Periodontitis and COPD

Published on May 22, 2012 by

Oral bacteria are routinely found in tonsillar epithelium, and may contaminate the distal respiratory epithelium and cause stimulation of respiratory epithelial cells. Lower respiratory tract infections, including COPD exacerbation, depend on the initial colonization of bacterial pathogens to oral/pharyngeal surfaces, and subsequently shed into the salivary secretions, together with oral bacteria, hydrolytic enzymes, and proinflammatory cytokines. These secretions may potentially contaminate and induce respiratory epithelial alterations. Oral bacteria may also modulate the adhesion of respiratory pathogens to mucosal surfaces by altering the environment of the upper airway enhancing potential lower respiratory pathogen colonization. It is therefore possible that oral pathogen accumulation associated with periodontal disease, along with caries susceptibility, may increase the risk of pulmonary impairment. Periodontal disease may also alter environmental conditions that permit mucosal colonization, along with caries producing bacteria, and infection by respiratory pathogens.

Filed under: Gum Disease

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