Research Suggests Oral Bacteria Make IBS and Colitis Worse

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A new study has suggested that oral bacteria can make symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and colitis worse.

The study, which has been published in the Oral Diseases journal, claims that symptoms of colitis were aggravated and exacerbated by the presence of several strains of oral bacteria.

In the past, studies have linked gum disease to an increased risk of heart disease and strokes and this latest research project highlights the strong link between the mouth and the rest of the body.

IBS is one of the most common digestive disorders and it causes symptoms including changes in bowel habits, bloating and stomach cramps; in most cases, it is triggered by illness, eating certain foods or stress and symptoms tend to appear in most people when they are in their twenties or thirties.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said that the research is another reminder of how important it is to take good care of the teeth and gums. Dr Carter said that the study is the latest in a long series of projects, which have identified a significant relationship between oral and general health and urged people to take note of the findings, especially those who suffer from IBS and colitis.

Dr Carter’s tips for a healthy mouth include brushing twice a day and flossing, eating well, which is particularly important for those with IBS, and seeing your dentist every 6 months for a check-up.

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