Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS February 5, 2016
But, my next statement may be even more important: Bad things may be going on in your gut without causing obvious gut symptoms. Yet, those bad things still could be causing your gum problems.
Let me explain.
The tube that extends for about 30 feet from your mouth to your anus is called the digestive tract or gastrointestinal tract. Anything that goes on in any part of that tube may affect everything else in that tube. If you had unhealthy changes in your gut, they definitely could affect your mouth.
What could affect the gut?
The foods you eat could change the bacteria populations in your gut, which could damage your gut lining. Also, some foods could put holes in the lining of your gut. Then, undigested food particles and bacteria particles could leak from your gut into your blood system and cause various inflammatory reactions. All this could affect other areas in your body.
Changes in the bacteria in your gut and changes in the lining of your gut also could cause changes in the tissues in your mouth. You could develop ulcers in your mouth; you could have unhealthy increases of bad bacteria around your gums; you could develop serious damage in the bone that holds your teeth in place in your jaw. Gut issues could cause all these mouth issues. However, as I mentioned, you may not have obvious gut pain or other gut symptoms.
Are there tests that can suggest what is happening in the gut?
Some functional medicine tests could help determine if you are sensitive to specific foods that could be the culprits. Other tests could help determine if there is an abundance of bad bacteria or other microbes living in your gut. Additional tests could identify if your gut lining is damaged and causing leakage into your bloodstream. These tests might help your dentist or other practitioner get to the bottom of your mouth problems.
Although proper oral hygiene is very important to help your mouth stay healthy, there may be other causes. Not-so-obvious causes may start in your gut but later affect your mouth. Probably, up to this point, no one has addressed those possibilities.
If you suffer from these problems, a dentist that understands functional medicine might be able to help.