Gum Disease Recently Linked to Spinal Infection

In a recent case report in the peer-reviewed Cureus Journal of Medical Science, the authors write about a 54-year-old man who had not visited a dentist in decades. He was diagnosed with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria and a spinal infection which was thought to likely be caused by a dental infection.

In addition to reporting back pain, foot neuropathy and other issues, the patient said he had experienced chronic tooth pain since he was in his 20s, to the point where two of his molars had fallen out.

After significant testing, the medical team surmised that infection from his “significant” endodontic (root canal) and periodontal diseases spread through the bloodstream and to the spine. While this incident is rare, it illustrates how oral infections can spread remotely to all parts of the body.

Severe Gum Disease and Systemic Health

The report discusses the relationship between other seemingly unrelated issues, like Crohn’s disease, the chronic inflammation of the bowel also linked to dental disease and odontogenic (related to teeth) inflammation and infection.

These connections are both directly related to the bacteria found in the mouth and the immune response to those bacteria which influence gastrointestinal (GI) function. Odontogenic infections, when not treated, can lead to tooth loss and, as shown in numerous studies, are related to other systemic issues including diabetes, respiratory disease, premature low birth-weight babies, coronary heart disease, chronic kidney disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and more.

We’re all too aware of this dangerous perio-systemic link and urge patients who suspect gum disease to take it seriously.

When caught in its earliest stage (gingivitis), gum disease can be reversed. In later stages, we treat gum disease with an arsenal of tried-and-true, non-surgical and surgical procedures personalized to your needs.

Improve your health and quality of life by addressing gum disease NOW and making an appointment with one of our dental health experts today. You do not need a referral from your dentist or physician so call us directly!