Abstract

Is the microbiome the cause of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease? Lessons to consider from odontology

Int J Colorectal Dis. 2023 May 8;38(1):117. doi: 10.1007/s00384-023-04406-9.

 

Oskar Peter Andersson 1

 
     

Author information

1, Unaffiliated, Sweden. op.andesso@protonmail.com.

Abstract

Background: A substantial amount of research is pointing to the disrupted microbiome and dysfunctional host-microbiome interaction as potential causes of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The true cause of the diseases is still not fully elucidated, and the various treatments used are not truly effective in the long run, especially for IBD, since a true cure is not known to exist. Treatment failure and surgery are common for IBD, many times leading to a perceived lower quality of life, not to mention the enormous cost for society for treatment up until that point and after. Although it is clear that the microbiome has a major role in the disease, it seems the majority of the research and treatments are still focused on treating and understanding the inflammation and not the primary cause of the inflammation in the first place. This was also the case for many decades in the search for the cause of periodontitis (PD) and gingivitis (GV), a destructive and non-destructive inflammatory disorder, respectively, the first resulting in loss of tissue supporting the teeth. There was much uncertainty and confusion until it was fully established that the microbiome was the cause. PD treatments primarily nowadays reflect the cause, i.e. the removal of microbes. There is no doubt, however, that the inflammatory pathways are important in both diseases and the purpose of this text is not to dispute this in respect to gastrointestinal disorders too. However, a different view on inflammation and associated disorders is explored to explain the nature of extraintestinal manifestations.

Purpose: The aim of this report is not to systematically fully review the literature to try to strengthen causality, as there are many reviews that explore the microbial aspects of IBS and IBD. Instead, the objective is to above all reflect on what has been learned in the field of odontology/stomatology and discuss relevant gastrointestinal research in order to propose tentative hypotheses and questions regarding IBS and IBD aetiology. Perhaps it could help soften the confusion regarding the microbial aetiology and dysbiosis concept, while guiding future research and treatments, primarily regarding microbial transplants, antibiotics, and diet.

 

 

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