• A mutiny by bad bacteria in your mouth is the last thing you and caring Newmarket dentists would want to happen. Unfortunately, a well-known bacterium is capable of just that.

    Gum Disease

    A recent study by University of Pennsylvania researchers found out that P. gingivalis, a species of bacteria responsible for periodontitis, can neutralize immune cells by disrupting their ability to kill germs while preserving their ability to trigger an inflammatory response. This allows other bad bacteria to take over your mouth in sheer numbers, leading to a phenomenon known as dysbiosis.

    While P. gingivalis is not as numerous as most oral bacteria, its action on the mouth can be quite deadly.

    Risk of Escalation
    Gingivitis won't be the endgame for this bacteria. If left untreated, gingivitis can escalate into acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG), more commonly known as trench mouth. Aside from excruciating pain, other symptoms of ANUG may include gum recession and bleeding.

    Treatment
    Scaling and root planning are the most common treatments for full-blown periodontitis, followed by antibiotics, in some cases. However, dentists will be wary about prescribing antibiotics, as some types could kill both bad and good bacteria. With depletion of the latter, diseases have a higher chance of taking hold.

    Restoring the Balance
    Prevention of periodontitis and dysbiosis may be done with the proper diet and good oral hygiene. Foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt and sauerkraut, can help increase the number of healthy bacteria in the body, thus preventing the bad ones from taking over.

    Prebiotic food can also contribute to this end. As probiotics supply the human body with good bacteria, prebiotics provide the fuel for new and existing good bacteria to effectively do their jobs. Most probiotic foods also contain prebiotics, and those rich in dietary fiber and inulin, such as grain and produce, are also packed with prebiotics.

    Good oral hygiene, on the other hand, includes regular visits to dentists in Newmarket such as Dr. Zofia Wojt. These check-ups can not only help detect the onset of oral diseases for early treatment; they can also prevent their development through thorough cleaning.

    (Source: Gum disease bacteria selectively disarm immune system, study finds, Medical Xpress, June 11, 2014)