Oral infections - an introduction

Andrew Davies and Ilora Finlay

in Oral Care in Advanced Disease

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780192632432
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730375 | DOI:
Oral infections - an introduction

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The oral cavity supports the growth of several and different microflora. There are more than 500 different taxa found within the mouth and the role of most of these taxa in health and disease has not been fully established. However, based on cultural studies, there are certain organisms found in the mouth that act as pathogens. This chapter provides an overview of oral infection by discussing first the colonization of the mouth and the development of dental plaque. In this section the different pathogens which cause oral infections as well as the structure of the mouth, teeth, and tongue that encourages colonization are discussed briefly. The latter sections of the chapter discuss the homeostatic mechanisms of the mouth which prevent the development of oral infection. The roles played by the oral mucosa, the commensal organisms, the saliva, the gingival cervical fluid, and the immune system within the mouth in maintaining homeostasis and in preventing progressive oral infection are discussed and examined.

Keywords: oral cavity; pathogens; mouth; oral infection; dental plaque; colonization; homeostasis; commensal organisms; oral mucosa; saliva

Chapter.  2404 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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