Oral conditions are relatively common in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the contribution of oral maladies to gut inflammation remains unexplored. Here, we investigated the effect of periodontitis on disease phenotypes of patients with IBD. In all, 60 patients with IBD (42 with ulcerative colitis [UC] and 18 with Crohn's disease [CD]) and 45 healthy controls (HCs) without IBD were recruited for this clinical investigation. The effects of incipient periodontitis on the oral and gut microbiome as well as IBD characteristics were examined. In addition, patients were prospectively monitored for up to 12 months after enrollment. We found that, in both patients with UC and those with CD, the gut microbiome was significantly more similar to the oral microbiome than in HCs, suggesting that ectopic gut colonization by oral bacteria is increased in patients with IBD. Incipient periodontitis did not further enhance gut colonization by oral bacteria. The presence of incipient periodontitis did not significantly affect the clinical outcomes of patients with UC and CD. However, the short CD activity index increased in patients with CD with incipient periodontitis but declined or was unchanged during the study period in patients without periodontitis. Thus, early periodontitis may associate with worse clinically symptoms in some patients with CD.
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