- Published Date: 06 Nov 2020
- Updated Date: 22 Mar 2021
- Reading Time: 4 min
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Mark A. Falco D.D.S
Many people still assume stomach ulcers are linked to the overproduction of stomach acid. And, to that end, it was common for the treatment to aim towards the control of that acid. In recent years it has been discovered that there are certain bacteria within the mouth as a result of poor hygiene that can also cause stomach ulcers.
Studies have shown that when there is too much of a certain bacteria, called Helicobacter Pylori it can accumulate in the stomach. As this type of bacteria requires almost no oxygen to thrive and is what we know as gram-negative bacteria our stomachs with minimum oxygen acts as perfect hosts. Helicobacter Pylori can multiply quickly in this anaerobic environment and causes lesions in the stomach lining.
We know our mouths contain many different types of bacteria; in fact, it is somewhere in the region of 700 different types. Most of the bacteria in our mouths are gram-positive, which means they need oxygen to grow and produce energy.
H. pylori, which incubate in the gum line and as several other gram-negative types of bacteria, are responsible for gingivitis. Gingivitis causes inflammation and bleeding gums, and this can also lead to periodontitis, which is the deterioration of the underlying jawbone. Moreover, in addition to periodontal disease H pylori can heavily contribute to halitosis (bad breath) and Apthous ulcers in the oral cavity. Along being detrimental to the gingiva, there has been evidence to suggest a link between H pylori bacteria and the presence of dental caries.
In order to minimize the likelihood of getting a stomach ulcer due to the bacteria in your mouth, good oral hygiene is a must.
What Is A Stomach Ulcer?
A stomach ulcer is also known as a gastric ulcer. They are sores that have developed in the lining of the stomach. The most common symptoms of a stomach ulcer are:
- A burning sensation in the stomach
- Gnawing pain sensation in the center of the tummy
- Feeling sick often
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
Stomach ulcers aren’t always painful but can be quite uncomfortable.
How Serious Are Stomach Ulcers?
Many stomach ulcers will resolve on their own. However, it is important to have yourself looked at in case of an emergency or progressively worsening symptoms. Here are some of the complications that can result from having a longstanding stomach ulcer. Bleeding resulting from the blockages in the opening that connects the stomach to the small intestine – this happens due to a build-up of scar tissue and inflammation. Possible perforation, from a hole in the stomach’s lining can also result. Eventually bleeding can lead to anemia which in itself is another medical issue that needs attention.
How Does H.pylori Cause A Peptic Ulcer?
The H.pylori bacteria can weaken the protective mucous lining we have in our stomach and duodenum. This weakening lets the acid seep through. Both the bacteria and the acid will begin to irritate the lining and cause a sore or an ulcer.
The H.pylori can easily survive in the stomach not only because it is gram-negative but also because it secretes an enzyme that neutralize the acids which might be detrimental to the bacteria itself. The H. pylori has a very specific shape that allows it to burrow in the stomach’s lining.
How Can I Reduce My Risk of Oral micro flora-Related Stomach Ulcer?
Brushing your teeth daily is essential, but there are more things that you can do to prevent dental disease and reduce the impact. Dental disease is also sometimes known as periodontal disease. This occurs when the bacteria in plaque builds up, causing the gum that surrounds the tooth to get inflamed.
If it is left untreated, the inflammation can cause the bone structure to deteriorate. This will lead to gum recession and eventually cause tooth loss.
Brush your teeth
Brush your teeth after every meal, and at the very minimum, twice a day. This will help remove stains, food debris, and plaque. You should also brush your tongue, as bacteria can build up there fairly quickly.
Our teeth naturally have gaps between them, by flossing at least once a day, you can remove food debris and plaque which is otherwise inaccessible to toothbrush. You can use dental floss, interdental brushes, water flossers (water picks), sonic air flossers, and dental picks to clean any nooks and crannies.
Gargling with mouthwash will help remove and dislodge any leftover plaque and food debris. Choosing a mouthwash that has extra benefits like fresh breath or gum could be extra beneficial.
The biggest support in maintaining your dental health is your dentist. They will be able to give you a personalized oral hygiene regime along with regular hygiene appointments to remove any built-up plaque and calculus. If you have misaligned teeth, they can be more difficult to manage at home. It is a good idea to consider using clear aligners to minimize the pockets where plaque, tartar, and bacteria can build up. Since clear aligners eliminate these pockets they allow for a more thorough clean up leading to a healthier oral cavity over all.
Taking care of your oral hygiene is not only great for your teeth and gums, but for your overall health.
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Mark A. Falco D.D.S