Scientists Say Bacteria in The Mouth May Be a Cause : ScienceAlert

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Crohn’s disease, a lifelong condition that affects four million people worldwide, is characterized by debilitating symptoms such as chronic fatigue, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and malnutrition. Although there are ways to manage symptoms during flare-ups, there is currently no cure for the disease. The exact causes of Crohn’s disease remain unknown, but research suggests that it is a result of complex and overlapping factors, including genetics, environmental cues (such as smoking), and an overactive immune system in the gut. Additionally, studies have shown that the gut microbiome, which consists of trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, plays a crucial role in the development of the disease.

People with Crohn’s disease have been found to have a less diverse community of gut bacteria and higher levels of certain bacteria that can trigger gut inflammation. Surprisingly, research also indicates that bacteria in the mouth may play a role in this inflammatory condition. Our gut microbiome begins to develop at birth, with bacteria from the vagina, breast milk, skin, and the environment coming into contact with the newborn. As a result, the mouth contains a significant number of bacteria, second only to the gut in terms of bacterial population. These oral bacteria can form biofilms, complex structures on mouth surfaces, where they interact with each other and with immune cells to maintain health.

Studies have shown that individuals with Crohn’s disease have different bacteria in their mouths compared to those without the disease, suggesting a potential role for certain species of oral bacteria in the development of the condition. Furthermore, some bacteria found in higher abundances in the intestine of people with Crohn’s disease are also present in the mouth. One particular bacterium, Veillonella parvula, which is associated with diseases like periodontitis and meningitis, has been found to be abundant in the guts of individuals with Crohn’s disease.

Understanding the involvement of oral bacteria in Crohn’s disease could lead to improved diagnostic tests that only require a saliva sample, as well as better treatments for the condition. Additionally, other diseases such as brain disorders, breast cancer, and cardiovascular disease have also been linked to specific oral bacteria. However, further research is needed to fully determine how bacteria move from the mouth to the gut and establish a direct link between oral bacteria and Crohn’s disease in humans.

In conclusion, the oral microbiome appears to play a significant role in the development and progression of Crohn’s disease, as well as other conditions. Exploring the involvement of specific oral bacteria will not only enhance our understanding of Crohn’s disease but also contribute to the development of improved diagnostics and treatments for various diseases.

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