Sacramento Dentistry Group Discusses: Crohn's Disease and Oral Hygiene

A recent study from Sweden links poor oral health with a reduced risk of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Does this mean that people should not care for their teeth? What are the negative consequences of poor oral hygiene. The Sacramento Dentistry Group discusses the implications of this study.

Crohn's Disease and Oral Hygiene

Crohn’s disease is an illness that causes significant inflammation of the intestinal tract. The lesions and ulcers produced by Crohn’s in the intestines are also found in the mouth, often times before other symptoms are noticed. Therefore, dentists and hygienists commonly notice the signs of this disease before other health care professionals. Thus, regular visits to your dentist can help you to identify this disease and begin treatment at an early stage.

The Link with Oral Hygiene

A recent study from Sweden has made a disturbing connection, however, with good oral hygiene and Crohn’s disease. Researchers followed approximately 20,000 people over forty years and examined their dental history and incidents of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They found that patients missing a considerable number of teeth were less likely to have gastrointestinal issues.

The cause for this connection is unknown. At this stage, without a causative factor identified, you cannot say that losing your teeth is the key to avoiding IBD. Indeed, only 1% of the subjects actually acquired Crohn’s disease or similar disorders. So 99% of the patients had no problems, meaning their oral health was not even considered. Many of the perfectly healthy people likely had excellent oral health. IBD is constantly under study around the world and more definitive information will certainly be revealed in time.

Dental Recommendations

When making decisions based on any medical study, it’s best to consider the greater risk. If you fail to care for your teeth with regular oral hygiene and dental examinations, you will eventually lose a significant number, if not all, of your teeth. This is guaranteed! Tooth loss is generally accompanied by significant pain, discomfort, and declining health. Poor oral hygiene is also connected with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, birth complications and other disorders. Even if keeping your teeth clean does mean that you have a slightly increased risk of IBD, good oral hygiene leads to better health and wellness overall for the vast majority of people.

For more information on dental issues, feel free to contact the dentists at the Sacramento Dentistry Group via or at 916-538-6900.

Source: Sacramento Dentistry Group