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The Mouth and Gut Connection

Mouth Gut ConnectionIf you’ve been reading our prior Perio posts, you’ve learned that periodontal disease affects not only the mouth but also the whole body. For example, there is an established link between untreated gum disease and heart disease. However, recent studies have demonstrated a correlation between periodontal disease and gut health too. Because of this connection, it is important to know how taking care of your oral health may improve the balance of microorganisms in your digestive tract.

Gut health is central to overall body health. Moreover, a recent study has confirmed that oral health impacts gut health. The importance of oral health, therefore, is imperative for not only the mouth but also for the wellness of the entire body.

We introduce millions of bacteria into our bloodstream every day through our mouths. One of the many ways bacteria enters our body orally is through our gums. When gums are healthy and firm, it is more difficult for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. However, when gums are inflamed and swollen, bacteria enters the bloodstream through the gums with ease.
Once bacteria is introduced orally, it enters the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body, including the gut. Upon reaching the gut, the bacteria can alter the makeup of the microbiota and weaken immune defense.

Porphyromonas gingivalis, a particularly dangerous bacteria implicated in periodontal disease, may also produce gut dysregulation. This bacteria causes dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) in the subgingival microbiota (microorganisms populating underneath the gums). Additionally, porphyromonas gingivalis may travel through the bloodstream to the gastrointestinal tract, migrate to the colon, and alter colonic functions.

Oral bacteria may harm not only the gut, but also the entire body. Gut health is crucial to the health of the entire body, and periodontal health impacts the gut. Therefore it is vital to make sure your gums are healthy because periodontal disease impacts not only your mouth but also your gut and ultimately your whole physiology.