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Black Mold and Oral Health Concerns

Woman finding black mold

“I need to be more attentive with my brushing” may be your first thought if you notice your gums bleeding. Staying on top of your oral hygiene practices is always a good idea. However, it may not be why your gums are bleeding. There is a range of environmental conditions that can cause you to develop gingivitis-like symptoms. One example is pregnancy. Another, the more general concern is irritation from environmental sources. Black mold has been revealed to cause more than just respiratory issues. Symptoms similar to gingivitis can occur in those who are exposed to it. As well as contacting your primary care provider, your dentist should know if you live with black mold.

Black Mold and Oral Health Concerns

The life cycle of black mold involves some elements that can make it an environmental hazard. Similar to other forms of fungi, it uses spores in its reproductive strategy. However, they don’t typically become airborne during their natural process. For black mold to enter the air, the colony has to be disturbed. The spores are rather ‘sticky’ and are prone to connecting to other particles in the air. From there, they hitch a ride to their final destination. When this destination is in your body, problems can result.

Black mold spores settling in the lungs, sinuses, or even on your gums can cause potentially serious health problems. Congestion is just the beginning but can have consequences for oral health. One severe condition is known as bleeding lung disease. This condition occurs when the spores settle in the lungs. The irritation they cause can cause the lung tissue to bleed. Some oral health concerns that are related to black mold include:

  • Dry Mouth – This is often the result of congestion from black mold. When we can’t breathe through our noses, we have to resort to mouth breathing. When forced to breathe through our mouths, our saliva can dry up. This drying results in a condition known as dry mouth. Saliva has a significant part to play in dental defense. Without it, we’re at greater risk of decay.
  • Amalgams – A common form of fillings, these fungi love amalgams. The reason for this is the composition of these restorations. They’re made from an alloy that includes mercury. Black mold can absorb this substance and release it into our bodies. Outside of the alloy, mercury can be toxic.
  • Mycotoxins – Mycotoxins present a threat to more than our oral health. They are the product of fungi like black mold. It’s these toxins that cause bleeding lungs, noses, and even gums after inhalation.

Black mold infestation requires an immediate response to protect the health of those living with it. The first step should involve evacuating the space. Once your family has been safely moved, call in a professional cleaning team to handle the mold. They’ll know the techniques necessary to eradicate the colony and cleanse your home. After this, you can safely return. In the meanwhile, be sure to see your dentist to explore any potential oral health concerns.

Speaking About Black Mold WIth Your Dentist

When you reach out to your dentist, immediately inform them about the mold infestation. They may be unable to help with the mold at home, but they can help protect your teeth.

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Dr. Marian Bradford Dr. Marian Bradford brings over 20 years of experience as a Dr. of Dental Surgery to the practice at Premier Dental of South Orange County. As a researcher, educator, and clinician, she brings a full range of services to patients in the Aliso Viejo, CA area, including restoration and cosmetic dentistry care.
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