gum disease

Correlation Between Gum Disease & Gut Health

Can Fixing Oral Health Help Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

The link between periodontal disease and other medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and other systemic diseases has been known for some time now. However, a new collaborative study conducted by the University of Michigan Medical and Dental Schools revealed one’s oral health could be linked to the gravity of IBD symptoms.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is another medical condition that can be exacerbated as a result of poor oral health (mainly periodontal disease).

What You Need to Know

Inflammatory bowel disease affects about 3 million people in the US and periodontal disease and IBD are both considered chronic inflammatory diseases.

Thus, the study concluded in finding two possible pathways of how oral bacteria could aggravate gut inflammation, including:

1st Pathway

Periodontitis creates an imbalance in a healthy mouth and an increase of inflaming bacteria accumulates down to the gut. Although oral bacteria in the gut itself isn’t enough to stimulate gut inflammation, the study observed mice with IBD to see if the gut microbiome was still able to resist the intrusion of foreign bacteria.

2nd Pathway

Periodontitis triggers the immune system’s T-lymphocyte cells in the mouth. As these specific white blood cells travel down to the gut, it instigates inflammation because it disrupts the gut’s balancing microbiota, which normally adapts to tolerate any resident bacteria. However, these inflammatory T-cells end up activating the gut’s immune response, therefore agitating and worsening the disease.

The study showed the following findings:

  • Results – healthy gut bacteria are disarranged and its ability to resist harmful toxins is significantly weakened. Results also found that mice suffering from both inflammatory diseases dealt with increased disease activity and weight loss.

Get the Proper Oral Care You Need

It is clear that gum disease and inflammatory bowel diseases further emphasize the correlation between oral health and overall health and wellbeing. Additionally, this can also answer the problem as to why people suffering from IBD do not see any progress when taking their medications, often resulting in a reduced standard of living, and even requiring surgery. Thus, the study implicates that monitoring and treating periodontal disease could potentially help improve and better manage one’s IBD condition.

Ensure your gum and supporting tissue and bone structure is at its healthiest, by calling our team at (503) 966-3780 today!

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