Oral Helicobacter pylori: can we stomach it?

Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 2003;14(3):226-33. doi: 10.1177/154411130301400307.


Helicobacter pylori infection is one of the most common in man. The bacterium primarily resides in the human stomach, where it plays a significant role in gastric disease. If the spread of H. pylori is to be prevented, an understanding of the transmission process is essential. The oral cavity has been proposed as a reservoir for gastric H. pylori, which has been detected by culture and PCR in both dental plaque and saliva. This review will discuss the evidence for the role of the oral cavity in the transmission of gastric H. pylori. Moreover, the difficulties encountered in addressing this topic, possible directions for future research, and the implications for the dental profession are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / transmission*
  • Helicobacter pylori / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Peptic Ulcer / microbiology
  • Saliva / microbiology*