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Bacteria and Gum Disease: Unraveling the Mystery
July 24, 2014

By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service

INTELIHEALTH - People with gum disease have more bacteria in their mouths than people with healthy gums do, say German researchers.

The researchers also found that people with gum disease have more Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria, which are known to cause gum disease. That wasn't unusual.

But researchers were surprised to find that moderately high levels of another type of bacteria linked with gum disease actually seemed to protect people against gum disease.

People with moderate levels of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans were less likely to have gum disease than people who had low levels. This strain is known to cause gum disease. Researchers were not able to explain the decrease in risk.

The study included 88 people with gum disease and 88 people without it. Researchers took tongue scrapings from each person. They measured the total number of bacteria, as well as certain species that are linked with gum disease.

The study appears in the July issue of PLoS One.

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