Gum Disease Bacteria Use Our Own Immune Systems Against Us

Thursday, January 10th, 2013, 9:12 pm

Bacteria and viruses are sneaky. The flu virus changes every year and now we know that the bacteria responsible for gum disease can manipulate our immune systems! Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA can help you fight the effects of oral bacteria which cause gum disease.

Research published in The Journal of Leukocye Biology showed how one bacteria that causes gum disease (Porphyromonas gingivalis) manipulates our immune system and disables the normal body processes that would destroy the bacteria. The study highlights how this bacteria establishes a chronic infection in the gums — it prompts production of an anti-inflammatory molecule which  stops the function of cells that would otherwise destroy the bacteria and protect against the disease.

Researcher Jannet Katz, DDS, PhD said “Since greater than 50 percent of the U.S. population over 50 year-of-age develop adult periodontal disease, we hope that the results of our study will ultimately help int he development of novel treatments that could prevent or ameliorate the chronic infection caused by the pathogen P. gingivalis.”

Dr. John Wherry from the Journal said “These new studies now demonstrate that these bacteria go beyond merely evading our body’s defenses and actually manipulate our immune systems for their survival.”  Hopefully soon there will be a treatment to block this manipulation and allow the body’s natural defenses to fight the infection.

Fighting gum disease is important because the oral infections have been linked to so many other problems. Pregnant women with gum disease are more likely to deliver early, bacteria from gum disease has been found to travel to organs throughout the body and the inflammation caused by gum disease affects the cardiovascular system and joints.

If you haven’t visited your dental hygienist in a while then 2013 is the year to get back on schedule! Gum disease can be treated but it won’t go away on its own.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your appointment.

 

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