered the links between
chronic oral infections and diabetes, heart and lung
disease, stroke, and lowbirthweight, and premature
births. The Report states that if left untreated,

Poor oral health can be the Silent X

promoting the onset of lifethreatening
diseases that are responsible for the deaths of
millions of Americans each year.

The Surgeon Generals firstever report on oral

health was issued by the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services in 2000, but unfortunately, it
seems that many doctors, dentists, patients still
ignore the Surgeon Generals creed that a person
cannot be truly healthy without good oral health.
Despite our seemingly healthconscious culture (in
which, ironically, over tens of millions of Americans
are obese) attention to oral healthcare seems to be
pushed aside. Americans are obsessed with weight
loss drugs and miracle prescriptions that will lower
cholesterol, stabilize blood pressure, and relieve
seasonal allergies, while the importance of
maintaining a healthy mouth is low on Americas list
of health priorities.

According to a study conducted in Japan,

nursing home residents who received adequate dental
care were found to be less likely to contract
pneumonia, and also less likely to die from infection if
pneumonia occurred. Nursing homes in the United
The Mouth as a Mirror - 55

States are required to provide oral health care to their

residents, but in most states dental hygienists cannot
provide needed care such as dental cleanings because
of restricted dental practice laws. I am sure dental
practice laws are in place for important reasons, but
limiting dental care available to nursing home
residents seems to indicate that oral health, in
general, is not important.

What we are learning from the Surgeon

Generals Report and numerous other studies, and
what I am so passionate about imparting to you, is
that oral health is tremendously important to overall
health and well being more so than you think. The
American Dental Hygienists Association agrees that
the signs and symptoms of many lifethreatening
diseases begin in the mouth and many of these
problems can be prevented or abated by simply paying
closer attention to the condition of our teeth, gums,
and tongue and making oral health a strict priority.

From the Horses Mouth

When cowboys and farmers set out to buy a

horse, they will always make sure to examine its
mouth before purchasing the animal. A quick look
inside the mouth of a horse (or the mouth of a human)
can sum up the creatures health history and can help
predict how long it will live. This horsemouth test
is founded on the theory of focal infection, which says
that an oral infection caused by harmful bacteria can
affect other areas of the body. The idea started in the
1920s in reference to infections that turn up far from
the site of origin. Since then the theory has lost
popularity, at least in the human world, but recently
scientists are taking the focalinfection concept more
56 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

seriously as they discover that small infections within

the mouth may be contributing factors to some of the
most serious diseases.

Gum Disease A Silent Epidemic

Perhaps the most dangerous and most prolific

kind of oral infection is periodontal disease (gum
disease). Depending on which source you select, it is
estimated that approximately 75% to 95% of Ameri
can adults have some form of periodontal disease; and
since the condition is usually painless in its primary
stages, a majority of those affected do not even realize
that they have it.

Periodontal disease is a chronic infection

caused by bacteria in the oral biofilm (dental plaque)
that forms on surfaces within the mouth. It is
generally grouped into two major types; the less
severe of the two being gingivitis, which affects the
gums, and the more critical stage being periodontitis,
which may affect all of the soft tissue and bone
surrounding the teeth.

Gingivitis is alarmingly common in many

adults. The condition begins as an inflammation of
the gums that is usually manifested with a change in
the color from normal pink to bright red, accompanied
by swelling, bleeding, and often sensitivity and
tenderness. At this stage there is little or no
discomfort, so most folks do not even know they are
carrying a bacterial infection inside their mouths.
Most people with mild cases only exhibit the signs of
inflammation in a select location in the mouth like
around the back teeth or on the underside of the front
teeth places that are impossible to see without
The Mouth as a Mirror - 57

dental instruments. When inflammatory bacteria cells

are able to continually infiltrate the mucus membrane
around the teeth, a chronic infection is created. The
bacteriaridden plaque present on tooth surfaces that
are opposite the openings of the salivary glands then
mineralizes to form calculus or tartar, which is
covered by an unmineralized, well
wellprotected Biofilm
a combination that can exacerbate local inflame
matory responses for decades. Still, a gingival
infection may persist for months or years without ever
being detected. Meanwhile, millions of pathogenic
bacteria are thriving in their own subculture within
and around the chronic infection(s) in the mouth.

If left untreated, the bacterial plaque can

spread and begin to grow below the gum line, which
leads to fullblown periodontitis. The toxins from the
plaque start to irritate the sensitive mucous
membranes of the gums and stimulate a chronic,
recurring inflammatory response in which the body
literally turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that
support the teeth are eroded and eventually

The most common form of adult periodontitis is

described as moderately progressing, which is
characterized by a gradual loss of attachment of the
periodontal ligament to the gingiva and bone along
with loss of the supporting bone. A second form is
known as rapidly progressing, which is often resistant
to treatment. Although the term progressive is used
to describe periodontitis, oral health care specialists
have found that the disease process may not be
continuous but rather occurring in random bursts.
While the chronic infection endures, inflammatory
episodes occur randomly over time and at random
58 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

sites in the mouth. Because of the unpredictability of

these periodontal episodes, the disease is often
difficult to treat during its later stages.

What is important to realize about periodontal

disease is that it is the kind of chronic infection
caused by a harmful brand of oral bacteria and it is
much more widespread than you think. You could
have a mild case of gingivitis and not know it (unless
you had the chance to visit your dentist or hygienist
today) the gingival infection could remain in your
mouth for months, or years, or decades. If that doesnt
scare you, get ready for this these kinds of chronic
oral infections (gingivitis and periodontitis) could lead
to serious, even deadly health problems that lie
beyond the mouth. The Head of the Department of
Health Policy and Health Services Research at the
Boston University School of Dental Medicine, Raul
Garcia, says,, whichever way one analyzes the data,
your risk of death increases three
threefold if you have
periodontal disease. Having gum disease can
increase the risk of death by three times? Its scary,
but its the truth.

Furthermore, this bacteria is contagious and

can spread from household member to household
member, especially when toothbrushes are stored in
that alltoofamiliar, grimy community cup.
(Remember, up to 95% of all adults suffer from some
form of gum disease!)

Periodontal disease is a chronic oral infection

that can act as a source of sepsis, a toxic condition
resulting from the spread of bacteria or the
byproducts of bacteria from a local infection. Sepsis
can be limited to a particular body part, like the
The Mouth as a Mirror - 59

mouth, or it can be widespread and result in

secondary or focal infections in other areas of the body
far away from the mouth. More specifically, a focal
infection can be one that occurs as a result of the
dissemination of harmful microorganisms (bacteria)
throughout the body whose primary origin lies in the
periodontal tissue. The Boston University School of
Medicine states that the oral cavity is a prime
location for bacteria to become systemic, through
bleeding that occurs when you brush your teeth.
Make no mistake about it, the germs that are in your
mouth (and make their way onto your toothbrush and
into your bloodstream when you brush) can be
extremely toxic.

What happens when a person has gum disease

or a chronic oral infection is that a series of secondary,
or focal infections arise that are caused by the noxious
bacteria originating at the mouth infection (what is
called the focus of the infection). Well accepted in
the dental profession is the fact that any kind of oral
surgery (where the gums or oral tissue is punctured)
will produce a bacteremia and this may cause focal
infections in other susceptible tissues, like the heart.
What is less acknowledged in the world of dentistry is
that existing in the mouth are other sources of sepsis
such as periodontal infections. Substances that can
spread from a focus of infection in the mouth include:

Bacterial organisms
Viral organisms
Fungal organisms
Endotoxins produced by anaerobic
organisms (anaerobic means living
and active in the absence of
60 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Current research also indicates that other

toxins produced by anaerobic organisms are also
released into the body including, but not limited to,
hydrogen sulphide products and methyl mercaptans,
both of which are highly poisonous. What this means
is that toxic substances from chronic infections in the
mouth can spread throughout the body and initiate
secondary infections in distant or nearby tissue or
organ. Furthermore, pathogenic (diseasecausing)
mouth germs may not only infect other tissues but
poison the body with a mass number of harmful toxins
from anaerobic organisms. They may be distributed
throughout the body by blood circulation and
lymphatic distribution by entering via the blood
stream and/or along nerve fibers.

An article published in the Journal of the

American Dental Association discusses the problem of
focal infections stating that,

The concept of focal infection in relation to

systemic disease is firmly established and the
origin of many toxic or metastatic diseases may
be traced to primary local or focal areas of

The same article also states that there are two

major mechanisms of focal infection:

The first is an actual metastasis of organisms

from a focus.

The second is the spread of toxins or toxic

byproducts from a remote focus to other tissues via
the bloodstream. The infection may then multiply in
the blood, setting up an acute chronic septicemia an
The Mouth as a Mirror - 61

invasion of the bloodstream by virulent germs from a

local seat of infection. Or the infection can be carried
live to a suitable nidus a place in the body where
bacteria or other organisms lodge and multiply.
There, they infect the surrounding tissues. In
addition, they may produce a slow but progressive
atrophy with replacement fibrosis in various organs of
the body.

What this means is that at any given moment,

a series of highly noxious, highly infectious bacteria
can be streaming though our bodies, lodging
themselves in different places and branching off to
cause other infections that may or may not have
immediate acute symptoms, and which may result in
chronic disease.

Julie Parsonnet, an infectious disease specialist

at Stanford University Medical School says,

People talk about our bodies exposure to

pesticides and chemicals theyre nothing
compared to microbes. Your gut is loaded with
bacteria; your genitourinary tract, your skin,
your mouth, your eyes. Our bodies contain at
least ten times more microbial cells than
human ones. We are walking Petri dishes,
more microbe than man and our relationship
to microbes may be responsible for a huge
amount of disease.

(Again its one thing to have germs in your gut,

but its a far, far different thing to have them
wandering around your bloodstream.)
62 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

It should be noted that the vast majority of

microbes are beneficial for our systems some are
even essential for our survival. But there are bad
microbes, the ones that cause chronic infection, the
ones that are usually manifested in oral infections
and chronic toothbrush germs, and these germs have
the ability to bypass our bodys natural immune
mechanisms by injecting themselves directly into the
bloodstream via sharp toothbrush bristles.

Directly into the Bloodstream

The Journal of Oral Surgery says, the

elimination of infection from human tissue is a
necessary goal based on fundamental biological
principles. It is even more essential in an
environment in which the natural defense
mechanisms of the body are unable to function.

This is exactly what happens when toothbrush

bristles coated with germs cause microscopic cuts in
your gums and tongue. We may not realize it, but
each time we brush, we are abrading the soft tissues
of our gums with toothbrush bristles allowing the
bacteria on our toothbrushes and within our mouths
to directly enter the bloodstream and thereby bypass
our natural defense mechanisms. Think about it: how
often have you seen blood or pinkish discharge in the
sink while brushing your teeth?

While blood may not appear in your sink every

time you brush, you can be sure that every time you
use a toothbrush, the bristles on your trusty
toothbrush can be making microscopic cuts in your
gums. This can happen every time, whether you see
the evidence in the sink or not. You see, the tooth
The Mouth as a Mirror - 63

brush is actually an FDAregistered medical device

comprised of hundreds of pointy, jagged needles
(called toothbrush bristles). These needles literally
cause tiny lacerations in your gums, puncturing the
soft mucous membranes ever so slightly and only for
nanoseconds before the membrane repairs itself.

In an article from USA Today, a professor of

oral pathology at the University of Oklahoma Health
Sciences stated that the rounded bristles of your
toothbrush become pointed, like tiny little needles in
as little as two weeks of use. Research shows that the
sharp tips cause tiny lacerations in the gums that
allow infections to enter the body.

I cant stress this enough we can literally be

injecting toothbrush germs directly into our blood
streams every time we brush if our toothbrushes are

The toothbrush is used two to three times a day

to remove dangerous germs and break up the
bacteriaridden plaque that causes gum disease,
cavities, and chronic infections. Where do you think
the germs go after we brush? If you are not sanitizing
your toothbrush already, the bacteria, viruses, fungi,
rotting food particles, and parasites can remain on
your toothbrush. Theyre too small to be seen with the
naked eye, but believe me, they are there. They are
joined by other bugs from neighboring toothbrushes,
dirty hands, coughs and sneezes, and germs from the
aerosol spray dispersed in the air when the toilet is
flushed in addition to anything else that may be
airborne from the sewer line or ventilation ducts. This
group of germs then waits on the bristles of your
trusty toothbrush to be transmitted to your blood
64 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

stream and then to vital organs and tissues through

the cuts made in your gums the next time you brush.
This is a potentially dangerous process because the
direct contamination through the cuts in the gums
allows the germs to bypass the bodys natural immune
defense mechanisms and go straight into the

An article by contemporary dental pioneer and

health visionary, Dr. Robert Gammal, BDS,
FACNEM, entitled Focal Infection or Not pinpoints
the key issues as they relate to Focal Infection Theory
and the current dental establishment train of
thought. Dr. Gammal states:

In recent years there has been a reawakening

of the dangers of oral infections and their
potential disastrous effects on systemic
health[I]f the dental profession were to
accept the reality of Focal Infection (and the
potential sources of this oral infection), we
would have to reassess some of the
fundamental treatment concepts being taught
and practiced in dentistryWith the
resurgence of an interest in this area, there is
also a blatant resistance by the dental
profession of the reality of Focal Infection
Theory. Both the Australian Dental Association
and the universities have stated that Focal
Infection is a concept dating back 150 years and
one which has been disproved by recent
research. This supposed research has never
been cited by either the Australian Dental
Association or the universitiesThis attitude
flies in the face of published scientific research
some of which is even published in the dental
The Mouth as a Mirror - 65

journals. In 1996 the Journal of Periodontology

devoted a whole issue to this subject relating
periodontal disease to a variety of systemic
diseases which included coronary heart disease,
diabetes and low birth weight babies.
Quintessence International is one of the most
highly respected dental journals in the world.
They state in 1997: The detrimental effect of
focal infection on general health has been
known for decades. Chronic dental infections
may worsen the condition of medically
compromised patients It is well accepted in
the profession that any form of oral surgery will
produce a bacteremia and that this may cause
infections in susceptible tissues, especially the
heart. The substances that are spread from
such a focus of course include the bacterial,
viral and fungal organisms that survive in such
foci. It will also include the endotoxins
produced by anaerobic organisms in the foci.
Current research indicates that other toxins
produced by anaerobic organisms are also
released into the body these include hydrogen
sulphide products and methyl mercaptans, both
of which are highly poisonous products. What
this means of course is that a dental focus of
infection may not only infect other tissues but
also poison the body with a variety of toxins
Distribution of organisms and their toxins
throughout the body is by various routes: blood
circulation through out the body, lymphatic
distribution locally and then to blood stream,
retrograde axonal transport transport along
nerve fibers and back to the brain...
66 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Published case reports show the following diseases

and disease states among those directly related to oral
germ infections:

Maxillary sinusitis
Cavernous sinus thrombosis
Pharyngeal cellulites
Cardiac problems
Necrotising facititis
Necrotising mediastinitis
Superior Orbital Fissure syndrome
Light reflex interference
Lung abscess
Aspiration pneumonia
Brain abscess
Acute Hemiplagia
Psychotic episodes
Metastatic Paraspinal abscess
Gasarion ganglion
Trigeminal neuralgia
Myocardial infection
Deuodenal ulcers
Splenic abscess
Leg abscess
Blood disorders
Immune reactions
Inflammatory bowl disease
The Mouth as a Mirror - 67

Low birth weight

Toxic shock
Rheumatic changes
Infection of artificial joint prosthesis
Kidney damage
Brain tumors
Atypical facial pain

Simply put, all areas of the body can be affected

by the presence of oral germ infections and all parts of
the body can be negatively affected by chronic germs
on toothbrush bristles.

Kill those Nasty Germs!

Professor Ewald says that humans can turn the

tables in their favor by favoring benign germs and
making life really tough on dangerous germs. Better
sanitation blockades the worst strains of cholera,
which ride the water supply to find new human
hosts, he says. The Amherst professor/author goes on
to say, When theres no easy route, evolution gives
the advantage to the more friendly cholera germs
those that survive longer inside the human without
being lethal.

