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Fast Facts: Perio Edition - Periodontitis & Gut Microbiota

Fast Facts

Fast Facts: Perio Edition Episode 84
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Welcome back everyone! You are listening to another episode of Fast Facts- Perio Edition brought to you by A Tale of Two Hygienists in partnership with DentistRX. And now, please welcome your host, Katrina Sanders.
[Katrina Sanders, RDH]
Hello, and welcome to Fast Facts: Perio Edition. This week, I've got a "gut" feeling you're going to be very interested in this research piece. We're rolling out some new research. This comes to us from June of 2022 looking at how periodontitis may actually have an influence on the microbiota of the gut flora.
So this particular study really started to leverage a lot of the research that we were starting to postulate in which we wanted to understand what happens when you swallow periopathogenic bacteria. Specifically, does that periopathogenic bacteria have the ability to thrive or have an influence on our gut flora candida bacteria survive in the intestines, and ultimately, are these bacteria still even present in fecal samples?
So a research study was done looking at this influence. Fun Fact: about 1 to 1.5 liters of saliva is swallowed for each individual each, each day. We know in the case of patients with periodontitis that more pathogenic microbes live in that saliva. And thus, with the swallowing of this 1-1.5 liters of saliva, the question then becomes, how do these pathogenic microbes thrive within that gut microbiota?
We began to do research on rats and mice, and specifically, in this particular research study, it was determined that when bacteria of oral origin, salivary microbiota were introduced into mice, that these salivary microbes were actually able to thrive in the gut flora for at least 24 hours. This research thus concludes that patients who have periodontitis may begin to experience a dysbiotic gut microbiota.
Additionally, we began to do deeper research about the fecal samples of rats that were either periodontally healthy or in cases of severe periodontitis microbiota. What we found was that, yes, we could actually even trace these particular microbes in the colon and subsequent fecal samples of mice that participated in this study.
So there you have it. We understand through this experimental design that gut microbiota and intestinal health absolutely can be influenced by the salivary pathway. And thus, we now begin the daunting task of evaluating what it is that we understand about how this microbiota shift in the gut flora can subsequently influence our immune status.
Well, thank you for joining me this week as we discussed what we understand about periodontitis and its influence on dysbiosis of the gut microbiota.
This has been another episode of Fast Facts - Perio Edition with Katrina Sanders, RDH. Please feel free to reach me on Instagram @thedentalwinegenist or on my website Cheers.
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Thank you for listening to another episode of Fast Facts - Perio Edition, brought to you in part by DentistRX makers of the InteliSonic line of power brushes. Find out more by visiting their website at We'll see you next week for another Fast Fact!
Resource: ​​
Bao, J., Li, L., Zhang, Y., Wang, M., Chen, F., Ge, S., ... & Yan, F. (2022). Periodontitis may induce gut microbiota dysbiosis via salivary microbiota. International Journal of Oral Science, 14(1), 1-11.

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