Table of contents
About this book
This book provides a wide-ranging update on the associations between oral infections and general health. Detailed consideration is given to the underlying mechanisms and pathways linking oral infections to general health, including metastatic spread of infection from the oral cavity as a result of transient bacteremia, metastatic injury from the effects of circulating oral microbial toxins, and metastatic inflammation caused by immunological dysfunction induced by oral microorganisms. The book also reviews the complex structure and development of oral biofilms in health and disease, and the molecular tools that are currently available for their analysis. The advantages and limitations of such techniques, as well as their impact on the future of diagnostics, prevention, and patient management, are discussed.
The most common oral diseases can have significant implications for general health. For example, chronic oral infections, especially periodontitis, have been associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and low birth weight. The microbial pathogenesis and etiology of dental caries, gingivitis, and chronic periodontitis have been comprehensively studied, and it is now generally accepted that these diseases occur as a result of the concerted actions of several microbial communities. In this regard, both the quantity and the quality of saliva play an essential role as the oral microbial composition and growth conditions are influenced by numerous salivary antimicrobial factors. Oral biofilms are complex and vary widely in composition, but improved knowledge of these biofilms holds the key to greater understanding of the disease processes and consequently the development of new preventive and therapeutic strategies.