We can follow Professor Ewalds advice for

better sanitation by sanitizing our toothbrushes
each time we brush thereby providing no easy route
for toothbrush germs to make their way into our
bloodstreams. In so doing, we favor the mouth germs
that are actually
actually good for us, and help eliminate the
evolution of the bad ones.
Healthy Mouth,
Healthy Heart,
Healthy Body
Studies show that bacteria and yeast microbes
usually found only in the mouth can enter the
bloodstream, a process that is associated with with
significantly increased heart disease risk.
University of Southern California
Health Report

The oral cavity is the prime location for bacteria to

become systemic, through bleeding that occurs when
you brush your teeth. Such infection triggers triggers
inflammation which unleashes a cascade of molecular
events that build up plaque and choke off arteries.
Boston University School of Medicine
(as reported in the Wall Street Journal)

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that

scientists attending the Interscience Conference on
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy presented
evidence that links the bacteria responsible for
periodontal disease with a higher risk of heart attack
and cardiovascular disease. According to the
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 69

scientists, the oral bacteria behind gum disease can

promote the buildup of arteryclogging plaque, a
process known as atherosclerosis, which leads to heart

In a study supported by the National Institutes

of Health, Dr. Caroline Genco, associate professor at
the Boston University School of Medicine inserted the
bacteria Porphyromona gingivalis (the bacteria
responsible for gum disease) into the gums of mice
who were genetically prone to developing heart
disease. Genco then traced the bacteria as it spread
from the mouth to the bloodstream and ultimately to
the aorta, where it caused inflammation and the
accelerated buildup of plaque in the artery walls.

The coronary reaction observed in Dr. Gencos

mice confirms that the route from the mouth to the
heart is one vulnerable to bacterial invasion in both
humans and mice. Dr. Genco says, The oral cavity is
a prime location for bacteria to become systemic,
through bleeding that occurs when you brush your
teeth. This means that when toxic bacteria from
chronic oral infections like periodontal disease reach
the bloodstream, more infections can occur which
trigger a chronic inflammatory response. This chronic
inflammation can instigate a sequence of molecular
events ultimately leading to the buildup of artery
clogging plaque resulting in a heart attack, stroke, or
some other form of heart disease.

The Number One Cause

Cause of Death

Heart disease is the number one killer of men

and women in the United States claiming more lives
than all forms of cancer and AIDS combined. The
70 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

most recent statistics show that more than 64,000,000

Americans have one or more forms of cardiovascular
disease and almost 1,000,000 people die from it each
year. Almost 13,000,000 people alive today have
already suffered one or more heart attacks and one
out of every 2.6 deaths can be attributed to
cardiovascular disease thats nearly 39% of all

Our doctors and health care professionals tell

us that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the essential
key to lowering the risk of acquiring the disease.
Regular exercise, managing stress, and eating foods
low in cholesterol and saturated fat are the things we
can do to protect ourselves. Meanwhile physicians
prescribe cholesterollowering drugs to help us reduce
the plaque obstructing our arteries.

Unfortunately, many of us dont heed our

doctors good advice until its too late. We stick to our
underexercised, oversatiated lifestyles, relying on
drugs to make us better. But a Los Angeles Times
article reported that many of the latest drugs used to
lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease
simply arent working. A study of 3,000 people at high
risk of developing heart disease, but who had not yet
acquired the disease found that treatment with a
statin drug did not significantly reduce their risk of
heart disease. What the drugs did do, however, was
increase their risk of developing cancer by 25%. The
article concludes that the emphasis on prescription
drugs as treatment (more like a temporary cure) for
heart disease demonstrates that the U.S. may be
spending more than $500 billion each year on medical
care that may not be helpful and even potentially
harmful to health.
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 71

Clearly, we are fighting a difficult and

challenging battle. Heart disease is still killing us,
despite the drugs and the efforts to change lifestyle,
and it doesnt seem to be slowing down. So what are
we to do to protect ourselves?

Heart Disease: The Fatal Truth

Heart disease, also known as coronary heart

disease (CHD) is a condition characterized by the
narrowing and clogging of the arteries with a fatty,
gluelike substance called atheroma. According to the
American Heart Association, a process known as
atherosclerosis is the overwhelming cause of heart
disease. During this process, the inner lining of the
artery walls becomes furred with a thick plaque made
up of fatty deposits of cholesterol, cell waste, and
other pathogenic substances. As this occurs, the
arteries become narrowed and obstructed. The blood
and oxygen supplied to the heart becomes restricted,
so the heart cannot get the oxygen that it desperately
needs. This causes some people to experience angina
(chest pain). Atherosclerosis also leads to the
occurrence of a heart attack, where the blood supply
to the heart muscle is interrupted or temporarily
stopped because of a blood clot in the coronary artery.

So, the cause of heart disease is the process

known as atherosclerosis, but what causes the
buildup of plaque in the arteries? What is it that
triggers this process? What causes a piece of plaque
to break off and float down the bloodstream?

The old adage you are what you eat certainly

holds true when it comes to the instigation of heart
disease. Any doctor will tell you that a diet high in
72 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

saturated fats fast food, French fries, red meats,

cookies, and other processed foods is likely to result
in the accumulation of fatty plaque within the artery
walls. At the present time, the United States is
battling a dreadfully serious obesity problem, which is
certainly linked to the high occurrence of heart
disease (64% of Americans are overweight and 30%
are clinically obese). This is a given, however,
numerous studies now demonstrate that we are facing
a serious germ problem a silent epidemic of
germs, which, like obesity, can also be associated with
a high occurrence of heart disease.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have

shown the atherosclerotic plaque found in the arteries
of heart disease patients to contain DNA specific to
Porphyromonas gingivalis, the bacteria responsible
for periodontal disease. The Harvard researchers
actually found traces of the pathogenic oral bacteria
within the sticky arteryclogging material.

The American Dental Hygienists Association

has cited various studies that demonstrate the
connection between heart disease and the key
bacteria responsible for periodontal disease.

A recent study by Belgian scientists discovered

that the toxic byproducts of gum infections
natural bacterial poisons called endotoxins are also
released into the bloodstream, where they travel to
the heart and cause blood vessel injuries that promote

Further studies show that the most common

strain of bacteria in dental plaque may cause blood
clots. When blood clots escape into the bloodstream,
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 73

they may increase the risk of heart attacks or other

cardiovascular events like strokes. More seriously, the
bacteria from periodontal disease are known to
contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The
evidence is clearly out there that shows bacteria is
responsible at least in part for the onset of heart
disease, but obviously not everyone has caught on.

Theres Always Skeptics

It comes as no surprise that the idea of oral

bacteria as a cause of heart disease has not been
accepted by many in the medical establishment.
Many physicians and scientists laughed at their
colleague Dr. Barry Marshall when he announced his
discovery that H. pylori bacteria are responsible for
most stomach ulcers. After all, the appearance of
ulcers had long been attributed to things like stress,
poor diet, and aspirin overuse, and for years doctors
had treated their patients according to this firmly
established belief. But as it turns out, everyone was
wrong, except Dr. Marshall.

Physicians, healthcare professionals, and even

government health agencies have been telling us for
years that elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure,
lack of exercise, and a diet high in saturated fat will
surely lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and
eventually heart disease. No one said anything about
germs. That is, until now. The reason that the germ
connection has not been taken up into practice is
because doctors have been treating patients according
to the guidelines established by earlier research and
medical knowledge the outofdate knowledge that
does not implicate oral bacteria with heart disease.
Sadly, it may take decades for the transition to take
74 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

place. How many people have to suffer or die in the


Mouth Germs and the Heart How the Connection


So, how can bacteria cause heart attacks?

Harvard researchers believe that chronic infection,
such as periodontal disease causes inflammation that
often goes unnoticed by patients (internal
inflammation is symptomless and is often impossible
to detect). Ironically, inflammation is usually a
helpful reaction when it sends an army of white blood
cells to fight an infection, but the Harvard Medical
School report claims that the inflammatory cells
secrete a substance called Creactive protein (CRP)
that actually promotes atherosclerosis. Some of the
research has shown that men with high levels of CRP
had three times as many heart attacks as those with
the lowest levels, which goes along with the findings
of a study by the University of Buffalo that found
people with gum disease had three times the risk of
heart attack over a 10 year period.

Other research proves that acute periodontitis

is a cause of lowlevel inflammation all over the body.
Scientists at the University of Buffalo believe that the
chemicals produced by the immune systems reaction
to periodontal disease the inflammatory response
spill over into the bloodstream through cuts in the
gums. Then the chemicals make their way to the liver
to produce proteins that inflame the arterial walls
and clot the blood. Atherosclerosis and, ultimately,
heart attack may result.
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 75

Another study cited in Scientific American

examined 50 plaques scraped out of human arteries.
Out of the 50 plaques, 72% contained known
periodontal pathogens. (Note: There are over 500
known species of bacteria in the mouth and many,
many more that have yet to be discovered.) Also
observed were two other pathogens that have been
linked to atherosclerosis: cytomegalovirus, which
infected 38% of the plaques, and Chlamydia
pneumoniae, which appeared in 18%.

Numerous studies over the past few decades

have established over and over that harmful bacteria
can exist in the blood. Especially bacteria that
originates in the mouth. Research has also estab
lished that antibodies against oral bacteria can be
found in the bloodstream. We know from the work of
Dr. Caroline Genco that pathogenic oral germs travel
from the mouth to the arteries and ultimately to the
aorta along an infectionsensitive pathway. The USC
Health Newsletter from Winter 2003 said that
microbes found only in the mouth can enter the blood
stream and increase the risk of heart disease.
Without a doubt, oral germs enter the bloodstream
and instigate a molecular chain reaction that can
result in atherosclerosis and heart disease. But how
are the germs getting into the bloodstream?

Dr. Genco believes that pathogenic mouth

germs gain access directly to the bloodstream through
tiny cuts made in the gums when brushing. As I
explained earlier, the toothbrush is made up of
hundreds of sharp little needles (known as toothbrush
bristles) that cause microscopic cuts in the gums
while brushing. You may not know it, but the bristles
actually splay (like split ends on a bad hair day) and
76 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

get sharper and more jagged with each use, allowing

for a higher frequency of cuts and more opportunity
for germs to enter the bloodstream. The vast majority
of the time, you have no idea that you are abrading
the soft tissues of your mouth because you dont see
blood when you rinse.

Additionally, a typical unsanitized toothbrush

is literally covered with millions of bacteria, viruses,
fungi (molds and yeasts), food particles, and parasites.
Germs can jump from one toothbrush to another
toothbrush, and toothbrushes have been shown to be
contaminated with E. coli bacteria and fecal coliforms
because of the germs released when flushing the
toilet. In a USA Today article, a professor of oral
pathology at the University of Oklahoma Health
Sciences Center states,

Every time you put your trusty toothbrush in

your mouth, chances are that you are giving a
gang of nasty germs a free ride into your

When we abrade the soft tissue of our gums

with the needlelike bristles of our toothbrush the
delicate membrane of the gums is microscopically
punctured. In nanoseconds, the mucous membrane
closes up and repairs itself (at least it does in a
healthy mouth). Despite the short time it takes for the
transfer, each time you brush you are briefly exposing
your bloodstream to dangerous germs that make their
way through the body, instigating inflammatory
responses and causing molecular reactions that
ultimately can find their way to the arteries, the
heart, and other vital organs and tissues.
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 77

So are we to now blame germs for the high

incidence of heart disease? Should maintaining a
healthy diet and keeping an exercise routine no longer
be a concern? Of course not. But the latest heart
research shows a strong connection between heart
disease and oral bacteria, and we must pay serious
attention before its too late.

And we must ask, Why is medical conservat

ism ignoring the germ issue?

There is no doubt that maintaining a healthy

lifestyle is important for your heart, but is this
conservatism telling us it is okay to brush with
contaminated toothbrushes toothbrushes that may
be responsible for the presence of harmful bacteria in
our bloodstreams?

The answer is yes and no. By not taking a

strong, clear stand and sitting on the fence, the
medical establishment is saying that its okay to use
your own contaminated toothbrush but its not okay to
share toothbrushes with other people. In fact, the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) actually has a Fact
Sheet entitled, Infection Control: The Use and
Handling of Toothbrushes (that should at least tell
you that the CDC believes that infection from your
toothbrush is a possibility). Ill give you the bulk of
what the CDC has to say all at once, and then Ill
break it down sentence by sentence. Heres what the
CDC currently says:

To date, the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention is unaware of any adverse health
effects directly related to toothbrush use,
although people with bleeding disorders and
78 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

those severely immunodepressed may suffer

trauma from toothbrushing and may need to
seek alternate means of oral hygiene. The
mouth is home to millions of microorganisms
(germs). In removing plaque and other soft
debris from the teeth, toothbrushes become
contaminated with bacteria, blood, saliva, oral
debris, and toothpaste. Because of this
contamination, a common recommendation is to
rinse ones toothbrush thoroughly with tap
water following brushing. Limited research
has suggested that even after being rinsed
visibly clean, toothbrushes can remain
contaminated with potentially pathogenic
organisms To date, however, no published
research data documents that brushing with a
contaminated toothbrush has led to re
contamination of a users mouth, oral
infections, or other adverse health effects

The CDC goes on to say:

Do not share toothbrushes. The exchange of

body fluids that such sharing would foster
places toothbrush sharers at an increased risk
for infections, a particularly important consid
eration for persons with compromised immune
systems or infectious diseases.
After brushing, rinse your toothbrush
thoroughly with tap water to ensure the
removal of toothpaste and debris, allow it to
airdry, and store it in an upright position. If
multiple brushes are stored in the same holder,
do not allow them to contact each other.
Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store
them in closed containers. Such conditions (a
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 79

humid environment) are more conducive

conducive to
bacterial growth than the open air.
Replace your toothbrush every 34 months, or
sooner if the bristles appear worn or splayed.
This recommendation of the American Dental
Association is based on the expected wear of the
toothbrush and its subsequent loss of
mechanical effectiveness, not on its bacterial

A decision to purchase or use products for

toothbrush disinfection requires careful
consideration, as the scientific literature does
not support this practice at the present time.

Toothbrushing in group settings should always

be supervised to ensure that toothbrushes are
not shared and that they are handled properly.
The likelihood of toothbrush cross
contamination in these environments is very
high, either through children playing with
them or toothbrushes being stored improperly.
In addition a small chance exists that
toothbrushes could become contaminated with
blood during brushing. Although the risk for
disease transmission through toothbrushes is
still minimal, it is a potential cause for
concern. Therefore, officials in charge of
toothbrushing programs in these settings
should evaluate their programs carefully.

Recommended measures for hygienic

toothbrushing in schools:

Ensure that each child has his or her own

toothbrush, clearly marked with
80 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

identification. Do not allow children to share

or borrow toothbrushes.
To prevent cross contamination of the
toothpaste tube, ensure that a peasized
amount of toothpaste is always dispensed
onto a piece of wax paper before dispensing
any onto the toothbrush.
After the children finish brushing, ensure
that they rinse their toothbrushes
thoroughly with tap water, allow them to
airdry, and store them in an upright
position so they cannot contact those of
other children.

So what exactly is the CDC saying? Im not

quite sure they know. Lets look at some of their
statements. First:

To date, the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention is unaware of any adverse health
effects directly related to toothbrush use,
although people with bleeding disorders and
those severely immunodepressed may suffer
trauma from toothbrushing and may need to
seek alternate means of oral hygiene.

Though the CDC says its unaware of any adverse

health effects, people with bleeding disorders and
those severely immunodepressed may suffer trauma
from toothbrushing and may need to seek alternated
means of oral hygiene. Arent these statements in
opposition to each other? Do they make sense?

The mouth is home to millions of
microorganisms (germs). In removing plaque
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 81

and other soft debris from the teeth,

toothbrushes become contaminated with
bacteria, blood, saliva, oral debris, and
toothpasteLimited research has suggested
that even after being rinsed visibly clean,
tooth brushes can remain contaminated
contaminated with
potentially pathogenic organisms.

Correct me if Im wrong, but didnt the CDC state that

toothbrushes can remain contaminated with
potentially pathogenic organisms? The last time I
looked up the definition of pathogenic it was defined
as causing or capable of causing disease.

