The bacteria colonizing the hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity are known to significantly influence oral health and disease. Recent studies of subgingival dental plaque, based on different identification methods, provide direct evidence of substantial diversity of plaque microbiota. Till date only about 280 bacterial species have been isolated by cultivable methods, characterized and formally named out of this enormous microbial diversity of oral biofilms. As a consequence, there is a complete lack of information about the properties of a substantial proportion of the plaque microbiota, apart from their position in the taxonomic hierarchy of bacteria. This limited knowledge about the behavior and properties, combined with recognition of the considerable diversity that exists within individual species, raises serious questions to the foundations on which previous conclusions, concerning the etiology of periodontal diseases, rest. The emerging realization is it is impossible to fully understand oral health and disease without identifying and understanding the pathogenic potential of all of the bacteria that colonize the oral cavity. The current chapter shall provide an update on current status of oral microbiota, ecological significance of their biofilm life style and various methods to study microbes residing in oral biofilms.
Part of the book: Oral Microbiology in Periodontitis
Gender-based heterogeneity in periodontal disease has been witnessed in the recent past with huge mounting evidence. The composite effect of sex-based genetic structure and the sex steroid hormones runs in line with the corresponding gender-related differences in risk for chronic periodontitis. Since estrogens, the predominant sex hormones in women, show immune protective and anti-inflammatory effects in hormonally active premenopausal women, they show better periodontal status compared to age-matched men. Conversely, after menopause with a weakening estrogen signal, women may show an equal or even more serious periodontal status compared to men. Periodontal status of postmenopausal women may be improved by menopausal hormone therapy. Alveolar bone loss, an irreversible sign of past periodontal disease activity can be easily observed on radiographs in an objective manner. Orthopantomographs provide a fairly accurate assessment of the status of alveolar bone in the whole mouth. A cross-sectional retrospective panoramic radiographic analysis has been carried out in a north Indian dental institute to decipher the gender-based distribution of periodontal bone loss. The current chapter shall provide an update on gender-based differences in oral health, underlying mechanisms, differences in patterns and distribution of alveolar bone loss (case study), and potential gender-specific disease protection and management strategies.
Part of the book: Clinical Concepts and Practical Management Techniques in Dentistry