Most Wanted: The 3 Worst Bacterial Villains

Have you seen these bacteria?

With this special OSH News Network report, we’re profiling some of oral health’s worst bacterial villains. These bacteria tend to form close-knit communities called biofilm in order to avoid capture while they wreak havoc on our health.

Villian 1: Porphyromonas gingivalis

Alias: P. G.

Wanted for: Aiding and abetting periodontal disease, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and pregnancy complications. P. G. is a known accomplice of cortisol, as the two have a symbiotic relationship in the mouth. P. G. is extremely dangerous, as it frequently hijacks white blood cells and turns them into carriers for its own dastardly deeds.

Villian 2: Fusobacterium nucleatum

Alias: F. N.

Wanted for: The death of an unborn child in an otherwise healthy mother. Evidence at the scene shows F. N. entered through the mother’s mouth and crossed the placental barrier due to its special ability to transverse cellular barriers. F. N. also has a history of involvement in the carcinogenesis of orodigestive and colorectal cancers.

Villain 3: Treponema denticola

Alias: T. D.

Wanted for: Continued involvement in the progression of periodontal disease. T. D. has recently been causally implicated in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease through neurospirochetosis.

Researchers are uncovering new evidence daily on how these bacteria are harming not only our oral health but also our risk for systemic disease. If you come across any of these bacterial bad dudes, contact the nearest dental team so they can confront them directly on both a clinical and microbial level.

Nabbing one criminal won’t put a stop to all future crime, and addressing these bacteria won’t erase all future risk for disease. But putting these bad dudes behind bars (or at least below threshold) is, in the grand scheme of things, one of the simplest and least-invasive ways to reduce inflammation, improve oral health, and reduce risk for serious health problems down the road.