Dental health is extremely important, since the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease are more dangerous than most people would think. For example, a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that bacteria known for causing gum disease actually manipulate the body's immune system to disable the processes that would be able to combat them.
"Since greater than 50 percent of the U.S. population over 50 years of age develop adult periodontal disease, we hope that the results of our study will ultimately help in the development of novel treatments that could prevent or ameliorate the chronic infection," said Jannet Katz, D.D.S., Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
John Wherry, Ph.D., another researcher involved in the study, added that gum disease infections are notoriously hard to treat, and these findings show that the bacteria that cause this issue not only enter the body, but also change the immune system to enhance their survival.
Along with poor dental habits, the National Center for Biotechnology Information states that gum disease can also be the result of pregnancy and uncontrolled diabetes.
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