To date, however, no published research data
documents that brushing with a contaminated
toothbrush has led to recontamination of a
users mouth, oral infections, or other adverse
health effects.

Maybe the CDC will take a look at my book as proper

documentation on the subject, but probably not. Most
likely, the CDC will require a $50 million double
blind independent university study to definitively
prove that a clean toothbrush is better than a dirty


Do not share toothbrushes. The exchange of body fluids that

such sharing would foster places toothbrush sharers at an
increased risk for infections, a particularly important
consideration for persons with compromised immune systems
or infectious diseases.
82 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

If contaminated toothbrushes arent dangerous,

then what did the CDC just say?


If multiple brushes are stored in the same

holder, do not allow them to contact each
otherDo not routinely cover toothbrushes or
store them in closed containers. Such
conditions (a humid environment) are more
conducive to bacterial growth than the open

Isnt the CDC saying that your toothbrush could have

other peoples germs on them? And isnt the CDC
saying that based on a humid environment, or any
environment for that matter, bacterial growth is
likely to occur?


Replace your toothbrush every 34 months, or

sooner if the bristles appear worn or splayed.
This recommendation of the American Dental
Association is based on the expected wear of the
toothbrush and its subsequent loss of
mechanical effectiveness, not on its bacterial

The CDC goes with the ADAs recommendation that

you replace your toothbrush every 34 months, or
soonerbased on the expected wear of the toothbrush
and its subsequent loss of mechanical effectiveness,
not on its bacterial contamination.
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 83

So obviously the ADA has some standard for

wear of the toothbrush and mechanical effect
iveness, but what is the ADAs, or CDCs, standard
for bacterial contamination? How much bacteria is
too much? To me this is a ridiculous question. Do
dentists and doctors have a standard for bacterial
contamination? I think not. The only standard
dentists and doctors have is one called germ free.


A decision to purchase or use products for

toothbrush disinfection requires careful
consideration, as the scientific literature does
not support this practice at the present time.

The CDC says that they do not recommend

toothbrush disinfection or sanitization because the
scientific literature does not support this practice at
the present time. Well, when will the scientific
literature support a clean toothbrush over a dirty


The likelihood of toothbrush cross

contamination in these environments [group
settings] is very high, either through children
playing with them or toothbrushes being stored
improperlyAfter the children finish brushing,
ensure that they rinse their toothbrushes
thoroughly with tap water, allow them to air
dry, and store them in an upright position so
they cannot contact those of other children.
84 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Hasnt the CDC, in their discussion about

group settings, clearly described just about any
household where more than one person lives? So then
isnt the possibility of crosscontamination of germs in
family settings also very high?


To prevent cross contamination of the

toothpaste tube, ensure that a peasized
amount of toothpaste is always dispensed onto
a piece of wax paper before dispensing any onto
the toothbrush.

Bravo, the CDC has noted a little known fact

the community toothpaste tube can transmit germs!
Everyone shares the toothpaste tube. Therefore, when
someones contaminated toothbrush comes into
contact with the tip of the toothpaste tube, those
germs are then left on the tip of the tube for the next
user to enjoy. Hello, crosscontamination and the
transmission of germs from person to person! (Wax
paper? Who uses wax paper with toothpaste?)

Its clear, the medical establishment hasnt

given this serious threat enough consideration or
sponsored research in this serious subject matter. (In
my opinion, there is no need to research the subject
further because a germfree toothbrush is the obvious
correct medical answer.) Even our own directors of
public health in the United States havent given any
mandate recommending that people use sanitized
toothbrushes every time they brush. (But the law
requires restaurant employees to wash their hands.)
Perhaps it is time that someone took notice because
heart disease isnt the only thing we have to worry
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 85

about. Oral germs are also being connected to other

health problems and lifethreatening illnesses like
stroke, diabetes, low birth weight and premature
babies, in addition to a long list of chronic
degenerative diseases.

Can You Catch a Stroke Just Like Catching a Cold?

Researchers at the University of Buffalo

surveyed the health histories of 10,000 people
between the ages of 25 and 75. They found that 35%
of those who had gum disease were also likely to have
suffered a severe stroke. To help explain these results,
Dr. John Marler of the National Institute of
Neurological Diseases and Strokes says that oral
bacteria can cause fatty deposits in the large carotid
arteries in your neck. If these deposits, or clots break
loose and travel through the bloodstream into the
brain, they can lodge there blocking blood flow to the
brain and initiating a stroke.

Generally speaking, a stroke is a type of

cardiovascular disease affecting the arteries leading
to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood
vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain
is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When this
happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and
oxygen it needs, so it starts to die.

Needless to say, the brain is an extremely

complex organ that controls millions of bodily
functions. The brain allows us to speak, move, feel,
love, dream, and most importantly, think. Certain
parts of the brain are in charge of executing different
functions, like vision, memory, or speech. When a
stroke occurs, blood flow is interrupted to one or more
86 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

parts of the brain, causing the part of the body that

the brain controls to break down. The effects of a
stroke depend on the location of the obstruction and
the extent of the brain tissue affected. Sometimes
strokes can end up with rather mild ramifications, but
certain cases of stroke can be enormously devastating.
Paralysis, severe vision problems, memory loss,
speech and language problems and changes in
behavioral style are some of the effects of a stroke.

According to the American Stroke Association,

every 45 seconds someone in America has a stroke,
and every three minutes someone dies from one.
Stroke is the third cause of death in America,
claiming more than 700,000 lives each year and
holding its position as the number one cause of long
term disability.

While some of the most frequently cited risk

factors associated with stroke are high blood pressure,
smoking, diabetes mellitus, obesity and physical
inactivity and high blood cholesterol, scientists are
discovering that germs may also play a crucial role,
particularly bacteria originating in the mouth.

Comparable to the studies that have been done

linking heart disease with oral bacteria, various
research projects have used similar findings to
connect pathogenic mouth bacteria to the occurrence
of stroke in individuals.

The American Academy of Periodontology

referenced a study that found fatty deposits in the
carotid arteries of stroke victims to contain the oral
bacteria associated with inflamed gums. The material
in the carotid arteries leading to the brain
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 87

accumulates in the same way that plaque builds up in

the coronary arteries. Pathogenic bacteria enter the
bloodstream, trigger a molecular reaction, and
promote the buildup of arteryclogging substances.
When this happens in the arteries in the neck that
lead into the brain, a stroke can occur.

Furthermore, chronic infection in the mouth

can prompt inflammation in other parts of the body,
like the arteries. Harvard researchers found that the
inflammatory cells cause Creactive proteins to occur
in the bloodstream, which is known to accelerate

It is easy to see that the connection between

oral germs and stroke is not unlike the link between
oral germs and heart disease. It is therefore no
surprise that the way in which bacteria enter the
bloodstream to cause a heart attack is no different
from the way in which oral germs enter the
bloodstream to induce a stroke. Tiny cuts made in the
gums by toothbrush bristles when you brush allow
toothbrush germs to directly enter the bloodstream.
Dr. Genco from the Boston University School of
Medicine has confirmed that pathogenic germs enter
the bloodstream through microscopic lacerations
made in the gums while brushing.

It seems to me that by simply brushing with a

clean, sanitized, toothbrush that is greater than
99.9999% free of all bacteria, viruses, and fungi the
risk of harmful germs entering the bloodstream is
significantly reduced. When we are facing a situation
where oral germs have the potential to instigate the
occurrence of a stroke, heart attack, or other illness, it
just makes sense to do everything possible to protect
88 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

our bodies from germs and the longterm inflam

matory damage that germs can create. And there are
even more reasons to protect yourself from oral


It is unclear if periodontal disease and chronic

oral germs cause diabetes, but it is clear that
pathogenic germs from chronic mouth infections can
make managing the disease more difficult. The
bacterial infection caused by periodontal disease
weakens the bodys ability to manage its insulin
levels, which can greatly upset a diabetics blood
sugar levels. This can result in devastating
complications, such as blindness, paralysis, or death.

The Surgeon Generals Report on Oral Health

mentions periodontal disease in association with
diabetes. Generally speaking, the goal of diabetic care
is to lower blood glucose levels to safe levels.
According to the report, some investigators have
reported a connection between diabetes and
periodontal disease, proposing that not only are
diabetic patients more susceptible to periodontal
disease, but the presence of periodontal disease affects
glycemic control.

But there are some researchers and organiza

tions out there that are looking to oral germs, like the
ones associated with gum disease, as the possible
instigator of diabetes. The American Dental
Hygienists Association confirms that severe perio
dontal disease can increase the risk of developing
diabetes. Researchers at the University of Buffalo are
saying that gum disease may be more important than
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 89

obesity or age as a factor in the onset of diabetes in


While there is still much more to be discovered

about the connection between periodontal disease,
chronic oral infections, and diabetes, for now it seems
that the best thing to do is to protect yourself from
chronic mouth infections by choosing not to infect and
reinfect yourself with pathogenic oral bacteria each
time you brush. The possibility exists that brushing
with a germinfested toothbrush can instigate or
worsen periodontal disease, and therefore increase the
risk of diabetes, heart disease, or stroke. Its far better
to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to
chronic disease that can permanently effect your life
or even destroy your life. Sanitize your toothbrush.
Wipe out the risk of chronic infection and reinfection.
Ive made it easy with my solution.

Premature and Low

LowBirth Weight Babies

Recent local and national news segments have

been following the tiniest surviving premature baby
in medical history, a little girl named Madeline Mann,
as she turns 15 and enters high school. Doctors are
saying that her development into a normal teenager is
nothing less than a miracle. When she was born,
Madeline was only 9.9 ounces, weighing less than a
can of soda.

Today, 90% of newborns survive after 27 weeks

of pregnancy, but most preemies face major handicaps
like blindness and mental retardation as a result of
their early births. Madeline, it seems, is a rare
exception in her normal development. Her doctors
reported in their correspondence to medical journals
90 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

that extremely low birthweight, miracle newborns

can propagate false expectations. Most preemie
babies, if they survive, face serious health problems

Researchers are now discovering how oral

bacteria can cause premature and lowbirth weight
babies. Scientists at the American Academy of
Periodontology have found that women with gum
disease are 7 to 8 times more likely to give birth to
premature or low birth weight babies. What happens
is that inflammation from low grade gum disease
causes the body to release inflammatory chemicals,
which are linked to premature birth.

The American Dental Hygienists Association

confirms that the microorganisms known to cause
periodontal disease are transferred through the
mothers bloodstream to the fetus, a process which
has been found to increase the risk of premature

Additionally, the Surgeon Generals Report on

Oral Health documents that as a consequence of a
chronic oral bacterial infection, adverse pregnancy
outcomes may result. Toxins or other products
generated by periodontal bacteria in the mother may
reach the bloodstream, cross the placenta, and harm
the fetus. I dont think that I need to mention again
how these toxic germs are entering the bloodstream.

Research has also shown that the response of

the maternal immune system to infection (in the
mouth or elsewhere) elicits the continued release of
inflammatory mediators, growth factors, and other
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart, Healthy Body - 91

potent cytokines, which may directly or indirectly

interfere with fetal growth and delivery.

It seems as if these oral germs will stop at

nothing! Weve determined how germs from tooth
brush bristles can contribute to the appearance of
chronic oral infections (including periodontal disease).
We have seen how the noxious bacteria from oral
infections can reach the bloodstream through cuts in
the gums from toothbrush bristles. And we have seen
how the appearance of these bad germs in our
bloodstreams can dramatically increase the risk of
heart disease, stroke, diabetes, adverse pregnancy
outcomes, and other chronic diseases as well as acute

Ill admit that at first glance, all of this seems

like pretty bad news. After all, weve got to brush our
teeth. How are we to combat these germs that will
stop at nothing to invade out bodies, bypass our
immune systems, and complicate our health and the
health of those we love?

If youre like me, you will see the connection of

these diseases with oral germs in a positive,
optimistic way. Because we can kill these germs on
our toothbrushes! We can protect ourselves and our
most vulnerable internal pathways by simply making
sure that we brush our teeth, gums, tongues, and soft
tissues with a clean, sanitized toothbrush. And believe
it or not, having a sanitized, germfree toothbrush
available every time you brush is easier and safer
than you can imagine. I guarantee it.
The Secret Killer
Most of the time, inflammation is a life saver
that enables our bodies to fend
fend off various disease
causing bacteria, parasites, and viruses The instant
deadly microbes slip into the body, inflammation
marshals a defensive attack Once in a while,
however, the process doesnt shut down on cue
inflammation becomes chronic rather than transitory.
When this occurs, the body turns on itself with
aftereffects that seem to underlie a wide variety of
Time Magazine,
Magazine, The Secret Killer
February 23, 2004

It is a well established fact that chronic oral

infections can significantly, if not certainly, increase
the risk of acquiring or worsening serious health
problems like heart and lung disease, diabetes, stroke,
and premature or low birth weight. According to the
American Diabetes Association, approximately 90% of
adult Americans have or will have gum disease some
time in their lives. No wonder the U.S. Surgeon
General ominously describes chronic oral infections as
the nations Silent Epidemic!
Inflammation: The Secret Killer - 93

Perhaps there is some solution to this problem

that has yet to be widely discussed and acknowledged
by physicians. Maybe there is some explanation or
key elucidating the link between deadly illnesses like
heart disease and ongoing health problems like gum
disease one elusive medical theory that could
explain why chronic oral infections are tied together
with heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, etc.

The buzzword in science and medicine today

and the piece that may solve the puzzle is a 12letter
word called inflammation. Inflammation has become
one of the hottest areas of medical research.
According to a recent Time Magazine article,
inflammation has suddenly emerged as the most
talked about topic in medicine and medical research.
Hardly a week goes by without the publication of
another study uncovering a new way that
inflammation does harm to the body. Ironically, just a
few years ago nobody was interested in this stuff,
according to Dr. Paul Ridker, a cardiologist at
Brigham and Womens Hospital.

In February 2004, Time Magazine reserved its

coveted cover to a story it labeled THE SECRET
KILLER: The surprising link between INFLAM
ALZHEIMERS and other diseases. The ensuing
article reveals how many experts now strongly believe
that inflammation could be the elusive Holy Grail of
medicine that could help illuminate previously
unknown connections between certain chronic
diseases like gum disease and lifethreatening
diseases like heart disease.
94 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

In the first stages of their research, scientists

discovered that what makes inflammation so
significant is its inherent close connection to the
human immune system. The process of inflammation
is a basic endresult of our biological defense system,
which is what links it to a wide variety of diseases.

Inflammation A Fire Within

The probative and provocative question being

asked by researchers worldwide is: Could the same
process that repairs the body after minor injuries like
splinters, paper cuts, and mosquito bites lead to major
illnesses like heart disease, strokes, Alzheimers,
cancer, diabetes, and many other chronic degenerative

The process of inflammation is what causes

swelling and redness around a wound. Inflammation
is a vital part of what your body naturally does to fend
off infections from diseasecausing germs, viruses,
fungi (molds and yeasts), and parasites.

The immune system is incredibly adept at

detecting any kind of material that is nonself (and
therefore potentially harmful). When something is
picked up by the immune radar, the immune system
launches a defensive attack that lays waste to both
the invading agent(s) and any tissue that might have
been infected. When the body is hurt, the immune
system manufactures chemical signals that tell cells
to multiply without dying (e.g. skin closing over a cut),
and other chemicals spur the growth of brand new
blood vessels which feed the damaged and recovering
Inflammation: The Secret Killer - 95

Inflammation typically ends when the body is

healed. However, every once in a while the process
malfunctions and fails to shut down, making
inflammation chronic rather than transitory. The
programming problem, so to speak, can be caused by a
genetic predisposition or it can result from something
like high blood pressure, poor diet, or smoking.
Problems also arise from relentless bombardment by
pathogenic microbes as a result of daily infection and
reinfection by dirty toothbrush bristles, and these
lingering, lowlevel infections arent easily defeated.

