Infections from oral bacteria involving the face, neck, jaw or tongue usually occurring following injury to the mouth or jaw or dental manipulation such as extraction, root canal or crowns. Oral infections are perpetuated by the formation of biofilm on the teeth by oral bacteria (dental plaque) as part of their survival mechanisms.
Thyroid Abnormalities and Oral Health
Those suffering from thyroid conditions may experience recurrent gum bleeding, easy bruising, and chronic fatigue. Hypothyroid patients have capillary blood supply alterations in gum tissues. Those suffering from thyroid issues also have enhanced periodontal bone loss as tooth-supporting alveolar bone is less sensitive to hormonal signals.
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Periodontitis is a multifactorial disease with microbial biofilm (dental plaque) as the initiator of periodontal disease. However, the manifestation and progression of the disease is influenced by a wide variety of determinants and factors. The strongest type of causal relationship is the association of systemic inflammation and periodontal disease. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis has also been considered as one of the contributors to periodontal disease.
Periodontitis is a set of inflammatory conditions affecting the periodontium, i.e., the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Periodontitis involves progressive loss of the alveolar bone around the teeth, and if left untreated, can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth. Periodontitis is caused by microorganisms that adhere to and grow on the tooth’s surfaces, along with an over-aggressive immune response against these microorganisms. A diagnosis of periodontitis is established by inspecting the soft gum tissues around the teeth with a probe (i.e., a clinical examination) and by evaluating the patient’s X-ray films (i.e. a radiographic examination), to determine the amount of bone loss around the teeth.
Chronic generalized periodontitis (CGP) contributes to endocrine dysfunction with cortisol level reduction and free thyroid hormones increase. Oral manifestations of endocrine dysfunction can be observed initially by dentists. Thyroid disease can lead to imbalance in the homeostasis of the body and affect the healing capacity of tissues. Thyroid diseases affect the status of periodontal diseases, especially in hypothyroid conditions.
Patients with long standing hypothyroidism may have increased subcutaneous mucopolysaccharides due to decrease in the degradation of these substances. The presence of excess subcutaneous mucopolysaccharides may decrease the ability of small blood vessels to constrict when damaged or cut and may result in increased bleeding from infiltrated tissues, including mucosa and skin. Local pressure for an extended time will probably control the bleeding from the small vessels adequately.
Patients suffering from Hypothyroidism also have poor gingival microcirculation with a reduction in the diameter of capillaries, as well as a greater number and tortuosity of capillary loops. Inflammatory complications of dental implantations and free thyroxin in oral fluid is associated with thyroid insufficiency.
Thyroid diseases may affect the status of periodontal diseases, especially in hypothyroid conditions. The duration from disease onset to treatment of thyroid disorders may be critical, since uncontrolled thyroid disease may result in destruction of the periodontium. Periodontal therapies, including dental implant placement, appear to be safe with no increase in treatment failure, so long as the status of the thyroid gland is controlled.
Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC) have a relatively high rate of abnormal findings in the thyroid gland that can be detected by US. Scans that include the thyroid gland should be performed when surveying cervical lymph nodes for metastasis during US examination. Particular attention should be paid to thyroid gland-related diseases in older men who have oral cancer and to thyroid gland abnormalities if patients had oral SCC in the floor of the mouth or of the maxillary gingiva.
The successful management of thyroid conditions is beneficial for the successful treatment of periodontal conditions. The length of time from periodontal disease onset to treatment of thyroid disorders may be critical, since uncontrolled thyroid disease may result in destruction of the specialized tissues that both surround and support the teeth, maintaining them in the maxillary and mandibular bones.
The combined affects of oral Periogenic bacteria and thyroid disease increases the amount of alveolar bone loss. Oral Periogenic bacteria can cross into the blood stream through the bleeding gums causing a systemic inflammatory infection. The tissue of the gums can also become infected.
