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Bull Tokyo Dent Coll. 1994 Aug;35(3):107-19.

Bacteriological diagnosis of periodontal disease.

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Department of Microbiology, Tokyo Dental College, Japan.


Dental plaque bacteria cause virtually all the forms of inflammatory periodontal disease. Periodontitis is caused by the specific periodontopathic bacteria, which induce destruction of connective tissue attachment and adjacent alveolar bone. Examinations to identify the infections by Porphyromonas gingivalis, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Prevotella intermedia, Campylobacter rectus, Bacteroides forsythus, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Eikenella corrodens and Treponema denticola have recently become essential in diagnosis of periodontal disease. Bacterial examination permits (1) identification of the causative bacteria, (2) assessment of disease activity and (3) monitoring of the effective of periodontal treatments. The author describes details of accurate and rapid methods for detecting periodontopathogens. Transmission of periodontopathic bacteria as clarified by bacterial examination is also discussed in this review. The pathogenic potential of specific bacteria varies among patients and periodontally healthy individuals and can be controlled by host defense mechanisms such as immune responses. The roles of immune responses against periodontopathic bacteria in balance shifts of periodontal disease processes are therefore also discussed in this review.

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