Sulfate-reducing bacteria in human periodontitis
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Langendijk Genevaux, P.S.
[S.l. : s.n.]
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Periodontitis is the major cause of the loss of teeth among adults. A mixture of bacteria then settles under the gingiva, and is implicated in the degradation of tooth-supporting tissue. In the deepening lesion, or pocket, the adjacent bone is degraded too, which will eventually lead to the loss of the tooth. Professor van der Hoeven has shown 6 years ago in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, that a new group of bacteria occurs in periodontal pockets: Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). The sulfide produced by these bacteria does not only smell like rotten egg, but it is very toxic. The thesis of Dr. P.S. Langendijk showed that SRB from the mouth differ from species that occur in sediments, activated sludge or intestines of humans and animals. She describes SRB from periodontitis patients as a new species: Desulfomicrobium orale. And with DNA-techniques she demonstrated also the presence of other species, which have not been described yet. Furthermore, she found that SRB occur in about 10% of healthy subjects in the mouth, mostly at the tongue and in plaque. But these bacteria occur significantly more often in periodontitis, the SRB grow in circa 70% of the patients in pockets. The occurrence of SRB was increased with bleeding and in deeper pockets, which showed their relationship with severity of periodontitis. Debridement of a pocket by the periodontist and oral hygienist was in many cases (95%) effective against SRB and this resulted in increased tissue attachment. Sulfate-reducing bacteria could be used as a risk-indicator for the treatment of periodontitis.
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