Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract according to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, affects nearly 700,000 Americans, though the cause of the disease is still relatively unknown.
Annsofi Johannsen and Sara Szymanska of the Department of Dental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Huddinge, Sweden conducted the study. Participants ?filled out self-assessment questionnaires pertaining to oral hygiene, dental health, medical history, and dietary habits, and received complete dental exams?including assessment of their salivary bacterial loads for the presence of the caries-causing bacteria lactobacilli and Streptococcus mutans,? according to Dimensions of Dental Hygiene.
The research included 3 unique groups: 71 individuals with Crohn's disease who had resective intestinal surgery, 79 with Crohn's disease who had not had resective surgery and 75 control members.
The results of the study showed that participants with Crohn's disease and resective intestinal surgery had the highest scores on the decayed missing filled surfaces (DMFS) index. These participants also had the highest lactobacilli and S. mutans and dental plaque counts.
Men with Crohn's disease were also found to have more decay and higher plaque levels compared to women with Crohn?s.