Periodontitis commonly known as the gum diseases. Usually caused by the following factors:
- Poor oral hygiene.
- Increase in the bad bacteria count of the oral cavity.
- Imbalance of the bacteria present in the mouth.
- Hormonal imbalance.
- Systemic diseases.
A new Species responsible for Periodontitis:
Researches have recently isolated a strain of amoeba parasite responsible for the increase in periodontitis. The new form of parasite belongs to the Entamoeba species known as the Entamoeba gingivalis. Microscopic studies show a close relationship to Entamoeba histolytica responsible for inflammation and tissue destruction of the colon.
Proportion of Entamoeba gingivalis in gums:
On examination, a group of patients affected by periodontitis and a control group with no signs of gum diseases was selected. 77% of the periodontitis patients had the parasite in them while only 15% of the control group had the parasite living in their gum pockets.
Characteristics of Entamoeba gingivalis:
As it shared some biological resemblance to the gut amoeba Entamoeba histolytica, its characteristics are compared.
- Invasion of the outer protective layer of the gums, therefore, creating a way for the rest of the bacteria to accumulate in the deeper layers of gums.
- Increase in the colonization of the parasite causing inflammation of the gums and destruction of the gum tissues.
- They grow by feeding on the host cells i.e. the gum tissue.
- Subsequently, slowing the rate of growth of the gum tissue cells and causing death at the end.
- It also stimulates the host immune response resembling the Entamoeba histolytica.
The potency of the amoeba and its nature to affect the oral cavity is more due to its mode of spread. The parasite spreads through a droplet infection thus, causing an exacerbated effect on the oral tissues.
Isolation of this species and knowing its characteristics help us in understanding the reason behind the recurrence of periodontitis or gum diseases in most of the cases.
Therefore, researches focusing on reducing this parasite count and treatment options focussing on this new amoeba can bring out successful results in the future.