Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans

Worldwide, one of the most common diseases in the human oral cavity besides caries is gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (inflammation and ultimately destruction of the periodontium) Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is a germ that occurs in the oral cavity of healthy or sick people and other mammals. It is usually only abbreviated as A. actinimycetemcomitans. It is both aerobic and anaerobic, which means that it can exist in the presence of oxygen as well as in the absence of oxygen.

This topic might also interest you: Bad BreathInfection occurs through physical contact such as kissing, or sharing of so-called “family toothbrushes” or the sharing of cutlery. Among other germs naturally occurring in the oral cavity, A. actinomycetemcomitans is the main cause of the above-mentioned gingivitis, an inflammatory reaction of the gums, as well as periodontitis, an inflammation and destruction of the periodontium. While caries is the most common cause of tooth loss in younger people, older people lose their teeth more often due to periodontopathies, i.e. diseases of the periodontal apparatus, caused also by A. actinimycetemcomitans.

Under the microscope A. actinomycetemcomitans appears as a small rounded rod. The germ can also be detected in the blood by determining antibodies. This shows that the pathogen can also be transmitted through the bloodstream and can damage other organs.

Many bacteria, including A. actinimycetemcomitans, collect in the plaque adhering to the teeth. This plaque, which is medically called plaque, is mainly composed of the most diverse pathogens. In addition to sugar-digesting bacteria responsible for caries, A. actinomycetemcomitans is responsible for the development of inflammatory reactions of the gums.

The first signs of such an inflammatory reaction are a reddening of the gum line, later bleeding occurs especially after brushing the teeth. If the process continues, gum pockets are formed in which A. actinomycetemcomitans, among other bacteria, feels comfortable, the bone is broken down and finally the tooth is lost. The therapy and at the same time prophylaxis consists of removing the plaque by brushing with a toothbrush and toothpaste and using dental floss to clean the interdental spaces.

However, if the process is more advanced, the gum pockets must be thoroughly cleaned by a dentist. This will remove all deposits and bacteria. However, it is not possible to restore already destroyed bones.

But by removing the bacteria, further destruction of the periodontium is prevented. The spread of A. actinocetemcomitans can therefore be prevented by prophylactic and, if necessary, surgical measures.