Chapter 8

Insight: In the periodontal pocket, different strategies contribute to bacterial survival such as adhesion to the pocket epithelium and, when dentine is encountered, the colonization of the dentine tubules

A dynamic equilibrium exists between the adhesion forces of microorganisms and a variety of removal forces that originate from the following sources: (1) swallowing, mastication, or blowing the nose; (2) tongue and oral hygiene implements; (3) the wash-out effect of the salivary, nasal, and crevicular fluid outflow; and (4) the active motion of the cilia of the nasal and sinus walls.

Clinical Consideration: The entire human microbiota is formed and comprises a very complex collection of hundreds of different types of bacteria that totals approximately 1014 microbial cells. Our body contains 10 times more bacteria than human cells. It has been estimated that, for a normal, healthy human being, the bacterial population comprises 2 kg of the total body weight. This is fascinating if one realizes that the average human brain weighs only about 1.4 kg.

See the entire panel demonstrating the morphology of periodontal and cariogenic species grown on agar plates in Chapter 8.