Whatever the reason, the body turns on itself,

stuck in a steady injury and repair cycle that results
in the constant presence of powerful, inflammatory
immune cells throughout the body. Scientists say that
what makes this dangerous are the aftereffects, which
can have a broad range of degenerative and even life
threatening consequences that underlie several
serious diseases. Time Magazines coverage of this
newly sensational area of health research linked
inflammation with heart disease, diabetes, cancer,
Alzheimers disease, and arthritis, to name a few.

The Immune Response Our Bodys Intrinsic Lifeline

To better understand what is going on with

inflammation and how this condition may be linked
to your toothbrush it helps to know more about the
bodys immunological response.

I am always amazed when I learn about

different biological processes that occur within our
bodies every second of every day something as
simple as breathing in air from the outside is actually
a highly complex series of actions and reactions
96 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

occurring within and among thousands of cells, nodes,

nerves, and organs. What a beautifully intricate
wonder the body is, and the immune system is a vital
part of that beauty.

When the body is subjected to any kind of

trauma or invaded by a foreign microbe, a cascade of
events is automatically triggered to help the body
fight off the pathogens or recover from injury.
Immediately, thousands of cells are called to action
and various glands are signaled to release just the
right amount of chemicals and hormones and all of
this happens on a microscopic level without you ever

Right now you probably arent giving your

immune system enough credit and recognizing its
magnificent contributions to health and quality of life.
Most of us only take notice of our immune systems
when we happen to be sick, when the immune system
isnt working as optimally as it normally does, like
when some bug has slipped by its complex defense
shield. The rest of the time, we dont think about our
immune systems, which are working twentyfour
hours a day, seven days a week, battling any kind of
pathogenic germ(s) or parasite that we might have
eaten, inhaled, or been injected with directly into our

We just dont give our immune system enough

credit for the remarkable effort it puts forth into
preparing our bodies to fight off invaders. In addition
to fighting off harmful bacteria and other pathogens,
your immune system is also busy prestationing
millions of specialized sentinel cells all over that serve
to alert the immune system to the presence of any
Inflammation: The Secret Killer - 97

microbial trespassers. As soon as your skin is

punctured by a splinter or cut by the edge of an
envelope, these sentinel cells instantaneously detect
any bacteria that may have come along for the ride.

A special group of sentinel cells called mast

cells then excrete histamine, an important bodily
chemical that makes tiny blood vessels nearby
leaky. This allows for small amounts of plasma to
be released, which slows down invading bacteria and
paves the way for other faraway immune defenses to
more readily come to the rescue.

At the same time, another group of sentinels,

called macrophages, launch an immediate counter
attack, pouring out chemicals called cytokines that
signal for reinforcements. Its not too long before the
site of the infection is flooded with tons of immune
cells that are busy destroying pathogens and damaged

This sequence is the bodys general response to

any kind of attack its what you might call our
bodys innate immunity. As complicated as the
process sounds, organisms as simple as starfish are
known to defend themselves from infection this way.
More complex creatures like human beings have also
developed a supedup immunological reaction in
addition to the inherent immune response. Our
enhanced immune response is highly precisionguided
defense system that helps direct and intensify the
general response and creates specialized antibodies
made to target specific kinds of bacteria and viruses.
Both the general and advanced immunological
defenses work together to fight pitched battles until
all of the invading germs are annihilated. Then in a
98 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

final, intense bout of activity, a last wave of cytokine

chemicals is released, the inflammatory process
recedes and the healing process begins (or it should).

When operating properly, this is what the

inflammation process does for us; silently protecting
us from infection. Without it, we would probably die
shortly after birth, our bodies literally consumed by
bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Inflammation is a
lifesaver, but researchers are discovering that it also
has the potential to cause serious harm.

According to Time Magazine, the problem

begins when for one reason or another, the inflamm
atory process persists and becomes chronic. The final
effects of chronic inflammation vary from minor to
lifethreatening and researchers believe that it
depends a lot on where in the body the runaway
reaction takes hold. Interestingly, the first to
recognize the more serious consequences of
inflammation were heart doctors. They were among
the first to become aware of inflammations part in
the onset and progression of cardiovascular disease.

Is Your Heart on Fire?

Dr. Richard M. Fleming is a researcher,

internist, cardiologist, and author of the book Stop
Inflammation Now! A Step by Step Plan to Prevent
and Reverse Inflammation. He is among the first
physicians to seriously study inflammation and its
implications on the health of the heart. And because
everything in the body is bound in one way or another
to the immune system, Dr. Fleming extended his
knowledge of inflammation and heart disease to how
Inflammation: The Secret Killer - 99

inflammation can have a serious effect in instigating

or advancing other diseases in other parts of the body.

In his book, Dr. Fleming recalls that when he

started working with the American Heart Association
in 1976, the general belief at the time was that heart
disease occurred as a direct result of cholesterol,
smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, lack of activity,
being male, family history and diabetes.
Unfortunately Fleming says, take medication, lose
weight, stop smoking, or get other parents was where
the advise tended to end.

The focus, Dr. Fleming says, was more on

adding medication and performing surgeries than on
treating the underlying problem; we were treating the
symptoms and not the cause.

To further complicate things, researchers are

now learning that drugs designed to lower cholesterol
actually do not do very much to help people at high
risk of heart disease. In fact, some studies have shown
that some peoples cholesterol levels actually
increased after being placed on medication, Fleming
says. A July 25, 2004 article in the Los Angeles Times
states that treatment with a statin [cholesterol
lowering] drug did not significantly reduce the risk of
heart disease in a study of 3,000 people between the
ages of 70 and 82. Instead, the article says, statin
drugs were found to increase the risk of developing
cancer by 25%!

High cholesterol has been the physicians

standard indicator of heart disease for years, in
addition to high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking.
These factors were thought to stimulate conditions for
100 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

the development of cholesterol plaques inside the

arteries, which bring about blockages that cause heart
attack. Fleming notes that although various risk
factors were taken into account, high blood cholesterol
was considered the key. The way that doctors saw it,
the reason was simple: when a patients blood
cholesterol went up, plaques formed and heart disease
emerged. When it went down, the plaques receded
and the illness was reversed. This is how doctors
approached heart disease. They saw it primarily as
the result of elevated blood cholesterol.

But Fleming says that many of the facts and

statistics associated with heart disease seem to
contradict the cholesterolcausing heart disease

For instance, almost half of the people who

suffer from heart attacks each year have what doctors
describe as normal cholesterol levels, according to
the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLI).
Many of those who died from a heart attack were
discovered later upon autopsy to have shockingly
small cholesterol plaques in their coronary arteries.
Time Magazine reports that the most dangerous
plaques arent necessarily very large. Furthermore,
studies have shown that atrisk people who took
cholesterollowering medication and lowered the fat
content of their diets in order to lower cholesterol
continued to suffer significant heart disease, and
many died from heart attacks.

Dr. Tim Church of the Cooper Institute

explains in Flemings book that The traditional risk
factors family history, diabetes, smoking, hyper
Inflammation: The Secret Killer - 101

tension, and cholesterol explain less than half of the

heart disease cases.

Evidently, something yet to be discovered or

acknowledged was causing artery deposits to burst,
triggering clots that cut off the coronary blood supply.
Prescribing medications to control cholesterol and
advising patients to make important lifestyle changes
just werent working in the battle against heart

In the 1990s Dr. Fleming, among others,

realized that the missing piece in the heart disease
puzzle was the human immune system. One
afternoon, he recalls listening to a sales pitch from a
pharmaceutical representative about a new drug for
treating asthma. As Fleming tells it,

The medication was an interleukin inhibitor

and it worked by relaxing the smooth muscles
in the airways of the lungs. And then it dawned
on me there are smooth muscles in the blood
vessels of the body. What if interleukins,
messengers that communicate inflammation in
the body played a role in the relaxation or
failure to relax the smooth muscles in the blood

And so the connection between heart disease and

immunological inflammation was devised. For years
we have believed that high levels of blood cholesterol
were almost solely responsible for arteryclogging
plaques. However, as Fleming explains, what is really
happening is our immune cells are frantically
consuming decaying LDL cholesterol and homo
cysteine particles (a kind of amino acid) inside artery
102 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

walls. The immune system recognizes the LDL

cholesterol and homocysteine as potential threats and
sends out its army of immune cells.

As the immune cells consume the oxidized LDL

cholesterol and homocysteine, they become bloated
and eventually amalgamate to form a fatty streak
inside the artery wall. Over time, more and more
immune cells are sent to the arteries and the fatty
streak grows larger, forming a boil filled with
cholesterol and other debris. The boil grows larger
and eventually protrudes into the artery passageway.
This is what is called atherosclerosis, which as we
know, leads to heart attack.

The immune cells, in their blind efforts to

protect the body from harm, continue to amass inside
the arteries, continually attempting to devour the
plaque, making the plaques unstable. This is
particularly dangerous because the plaqueformed
boil is more likely to erupt, launching its harmful
contents into the arteries and leaving an open wound
in the artery wall. The bodys natural reaction to any
open wound is to form a clot, or a scab over the
wounds opening. This covering over the wound can
become so large that it can block the flow of blood to
the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.

It didnt take long for other physicians and

researchers to catch on. Another physician who has
been a part of some of the groundbreaking work on
inflammation is Dr. Paul Ridker, a cardiologist at
Brigham and Womens Hospital. Like Fleming, Dr.
Ridker had a hunch that something apart from high
levels of blood cholesterol was responsible for heart
Inflammation: The Secret Killer - 103

To test his theory, he devised a simple blood

test that could indicate the presence of inflammation
in his patients. As reported in the Time Magazine
article called The Secret Killer, Ridker decided to
test for Creactive protein (CRP), a molecule produced
by the liver in response to an inflammatory signal.
(Remember, the liver is an immunological organ.)

During an acute illness, a persons CRP levels

quickly shoot from less than 10 mg/L to 1,000 mg/L or
more. But what concerned Ridker were low, constant
levels of CRP within patients less than 10 mg/L a
level that indicates only a slight level of
inflammation. Indeed, the difference between normal
and elevated levels is so small that it must be
measured by a specially designed test called a high
sensitivity CRP test.

In the mid1990s, Ridker and his colleagues

were able to show that healthy middleaged men with
the highest CRP levels were three times as likely to
suffer from a heart attack in the next 6 years as those
with the lowest CRP levels. Further research has
determined that having a CRP level of 3.0 mg/L or
higher can triple ones risk of heart disease. In
contrast, people with extremely low levels of CRP
less than 0.5 mg/L rarely have heart attacks.

While LDL cholesterol is still a significant

factor in heart disease, Ridker and other scientists
believe that inflammation is what causes the
cholesterol to accumulate, harden, and eventually
burst within artery walls. As the level of LDL
cholesterol increases in the blood, the immune
systems macrophages are alerted to the presence of
something that doesnt belong and quickly try to clean
104 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

out the cholesterol. Somehow, the cytokine signals

begin driving the inflammation process instead of
turning it down, and the plaque becomes unstable.
Inflammation, therefore, contributes to the
propensity of artery plaques to rupture and cause
heart attack, Ridker explains.

Basically, this is what happens when

inflammation reaches the arteries a constant,
entirely selfsufficient injury and repair process
driven by the immune system takes place, which
results in the nonstop presence of hardworking
inflamed immune cells throughout the body. Time
Magazine reports that this situation can also produce
stroke, diabetes, Alzheimers, rheumatoid arthritis,
and cancer.

Stroke Brain Attacks

Like a heart attack, a stroke can happen when

the blood flowing through the arteries is restricted by
a blockage of some kind. Also similar to a heart attack
is the way in which inflammation can instigate the
buildup of plaque inside the walls of the carotid
arteries leading to the brain. As plaque accumulates
in the arteries, the arteries become obstructed, which
can restrict the flow of blood to the brain, resulting in
a stroke. This kind of stroke where blood flow to the
brain is restricted is called an ischemic stroke.

Inflammation is also involved in the occurrence

of strokes in the way that it assists in the blocking of
the arteries, causing them to burst or hemorrhage.
This is known as a hemorrhagic stroke. In cases of
both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, the brain is
permanently damaged because the normal blood flow
Inflammation: The Secret Killer - 105

and therefore the normal supply of oxygen to the

brain cells is interrupted or stopped. Strokes caused
by blockages ischemic strokes are so similar to
heart attacks that physicians call them brain

In the same way that inflammation causes the

buildup of plaques in the coronary arteries to bring on
a heart attack, inflammation generated by the
presence of bacteria or excess cholesterol causes
arterial plaques to amass, harden, and eventually
cause the obstruction of blood flow to the brain,
causing a stroke.

Inflammation packs a double punch, so to

speak, when it comes to heart disease and stroke.
First, inflammation initiates the process of arterial
plaque development and then makes plaque more
fragile and more likely to burst from clots. This is
why stroke and heart attack can occur so suddenly,
because inflammation can work silently and virtually
undetected. And the arteries do not have to be
entirely clogged with plaque all you need is
inflammation to make one plaque fragile enough to
burst at the wrong time.

But now that doctors are learning more about

inflammation, the secret cause of heart attacks and
stroke, they can start implementing preventative
measures and developing procedures to combat
inflammation. While we can never completely
eliminate inflammation remember, it is a critical
part of our immune function we can develop ways to
reduce its chronic occurrence inside our bodies.
106 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Since the inflammatory process is so intimately

bound to the immune system and its essential
functions are triggered in response to a bacterial
invasion, I believe the best way to decrease inflamma
tion is to protect ourselves from infection, especially
chronic infections that last
last for long periods of time,
chronic infections including gum disease!

In fact, infection control could be even more

important than you think, as inflammation is also
linked to diabetes, Alzheimers disease, rheumatoid
arthritis, and even cancer! And when analyzed, isnt
inflammation exactly what happens when you brush
your teeth and abrade the soft membranes of your
mouth with dirty toothbrush bristles? Dont these
mucous membranes go through the very same process
that repairs the body after injury that is analogous to
the damage caused by a splinter or a paper cut?

A New Way to Look at Diabetes

Early in the twentieth century, doctors were

desperate to find an effective treatment for diabetes,
so they tried giving their patients high dosages of
aspirinlike compounds called salicylates (this is
before Dr. Frederick Banting isolated insulin in the
1920s). Sure enough, the salicylate reduced patients
sugar levels, but not without serious sideeffects that
included a constant ringing in the ears, headaches
and dizziness.

Today we treat diabetics by providing insulin

injections for those people whose bodys are unable to
produce the hormone (type I diabetes), or treating
those patients whose bodys resist the hormone and
consequently halt its production (type II diabetes).
Inflammation: The Secret Killer - 107

But doctors have been reexamining the

salicylate approach for clues as to how diabetes
develops. What they have found is that the disease is
actually a complex interplay between inflammation,
insulin, and fat either in the diet or in large folds
under the skin. Fat cells, believe it or not, behave a
lot like immune cells, spewing out inflammatory
cytokines, especially during periods of weight gain.

While the role of inflammation in diabetes is

still unclear, the case for a central part is getting
stronger. Time Magazine reports that Dr. Steve
Shoelson, a senior investigator at the Joslin Diabetes
Center in Boston, has bred a strain of mice whose fat
cells are supercharged inflammation factories. As
they gain weight, the mice become less efficient at
utilizing insulin and go on to develop diabetes (this is
exactly what happens in human beings). What is
interesting is that Dr. Shoelson says that we can
reproduce the whole syndrome just by inciting

This suggests that a welltimed intervention in

the inflammatory process might reverse some of the
effects of diabetes. If inflammation is ignited in
response to invasion by bacteria, could controlling our
bodys exposure to infection help us maintain the
correct utilization of insulin? Right now, the answer
is unclear, but the evidence strongly suggests that
protecting the immune system so as to reduce
inflammation is undoubtedly more beneficial than not
doing anything at all. This seems especially
significant when we consider the fact that people with
diabetes are much more likely to have chronic oral
infections and gum disease than people without
diabetes and treating gum disease (a chronic
108 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

infection) helps people with diabetes control their

blood sugar, thereby improving their insulin

Aspirin for Alzheimers?


Similar to the way in which doctors noticed the

progress of diabetics who were treated with anti
inflammatory medication, doctors have observed the
decelerated development of Alzheimers in elderly
patients who were taking antiinflammatory drugs
for arthritis or heart disease.

