PERIODONTAL BACTERIA REDUCE ORAL DEFENSES
Researchers from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry have discovered details of how proteins produced by skin cells inside the mouth protect humans against viruses entering the body through the mouth. They also found that oral bacteria can suppress the activity of these cells, increasing vulnerability to infection. One particular bacterium, called P. gingivalis, which causes periodontal disease, can completely suppress interferon production and severely enhance susceptibility to viral infection.
The mouth often is a gateway into the body for viruses that infect the gastrointestinal tract and lungs such as SARS-CoV-2, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes simplex and cancer-causing viruses such as human papillomavirus (HPV). Reduction of the body’s immune system by this bacterium can enhance the susceptibility to HIV, Herpes Simplex and HPV, as well as to Alzheimer’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and esophageal cancer.
Reducing or eliminating periodontal disease can have far-ranging health benefits for one’s general well-being.
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