The role of dental plaque in the transmission of Helicobacter pylori is unclear.
In this study, doctors from Israel used nested PCR to estimate the incidence of H. pylori in dental plaques of 24 dental hygienists.
The team found H. pylori DNA in 50% of dental plaques using sterilized dental probes.
However, they determined that additional treatment of sonication and SDS wash prior to sterilization of dental probes reduced the incidence to 13%.
The team used the treated probes to assess H. pylori presence in plaque samples of 47 patients visiting the dental clinic for teeth cleaning.
The team detected H. pylori DNA in 24% of these cases.
|H. pylori DNA was detected in 24% of cases.|
|Digestive Diseases and Sciences|
The team determined that their data possibly reflected instrument contamination. Therefore, they tested dental probes, endoscopes, and endoscopy forceps for H. pylori.
From these test, the team found that between 13 and 38% of instruments were contaminated.
Dr Abd Al Nasser Al-hawajri and colleagues concluded, "Consequently, dental plaques may be a candidate reservoir for H. pylori, medical equipment may contribute to H. pylori transmission, and sample collection techniques can bias the true prevalence of H. pylori in a population."