Time Magazine reports that the immune sys

tem may mistakenly see the characteristic plaques
and tangles in the brains of Alzheimers patients as
damaged tissue that needs to be repaired or cleared
out. If so, the natural inflammatory reaction would be
causing more harm than good. Using anti
inflammatory drugs may limit, or at least delay
inflammation and any resulting damage to the brain.
Better yet, taking infectioncontrol precautions to
permanently reduce inflammation throughout the
entire body especially in elderly patients may be
even more beneficial.

Cancer The Wound the Never Heals

Many people are surprised to learn that cancer

begins its lethal course from our bodys normal cells;
only something happens to change our normal cells
into dangerous, reproducing cancerous cells. Actually,
many things have to happen. Scientists generally
agree that a cell must undergo ten or more mutations
for it to become capable of progressing into cancer.
Cells mutate for a number of reasons, including
Inflammation: The Secret Killer - 109

chronic irritation and inflammation, in reaction to

various elements such as exposure to toxic chemicals,
assault by a virus, or bacteria damage from
environmental factors such as the suns UV radiation,
or the agingprocess itself.

The body may view persistent insults (like

mouth abrasions) as wounds that need to be healed,
according to Michael Thun, head of epidemiological
research at the American Cancer Society. But heres
the problem, the more cells that make copies of
themselves, the more probable the cells are to make
mutations that can lead to cancerous tumors.
Researchers are exploring the possibility that
mutation and inflammation are mutually reinforcing
processes that, if left unchecked, can transform
normal cells into potentially deadly tumors. In short,
inflammation may be the process that launches the
mutation of a normal cell into a cancerous one.

How might this happen? Well, one of the most

powerful weapons produced by the immune systems
macrophage cells are oxygen freeradicals. These
potent molecules destroy just about anything and
everything that crosses their path particularly DNA.
An assault on a DNA molecule by one of these free
radical assassins that does not completely kill the cell
could lead to a genetic mutation that is left to
continually grow and divide.

According to Lisa Coussens, a cancer biologist

at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the
University of California at San Francisco, the abnor
mal growth is still not a tumor but it registers as non
self when scanned by the immune system. When the
immune system launches its reactionary response, it
110 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

brings along with its immune cells growth factors and

proteins that call other inflammatory cells. Coussens
explains that those things come in and go heal, heal,
heal. But instead of healing, youre feeding, feeding,
feeding the abnormal cell growth.

Dr. William Joel Meggs, author of The

Inflammation Cure says that any assault on the body
that results in long
longterm inflammation is capable of
causing cancer. This is because the different cells
involved in the inflammatory process are known to
cause cellular mutations that predispose a cell to
becoming cancerous, and helping precancerous cells to
become cancerous by fostering angiogenesis, where
the cancerous cells are nourished by confused
immune cells.

While still many components need to be

explored, it is clear that maintaining a healthy
inflammatory balance within your system is vitally
important to overall health.

But how is all of this related to gum disease

and your dirty toothbrush? Well, remember that Dr.
Fleming explains inflammation as a condition in
which the immune system sends out immune cells to
fight an infection or excess quantities of toxins in the
blood, including excess cholesterol, mutated cells, or
bacteria. Chronic inflammation can therefore be
brought about when immune cells are sent out to fight
off bacterial infections, especially persistent, chronic
oral infections like gum disease.
Inflammation: The Secret Killer - 111

Inflammation When it Turns Chronic

We know how inflammation operates on a

cellular level, both when it is working optimally and
when it malfunctions. But what is it that makes this
helpful mechanism turn destructive? What makes
inflammation turn from a transitory reaction into a
chronic, and therefore harmful reaction?

Dr. William Joel Meggs, author of The

Inflammation Cure says that the most popular theory
on what causes inflammation in general is the
response toinjury
to injury hypothesis. Chronically occurring
inflammation can therefore arise as a result of some
kind of constant, recurring injury on the system.

Meggs says that environmental irritants like

air pollution or pesticides, behavioral factors like
smoking or poor diet, ones genetic predisposition, and
bacterial infection can all act as instigators to chronic
inflammation. This means that a number of factors
both within and outside of your control can cause
inflammation to malfunction and transform from a
beneficial, lifesaving response, to a degenerative,
chronic response. The most important of these
contributing factors I believe is infection, especially
infections that are recurring and chronic.

Since inflammation is the bodys reaction to

infection, it is reasonable to believe that any kind of
infection from bacteria especially recurring
instances of infection could help inflammation to
turn chronic.

If you think about it, this is exactly what you

are doing when you brush your teeth. The hundreds
112 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

of thousands of germs nestled within the bristles of

your toothbrush make their way directly into the
tissues in your mouth and then into your bloodstream
through cuts made in your gums and tongues while
brushing. This happens every day, twice a day (or

If we take a minute to consider gum disease,

which is a kind of chronic bacterial infection, it is easy
to see how this condition can contribute to systemic
inflammation turned chronic. A chronic infection like
gum disease can undoubtedly affect the way in which
your bodys inflammatory reaction performs. When
left untreated, it can persist as a chronic, ongoing
infection in our mouths. Remember, gum disease is
caused by an infectious, contagious bacterium that
invades the delicate soft tissue of our gums and
inflammation is what causes our gums to become red
and inflamed.

Dr. Meggs notes that our gums are the most

visible indicators of an inflammation imbalance in our
bodies and we would be wise to pay attention
because an inflammation imbalance in the mouth has
the potential to cause inflammatory problems in many
other areas of the body, like the arteries. Because it is
intimately linked to the the immune system, inflam
mation affects the entire body, not just individual
parts. When one area of the body is experiencing a
chronic bout of inflammation, other parts of the body
are also implicated.

While Dr. Meggs warns us to take notice of any

possible inflammation in our mouths, we would also
be wise to stop reinfecting ourselves each day with
pathogenic, (gum) diseasecausing bacteria, viruses,
Inflammation: The Secret Killer - 113

and fungi from our toothbrush bristles, as these

germs may too induce an inflammatory response that
turns chronic.

A Web of Connections

Research on inflammation is uncovering a

fascinating network of interconnections between
various diseases that we never dreamed would be
interrelated. Inflammation can explain the connec
tion between chronic oral infections and heart disease,
stroke, and diabetes, to name just a few. The same
inflammatory factors that cause heart attacks are also
suspected to cause stroke, diabetes, gum disease,
premature birth and many other seemingly unrelated
disorders. This is because chronic inflammation in one
area of the body can affect the rest of the body, and
when we treat inflammation in one part of the body,
other parts of the body also become healthier. And its
why the former U.S. Surgeon General, C. Everett
Koop said, You are not healthy without good oral

So if we eliminate the germs on our toothbrush

bristles by sanitizing our toothbrushes prior to every
use, then we can bring a final end to chronic infection
and reinfection from germs on our toothbrushes, and
hopefully help to prevent, or at least minimize,
chronic mouth infections like gum disease. Putting an
end to chronic mouth infections will eradicate the
need for a chronic inflammatory response in the
mouth, and thereby reduce inflammation throughout
the body. Remember, the mouth is the bodys prime
gateway for bacterial invasion and infection. Why not
do everything we can to prevent recurring instances of
infection directly at the source?
114 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Now that we know exactly who the SECRET

KILLER is, we can imprison him for life, at least as it
pertains to chronic toothbrush germs and its
relationship to what the Surgeon General has
described as the SILENT EPIDEMIC. Lets protect
our immune systems by giving them a permanent
vacation from toothbrush germs that we selfinject
into our bloodstreams multiple times per day. Ill say
it again, It just makes sense. Heres how
Finally, the Natural
Solution has Arrived!
The Revolutionary, Patented
Germ Terminator Steam/Dry Heat
Toothbrush Sanitizer
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I am confident that the research compiled for

this book has helped enlighten you as to why it is so
critically important to brush with a clean, germfree
toothbrush every time you brush for the rest of your
life. I hope that you are now aware and conscious of
the facts. Particularly that, although you may not be
showing signs of illness right now, chronic brushing
with germinfested toothbrushes may be responsible
for you or someone you care about becoming sick in
the future. Ive informed you how the bristles of your
toothbrush can allow pathogenic germs to gain direct
access into your bloodstream and how your dirty
toothbrush could be the cause of silent, chronic
infections, gum disease, and gingivitis, and ultimately
for the corresponding chronic inflammation in your
mouth, arteries, vital organs, and tissues. If you are
not brushing with a sanitized toothbrush, your trusty
116 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

toothbrush may be causing more harm than good to

your health.

At least you now have the information so that

you can make an informed decision as to whether you
want to go on using a dirty toothbrush or switch to a
clean, sanitized toothbrush. Regardless of your
decision, I am grateful that you have listened to my
theory with an open mind.

Now, Im not trying to suggest that a dirty

toothbrush will explain all of your health problems, if
you have any at the present time (which I hope you
dont), but what I want to impart to you is that using
a contaminated, germinfested toothbrush simply
cannot be beneficial to your oral health or your total
health and it may be, perhaps, a silent factor in the
onset of many serious health problems.

What I have done with this book is present as

much of the evidence as I could, without boring you to
death, that supports the possibility and probability
that toothbrush germs are a serious threat to your
longterm health.

But why, you ask, hasnt your doctor told you

about this? Or if you have already asked your doctor,
why is he or she among other medical and dental
establishment experts who believe that a dirty
toothbrush is okay to use every single time you brush?

In response to these questions, it is my belief

that many people are not willing to accept the reality
of the toothbrushgerm problem, because the problem
has never been scientifically addressed, and its
always easier to maintain the status quo than to
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 117

change an ageold habit no matter how bad it is. It

may also be because toothbrush germs are not
typically associated with acute illnesses like the flu,
colds, and bouts with diarrhea, though they should be.
Speaking of unpleasant bowel movements, how many
cases of diarrhea are caused by rotting food particles
and E.coli germs found on toothbrushes? (We will
probably never know.) Weve been using and reusing
our toothbrushes day in and day out for as long as we
can remember and most of us, at least those of us
under the age of 50, dont appear to be that sick. So
why would the establishment bother to fix something
that isnt broken?

Well, there is something broken that needs to

be fixed for the good of our health. We all know that
the toothbrush is a necessary device. In fact, its so
important that when a 2003 survey conducted by the
LemelsonMIT Invention Index at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology asked which of five inventions
Americans could not live without, the toothbrush
emerged as the undisputed champ, beating out the
car, the personal computer, the cell phone, and the
microwave in that order, as the most prized
innovation. From the five choices which included the
toothbrush, the automobile, the personal computer,
the cell phone and the microwave more than a third
of teens (34%) and almost half of adults (42%) cited
the toothbrush. The automobile ranked a close second,
getting votes from 31% of teens and 37% of adults. Of
the remaining choices, teens ranked the personal
computer third (16%), the cell phone fourth (10%) and
the microwave last (7%). Adults deemed the
remaining choices equally important; the personal
computer (6%), microwave oven (6%) and the cell
phone (6%) each tied for third place. Because of the
118 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

MIT survey, the toothbrush finding received

incredible attention because it showed that the public
recognizes that great inventions don't have to be

"Those of us here (at MIT) know the simple

things are very, very important," said Merton
Flemings, an inventor with 29 patents to his name
who runs the LemelsonMIT Index. "It surprises us
that other people who are not scientists recognize that
too." Aside from its simplicity, perhaps we find this
invention so important because we use it every day.

In fact, we pretty much have to use the worlds

most important invention if we want to maintain good
oral health. And up until now, there has not been a
means by which we can effectively, easily, and safely
sanitize this indispensable medical device. There is, of
course, the steam autoclave that physicians and
dentists use to steam sterilize their instruments, but
an autoclave would obliterate your toothbrush and
autoclaves cost thousands of dollars. That is one big
reason why no one has cared to address the problem
because there was no solution!

As I stated previously, another reason is that

the health problems associated with brushing with a
germinfested toothbrush do not instigate immediate,
acute symptoms (except for the flu, cold, or bouts of
diarrhea that are typically thought to have come from
somewhere else). Youre not sick right now, so
brushing with a dirty toothbrush must be okay, right?
Wrong! The damage from daily brushing with a
contaminated toothbrush can take years or decades to
manifest into serious health problems and because
no one, until just now, has ever come up with a
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 119

simple, sensible, and safe solution, I think its still too

early to expect any kind of edict from the medical
establishment that warns the general public that
contaminated toothbrushes are a real health risk. I
believe a public health warning will have to be
driven by someone like Oprah who has everyones ear
from a commonsense perspective. Maybe then the
CDC or the ADA will listen and take action.

You see, many doctors resist this kind of

change because it could alter the way in which they
treat their patients and seriously modify the
information and advice that they give to the people
who visit their offices. The renowned scientist, Max
Plank, explains this kind of inflexibility nicely:

Important scientific innovation rarely makes

its way to gradually winning over its
opponents. What does happen is that its
opponents gradually die out and the growing
generation is familiar with the new idea from
the beginning.

Changing a wellestablished habit like brushing with

a germcontaminated toothbrush can take genera
tions. The respective stories of Dr. Ignac Semmelweis
and Dr. Barry Marshall serve as real life examples of

Listen to what one doctor had to say about new

theories and ideas that could modify his existing

When I have to add those things to what I

already have on my plate, I will. In the
meantime, I have enough to worry about.
120 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

At what point will this doctor decide when he has to

change his medical practices and revise the
information and recommendations that he gives his
patients? How many people will become sick or even
die slowly, before any changes are made? What will
it take?

This is exactly why it is so important to be

your own doctor, so to speak. Go in for that second
opinion, question your physician and his approach to
a particular problem, educate yourself, read the latest
health newsletters, eat right, exercise, and do
everything possible to protect your immune system.
Learn as much as you can about the latest health
research and what you can do outside of the doctors
office to improve your health and enhance your
quality of life. Your health and well being in many
ways is entirely up to you, and that is probably why
you have decided to read this book.

Not all doctors and scientists within the

medical field are so rigid in their thinking. Just look
at the groundbreaking work of Dr. Fleming, Dr.
Meggs, and Dr. Ridker. But for the most part, the
medical community has proved to be rather stiff and
archaic in its willingness to accept new theories,
change existing practices, and alter its ways of
thinking about disease. Probably the biggest reason
that the medical establishment has not taken up my
toothbrushgerm theory wholeheartedly is because
(i) its brand new, and (ii) there hasnt been a safe,
effective, and affordable solution to the problem, until
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 121

Remember, your toothbrush is unbelievably filthy!

Surveys show that people hold onto their

toothbrushes like old friends. You probably under
stand by now how dirty and germridden it is, but
honestly, when was the last time you unremorsefully
replaced your trusty toothbrush with a new one?
According to a survey by ColgatePalmolive, if you
live in America you have probably kept yours for
around 9 months! (Australians replace their
toothbrushes after about 8 months and people in
Japan exchange theirs every 3 months. Believe it or
not, people in some European countries keep their
toothbrushes on average for 2 years!)

If hundreds of thousands of germs can

accumulate on your toothbrush after just one
brushing, reproduce in a humid environment lavished
with food particles, and attract other airborne germs,
imagine how many disgusting germs are nestled in
the damp nooks and crannies of your toothbrush
bristles after a long 9 to 24 months of use!
Furthermore, in humid environments, like your
bathroom shower, a single bacterium cell can sprout
into 1 billion cells overnight.

And with the increased popularity of electric

and sonic powered toothbrushes and the very fact that
the replacement brushheads for these powered
toothbrushes are so much more expensive than
regular toothbrushes, I believe that the data will soon
show that people hold onto these brushheads even
longer than regular brushes. So, obviously, powered
brushheads need to be sanitized as well. Maybe
more so because of the greater risk for abrasion and
microcuts on oral soft tissues from the extreme
122 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

bristle velocity and rapid oscillations of these powered


Whats amazing is that as early as the 1920s

scientists had already recognized the propensity of
toothbrushes to be significant germ carriers. Lets go
back to the New Haven Department of Health article
that stated:

The toothbrush, after one use, is never a

sanitary instrument, and what pathogenic
germs it must contain when used day after

The toothbrush, the article goes on to say, is a

menace. Interestingly, even though scientists have
known the toothbrush is never sanitary, no one
thought to implicate this instrument as a possible
cause of disease.

