Inflammatory bowel diseases cause direct damage to our health and cause various problems in our mouth and teeth. This complication manifests itself by causing sores in the mouth or tooth decay. Follow the medical guidelines in this regard.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is often thought of as a condition that affects only the gastrointestinal tract.
The effect of inflammatory bowel disease on teeth and gums
The first thing to keep in mind is that the mouth is also part of the gastrointestinal tract and can therefore be affected by inflammatory bowel disease. Some people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may develop an ulcer in their mouth known as aphthous stomatitis. Uncommon, cases of Crohn’s disease have been reported in people who have experienced Crohn’s disease in their mouths.
One part of the mouth that is sometimes overlooked is the teeth. Teeth are not directly affected by inflammatory bowel disease, but they can be indirectly affected by medications and nutritional factors.
The results of a study showed that people with Crohn’s disease need more dental visits than healthy people of the same age. This condition is less common in people with ulcerative colitis. Accordingly, people with inflammatory bowel disease need to focus more on maintaining the health of their teeth as well as addressing other problems caused by the disease.
Periodontitis and inflammatory bowel disease
People with inflammatory bowel disease experience more and more periodontitis, an infection of the gums around the teeth, compared to healthy people. Periodontitis increases the risk of tooth loss and therefore leads to more and more patients in the dental office for dental care.
Smoking is one of the most common causes of periodontitis in people with inflammatory bowel disease.
People with Crohn’s disease who smoke experience a more severe course of the disease. Smoking is also known to be a risk factor for periodontitis, and people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis who smoke increase their risk. It is strongly recommended that people with inflammatory bowel disease avoid smoking in order to avoid the negative consequences.
Tooth decay and inflammatory bowel disease
People with inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to experience tooth decay than healthy people. The results of a study showed that people with Crohn’s disease have elevated levels of two different types of bacteria called lactobacilli and Streptococcus mutans in their saliva. Also, this study showed that people with Crohn’s disease consumed more sugary drinks than the control group consisting of healthy people.
These results should not embarrass people with Crohn’s disease about their diet, because there are good reasons why they should consume more sugary drinks. These people need nutritious drinks due to lack of nutrients in the diet or consume sports drinks to fight dehydration.
It is not clear exactly how medications prescribed for inflammatory bowel disease may affect oral health. Many people with inflammatory bowel disease are treated with steroids, such as prednisone, during their illness. Prednisone may be associated with an increased risk of tooth decay, but no detailed research has been done in this area.
Get proper oral care
Not going to the dentist is not uncommon among adults, especially when many other factors are involved. People with inflammatory bowel disease have already seen a doctor regularly and may be facing significant financial burdens. Hence, brushing your teeth twice a year or taking care of other oral problems can be sent to the bottom of the list of priorities, which is understandable.
However, preventive care is the most important factor in preventing future problems. Brushing and flossing twice a day for oral care is recommended for most adults, but people with inflammatory bowel disease should talk to their dentist about the need for other daily procedures.
It may be helpful to see a dentist who has experience treating patients with inflammatory bowel disease or other chronic conditions. Some dental procedures may require the use of antibiotics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and your gastroenterologist should be aware of these medications. Antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been shown to cause problems such as diarrhea and even flare-ups in some people with inflammatory bowel disease.