At any given moment, a healthy human mouth hosts over 600 identifiable kinds of oral bacteria, most of which band together to form plaque on your teeth and gums. Of these, many are benign, and some are vital to your mouth’s healthy ecosystem. Others, however, are infamously problematic for your oral health, and Porphyromonas gingivalis is one of the most notorious. Known as the gum disease bacteria, P. gingivalis exhibits the unique ability to fool your immune system, leading to rampant inflammation in your periodontal tissues and the onset and progression of periodontal disease.
Porphyromonas Gingivalis and Gum Disease
Oral bacteria are living microbes, and as such, they consume and metabolize the nutrients that you expose them to. Some produce harmful substances, like acids that erode tooth enamel. By contrast, P. gingivalis produces a molecule that hides it from your immune system and interferes with its ability to control inflammation. While your body uses inflammation to drive out harmful microorganisms, the presence of P. gingivalis in your gums forces the inflammation to continue, leading to chronic, inflammatory periodontal disease.
Chronic Gum Inflammation and Oral-Systemic Health
When your gums are diseased, the tissue can bleed when you brush, floss, or apply pressure (i.e., biting and chewing). As the bleeding occurs, P. gingivalis may enter the bloodstream and travel to other areas of the body, inciting rampant inflammation there, as well. Because of this, people who have chronic periodontal disease are often at increased risks of other systemic health concerns, including heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, dementia, and more.
Protect Your Health from Inflammatory Oral Bacteria
Of the hundreds of kinds of oral bacteria found in dental plaque, Porphyromonas gingivalis is often the driving force behind chronic periodontal disease and systemic health concerns. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.