Helicobacter pylori in Supragingival Dental Plaque

Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative microorganism that can colonize the gastric mucosa and is associated with peptic ulcer, gastric carcinoma, and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. Several studies have detected this bacterium in the oral cavity, suggesting it as a potential reservoir. Dr. Silva, et al investigated the presence of H pylori in the oral cavity of individuals with periodontal and gastric diseases. The study involved 115 individuals, with mean age 49.6 years, divided in 4 groups: group A with periodontal and gastric diseases; group B with gastric diseases and no periodontal disease; group C without periodontal and gastric diseases; and group D with periodontal disease and no gastric diseases. Supra- and subgingival plaque samples were collected from posterior teeth of the individuals with sterile paper points and prepared for polymerase chain reaction analysis. Not detected in any subgingival samples, H pylori was detected in supragingival plaque of 25% of group A; 0.3% of group B; 0% of group C; and 8.3% of group D. Using Fisher’s exact test, there was a statistically higher prevalence of H pylori in groups A and D when compared to B and C (P < .05). The study concludes with an association between the supragingival colonization of H pylori and oral hygiene parameters such as the presence of plaque and gingival bleeding.
(Source: Archives of Oral Biology, November 2010, Volume 55, Issue 11)