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Poor gum health: a red flag for dysbiosis?

The latest research challenges traditional ideas about microorganisms and health. We now know that the collection of human microbes (the microbiome) colonising the human body don’t only cause disease but are integral to health. The mouth is no exception; the health of the oral microbiome is intrinsically linked to the health of the mouth and gums. This highlights an important opportunity: by detecting the obvious signs of microbiome disturbance, such as bleeding or inflamed gums, can we act early to improve health outcomes?

How does the microbiome influence gum health?

Until recently, the theory was relatively simple: if pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria persist in the mouth, gum problems or caries can result. But it now seems the picture is more complex, because many bacterial species have valuable functions. In fact, both health and disease-associated bacteria co-exist in a diverse natural oral ecosystem. Salivary enzymes and proteins naturally help to keep this system balanced in a state of symbiosis.

Disease can occur if the finely tuned ecosystem in the mouth is disturbed. Then, a single or few disease-associated species may begin to proliferate and dominate, leading to dysbiosis and potentially gum problems or caries. For example, this can happen if inflamed and bleeding gums reduce oxygen levels in the affected area, favouring anaerobic bacteria associated with tissue damage and gingivitis. The cycle can be self-perpetuating. Tissue damage in turn provides nutrients for disease-associated bacteria, promoting further dysbiosis.

Which patients could be affected?

Dysbiosis of the microbiome be triggered by changes to lifestyle or health. Patients affected by these changes are then more likely to develop gum problems and caries, and early signs of poor gum health can be an important flag for dysbiosis.

  • During pregnancy, changes in hormones can affect the oral microbiome. Up to three-quarters of women suffer from gum disease while they are pregnant.
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, poor diet or stress can trigger chronic inflammation, disrupting the natural balance of the oral microbiome.
  • Diabetes is associated with metabolic dysregulation leading to a highly inflammatory state that can affect the microbiome balance.

By detecting early signs of gum problems in these patient groups, dental practitioners have a window of opportunity to intervene and prevent progression to poor gum health.

Factoren die van invloed zijn op het orale microbioom

Factoren die van invloed zijn op het orale microbioom

Het is wetenschappelijk bewezen dat Zendium gezond tandvlees bevordert

Fysieke verstoring van het microbioom door tweemaal daags te poetsen met een tandpasta met fluoride is essentieel om tandvlees gezond te houden.  Bovendien is het wetenschappelijk bewezen dat Zendium-tandpasta de gezondheid van tandvlees bevordert door het orale microbioom in balans te brengen.* Dit maakt Zendium geschikt voor mensen met de eerste tekenen van een verlaagde mondweerstand, die kunnen wijzen op een onbalans van het microbioom.

*Verwijst naar het tandplakmicrobioom en het betrekkelijk grote aantal bacteriesoorten waarvan bekend is dat deze zijn gerelateerd aan de gezondheid van tandvlees, na 14 weken lang tweemaal daags poetsen met Zendium, vergeleken met een baseline.

1. Adams S.E. et al. Sci. Rep. (2017) 43344.