There is an increasing amount of evidence suggesting that certain oral bacteria can contribute to gastrointestinal diseases and cancers.
Furthermore, aged men and women are at a higher risk for developing such diseases because being older is the greatest risk factor for developing cancer.
This is why we constantly tell our elderly patients to continue receiving appropriate dental treatment to keep their mouth and teeth healthy because poor oral hygiene can lead to much more serious health conditions, and even cancer.
The oral cavity and the gastrointestinal tract
The oral cavity refers to the mouth, which is home to around 700 different types of bacteria in the human body. The gastrointestinal tract is the part of the digestive system that extends from the mouth to the anus.
Bacteria thrive in both the oral cavity and the gastrointestinal system, and they play a significant role in bacterial-related diseases.
There is a significant distance between the mouth and the gut, as well as a barrier between the oral cavity and the gastrointestinal tract and a range of chemicals in between.
However, if this barrier becomes compromised bacteria transmission will happen, putting patients at risk of various systemic diseases like;
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Colorectal Cancer
- Chronic Liver Disease
- Hepatocellular Carcinoma
- Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
Oral bacteria and dental health
Oral bacteria is directly associated with dental health and translocation of bacteria from the mouth to other organs can cause complications.
People whose teeth and gums are in poor condition are more vulnerable to oral viruses, and gastrointestinal diseases that can cause cancer elsewhere in the body. Gastrointestinal infections are characterized by the following symptoms;
- Stomach pain.
- Stomach cramps.
- Gastric discomfort.
- Bloating, flatulence.
- Headaches and aching limbs
At SHDC we encourage our patients to maintain good oral hygiene, undergo periodontal therapy, and visit the dentist regularly to help ameliorate oral bacteria-elicited gastrointestinal disorders.
People of all ages should visit the dentist regularly because damaged gums and teeth serve as an entry point for bacteria that can cause cancer.