How Does The Epstein-Barr Virus Affect Your Gums?

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Hi, I’m Dr. B, practicing functional dentist for 35 years. I graduated from the Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA in 1987 and am a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), Academy of General Dentistry (Chicago, IL), American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), and Dental Board of California. I'm on a mission to empower people everywhere with the same evidence-based, easy-to-understand dental health advice that my patients get. Learn more about Dr. B

In today’s episode, Dr. B answers a listener’s question about whether the Epstein-Barr virus is responsible for her bleeding gums. EBV is a systemic infection with an oral manifestation meaning it acts as a great springboard to talk about the oral-systemic connection as well. EBV is more colloquially known as the ‘kissing disease’ and commonly flares up in patients who have contracted it when they are run down, causing symptoms such as bleeding gums. Dr. B takes us through the signs, symptoms, and manifestations of EBV and also gets into some of the other conditions it has been linked to. After covering the basic facts about the virus, we take a deep dive into the oral-systemic connection which EBV illustrates so well. Dr. B traces a chain of connections between outbreaks of EBV, inflammation, spikes in glucose, diet, and the immune system. We also hear tips and tricks for managing EBV involving periodontal treatments, eating to combat inflammation, and keeping a close eye on glucose levels. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introducing today’s question revolving around bleeding gums and the Epstein-Barr virus
  • The typical situations that lead to EBV and related conditions it causes
  • How recent studies have implicated EBV in the pathogenesis of advanced periodontal disease
  • Discussing how EBV illustrates the oral-systemic connection 
  • Other places EBV can be found such as in the tips of the roots
  • Seeing a periodontist and getting regular cleanings to suppress the viral load
  • The connection between inflammation and episodes of EBV
  • Tips for keeping EBV under control around bolstering the oral microbiome
  • Wearing a glucose monitor in between sessions with the periodontist
  • Maintaining a diet that does not flare up glucose levels and weaken the immune system

How to Submit Your Question:

Record your question for Dr. B at speakpipe.com/askthedentist 

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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