Gum Disease and Your Immune System


Experts have known for quite some time that gum disease is the product of an unchecked bacterial buildup along your periodontal (gum) tissue. Nevertheless, gum disease and the bacterial infections that cause it are stubborn and difficult to treat, which has prompted numerous studies by researchers seeking to understand gum disease’s tenacity. Luckily, a study published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that scientists have taken a step closer towards this understanding by observing how the mechanisms of how gum disease interacts with your immune system to incite rampant inflammation.

Taking Over Your Oral Health

At any given moment, your mouth contains over 600 identifiable kinds of bacteria. When these microbes gather, they form sticky dental plaque to safely adhere to your teeth and gums. When plaque accumulates on your gum line, the toxins that some of these germs release can irritate your gum tissue and lead to the development of gum disease. As the authors of the study discovered, however, P. gingivalis takes a different approach; the germs attack your oral tissues by manipulating your immune system to prevent the processes that would normally destroy them.

The scientists made this discovery by examining cells from mice that had been exposed to the P. gingivalis bacterium. They treated some of the cells with an antibody that inhibited an anti-inflammatory agent produced by the germ, leaving the remainder of cells untreated. By manipulating your immune system’s inflammatory reaction to harmful microbes, the germ creates an environment where it can establish a chronic infection in the form of gum disease. The results of the study suggest that damage occurs as soon as your immune system is exposed to the pathogen, and that early treatment is vital to preventing the extensive damage of gum disease, including tooth loss.

Protect Your Health from Gum Disease

Learn more about how protecting your smile from gum disease can also protect your immune system and overall wellbeing. To schedule a consultation, call Just Wright Dental Surgery Center in Waxahachie, TX, today at (469) 732-1987. We also proudly serve patients from Navarro County, TX, and the surrounding communities, including Corsicana, Mildred, Eureka, Ennis, Fairfield, Teague, Blooming Grove, Dawson, Hubbard, Hillsboro, Mexia, Groesbeck, Kerens, Malakoff, Rice, Centerville, Buffalo, and Athens.