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Periodontitis in the mouth may signal ‘uncontrolled’ diabetes and bowel disease

Many of us know that good oral hygiene is vital when it comes to maintaining dental and oral health. Without a good brushing, we can be left with decaying teeth and gum disease. However, some mouth problems are actually a sign that something is wrong.

Dental surgeon Dr Nilesh Parmar spoke to Express.co.uk to explain more.

He said: “The mouth is one of the most visible areas of the body and can be a gateway to diagnosing common diseases.

“The oral mucosa is sensitive to changes in the body and can therefore help us diagnose diseases.”

He warned of periodontitis, or periodontitis, a gum disease that can cause bleeding gums, swollen gums, and even tooth loss.

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While the condition itself is often caused by poor oral hygiene, it is also associated with other seemingly unrelated conditions.

In this case, it may signal diabetes or bowel disease.

“Bleeding gums and bone loss around the teeth are common signs of periodontal disease,” said Dr. Parmar. “However, it can also be the result of uncontrolled diabetes.

“Intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease can also show up in the mouth.

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“If we think of the mouth as an extension of the digestive tract, diseases that affect the intestines can also be found in the mouth.

“Inflammation, uneven gums, and ulceration are all associated with bowel disease.”

This was confirmed by a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology in 2016.

The study states: “Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) appear to have an increased prevalence of periodontal disease compared to healthy individuals, likely due to changes in the oral microbiota and a higher inflammatory response.

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“Moreover, the induction of periodontitis appears to lead to gut dysbiosis and altered intestinal epithelial cell barrier function, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of IBD.”

Inflammatory bowel disease basically refers to two conditions: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and is not the same as irritable bowel syndrome.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Pain, cramps, or bloating
  • Recurrent or bloody diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue.

If you suspect that you have inflammatory bowel disease, you should contact your GP.

British diabetes experts added: “There is a link between diabetes and gum disease, each disease affects the other, but we don’t know exactly why.

“Gum disease is a very common disease. But when you have diabetes, your risk is higher.

“This can lead to bone loss around the teeth and gum recession over time. This can lead to tooth loss, known as periodontitis.”

He warns that gum disease can raise blood sugar levels.

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