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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 Jul;8(7):481-90. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2337.

Periodontitis: a polymicrobial disruption of host homeostasis.

Author information

1
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA. rdarveau@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Periodontitis, or gum disease, affects millions of people each year. Although it is associated with a defined microbial composition found on the surface of the tooth and tooth root, the contribution of bacteria to disease progression is poorly understood. Commensal bacteria probably induce a protective response that prevents the host from developing disease. However, several bacterial species found in plaque (the 'red-complex' bacteria: Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia and Treponema denticola) use various mechanisms to interfere with host defence mechanisms. Furthermore, disease may result from 'community-based' attack on the host. Here, I describe the interaction of the host immune system with the oral bacteria in healthy states and in diseased states.

PMID:
20514045
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro2337
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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