A growing body of research is pointing towards there being a link between the debilitating health condition Crohn’s Disease and bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria in both the gut and mouth appear to play a role in Crohn’s Disease. Therefore, our oral health becomes an important consideration, with the possibility that oral health and Crohn’s Disease may be connected.

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Crohn’s Disease is a health condition that affects approximately 4million people around the world. The condition is very debilitating and is a lifelong condition.

For such a serious condition, there is a comparable lack of knowledge on the causes of the condition. However, there is a growing body of research that suggests that mouth bacteria may play a role in the development of the condition [1]. This interesting link is regularly looked into by researchers.

About Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease is a lifelong condition that involves parts of the digestive system becoming inflamed. Symptoms of the condition include stomach aches, chronic fatigue, diarrhea and weight loss [2].

The causes are not entirely known. It is believed that a combination of elements may be involved – such as genetics, environmental factors or an overactive immune system [2].

Treating Crohn’s Disease can be challenging. Corticosteroids are the usual choice of treatment, but these are rarely able to provide a large reduction in symptoms [2].

The role of the gut microbiome

As mentioned above, an overactive immune system is believed to be involved in causing Crohn’s Disease. Specifically, the immune system is overactive in the gut. Therefore, the gut microbiome becomes important.

The gut microbiome refers to the habitat of trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Every human has a gut microbiome, with it present from birth. Moreover, the gut microbiome plays an important role in the function of our immune cells.

Crucially, past research has showed that people with Crohn’s Disease have a less diverse gut microbiome [3]. Then, looking at the situation from a wider view, research also suggests that bacteria in the mouth can play a role in the development of this condition.

Mouth microbiome

From the moment of conception, our gut is completely sterile – with no bacteria present. However, as soon as we are born we come into contact with bacteria. By the time we reach adulthood, trillions of bacteria are present [1]!

The most common entry point for bacteria into the body is the mouth. Therefore, aside from the gut, the mouth contains the highest amount of bacteria. Any time that we put something in our mouth, bacteria enters too.

As a result, the mouth microbiome is incredibly important in many conditions – including in conditions that involve the immune system like Crohn’s Disease.

Crohn’s Disease and the mouth microbiome

Researchers believe that these two areas are linked. Past research has found that those with Crohn’s Disease typically have a different make-up of bacteria in their mouths compared to those without the condition [4]. Therefore, the implication here is that certain species of bacteria in the mouth could be connected to Crohn’s Disease.

Moreover, other research has found that certain species of bacteria are found in higher quantities in the mouth of those with Crohn’s Disease compared to those without the condition [5]. Again, the suggestion is that there are certain bacteria species that in high quantity appear to be linked to Crohn’s Disease.

Furthermore, one type of bacteria – Veillonella Parvula – is commonly seen in the gut microbiome of those with Crohn’s Disease [1]. This type of bacteria is also associated with Gum Disease, which shows there is a link between oral health and Crohn’s Disease.

Gum disease also involves inflammation – which is a key part of Crohn’s Disease. Inflammation of the mouth can result in bacteria growing at a faster pace, resulting in an over-activation of the immune system [1]. Therefore, inflammation of the mouth could also play a role in Crohn’s Disease.

The oral health link

With there being a link between oral health and Crohn’s Disease, this reminds us of how oral health is closely linked to our overall health. Therefore, this underlines the importance of our oral health.

Further research into this link is due to be carried out. Particularly, efforts will be focusing on other types of bacteria that are found in both the gut microbiome of those with Crohn’s Disease and in the mouth microbiome. This raises the possibility of a saliva test being a possibility in the future to diagnose Crohn’s Disease, which would be hugely beneficial [1].

Thinking points…

1) In the article above, the topic of gum disease comes up. Gum disease is a common condition that affects many people. However, it is preventable, with excellent oral hygiene and a healthy diet important. But one of the most important things to do is to attend a regular dental check-up, as this can provide a dentist with the chance to take a look at your oral health and spot any signs of gum disease. We recommend booking an appointment now!

2) Do you know anyone with Crohn’s Disease? If so, they may find an article about this topic very interesting. You could share this article with them and see what they think about it. Also, if you know anyone that is exhibiting early warning signs of this condition, this article could also be very useful to them. Consider sharing this article now!

What we offer at Taradale Dental

Taradale Dental is a Calgary dental clinic that provide its patients with a wide range of dental treatment options and advice aimed at improving their oral health.

It is crucial to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss regularly. Moreover, eating healthily and trying to avoid sugary foods and drink is important.

We advise our patients to attend our Calgary-based dental clinic twice a year for a regular dental check-up. When problems are detected, we have many treatments available. For instance, these include cavity fillings and root canals.

Here at Taradale Dental, we also have some cosmetic treatments available! These include dental implants, tooth whitening and Invisalign™! Many people find that these treatments have a positive impact on their appearance, confidence and self-esteem.

In addition, all of our services at our Calgary dental clinic Taradale Dental are in line with the Alberta Dental Fee Guide.

We would love you to visit our Taradale Dental clinic in Calgary! You can find out more about us by visiting our website https://taradaledental.ca.


[1] Ho, G., & Whelan, R. (2023). Crohn’s disease: bacteria in the mouth may be a cause – here’s why. Available: https://theconversation.com/crohns-disease-bacteria-in-the-mouth-may-be-a-cause-heres-why-209716. Last accessed: 28th July 2023.

[2] NHS. (2021). Crohn’s Disease. Available: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/crohns-disease/. Last accessed: 28th July 2023.

[3] Halfvarson, J., Brislawn, C. J., Lamendella, R., Vazquez-Baeza, Y., Walters, W. A., Bramer, L. M., D’Amato, M., Bonfiglio, F., McDonald, D., Gonzalez, A., McClure, E. E., Dunklebarger, M. F., Knight, R., & Jansson, J. K. (2017). Dynamics of the human gut microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease. Nature Microbiology. 2: 17004. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.4.

[4] Said, H. S., Suda, W., Nakagome, S., Chinen, H., Oshima, K., Kim, S., Kimura, R., Iraha, A., Ishida, H., Fujita, J., Mano, S., Morita, H., Dohi, T., Oota, H., & Hattori, M. (2013). Dysbiosis of Salivary Microbiota in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Its Association With Oral Immunological Biomarkers. DNA Research. 21 (1): p15-25. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/dnares/dst037.

[5] Gevers, D., K., Kugathasan, S., Denson, L. A., Vasquez-Baeza, Y., Van Trueren, W., Ren, B., Schwager, E., Knights, D., Song, S. J., Yassour, M., Morgan, X. C., Kostic, A. D., Luo, C., Gonzalez, A., McDonald, D., Haberman, Y., Walters, T., Baker, S., Rosh, J., Stephens, M., Heyman, M., Markowitz, J., Baldassano, R., Griffiths, A., Sylvester, F., Mack, D., Kim, S., Crandall, W., Hyams, J., Huttenhower, C., Knight, R., Xavier, R. J. (2014). The Treatment-Naive Microbiome in New-Onset Crohn’s Disease. Cell Host & Microbe. 15 (3): p382-392. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2014.02.005.