If an oral bacterial infection is not able to establish drainage through the skin surface or into the oral cavity, it may spread diffusely through the neck’s soft tissue. Once the infection descends into the neck, it may reach the thyroid gland. The spread of the oral infection to the thyroid can cause thyrotoxic symptoms: temperature changes, pale skin, excessive sweating, tremors, tiredness, rapid heart beat. The swelling of the thyroid gland can cause trouble swallowing and speaking. Dental treatment would be required to stop the infectious drainage to the thyroid.
Oral bacteria causing infections in gum tissue may threaten more than your teeth and gums. Research has established associations between oral bacteria and systemic diseases including:
- Chronic Inflammation
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Thyroid issues
- Hair loss
- Gastrointestinal disease
- Degenerative Disc disease
- Arthritis and Joint Pain
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory Disease
- Blood Clots
- Preterm and Low Birth Weight Babies
- And many more.
The theories linking oral bacteria to other diseases explain that the mouth may be a portal for bacteria to spread to the rest of your body. These theories have been confirmed through the use of microbial DNA testing with an added wrinkle. There are more than just acid loving-cavity causing bacteria in the mouth. This recent adaption of DNA testing from the courtroom to researching microbes has opened up a whole new can of worms.
Results from the Metametrix Gastrointestinal Function stool panel often see higher than normal levels of oral bacteria in the test results. Alkaline loving periodontal disease causing anaerobic bacteria have been identified using the micro-IDent®plus from Hain-Diagnostics. These bacteria flourish in an alkaline environment.
These oral bacteria (Prevotella, Fusobacteria & Streptomyces species) should be killed by stomach acid and bile salts. There should be limited numbers in stool samples.
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After mixing with food being chewed, oral bacteria are swallowed. Stomach acid should sterilize food and anything ingested. Low stomach acid, which most people have, allows the bacteria to survive passage through the stomach. The small intestines pH of 8.8 – 9.2 is the ideal alkaline environment for these oral bacteria. This allows oral bacteria to gain a foothold and begin multiplying. Once in their ideal environment, they produce endotoxins and biotoxins, which disrupt your body’s ability to produce digestive chemistry and promote inflammation.
Prevotella & Fusobacteria bacteria colonize by binding or attaching to other bacteria in addition to epithelial cells, creating a larger infection in previously infected areas. Another survival mechanism is Prevotella cells’ natural antibiotic resistant genes, which prevent extermination. Prevotella species are able to feed on the sulphites in food; creating hydrogen sulphide with is toxic to other bacteria and the cells of your body.
Infections from oral bacteria involving the face, neck, jaw or tongue usually occurring following injury to the mouth or jaw or dental manipulation such as extraction, root canal or crowns. Prevotella intermedia (formerly Bacteroides intermedius) is a gram-negative anaerobic pathogen involved in periodontal infections including vertical bone loss.
Bifidobacteria are relatively abundant inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of humans and animals. Many bifidobacterial species, in conjunction with other members of the intestinal microbiota are believed to contribute to good intestinal health. These perceived beneficial health effects have driven commercial exploitation of bifidobacteria as live components of many functional foods and probiotics. However, bifidobacteria have also been isolated from the human oral cavity, where their presence is linked to the progression of tooth decay. This species is capable of acidogenesis to produce a pH in with sugar as a food source below pH 4.2 sufficient to cause extensive demineralization of tooth tissues. Symptoms caused by oral Bifidobacteria:
- Dental pain alleviated only by loss or extraction of affected tooth.
- Acidification of mouth.
- Caused extensive demineralization of tooth tissues.
- Dental cavities or caries.
- Coronal caries in adults and children.
- Root caries in adults.
- Progressive tooth decay
Growth of Oral Bacteria
The growth of bacteria in the mouth occurs in three stages. After the first stage of attachment to your teeth and gums, the bacteria form a biofilm colony with a filmy or slimy protective covering. You know this as Tarter, Plaque and Calculus. The most advanced stage of bacterial growth involves clumps of bacteria detaching from the colony to form new infections falling down into your digestive tract.