If you think about it for a minute, this makes

perfect sense. The toothbrush is used day in and day
out, twice a day or more, as a tool to remove plaque
and bacteria from the teeth, gums, and tongue. Then
where do the germs go? Some of them are expelled
into the sink when rinsing, but most of them, stay
lodged on and in between the tiny bristles of your
toothbrush and in the nooks and crannies where the
bristles fit into the toothbrush head. Rinsing with tap
water is not effective in killing germs. Thats why
dentists and physicians dont rinse their instruments
in tap water and use them on their next patients. Its
really a nobrainer. The germs remain on your
toothbrush in addition to the germs from airborne and
direct contamination until your next brushing where
they rerenter your mouth (and infect your
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 123

bloodstream though tiny cuts in the gums) and are

then joined by more new germs that have
accumulated in your mouth since your last brushing.
Scientists have known for decades that the toothbrush
is unclean its simple to understand.

The Dirtiest Room in the House

In addition to the germs already existing in the

mouth that end up on the bristles of your toothbrush
and breed and multiply, millions of germs and
bacteria can assemble on your toothbrush from its
everyday storage environment, the bathroom.

The typical household bathroom is popularly

known as the dirtiest room in the house. Whether
the bathroom in your house is the most filthy area of
your home or you take care to neurotically clean it
every 2 to 3 days (and its still the germiest room in
the house), there is no doubt that loads of germs,
blood, and other bodily fluids are flying around as a
result of handwashing, toiletflushing, bathing,
shaving, or any of the other grooming and personal
hygiene activities that we carry out inside this little
room. The bathroom is so dirty that the Chicago
Dental Society recommends storing your toothbrush
in an entirely different room of the house!

Some of you may have heard about the scientist

from the University of Arizona, Dr. Charles Gerba,
PhD, who conducted an experiment to measure the
levels of bacterial and viral contamination within a
typical bathroom. He tested for germs and bacteria by
positioning different pieces of absorbent gauze around
the bathroom and measuring the levels of bacteria
evident on them after each toilet flush.
124 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

What he found was that contaminated water

droplets travel in an invisible cloud 6 to 8 feet up and
out from the area of the toilet, so the areas of the
bathroom that are not directly adjacent to the toilet
are contaminated. This is what Gerba calls the
aerosol effect. The bacterial mist has also been
shown to stay in the air for at least two hours after
each flush, maximizing its chance to float around and
contaminate damp surfaces in the bathroom. And this
doesnt even take into consideration certain variables
including, but not limited to, room design, ventilation
ducts, fans, and proximity of sewer lines to the sewer
lines of neighbors (e.g. an apartment or condominium

As it turns out, the toilet is not the only

location in the bathroom to exhibit high
concentrations of disgusting bacteria and viruses.
Surprisingly, the highest incidence of nasty bathroom
germs occurs within and around the sink! Thats
right, the sink! The same place where you wash your
face and hands, and brush your teeth each day!

What happens is that germs find their way into

and around the sink when we wash our dirty hands
and they can fly in there from an aerosol cloud when
we flush the toilet. Also because of the constant
presence of water in and around the sink this provides
an excellent environment for microorganisms to grow
and breed. Thus, sinks tend to have the highest
concentration of microbial colonies. Dr. Gerba created
an anecdote to accurately illustrate the bacterial
situation within the bathroom,

If an alien came from space and studied

bacterial counts, he would probably conclude
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 125

that he should wash his hands in your toilet

and crap in your sink.

Gerba goes on to say that the alien would certainly

not put your toothbrush in his mouth. Because of its
uncovered, openair position in the bathroom, its
perpetual moistened state, and its daily buildup of
germs from your mouth and from the air,
toothbrushes are the perfect places for bacteria,
viruses, and fungi to reside.

How many of us rest our toothbrushes on the

surfaces of a dirty sink, or how many of us have had
our toothbrush slip into the same dirty sink or even
on the floor? If you are like most people, the
toothbrush is conveniently stored on or next to the
sink, contained within the infamous community cup
holding the toothbrushes of every person in the
household. Its here in the decorative and grimy
family toothbrush cup that toothbrushes can actually
share germs. This convenient storage habit is why the
Journal of the Canadian Dental Association has
stated that toothbrushes can transmit disease. In
technical terms, this is described as cross

Most of us would never think of sharing our

toothbrushes not even with family members or
significant others. Why? Well, some things are just
considered sacred, things that we simply dont share
out of tradition or social mores. But aside from all
that, there are actually good reasons to be selfish with
your toothbrush.
126 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

According to the Academy of General Dentistry,

Toothbrushes can become heavily contamin

ated with oral microorganisms. Because most
families store toothbrushes in a common
storage place, airborne bacteria can move
from toothbrush to toothbrush, passing
opportunistic infections like periodontal
disease and the common cold.

Still, no matter how much of a germ freak you

may call yourself or how often you clean your
bathroom and practice techniques to limit the toilet
aerosol effect and control the amount of sink germs
that reach your toothbrush, unfortunately, there is
virtually no escaping toothbrush germs in the normal
course of business. Even new toothbrushes arent
safe. A study published in the Journal of the
Oklahoma Dental Association found that 4 out of 5
(80%) brand new toothbrushes from one manufacturer
were contaminated right out of the box.

Think about it: you dont reuse the same piece

of dental floss day in and day out. Nowadays floss is
made from durable synthetic fibers, capable of being
used more than once yet none of us would think to
reuse dental floss! What makes us think that the
microorganisms that are collected on dental floss are
so different from the particles accumulated on your
toothbrush? Or is it that the toothbrush is much more
expensive than a piece of floss so we just deal with the

Instead of buying a new toothbrush each time

you brush, as they are getting more and more
expensive and some are contaminated anyway, why
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 127

not sanitize your toothbrush and kill the germs?

Finally, there is a safe, simple and completely
effective solution to this dirty problem and it makes
perfect sense. After all, I invented it. Now that there
is a way to solve this dirty little problem, you can
easily use a clean, sanitized toothbrush, and thereby
protect your immune system from all of the nasty
germs living on your toothbrush bristles.

When you hear it steam, you know its clean

So, what is the solution to the toothbrush

germ problem? How can we safely and effectively kill
all of the germs on our toothbrushes AND ensure that
no germs find their way into the delicate bristles of
our toothbrushes in between brushings?

There are actually a few methods floating

around out there, but only one is the safest, most
reliable, and most effective: the Germ Terminator
Toothbrush Sanitizer. Using the Germ Terminator is
handsdown the best way to make sure that your
toothbrush is completely germ free. The GT (as my
kids call it) uses the proven power of steam to kill all
germs, bacteria, viruses, fungi (molds and yeasts) and
any other disgusting microbes that may have collected
on your toothbrush. Most importantly, the Germ
Terminator also provides a clean, germfree
environment where your toothbrush can be safely
stored until the next time you use it.

Doctors and dentists wouldnt think of using

one of their instruments without steamsterilizing
them first. Mothers, you wouldnt reuse the nipple
from a baby bottle or a thermometer without boiling it
or steaming it, would you? Of course not! Why?
128 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Because we all know that hightemperature steam

combined with the proper timed duration of steaming,
is virtually the only way to successfully kill all
potentially pathogenic germs and microbes. Thats
exactly what dentists and physicians do to sterilize
their instruments.

The Germ Terminator is entirely unique with

its patented steamsanitization and germfree
storage system. Using the premeasured GT cup, you
just add a little water to the GT. The Germ
Terminator generates a burst of continuous germ
killing steam that safely, efficiently, and effectively
wipes out greater than 99.9999% of all germs tested
in major laboratory testing with absolutely no germs
detected after any test! Again, all you need to do is
add water!

Ive heard about other methods for cleaning

your toothbrush, like soaking it in bleach, hydrogen
peroxide, or Listerine, boiling it in a pot on the stove,
placing it in the dishwasher, exposing it to ultra
violet light radiation or ozone, and some people even
think that just leaving it out to dry will effectively get
rid of all the germs. A few of these techniques might
work to kill some germs, but they are either
essentially ineffective and/or potentially hazardous to
your health.

Chemicals & Disinfectants

Everyone trusts bleach as an effective

household disinfectant. We use it to clean our kitchen
floors, countertops, stoves, or bathroom sinks. But
bleach can be poisonous to humans. Chlorine bleach is
highly irritating to the skin, eyes, nose, and throat,
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 129

and if mixed with other chemicals, it can even act as a

potential carcinogen. Soaking your toothbrush in a
bleach concentrate or even a mixture of bleach and
water is more dangerous than not doing anything at
all to clean your toothbrush! Additionally, soaking
your toothbrush in bleach can damage the bristles,
causing them to become more sharp and stiff, making
brushing more injurious to the gums, even painful.
Remember, what ever is on the bristles of your
toothbrush can be injected directly into your
bloodstream. And trust me, you dont want bleach in
your bloodstream.

On the surface, mouthwash containing alcohol

seems like a safer alternative to bleach. Some folks
that I have talked to soak their toothbrush heads in
an antiseptic mouthwash like Listerine in between
brushings. While a long Listerine soak might help to
kill some germs, it wont kill many of them, and what
prevents germs from flying into and breeding in a
cup of mouthrinse?

According to the CDC, this practice actually

may lead to crosscontamination of toothbrushes if
the same disinfectant solution is used over a period of
time, or if its used by multiple users. Additionally,
leaving alcohol in a cup has proven hazardous to
young children who are attracted to colorful liquids.
Many cases have been cited where young children
have ingested such open containers containing alcohol
and some of which have resulted in damage to their

In February 2004, a Cincinnati news station

WCPO aired an independent watchdog segment in
which they tested the Listerine soak against the
130 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Germ Terminator to determine which one has the

greater ability to kill toothbrush germs. Three used
toothbrushes were taken to the Cincinnati Health
Department where they were tested for their bacterial
content. One of the toothbrushes was left to dry in the
air, a second rinsed in Listerine, and a third steam
cleaned by the Germ Terminator. The airdried
toothbrush exhibited heavy bacterial growth but,
surprisingly, the airdried brush displayed fewer
germs than did the Listerinerinsed toothbrush. The
Listerinetoothbrush showed heavy bacterial growth
on its Petri dish, while the Germ Terminator worked
perfectly, leaving its Petri dish smooth, clean, with
not a single germ colony growing. (That was a great,
unexpected, and unsolicited inthenews boost for
the GT!)

Boil it in a Pot!

You could also try boiling your toothbrush in

boiling water before using it, but who wants to do that
every single time you brush? Plus, immersing your
toothbrush in boiling hot water for several minutes
can severely damage the handle and the bristles of
the brush rendering it unusable. A small household
experiment conducted by dentist Mary Zolnowski
Casey, DDS, published in JADA, found that boiling
toothbrushes was an effective way to clean them, but
the procedure, while timeconsuming and incon
venient, left the brushes bent and warped and the
bristles frayed and sharp. This dentist found the
dishwasher to be a somewhat effective homeremedy,
but who has time to run their toothbrush through the
wash cycle prior to every single toothbrushing? And
where would one store their toothbrush in between
brushings after taking it out of the dishwasher or the
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 131

water pot that would not leave it exposed to airborne

germ contamination?

Ultraviolet (UV) Light Radiation

Some toothbrush sanitizing devices use

ultraviolet light (UV radiation) to kill germs. One
UVradiation device works by exposing toothbrushes
to ultraviolet radiation within an enclosed chamber
which contains a UV radiation light bulb. The user
places a toothbrush into the device and presses the
start button. The device then activates the ultraviolet
radiation for several minutes and then shuts off.
Sounds easy enough, but there are problems with UV
radiation including the warning label, which states
that UV radiation is hazardous to the eyes and to the

Ultraviolet radiation kills cells, including germ

cells, by damaging their DNA. Thats what radiation
does. To help us understand what happens on a
molecular level, Anne Rammelsberg, a chemistry
professor at Millikin University, explains that UV
light radiation initiates a reaction between two
cellular molecules of thymine, one of the bases that
make up DNA. What is left after the damage is a
thymine dimer, a molecule consisting of two identical,
simpler molecules. These remaining molecules
attempt to repair the damage by removing the two
bases and filling in the gaps with new nucleotides.
When the damage inflicted by the UV light radiation
is extensive, however, the repair process can break
down. The longer the cells are exposed to the
ultraviolet light, the more thymine dimmers are
formed in the DNA and the greater the risk of an
incorrect repair or a missed repair. If a cellular
132 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

process is disrupted because of an incorrect or

incomplete repair, the cell cannot carry out its normal
functions. At this point, depending on the extent of
the damage, the cell will die, or the cell mutates into a
precancerous, cancerous cell, or a super bug.

This last portion of the UV process is what

concerns me most. Ultraviolet light is extremely
powerful up to 10,000 times the intensity of the sun
and it has the power to permanently alter or mutate
cells, thats what radiation can do. Each day we hear
more about the potential of super bugs to wreak
havoc on our bodies and resist antibiotics. If UV light
has the ability to mutate healthy cells, it probably has
the ability to mutate germs cells too. You wouldnt
want to infect yourself with germs in the first place,
let alone super germs mutated by ultraviolet light

Furthermore, color pigments and/or rubber

handles greatly impede the effectiveness of UV
radiation. In a nutshell, if the UV radiation cant
shine on them, microorganisms cannot be killed.
Therefore, UV radiationtype devices specifically
require the use of clearplastic toothbrushes so that
the light radiation can shine through as much as
possible. Thus, anything that isnt perfectly
transparent on a toothbrush acts like SPF sunblock
on the skin to prevent the harmful mutagenic
properties of the suns UV radiation. No clear
toothbrush is 100% transparent and therefore UV
radiation cannot effectively kill all of the germs on
your toothbrush.

Additionally, if the strength of the UV radiation

is not successful in killing a specific germ, then the
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 133

reduced strength of the radiation could allow a

particular germ to mutate, potentially creating a bug
with altered DNA or even a type of super bug that
could be even more pathogenic than the original bug.

When I was in college, I worked for Miller

Brewing Company in their biochemistry department.
Miller was a great company with great people. They
were a lifesaver for me at that time in my life because
my job there basically put me through school. While I
was there one of my projects was to mutate a certain
type of yeast that would improve yeast function in the
beer brewing process. The new, mutated yeast would
hopefully both increase the rate of fermentation and
prolong the lifespan of the yeast. In the biochemistry
lab, I produced hundreds of mutations of the yeast.
What did I use to produce the mutations? UV light
radiation. I varied the mutation by subjecting the
original yeast to varying amounts of UV light
radiation. Therefore, I have first hand knowledge that
UV radiation can mutate organisms, and that to me is
scary when it comes to toothbrush germs. I would
never want to inject germs into my system, let alone a
mutated germ or super bug!

Furthermore, the capacity of UV radiation to

kill toothbrush germs is limited to only those areas of
the brush that the light radiation can directly reach.
The bristles of your toothbrush are tightly bound
together at the bottoms, leaving dark areas in
between where germs can hide and the radiation is
unable to reach. If your bristles become worn or
frayed after a few weeks of use, then the areas of the
bristles exposed to the UV radiation can become even
more limited.
134 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

A Better Way

These methods that I have just mentioned are

not safe, simple, or effective solutions to the problem
at hand. I have spent the past few years developing
the safest, most effective and easytouse system to
sanitize and store toothbrushes. Using the natural,
timetested power of steam, the same steam that
dentists and physicians use (just not under pressure),
Ive created a device to ensure that a safe, clean, and
completely sanitized toothbrush is available every
single time you brush.

The Germ Terminator uses a worldwide

patented and patentspending process to kill germs
with the scientificallyeffective and timetested
utilization of steam combined with an integrated
automatic drying process. The GT works so perfectly
because it is so beautifully simple; there are no
chemicals, no drawn out procedures, no hassles, no
ultraviolet light radiation, nothing toxic to the system,
and no buttons to break or jam, all you do is add
water. There is no better way to successfully kill
greater than 99.9999% of the germs on your
toothbrush and store your toothbrush in a clean,
germfree environment until the next time you brush.

