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Oral Bacteria and the Brain: What is the Connection?

March 19, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkics @ 7:38 pm
oral bacteria inside the mouth

It is believed that the mouth contains more than six billion bacteria. Both good and bad species exist, some helping to improve oral health while others trigger disease. New evidence now suggests that bad oral bacteria can not only create problems for teeth and gums but also for the brain. If you have not been as diligent about your dental hygiene routine, it’s time to discover just how risky it is to your whole-body health when it comes to neglecting your smile.

How Does Oral Bacteria Increase the Risk for Brain Abscesses?

Instead of simply wreaking havoc within the oral cavity, bad oral bacteria are now believed to also contribute to the formation of brain abscesses.

The Journal of Dentistry recently released a study in which researchers from The University of Plymouth and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust state they have discovered the presence of oral bacteria within patients’ brain abscesses. Samples were taken from 87 individuals who were admitted to a hospital with brain abscesses. Among those who had oral bacteria within the brain, they also had higher levels of Streptococcus anginosus. This is commonly found in various organs throughout the body including the liver, lungs, and brain.

The study concludes that in cases where a brain abscess cannot be attributed to other causes, it may be that oral bacteria cause the infection.

What Can Be Done to Lower Bad Oral Bacteria in the Mouth?

The study’s lead author expressed the importance of patients practicing good oral hygiene to lower the number of bad oral bacteria inside the mouth.

While it’s impossible to eliminate all of it, there are things you can do to improve the health of your teeth, gums, and overall oral cavity, including:

  • Continuing to see your dentist every six months for regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings.
  • Adopting a good oral hygiene routine at home that includes brushing for two minutes, twice a day, as well as flossing at least once before bedtime, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash.
  • Giving up unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Incorporating healthy foods into your daily diet so that various vitamins, minerals, and nutrients work to improve your smile and body.

With new research and advancements occurring in the field of dentistry, it’s becoming clearer just how connected the mouth and body truly are. To ensure your brain, heart, and overall health remain in the best possible shape, make sure you are taking the necessary steps to clean and maintain your beautiful smile daily.

About the Practice
At Westgate Dental Care, we place a strong emphasis on preventive care. Recognizing that it is the cornerstone for good dental care and oral health, patients should seek regular six-month visits to the dentist’s office and practice good at-home dental hygiene to mitigate problems throughout the body. If you want to start taking charge of your smile, visit our website or call us at (847) 908-3684 to let us help put you on the right path.