Poor Oral Health May Worsen IBD Symptoms, Study Finds

Poor Oral Health May Worsen IBD Symptoms, Study Finds
Inflammatory conditions linked to poor oral health, such as severe gum infections, may worsen inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by increasing the number of bacteria and immune cells causing gut inflammation, a study has found. The study, “The Intermucosal Connection between the Mouth and Gut in Commensal Pathobiont-Driven Colitis,” was published in the journal Cell. Recent studies have suggested a possible link between poor oral health and certain gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, such as IBD and colorectal cancer. For instance, periodontitis (serious gum infection) is much more common among patients with Crohn’s disease, one of the main forms of IBD, than in people without IBD. Additionally, scientists have found that in mice with both IBD and periodontitis, the severity of inflammation in the gums tends to match that seen in the bowel. "These observations suggest the possibility that the inflammatory processes occurring at oral and gut mucosae are somehow connected," the investigators wrote. "However, the extent to which periodontal inflammation influences gastrointestinal diseases remains to be fully elucidated." To explore this possible link in more detail, researchers at the University of Michigan collaborated with colleagues at the university's School of Dentistry to study the mechanisms by which oral infections might worsen gut inflammation associated with IBD. In their first set of experiments, they showed that severe gum inflammation can promote the growth of several species of harmful bacteria — including Klebsiella and Enterobacter — in the mouth of a mouse model of periodontitis and IBD. The team discovered that when ingested, these bacteria can reach the gut and activate a series of pro-inflammatory signaling cascades, ultimatel
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.