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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Could Teeth Brushing Impact MS?

Tuesday February 2, 2010

It is known that having "bad" bacteria in your body can cause the immune system to act up and (potentially) worsen autoimmune diseases. In multiple sclerosis, this could theoretically mean an increase in the severity of MS symptoms.To test this theory, researchers conducted an experiment with a common bacteria,Porphyromas gingivalis (the cause of "gingivitis").

It is known that these bacteria produce a lipid that can cause the immune system to "act up." The researchers injected the lipid into mice that had a "mouse version" of MS. The MS-like symptoms in the mice worsened after the lipid was injected.

Bottom line: While no "real life" conclusions can be drawn from this experiment, this may give us one more reason (among many) to maintain good oral hygiene.

Source: Nichols FC, Housley W, O'Conor C, Manning T, Wu S, Clark RB. Unique Lipids from a Common Human Bacterium Represent a New Class of TLR2 Ligands Capable of Enhancing Autoimmunity. Am J Pathol, 175: 2430-2438.

Link from ms.about.com


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1 comment:

Macyuzer said...

It's an interesting thought. The mercury used in amalgam dental fillings has been periodically suspected of "causing" MS. Perhaps it's merely the bacteria in plaque (which is disturbed during a dental procedure) that's contributing to the problem.