A Periodontitis Vaccine?

Periodontitis is such an epidemic that it is now considered a facet of adulthood. It is the leading cause of tooth loss, bleeding gums, halitosis, swelling and recession of the gums, and the bacteria that are responsible for it, streptococcus mutans are so prevalent in human bodies that they can be found not only in the mouth, but also throughout the digestive track. This bacterium, streptococcus mutans, has many negative effects in the mouth, like periodontitis and other associated gum diseases. A vaccine that would get rid of it is one of the dreams of dentists, dental assistants and researchers across the world.

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Periodontitis vaccine - how vaccines work

Vaccines have been getting a lot of bad press on the internet, mainly from conspiracy theorists and assorted lunatics who have absolutely no idea about medical science. It is one of the oldest and most common ways to protect an entire population from a given disease, by introducing a dormant variety of it into the host body, and thus the immune system can work out ways to protect itself against a particular strain of bacterium or virus. They work by triggering an immune reaction and by forcing the immune system to make antibodies that it will later on use to get rid of the intruders should they enter the body in the natural world.

Implications of a periodontitis vaccine

If we could just get an injection that will forever make us immune to periodontitis, the world as we know it would change drastically. Cases of oral cancer would likely plummet, as many times the prevalence of streptococcus mutans forces the immune reaction that will eventually go out of control and turn cancerous. Gum disease would be a thing of the past, and would be extremely rare. Instances of tooth decay would go down, but this would not be eliminated, as many different bacteria can cause tooth decay. Adult tooth loss would be rare and linked with traumas and accidents, and much less with oral health.

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