The Germ Terminator is an FDAregistered,

510(k)Cleared Medical Device. It works to kill germs
by steaming and drying them. Your toothbrush is
then stored in a sanitized clean chamber so it remains
germ free until its next use. All you need to do is to
fill the GTs water reservoir with a convenient pre
measured cup of water. This turns on the steam
mode automatically. After all of the water is
vaporized, the dry mode is also activated
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 135

automatically. Your sanitized toothbrush stands

ready for your next brushing within a warm, germ
free storage chamber for your next brushing.

Proof that it really works

To test the Germ Terminator, I brought it to

several major independent microbiology laboratories
to find out if it worked as well as I planned. The first
test at an independent laboratory used the morning
toothbrushings from human test subjects. These
toothbrushings were pooled together in an aqueous
solution and dipped for 5 minutes under mild

Confirming what numerous studies have

already demonstrated, the untreated toothbrushes
exhibited live bacterial levels that the independent
lab stated were too numerous to count. Then the
toothbrushes were placed in the Germ Terminator
and sent through the steam cycle and the dryheat
cycle. After treatment with the GT, tested separately
with the toothbrush bristles facing down and again
with toothbrush bristles facing up, the laboratory was
unable to detect any live bacteria whatsoever
(described as complete inactivation)
inactivation when tested at
30 minutes, 4 hours and 12 hours after beginning the
steam cycle. These results were exactly the kind of
results that I knew the Germ Terminator would

The next step in the testing process was to take

the Germ Terminator to two of the largest and most
respected FDAregistered laboratories in the United
States in order to test representative groups of
bacteria, viruses, fungi (molds and yeasts). In
136 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

accordance with Good Laboratory Practice

Regulations and strict protocols, these independent
labs performed specific tests to determine the effect
that the Germ Terminator had on toothbrushes that
had been heavily inoculated with the following
representative species of bacteria, viruses, and fungi,
including molds and yeast:

1. E. Coli

2. Staphylococcus aureus

3. Salmonella choleraesuis

4. Listeria monocytogenes

5. Porphyromonas gingivalis (Periodontal Disease)

6. Neisseria meningitidis (Meningitis)

7. Candida albicans (Thrush)

8. Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV1)

9. Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV)

10. Influenza A Virus (Common Flu Virus)

11. Rhinovirus (Common Cold Virus)

12. Hepatitis C Virus

13. Streptococcus mutans (Dental Caries)

These tests involved contaminating tooth

brushes with at least 1,000,000 colonyforming units
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 137

of each of the above listed microorganisms per


Once again, the GT performed perfectly. The

Germ Terminator produced the complete killrate
results that I had anticipated and expected. After
treatment with the GT, not a single microorganism
was detected after any test. Again, complete
inactivation was achieved!

In each analysis, the extreme sensitivity of the

tests allowed the laboratories to conclude that the
reduction of each germ tested was greater than
99.9999% which is otherwise known as a greater than
6log reduction. A test with a sensitivity of greater
than 6log reduction means, for example, that if the
lab began testing with a microorganism population of
one million, it would be able to confirm at the end of
the test that not even one microorganism was
detectable if such a result was achieved. Each of the
6log reduction tests conducted resulted in greater
than a 99.9999% reduction in the bacterial, viral,
fungal, yeast, and mold populations for which the
independent labs tested. Furthermore, in each of the
lab tests, no microorganisms whatsoever were
detected on any of the toothbrushes that were treated
with the Germ Terminator.

The next step was to submit the test results to

the United States Food and Drug Administration as
part of the Germ Terminators FDA 510(k) Medical
Device application. I was very proud! My invention,
The Germ Terminator Steam/Dry Heat Toothbrush
Sanitizer, was the very first product of its kind that
had ever been submitted to the FDA as a medical
138 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

device. 9 months later, we received 510(k)clearance

from the FDA! That was an awesome day!

It is important to remember, however, that as

crucial as it is to effectively kill toothbrush germs, it
is equally important to provide a sanitary environ
ment in which your toothbrush can be stored in
between brushings. What good is it to eliminate all of
the germs on your toothbrush only to leave it out in
the openair, exposed to loads of disgusting airborne
germs from the bathroom and from neighboring
toothbrushes? Always remember, your toothbrush is a
magnet for germs!

I designed the GT with this in mind, so I made

sure that the Germ Terminator had a dryheat, germ
free clean chamber that guards each toothbrush
against microbial contamination from any outside
source, including the bathroom and germs from other
toothbrushes. I call it the no
nogerm zone. Once a
toothbrush has been sanitized in the GT, it remains
sanitized in the clean chamber until the next

How does the GTs sanitary storage chamber

keep the germs away? (You probably go at least 6 to
12 hours in between brushings, right?) The
specialized clean storage compartment is kept germ
free by the dry heat mode, which is effective in killing
germs, but more importantly, provides for upward air
movement (since hot air rises) so that microorganisms
will not settle inside the chamber or on your
toothbrush. It also leaves your toothbrush nice and
warm until the next time you use it. The independent
laboratories proved that upon removing toothbrushes
from the GTs clean chamber 12 hours after they had
Finally, the Natural Solution Has Arrived! - 139

been sanitized, absolutely no microorganisms were

detected on any toothbrushes after any test.

A Star is Born The Germ Terminator in the Media

Since the Germ Terminators outstanding

performance in major independent laboratory testing,
the news media has jumped at the opportunity to
inform its audiences about the outrageous amount of
germs that can live on toothbrush bristles and how we
can best go about destroying them.

ABC News Los Angeles did a television report

on toothbrush germs warning viewers that If youre
not careful, you could be spooning a brush full of bad
bacteria into your body. As a safe and effective
solution, the news station presented the Germ
Terminator, a new device that steam cleans and dries
your toothbrush with a germcasualtyrate greater
than 99.9999%!

Since then, CNBC, CNN, CBS Channel 8 News

Las Vegas, FOX News San Diego, FOX News Denver,
ABC News Las Vegas, WCPO Cincinnati, and other
stations have all reported on the effectiveness of the
Germ Terminator as a natural, safe, and easy way to
sanitize your toothbrush and protect your immune
system from millions of pathogenic germs.

Im thankful and grateful for the television

news coverage, but I still believe more people need to
be educated. Weve only hit the tip of the iceberg.
Thats why Ive written this book. Toothbrush germs
are a serious health problem, and as more media
outlets report on the issue, hopefully people will begin
to change this dirty personalhygiene enigma by
140 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

using the Germ Terminator. Up until recently, very

few people talked about chronic inflammation. Now,
scientific research is showing that inflammation and
its bacterial instigators can negatively affect overall
health and the quality of our lives. Finally, there is a

It just makes sense

Now that we know there is a safe and

completely effective solution to the toothbrush
problem, it just makes sense to take advantage of
this opportunity to protect your immune system and
your longterm health. With all of the abuse that our
bodies are subject to in the modern age as a result of
air pollution, ozone depletion, chemicals, and super
bugs, it is more important than ever to do everything
feasible to protect our immune systems. Brushing
with a clean, steamsanitized toothbrush is something
that you can do, something that you ought to do, to
protect your immune system every time you brush.

With numerous worldwide patents and patents

pending, my invention, the Germ Terminator, is the
most effective, natural, simplesttouse and safest
device ever created to sanitize your toothbrush. It
takes only seconds of your time and it might be one of
the most significant health decisions you can make for
you and your family. It just makes sense. When it
comes to something you put in your mouth, the
bottom line is CLEAN has got to be better than
DIRTY. How can anyone argue with that logic?
"There is no prescription more valuable
than knowledge."
C. Everett Koop, M.D.
U.S. Surgeon General

In this book, though Ive said a lot, it astonishes

me how much more I could say on this topic a
subject that affects nearly everyone. The amount of
research that has been published on the subjects of
focal infection, toothbrush contamination, causes of
disease and theories of causation, the mouthbody
connection, inflammation, hygiene, et al, is stagger
ing, and to a large degree, overwhelming.

I havent spent a lot of time discussing acute

illnesses in this book because I felt that it was more
important to stress the longterm consequences of the
toothbrushgerm problem. But heres a perfect
example of an acute illness (that most of us,
unfortunately, have experienced) from the Merck
Manual on the subject of Travelers Diarrhea. Merck

Travelers diarrhea may be caused by any of

several bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
However, E. coli is the most common cause. E.
coli organisms are commonly present in the
water supplies of areas that lack adequate
water purification. Infection is common in
persons traveling to some areas of Mexico and
Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and
142 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Africa. Travelers often avoid drinking local

water but become infected by by brushing their
teeth with an improperly rinsed toothbrush

The Merck Manual states that people become

infected by brushing their teeth with an improperly
rinsed toothbrush After reading that, a dirty
toothbrush gives a whole new meaning to the word

This is only one example of an acute health

problem that can be instigated by the dirty
toothbrush problem. And while acute problems like
diarrhea are important to discuss, what concerns me
so much more are the chronic, longterm health
problems that are linked to toothbrush germs. Here at
Germ Terminator, weve been building our
toothbrushawareness snowball on TV and radio for
many months now and the probative questioning,
debate, or controversy (whatever youd like to call it)
is really starting to get the medias attention. In July
2004, The New York Times broke with an article
entitled, Really? THE CLAIM: Toothbrushes can
spread disease. Heres a brief excerpt of what the NY
Times stated:

THE FACTS: everything in the medicine

cabinet, toothbrushes might seem the least
harmful. Most dentists would disagree.
Bacteria thrive on toothbrushes, which provide
them with ample food and water. And
toothbrushes sit in your homes most germ
laden room: the bathroom.

Researchers have found that streptococcus,

staphylococcus, influenza and herpes simplex I,
Afterword - 143

among other pathogens, can survive on


Bacteria and viruses on one brush can easily

spread to another. Sharing your brush with
someone else has been shown to cause
sickness The bottom line: Toothbrushes are
the perfect environment for germs and should
be replaced often.

I agree with everything that the NY Times has to say

until they get to the very end. Lets look at the NY
Times articles last sentence,

Toothbrushes are the perfect environment for

germs and should be replaced often.

Replaced often? How often? Every 3 to 4 months as

the American Dental Association advises? Given what
you now know, does that make sense? What if dentists
cleaned their instruments once every 3 to 4 months?
What if we cleaned our silverware only once every 3 to
4 months?

Heres one great example of the challenge to

changing the status quo of this unhealthy personal
hygiene habit of using a dirty toothbrush. It comes
from a dentist. Subsequent to the NY Times article, a
dentist wrote the following letter to the editor. Heres
what the dentist said:

To the Editor: Re the Really? column on

toothbrushes (July 27): If reusing toothbrushes
was detrimental to health, we would see more
disease in healthy individuals who reused
toothbrushes. Obviously we dont.
144 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

So in healthy people, if one rinses off the brush

and lets it dry before reuse, the brush should
last until it wears out. In these brushers the
microbes are indigenous to their own, balanced
oral environment. No sense in polluting the
planet with good toothbrushes. And money is
better spent on checkups.

(Talk about knowing what Dr. Semmelweis and Dr.

Marshall went through.) Lets analyze the dentists

First, the dentist said, If reusing toothbrushes

was detrimental to health, we would see more disease
in healthy individuals who reused toothbrushes.
Obviously we dont. This dentist doesnt even take
into consideration chronic oral infections, gum
disease, and chronic inflammation systemic to the
entire body. Does this dentist practice in a community
where everyone is perfectly healthy and lives outside
of the fact that 90% of adults suffer from some form of
gum disease? Does the dentist even know about the
health of his patients outside of the state of their oral
cavities? Does the dentist know the Creactive protein
levels or Interleukin6 levels of his patients showing
the overall systemic inflammation levels in their
bloodstreams? The answers to all of these questions
are blatantly obvious, the dentist doesnt have a clue.

Second, the dentist went on to say, So in

healthy people, if one rinses off the brush and lets it
dry before reuse, the brush should last until it wears
out. Lets analyze. So what does the dentist
recommend that unhealthy people do with their
contaminated toothbrush? What is his sanitization
Afterword - 145

standard for how long one should rinse their

toothbrush? What is his standard for how long one
should dry their toothbrush? What is his standard
for variations of existing humidity in the bathroom?
What is his standard for when the brush has worn
out? Does a person have to look at the bristles of the
brush under a 60x microscope to find out? In the
dental world, the only standard that I know of
pertaining to dental instruments is germfree. Why
shouldnt that same standard apply to toothbrushes?

Third, the dentist states: In these brushers the

microbes are indigenous to their own, balanced oral
environment. Indigenous to their own, balanced oral
environment? From an overall, universal, Earthly
point of view, arent all bacteria, viruses, fungi, and
parasites indigenous to their own balanced oral
environment? Of course they are, but Im talking
about keeping these germs and their corresponding
endotoxins out of our bloodstreams! They clearly dont
belong there!

Finally, lets look at the dentists last

statement, No sense in polluting the planet with good
toothbrushes. And money is better spent on
checkups. Im not talking about polluting the planet
with good toothbrushes. Im talking about sanitizing
the toothbrushes we have prior to every
toothbrushing. And money is better spent on
checkups? Sure, Im a strong advocate of checkups
with your dentist, its money well spent, but why cant
we have sanitized toothbrushes with Germ
Terminators in addition to having regular checkups
with our dentists? Furthermore, what good are
checkups if we continue to infect and reinfect our
gums and soft oral tissues with harmful bacteria?
146 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

In its February 2004 article, "The Secret

Killer," Time Magazine included a section called,
"What You Can Do" to minimize the damaging effects
of inflammation. In this section, Time Magazine listed
ONLY 4 areas to fight inflammation. These 4
included: DRUGS (aspirin, statins, beta blockers and
ACE inhibitors), EXERCISE, DIET (low fat, with
plenty of fruits and vegetables), and ORAL
HYGIENE. So its fact, oral hygiene can help reduce
chronic inflammation! Since "hygiene" is defined as
the "conditions or practices of cleanliness conducive to
health," what can oral "hygiene" possibly mean when
people use dirty germcontaminated toothbrushes?

Weve got to change the way we think about

toothbrushes. You can help me in my mission by
sharing this book with the people that you care about
and asking them to share it with their network of
friends and family. Weve got to take this mission
outofthebox because traditional methods of public
health education have proven to be ineffective. Donald
Kemper, the CEO of Healthwise said,

"Americans are confused about their health

care. Good medical information is as important
to good health as surgeries, medical tests and

With this book, you have accurate, evidence

based information about the benefits of a clean
toothbrush and the impact that oral health has on
total health. A clean toothbrush is not a radical idea,
but rather a sensible one. By eradicating the use of
dirty toothbrushes, together we will have
implemented an important and visionary advance in
global health, and thats a great thing. So when you
Afterword - 147

ask someone if they know how many germs they have

on their toothbrush and they give you the typical
response, which is (i) Thats disgusting, then (ii)
they giggle, and (iii) they say, I guess thats OK since
theyre my germs. You can now give them this book
and they can make an informed decision as to
whether they want to continue using a dirty
toothbrush or make the switch to a clean one.
Youve done your part.

If youre a health care professional, I really

need your help in advancing this cause because
history has also shown that information alone is not
good enough. People need the support, guidance, and
good advice from health practitioners in order to
change their health habits.

Because of various news reports, there are

many people out there who are confused about the
potential negative effects of being too clean. One
such example is the topic of keeping our children from
the ages of 0 to 6 too clean. Some research is saying
that by limiting childrens exposure to germs, their
immune systems do not develop as well later on in life
and therefore, as adults, they are subject to more
allergies and other problems associated with a weaker
immune system. Folks, this has absolutely nothing to
do with the issues of dirty, contaminated
toothbrushes. In this book I have repeatedly discussed
the fact that germs dont belong in our bloodstream.
We have E. coli in our guts but when we put the same
E. coli in our bloodstreams, we can die. You can never
be too clean when it comes to your bloodstream.

