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Did you ever wonder if the microbes in your mouth can lead to disease?  According to Science News Magazine (April, 2016), 50% of U.S adults over the age of 30 have periodontal disease, 6 times faster of cognitive decline among Alzheimer’s patients with gum disease versus those with healthy gums,  and 2.5 times greater risk of several cancers among nonsmokers with advanced gum disease versus those with healthy gums.

Plaque is something dentists always warn us about.  As the growth of bacteria forms in the mouth, these microbes breed between teeth and under the gums.  These microorganisms form a biofilm which bound together with sugar molecules and form a thin coating.  Once this plaque builds up, it begins to escape into the bloodstream.  

There are hundreds of microbes that live in the mouth.  There are four in particular that cause some concern and are linked to a variety of conditions.  A microbe called porphyromonas gingivalis which is found in multiple locations of the body, is associated with diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.  This microbe clings to cells and tissues using thin appendages called fimbriae.  There is evidence that another microbe called Fusobacterium nucleatum is related to conditions in our gastrointestinal system and can be related to pregnancy complications and cancer as well.   Prevotella can be linked to our genital tract and our joints and can be related to vaginosis, pregnancy complications, and arthritis.  Lastly, a microbe called Treponema which is quoted as “already known to enter the brain” as stated by neuroscientist Sim Singhrao of the University of Central Lancashire in England.  This specific bacteria travels along the nerves that connect the jaw.  Once they enter the brain, oral bacteria could trigger an inflammatory chain reaction that eventually can destroy certain nerve cells and lead to Alzheimer’s disease, says StJohn Crean, dean of the College of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences.

Some research has suggested that gum disease is also associated with higher cancer mortality. Smoking also has big influence on our oral health and cancer mortality as well. There have been a dozen studies conducted over the last five years that have found one species called Fusobacterium nucleatum living in colorectal tumors.  Similar to P. Gingivalis, F. Nucleatum thrives in diseased gums and low-oxygen areas.

There is also a correlation between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis according to the journal Mediators of Inflammation done by researchers from the University of Ceara in Brazil. Another set of research has also been done to show the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease.  According to The Journal of Clinical Periodontology, studies have found that people with poor periodontal health have a greater chance of developing early symptoms of diabetes and having greater complications from the disease once it develops.  Studies are still being done to show if these correlations are true or not.  However, the amount of plaque between the teeth and the gums are still a quite an indication that your oral health should be taken care of and maintained.

Did you ever wonder if the microbes in your mouth can lead to disease?  According to Science News Magazine (April, 2016), 50% of U.S adults over the age of 30 have periodontal disease, 6 times faster of cognitive decline among Alzheimer’s patients with gum disease versus those with healthy gums,  and 2.5 times greater risk of several cancers among nonsmokers with advanced gum disease versus those with healthy gums.

Plaque is something dentists always warn us about.  As the growth of bacteria forms in the mouth, these microbes breed between teeth and under the gums.  These microorganisms form a biofilm which bound together with sugar molecules and form a thin coating.  Once this plaque builds up, it begins to escape into the bloodstream.  

There are hundreds of microbes that live in the mouth.  There are four in particular that cause some concern and are linked to a variety of conditions.  A microbe called porphyromonas gingivalis which is found in multiple locations of the body, is associated with diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.  This microbe clings to cells and tissues using thin appendages called fimbriae.  There is evidence that another microbe called Fusobacterium nucleatum is related to conditions in our gastrointestinal system and can be related to pregnancy complications and cancer as well.   Prevotella can be linked to our genital tract and our joints and can be related to vaginosis, pregnancy complications, and arthritis.  Lastly, a microbe called Treponema which is quoted as “already known to enter the brain” as stated by neuroscientist Sim Singhrao of the University of Central Lancashire in England.  This specific bacteria travels along the nerves that connect the jaw.  Once they enter the brain, oral bacteria could trigger an inflammatory chain reaction that eventually can destroy certain nerve cells and lead to Alzheimer’s disease, says StJohn Crean, dean of the College of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences.

Some research has suggested that gum disease is also associated with higher cancer mortality. Smoking also has big influence on our oral health and cancer mortality as well. There have been a dozen studies conducted over the last five years that have found one species called Fusobacterium nucleatum living in colorectal tumors.  Similar to P. Gingivalis, F. Nucleatum thrives in diseased gums and low-oxygen areas.

There is also a correlation between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis according to the journal Mediators of Inflammation done by researchers from the University of Ceara in Brazil. Another set of research has also been done to show the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease.  According to The Journal of Clinical Periodontology, studies have found that people with poor periodontal health have a greater chance of developing early symptoms of diabetes and having greater complications from the disease once it develops.  Studies are still being done to show if these correlations are true or not.  However, the amount of plaque between the teeth and the gums are still a quite an indication that your oral health should be taken care of and maintained.

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