The bacterial infection, like the colony growing on the tooth surface spreads when small clumps of bacteria detach in a “seeding” effect to form new infections. Left unchecked, bacteria growing in the protective colonies in periodontal pockets can lead to the destruction of teeth and eventually the bone supporting the teeth. Because the bacteria may spread through your body to threaten more than your teeth and gums, it is important to seek evaluation by a Dentist for dental/oral infections and treat any infected areas of your mouth. Ultra-sonic scaling is needed to break up biofilm formed by Prevotella, Fusobacteria and Streptomyces species found in the Metametrix Gastrointestinal Function Profile. Traditional oral hygiene methods will not break up biofilm. Read More: Silent But Deadly – Periodontal Disease – Part 1
Odds are good that you clean your silverware, cups, plates, and bowls— almost anything that goes into your mouth—after every use. You should also sanitize your toothbrush? Unlike most of the other things you put in your mouth every day, your toothbrush has tightly packed bristles which form nooks and crannies that hold on to moisture, forming a perfect sanctuary for germs that cause illnesses like flu, cold, and diarrhea. Bacteria are introduced into your toothbrush in many ways. Some come from your own mouth, others are airborne, and still more sail to your brush on water droplets launched form the toilet when you flush. However they get there, you can bet that once they’ve found your toothbrush, the germs are there to stay.
If left unchecked these bacteria will multiply, filling your brush with colony after colony of potentially disease causing germs. By the time you are ready to toss out your brush you could be putting thousands, if not millions, of bacteria in your mouth every time you brush. I recommend using an Ultraviolet Toothbrush Sanitizer.
Oral bacteria like to be near air. In fact, Prevotella and Fusobacteria make the air bubbles in Swiss cheese. After falling into the digestive tract, low stomach acid, which most people have, allows the bacteria to survive. Doing what they do, they begin producing air, which allows other aerobic microbes (many are disease causing) to gain a foothold and begin multiplying. The endotoxins and biotoxins produced disrupt your ability to produce digestive chemistry and promote inflammation.
This inflammation causes a multitude of conditions like those listed above throughout your body. Functional Medicine helps to identify these hidden sources of inflammation, repair that which needs repairing and restore the environment controlling your digestion and other metabolic processes.
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Oral Bacteria Translocation
Flossing, brushing or especially dental scaling can easily create bleeding. Many dentists claim this is normal and insignificant in terms of regular dentistry. If you experience oral bleeding you should be concerned, especially if you are suffering from an autoimmune condition. This opens a two-way street for blood to escape, and for bacteria to enter the blood stream. The blood stream provides access to all of the organs and tissues of the body while the bacteria (influenced by chemotaxis) looks for lodging.
Biting something hard like almonds, raw crunchy veggies or any hard food flushes these bacteria – if present – to the gingival crevice where they are liberated into the lymphatic drainage or into the blood circulation when chewing food or gum.If an infection is not able to establish drainage through the skin surface or into the oral cavity, it may spread diffusely through fascial planes of the neck’s soft tissue. Once the infection descends into the submandibular space, it may extend to the lateral pharyngeal space, and then to the retro-pharyngeal space. From here, it may reach the thyroid gland.
The damage caused to the gland results in the release of a conspicuous quantity of thyroid hormones, thus causing a thyrotoxic pattern: temperature, cutaneous pallor, excessive perspiration, tremor, tiredness, weight loss, increased appetite, and tachycardia.
Additionally, the thyroid gland’s edema caused difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and speaking (dysphonia) commonly seen with thyroid gland enlargement. After dental treatment consisting of ultrasonic scaling, PerioProtect and appropriate anti-inflammatory and antibiotic therapy determined by dental PCR testing, administration of oral beta-blockers and corticosteroid therapy may be performed to counteract thyrotoxicosis in order to prevent recurrences. A root canal may be necessary, once the thyrotoxicosis had been resolved.
Simply using nutritional support for the thyroid will have no impact on oral bacteria induced damage to the thyroid. Call 530-615-4083 for more information.