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Would you learn about the oral biofilm if your health depended on it? Well it just might. On the Biofilm Factor, Dr. Ryan Nolan discusses the importance of diet, biofilm management and the oral systemic link with fellow dental professionals. Join us and learn how the state of your oral cavity can impact your overall health.

For more on The Biofilm Factor, follow on Instagram @biofilmfactor and @ryannolandmd or find me on Facebook at The Biofilm Factor Podcast.

May 22, 2018


Healthy nutrition is the first stepping-stone to a balanced microbiome and a functioning immune system. In this episode of The Biofilm Factor, Dr. Ryan Nolan talks with Dr. Mark Cannon, past president of the Illinois Society of Dentistry for Children and a member of the International Association of Pediatric Dentistry. They discuss the need to educate ourselves and others about how prebiotics, probiotics and dietary changes can diversify the oral microbiome. Dr. Cannon’s research highlights the need to understand the rise of bad bacteria as a result of the modern processed diet spreading across the world. In addition, they discuss the impact of the environment on an individual’s genetic predispositions. They conclude that although we tend to villainize all bacteria, we desperately need them to thrive. Life truly is driven by the microbiome. For more on The Biofilm Factor, follow on Instagram @biofilmfactor and @ryannolandmd or find us on Facebook at The Biofilm Factor Podcast.  

Host: Dr. Ryan Nolan

Guests: Dr. Mark Cannon

Tags: ASD, Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group, Derrick MacFabe, Richard Frye, Karolinska Institute, AAOSH


Bio of Dr. Mark Cannon

Dr. Mark Cannon is the past president of the Illinois Society of Dentistry for Children and a member of the International Association of Pediatric Dentistry. He received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Nebraska, and then attended Northwestern University for his Masters of Pediatric Dentistry. His work focuses on microbiome and hologenome research with a special emphasis on using polyols to initiate positive changes to the biofilm. This research scrutinizes the epigenetic effect and neurologic consequences of microbiome shifts and the products of bacterial metabolism. With this information, Dr. Cannon lectures at national and international meetings promoting new approaches to nutrition and dental techniques. He can be reached on his website

Show Notes

  • What is the oral systemic link? [0:12]
  • We cannot talk about anything without first mentioning the biofilm. [3:03]
  • Evolution is driven by the microbiome and bacteria. [3:57]
  • The oral cavity is the gateway to understanding the responses of your body. [6:05]
  • What is epigenetics? [7:46]
  • We have certain genes that when turned on result in the manifestation of Autism. [9:20]
  • All kids with Autism have an evident shift in their microbiome. [13:53]
  • Kids with Autism are less likely to have cavities because of this microbiome shift. [16:06]
  • Polyols inhibit the pathogens in order to avoid collateral damage.  [19:00]
  • ⅓ of the gluten you eat is broken down in your mouth. [20:34]
  • New skeletal problems arose after our dietary and nutritional shift. [22:45]
  • Current hunting and gathering tribes have limited dental disease compared to people on the modern diet. [24:40]
  • The rate of Autism, neurological issues and even cancer are lower in remote tribal areas compared to the U.S. [26:55]
  • You cannot have a decent immune system without decent nutrition. [28:00]
  • Systemic disease starts in the gut. [29:01]
  • If we ignore the food we eat, we are ignoring the whole equation. [29:20]
  • Food is medicine and we should avoid the “easy” fixes of the modern diet. [30:07]
  • Metabolic disease is now common amongst 50% of adults. [32:00]
  • 73% of adult females are overweight in Mexico. [33:10]
  • We are trying to repair the microbiome simply with prebiotics and probiotics instead of eliminating certain foods from our diet. [36:07]
  • How does this play into airway evaluation? [36:55]
  • Sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction can be traced back to the oral microbiome. [37:57]
  • The reason for bacterial disease is the depletion of the commensals. [38:58]
  • As a species our jaws are getting smaller and we are more prone to sleep apnea. [40:55]
  • One of the best things you can do to help your microbiome is take probiotics. [42:24]
  • Nitrate reducing bacteria is important to recognize alongside probiotic bacteria. [44:57]
  • Over 30% of middle age men experience erectile dysfunction. [46:57]
  • There are other gateway microbiomes such as the skin and vagina. [48:11]
  • The placental microbiome is most closely related to the oral microbiome. [49:36]
  • Chlorhexidine interferes with calcium absorption and leads to cavities. [53:02]
  • People do not use probiotics because they have the fluoride mindset. [56:25]
  • Dr. Cannon is working on products that are safe and calcium focused. [58:54]
  • Dental education does not pay sufficient attention to the role of nutrition. [1:00:11]
  • Where are the preventive methods and products? [1:01:40]
  • Which way are we going with the next steps in dentistry? [1:03:45]
  • Dr. Cannon shares the importance of education and teaching about a needed shift towards prevention. [1:05:18]
  • Dr. Nolan shares his personal and family experience with airway issues, sleep apnea and Autism. [1:07:28]
  • Dr. Cannon shares his personal and family health experiences as well. [1:10:38]
  • Your diet is a huge window into how the oral biofilm responds to how your body works. [1:14:42]
  • Closing thoughts and information about Dr. Cannon. [1:15:35]