Additionally, some people are confused with the

issue of overkill when it comes to germs. This issue
148 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

of overkill relates specifically to the overuse of drugs

like antibiotics and chemical disinfectants that dont
do the job in killing 100% of germs. In this arena, you
really dont have overkill, you have underkill which
allows germs to evolve beyond the control of
antibiotics and chemicals and become super bugs
that are dangerous because we have no way to contain
them. Chemicals kill germs by inactivating,
precipitating, oxidizing, or otherwise disrupting
proteins, cell membranes, lipids, or other cell
structures. UV light radiation destroys or distorts
nucleic acids and is typically used only on the surfaces
of objects because of shadowing problems. Both
chemicals and UV radiation can allow germs to evolve
or mutate which can create germs with super
strength. Steam blows germs apart and doesnt allow
for mutations to occur. Steam is the very best way to
kill germs and thats why dentists and doctors use
steam. (Ozone has been used as a method of killing
germs but generally only in commercial applications
like public water treatment. I dont recommend it
because its hazardous to humans when inhaled it
carries that very warning label. Personally speaking,
I took one small breathe of it [ozone] and I ended up
with a cough that persisted for the next 4 days.)

If youre a dentist, physician, hygienist,

scientist, researcher, microbiologist, professor, or
infectious disease specialist, please help this mission.
As ridiculous as it seems to me, the CDC and other
health associations need scientific literature to
support the practice of using a clean toothbrush.
Whatever you can supply will be helpful to our cause.

One of my heroes is the former Surgeon

General whom I believe to be one of the greatest
Afterword - 149

public health communicators in modern history.

Because I believed in him so much, it was a personal
goal of mine to have him let the public know that this
issue was critical to overall health. I know of no
greater credible public health figure that could have
carried our torch in this mission. It was spectacular
for me when he agreed to endorse my mission and
recommend the Germ Terminator as one of the best
ways to improve oral health. After reaching this
agreement, I waited for months to move forward with
the former Surgeon General. I printed 50,000
brochures with his endorsement and signature based
on our meeting of the minds. Finally, 3 months later
he wrote back telling me that his lawyers said his
endorsement may be in conflict with a potential
agreement that he had with another company in some
other field of health. I was heartbroken because the
former Surgeon General was someone I felt could
have helped change this dirty toothbrush habit with
his message to the public. I wrote back again and
again, but that was the last I ever heard from him, he
never replied.

My reasons for telling you this is to let you

know that even the former Surgeon General of the
United States believes in a clean toothbrush, although
as of right now, I am without his formal endorsement.
Until I find another wellknown health expert to
carry the torch, I will carry it proudly, but if you know
someone who has the credibility of the former Surgeon
General, and would be passionate about this mission,
please email me at

Being sick costs too much, both financially and

in the quality of our lives. The Centers for Disease
Control says that an ounce of prevention keeps the
150 The Toothbrush Germ Theory

germs away. With the Germ Terminator you will kill

greater than 99.9999% of all germs on your
toothbrush, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
And if you can spare a few extra minutes and even
though your toothbrush is sanitized, steam your
toothbrush just prior to brushing, the GTs steam will
make the bristles extra soft, which will further
minimize soft tissue abrasion. Your gums and your
dentist will appreciate you for it.

In summary, germs can cause illnesses that

range from common ailments like the cold or flu, to
disabling conditions such as meningititis and E. coli
poisoning, to deadly diseases like Hepatitis and HIV,
to diseases linked to chronic inflammatory diseases
like heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes,
Alzheimers, arthritis, Parkinsons, chronic fatigue,
and many other chronic degenerative diseases. If you
believe in the mouthbody connection that Ive
presented, many of those diseases can be prevented
through an amazingly simple and extremely
inexpensive method. Ive named it the Germ

The world is filled with good germs that we

need as well as bad germs that can make us sick or
make us die. The recent SARS virus created a
worldwide sense of fear and anxiety of just how
vulnerable we can be to some germs. The lesson is
simple we need to do everything we can to protect
ourselves against the bad bacteria and bad viruses
that really pose a threat to our health. We need to
keep them out of our bloodstreams and keep them
from causing chronic, silent, symptomless, and
undetected inflammation throughout our bodies.
Chronic inflammation is the secret killer.
Afterword - 151

As of this printing, I am 42 years old. I want to

live a long, healthy, productive life for as long as I
can. I want that for my family and friends and I want
that for you, too. Thanks for reading and being a part
of my mission. Gods blessings to you and your family.

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directly into bloodstream,
Index 11, 27, 30, 45, 50, 58, 61,
62, 75
focal infection, 54, 57, 58, 59,
removed while brushing, 8,
AIDS (Auto Immune Deficiency
10, 20, 25
Syndrome), 43, 69
bathroom"bacterial mist", 123
Alzheimer's disease, 31
development of, 107
contamination, 10, 25, 62,
inflammation and, 94, 103,
122, 124, 125, 137
105, 107
dirtiest room in the house,
American Academy of
10, 122
Periodontology, 85, 89
bleach, 127
American Cancer Society, 108
blood clots, 72, 84
American Dental Association,
boiling water, 127, 129
27, 59
breast cancer, 41
American Dental Hygienists
Bruce, Debra, 50
Association, 54, 71, 87, 89
American Diabetes Association,
91 C
American Heart Association, Canadian Dental Association,
70, 98 45, 124
American Stroke Association, cancer, 31, 39, 69, 98, 107, 108
85 infectious causation of, 31,
antibiotics, 36, 37, 42, 50 39, 41, 42
antibiotic resistance, 43, 44, inflammation and, 94, 103,
130, 131 105, 109
before oral surgery, 8 Candida, 15, 26, 135
antiseptic solutions, 14 cardiovascular disease. See
bleach, 127 heart disease or stroke
hydrogen peroxide, 14 cavities. See dental caries
Listerine, 127, 128 cervical cancer
mouthwash, 13, 128 infectious causation of, 39,
rubbing alcohol, 14 40
atheroma, 70 Chlamydia pheumoniae, 74
atherosclerosis, 70, 74, 86 cholesterol, 72, 98, 99, 102
bacteria and, 68, 72, 74 atherosclerosis and, 70, 99,
development of, 70, 72, 74 100, 101, 102, 104
inflammation and, 73, 86, inflammation and, 101, 109
101 statin drugs, 53, 69, 98, 99
autoclave, 117 chronic infection, 55, 57, 58, 59,
B 66, 88, 105, 107, 113
infectious causation of, 45,
bacteria 53, 56, 57, 61, 90
inflammation and, 56, 68,
cultivated in the lab, 47
73, 86, 110, 111
Index - 175

Clemmensen, 39 G
cold virus (Rhinovirus), 135
Gammal, Robert, 63
common cold. See Rhinovirus
Garcia, Raul, 57
community cup, 10, 124
Genco, Caroline, 68, 74, 86
Coussens, Lisa, 109
Gerba, Charles, 122, 123, 124
C-reactive protein (CRP), 16,
Germ Terminator, 16, 28, 30,
73, 86, 102
133, 134, 136, 138, 139
cross-contamination, 15, 75,
in the news, 138
infomercial, 7, 27
cytomegalovirus, 74
storage chamber, 137
germ theory of disease, 34
Ewald, Paul W, 40, 41, 42,
dental caries Germ Theory Part II, 41, 42,
infectious causation of, 10, 43
15 new germ theory, 35, 40, 43
diabetes, 31, 98, 105, 106, 107 germs. See bacteria
infectious causation of, 9, 34, giardia, 9
41, 53, 87, 90 gingivitis. See periodontal
inflammation and, 94, 103, disease
105, 106, 112 gum disease. See periodontal
periodontal disease and, 87, disease
88, 91, 107, 112
Discovery Channel. See Myth H
hand washing. See Semmelweis
dry heat, 133, 137
general public, 18, 19
hospital staff, 17, 18, 19, 23
heart attack. See heart disease
E. coli, 8, 48, 116, 135 heart disease, 31, 92, 107
on toothbrushes, 7, 25, 75 cholesterol and, 69, 71, 98,
endotoxins, 71 99, 102
Ewald, Paul W, 40, 41, 42, 43, development of, 68, 70, 99
66 heart attack, 69, 72, 86, 99,
F infectious causation of, 9, 31,
34, 41, 42, 43, 71, 72, 73,
FDA (Food and Drug 74, 76, 85, 86, 90, 99
Administration), 9, 10, 24, inflammation and, 73, 74,
133 94, 98, 100, 101, 102, 103,
Medical Device Application 104, 110, 112
510(k), 136 periodontal disease and, 68,
fecal coliforms, 25, 26, 30, 75 71, 88, 91, 112
Fleming, Richard, 97
Flemings, Merton, 117
flu virus. See Influenza
focal infection, 54, 57, 58, 59,
63, 64
176 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

Helicobacter pylori, 35, 36, 37, K

38, 72
Klokkevold, Perry, 87
hepatitis, 15
Koch, Robert, 34, 42
hepatitis C, 43, 135
Koop, C. Everett, 112
Herpes Simplex Type - 1, 15,
26, 135 L
HIV (human immunodeficiency
virus), 15, 135
lab testing
deaths from infection, 17, 18, Candida albicans, 135
19 E. coli, 135
infection control, 17, 18, 19 FDA registered laboratories,
HPV (human papillomavirus), 134
39 Germ Terminator, 134, 136
hydrogen peroxide, 14 hepatitis C, 135
hydrogen sulphide, 59 Herpes simplex virus type 1,
HIV, 135
independent laboratories,
immune system, 45, 61, 89, 90, 134, 137
93, 95, 96, 98, 100, 101, 103, Influenza A Virus (Flu
105, 106, 107 Virus), 135
infection control, 14, 46, 47, 51, Listeria monocytogenes, 135
76 Neisseria meningitidis, 135
hand washing, 23 Porphyromonas gingivalis,
procedures, 46 135
infectious disease, 31, 41, 43, Rhinovirus (cold virus), 135
46 Salmonella choleraesuis, 135
inflammation, 16, 73, 89, 92, Staphylococcus aureus, 135
93, 98, 100, 101, 104, 106, Lister, Joseph, 23
113 Listeria monocytogenes, 135
chronic response, 110, 111, Listerine, 128
112, 114 low birth weight
development of, 92, 93, 94, infectious causation of, 53,
97, 102, 103, 109 89
infectious causation of, 44, periodontal disease and, 89,
68, 72, 73, 86, 105, 111 91
periodontal disease and, 55, lung diseaseinfetious causation
73 of, 53
Influenza A Virus, 15, 26, 135 periodontal disease and, 91
Interleukin-6, 16, 100
Interscience Conference of M
Antimicrobial Agents and
Chemotherapy (ICAAC), 19, macrophage, 96, 103, 108
67 Mann, Madeline, 88
Marler, John, 84
Marshall, Barry, 35, 36, 37, 38,
72, 118
medical device
Index - 177

Germ Terminator, 133, 136 periodontitis. See periodontal

toothbrush, 9, 10, 24, 61 disease, See periodontal
Meggs, William Joel, 109, 110, disease
111, 112, 119 Petri dish, 9, 30, 60
mental illness, 42 Plank, Max, 118
methyl mercaptans, 59 Pneumococcus, 50
MIT pneumonia, 9, 53, 65
Lemelson Invention Index, Porphyromonas gingivalis, 26,
116, 117 71, 135
mouthportal of infection, 10 gum disease, 68
mouthwash, 13, 128 heart disease study, 68
Listerine, 128 premature birth, 88
Myth Busters, 30 infectious causation of, 53,
89, 90
N periodontal disease and, 89,
Neisseria meningitidis, 135

oral health, 10, 21, 54, 115, Rammelsberg, Anne, 130

117, 143, 146 Relman, David, 47
Surgeon General's Report, rheumatoid arthritis, 31, 107
52, 53, 54, 87, 89 inflammation and, 94, 103,
oral infections, 52, 55, 56, 57, 105
66, 68, 71, 73, 86, 87, 88, 89, Rhinovirus, 15
90, 105, 110, 111, Also see Ridker, Paul, 92, 101, 102, 119
periodontal disease Rift Valley fever, 43
rubbing alcohol, 14
Parkinsons disease
inflammation and, 31 Salmonella choleraesuis, 135
Pasteur, Louis, 23, 34 SARS, 43
peptic ulcers. See stomach Satcher, David, 53
ulcers schizophrenia, 41
periodontal disease, 52, 55, 68, Semmelweis, Ignac, 22, 24, 28,
73, 90, 111 34, 42, 118
gingivitis, 55 sepsis, 57, 58
heart disease, 68 Shoelson, Steve, 106
increased risk of death, 57 skeptics, 27
infectious causation of, 10, Staphylococcus, 15, 26, 50, 135
15, 26, 55, 56, 57 on toothbrushes, 49
periodontitis, 55 steam, 126, 133, 134
Porphyromonas gingivalis, Stern, Rigoni, 39
68 stomach ulcers, 33, 36, 37, 40
storage chamber, 127, 137
Streptococcus, 15, 26, 49
on toothbrushes, 49
strokedevelopment of, 84, 85,
178 - The Toothbrush Germ Theory

103 ulcers. See stomach ulcers

infectious causation of, 9, 34, ultraviolet (UV) light, 127, 129,
53, 72, 84, 85, 86, 90 130, 131, 132
inflammation, 101
inflammation and, 103, 104, W
periodontal disease and, 84, Warren, Robin, 35, 36, 37, 38
85, 88, 91, 112 Z

T Zolnowski-Casey, Mary, 129

Zur Hausen, Harald, 39
tap water, 8, 13, 14, 121
Thompson, Kimberly, 50
Thun, Michael, 108
bacterial growth, 14, 26, 27,
bathroom contamination, 10,
25, 62, 122, 125
community cup, 10
contaminated with 100
million germs, 9, 24
contaminated with fecal
bacteria, 25, 30
cross-contamination, 15, 75
FDA registered medical
device, 9, 10, 24, 61
lacerates the gums, 61, 62,
most popular invention, 116
replacement, 13, 14, 120
sharp bristles, 10, 45, 50, 61,
transmit disease, 15, 16, 27,
toothpasteantimicrobial, 14
tuberculosis, 42, 43, 50

U.S. Centers for Disease
Control, 26, 76, 140
U.S. Surgeon General, 9, 52,
53, 54, 87, 89, 92, 112, 143,
David Satcher MD, PhD, 53
Oral Health Report, 52, 53,
54, 87, 89
Oral Health Report, 52
If you care about your long-term health,
this is a must read.
-- Stephen Langer, M.D., Author: Solved: The Riddle of Illness

Know the serious long-term health risks caused by unsanitized

toothbrushes and lingering low-level oral-germ infections that you
never knew existed and why everyone is at risk.


describes one mans mission to inform the public about a
serious health threat that most of us have never even thought
about chronic brushing with germ-contaminated toothbrushes.
It is undisputed by dentists, physicians, dental hygienists, and
micro-biologists that toothbrushes, once used, become dental biohazards. This book tells an
alarming story of the silent, pathogenic germs that grow and breed inside the pointed bristles of
our toothbrushes; prickly toothbrush bristles that cause daily microscopic cuts and abrasions to the
soft, mucous-membrane tissues of the oral cavity, consequently, injecting germs (and their
corresponding endotoxins) directly into our bloodstreams. By brushing with chronically dirty
toothbrushes, we risk infecting our mouths with germs that can spread throughout the body to the
heart, kidneys, liver, brain, and anywhere else our bloodstreams will take them. Once they arrive at
their destinations, they can nest, ourish, and take on lives of their own, causing silent havoc and
constant stress to our immune systems.

The counterattack launched by our immune systems produces a quiet inammatory build-up
throughout our bodies. Year after year, decade after decade, this chronic inammation, the buzzword
in medical research today, may promote devastating diseases and health problems including, but
not limited to, heart and lung disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimers, bacterial pneumonia, adverse
pregnancy outcomes, cancer, chronic fatigue, and many other chronic degenerative diseases.

Brushing with contaminated toothbrushes turns the practice of oral hygiene on its head and may
help explain why 90% of adults suffer from some form of periodontal (gum) disease. Furthermore,
it may be destructive to long-term health, and is diametrically opposite to contemporary medical
knowledge combined with common sense, which tells us that if something is dirty, it should be
cleaned. The author of this eye-opening book not only states his theory, but he offers the solution.

American Health